ESL National Champions set to compete for IEM spots in Global Playoffs Spring
The bracket for the tournament that will see eight winners of domestic competitions face off on May 27-30 has been drawn.
ESL has announced details regarding the ESL National Championship Global Playoffs (NCGP), a stepping-stone event that will "give local teams the opportunity to compete and climb the ESL Pro Tour structure", the company announced. The upcoming ESL NCGP Spring 2021 will be held online and feature only European squads, but ESL's plans are to scale up to a global LAN event for 2022.
The first edition of ESL NCGP, scheduled for May 27-30, will feature eight winners of ESL's domestic competitions such as the German Meisterschaft and British Premiership. Teams including Movistar Riders and Endpoint will compete in a single-elimination bracket with hopes of securing a spot either at IEM Summer or the IEM Cologne Play-in.
ESL's national championships have already provided paths into the ESL Pro Tour circuit, with Sprout earning a IEM Cologne Play-in spot by winning the ESL Meisterschaft and Wisla Krakow qualifying for the IEM Katowice Play-in through the ESL Polish Championship. However, the addition of the ESL NCGP is "an effort to make the EPT even more accessible and clearer for teams at this base layer", the tournament organizer says.
The full team list for the upcoming ESL NCGP Spring is as follows:
The bracket draw sees Endpoint take on Rigon "rigoN" Gashi's GAIJIN in the first round of the playoffs, while LDLC will be looking to upset Movistar Riders. Sprout, who defeated FaZe in Flashpoint 3, are favored to take down Turkish representatives Sangal, while EC Brugge's task has been made easier as they will take on HONORIS instead of AGO.
The ESL NCGP bracket looks as follows:
The eight teams will face off in a single-elimination BO3 bracket with a BO5 grand final, where the two finalists will secure slots at upcoming ESL Pro Tour Masters or Masters Championships events. The winner of the tournament will be given the choice to pick between taking part in IEM Summer 2021 on June 3-13 or the IEM Cologne Play-in — set to be held as a studio LAN event at the start of July —, while the runners-up will be given the remaining spot.