ESL announces special qualifying process for Pro League Season 12
ESL has announced that it will put together a special qualifying process for Pro League Season 12 specifically.
The teams who lost their EPL slot or the chance to earn one via the relegation stage - which was scrapped following the recent overhaul of the league - will have two opportunities to qualify for Season 12, one of which through the MDL Global Challenge, where three places in ESL's showpiece competition will be on the line.
These teams have also been invited to compete in regional qualifiers alongside the bottom teams from ESL Pro League Season 11. The qualifiers, scheduled for April 21-22, will feature a single-elimination, best-of-three format, with the winning sides earning a slot in Season 12.
ESL had come under criticism for failing to communicate the changes that were being planned for Pro League Season 11, which will feature just 24 teams instead of 48. The tournament organiser ended up apologizing to the affected teams, promising that they would be able to make it back to the league in Season 12, "not only through MDL and in a way that ensures regional representation."
The following teams have been invited to the regional qualifiers:
More details about the qualifying process for ESL Pro League after Season 12 will be announced "as part of a larger update" in the next two weeks, ESL added.
Moving forward, ESL plans to host the MDL Global Challenge "at either the respective ESL Pro League Season Finals or another DreamHack or ESL event". Moreover, the grand final of the Global Challenge will be played on the main stage, giving MDL teams "an appropriate setting and exposure whilst increasing the product quality."
Starting in Season 34, the MDL will also send the winning teams in Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania to the closed qualifiers of a respective ESL or DreamHack Masters level event, it was announced.