ESL Pro League to return in September, with LAN matches under consideration
ESL has announced that it is looking into the possibility of bringing the ESL Pro League back to an offline setting for Season 12, which will kick off in September.
On the competition's official website, ESL notes that it is monitoring the global health situation and that, should players be able to "travel safely without larger restrictions" by the time Pro League starts, the league will be hosted in a studio environment with 24 teams split into four round-robin groups.
In case travel restrictions aren't lifted by then, ESL added, the competition will be held online again with divisions covering all major regions: Europe, North America, Asia, Oceania, and South America.
ESL Pro League Season 12 will feature 24 teams, including the 13 partners who signed what was called the "Louvre Agreement" following a meeting in Paris in January 2020.
Invites have been handed to Renegades, Sharks and BOOM, three teams who missed Season 11 due to travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and that, as ESL had promised, kept their spots in the league for another season.
ESL will be hosting a special qualifier across five regions for the teams that were moved to the Mountain Dew League (MDL) as a result of the decision to reduce the number of competing sides in Pro League from 48 to 24. These teams will have the chance to re-qualify for Pro League via a tournament that will also feature the non-partner teams from Season 11, with six slots on offer (two in Europe and one in the remaining regions). The final two Pro League spots will be taken by the best teams from ESEA MDL.
Below you can find the 16 teams that are already confirmed for Season 12:
The following teams will be taking part in the special qualifiers: