ESL Pro League S11 split into regional groups, three teams withdraw
ESL has announced that the upcoming Pro League season will be played regionally with three European groups and one North American group. Meanwhile, Renegades and Sharks withdrew from the competition and Heroic were unable to field a lineup.
Renegades have decided not to travel overseas for the competition and have been replaced by Swole Patrol, while Sharks chose to travel back to Brazil despite already being in Europe, with their replacement still yet to be announced. According to ESL, both teams will be invited back for Season 12.
Heroic were unable to field an eligible lineup following the loss of their Danish squad around Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer, who made the move to FunPlus Phoenix. BIG have been invited to take their place in the eleventh season after withdrawing from Flashpoint earlier this week.
The redistribution of groups according to regions was made by the organizers following the United States' government's announcement of a widespread travel ban between the country and the majority of Europe.
To limit further travel, the teams who were still yet to travel to Europe from North America have been moved into one group, which now features Evil Geniuses, Liquid, 100 Thieves, FURIA, and Swole Patrol, while the other three were slightly remade accordingly. Complexity and BOOM are already in Europe and will take part in the league there.
The redistributed groups look as follows:
The general schedule will remain largely unchanged, as three best-of-three series will be played each day starting from March 16. When the latter two groups take over on March 26, the North American group will be played late in the day due to timezone differences.
ESL has also added that the playoffs will be played entirely online after deciding against holding the bracket stage in a studio, after all, with each region having a separate champion.