WePlay announces $100,000 academy league

The competing teams must feature at least four players between the ages of 16 and 20.

WePlay has announced the creation of an academy league in partnership with eight top organisations, with the event featuring a $100,000 prize pool and an offline playoff stage. Included among the invited teams are NAVI Junior, mouz NXT, and Young Ninjas, as well as Fnatic Rising, whose roster will be announced in short order, HLTV.org has learned.

WePlay Academy League Season 1 will solely feature teams that have at least four players between the ages of 16-20, and kick off with an online round-robin group stage on July 19, from which the top three teams will advance directly to the double-elimination playoffs.

The bottom-placed team from the group stage will be eliminated, while the remaining four will enter a gauntlet stage for the final spot in the playoffs. The bracket stage will take place at the WePlay Esports Arena in Kyiv from August 27-29, with the winner walking home with the lion's share of the prize pool.

“The league provides an excellent platform for the young prodigies to show themselves, competing against their counterparts from other clubs," NAVI's COO Aleksey Kucherov states in the announcement. "There’s also the process of getting ready to play against certain opponents and the long-term planning of roster changes for playing certain roles.

"There will be media days and interviews, the players will develop as individuals. In general, there will be everything that’s already present in Tier 1 CS:GO, everything you need to get used to at the very early stages of your career as a pro gamer."

The eight teams who will take part in the inaugural season WePlay's academy league are:

The emergence of the league comes in the wake of a number of top organisations creating academy rosters to pull players from, most notably with NIP promoting both Erik "⁠ztr⁠" Gustafsson and Linus "⁠LNZ⁠" Holtäng from Young Ninjas, as well as Natus Vincere adding Valeriy "⁠B1T⁠" Vakhovskiy from NAVI Junior.

The academy teams offer organisations the chance to educate talent from a young age in the mould of a professional player while offering an alternative to buying out players from other organisations. The league will allow for further development in the shape of formal tournament appearances and interviews, giving players an early experience of attending more professional events.

Sweden Erik 'ztr' Gustafsson
Erik 'ztr' Gustafsson
Age:
18
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.90
Maps played:
185
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.69
Ukraine Valeriy 'B1T' Vakhovskiy
Valeriy 'B1T' Vakhovskiy
Age:
18
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
293
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.65
Sweden Linus 'LNZ' Holtäng
Linus 'LNZ' Holtäng
Age:
18
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
190
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.63
Nice
2021-07-07 09:31
2 replies
#51
 | 
Europe Top8vk
ez for Navi Junior
2021-07-07 11:16
Only thing missing is 4glory junior junior team
2021-07-07 13:01
Olk
2021-07-07 09:32
#3
 | 
France Loutcho_Q
Coool ! When Vitality Academy wtff
2021-07-07 09:32
8 replies
dbl poney is vitality youngsters
2021-07-07 09:33
#36
Polin | 
Europe Daudy
TBH vita with 3 very young players is academy in itself lol
2021-07-07 10:02
5 replies
#69
ISSAA | 
Palestine 3BooD
Kiojin is 21 years old
2021-07-07 11:56
4 replies
#76
 | 
Pakistan hawrU
22* wtf
2021-07-07 12:08
#78
Polin | 
Europe Daudy
22 is old or what?
2021-07-07 12:20
2 replies
The tournment for players at age 16-20 so he's old for it
2021-07-08 06:58
1 reply
That wasnt point of the comment mate. Also JDC is older but you need 4 players that are 16-20
2021-07-08 17:23
france left without young talents because of zywoo
2021-07-07 12:26
gg young ninjas
2021-07-07 09:32
#5
 | 
United States Rayduh
Academy teams are cool
2021-07-07 09:32
1 reply
liquid is my favorite academy team
2021-07-07 12:42
fnatic rising pog
2021-07-07 09:33
2 replies
Golden, JW, peppzor, jackinho, flusha
2021-07-07 12:41
1 reply
"The competing teams must feature at least four players between the ages of 16 and 20."
2021-07-07 13:41
#7
syrsoN | 
Germany PeKay
Big academy is so Bad lol
2021-07-07 09:33
4 replies
Big has an acadamy team wtf
2021-07-07 15:23
3 replies
Yes and They are so Bad They wont win a map Here
2021-07-07 15:39
2 replies
LOL
2021-07-07 15:43
They won 3/3 maps played.
2021-07-22 08:49
Easy for Mouz NXT
2021-07-07 09:33
1 reply
They are pretty strong.
2021-07-18 23:58
That's actually cool
2021-07-07 09:33
ez young ninjas
2021-07-07 09:33
#12
 | 
Finland hermion
nice!
2021-07-07 09:35
ez4s1mple!
2021-07-07 09:35
#14
 | 
Russia cyalan
where is spirit academy wtf mens((
2021-07-07 09:36
2 replies
#109
 | 
Brunei HypnoSia
18-19 years old team only one guy15
2021-07-07 17:33
1 reply
#113
 | 
Russia cyalan
Russian insider have said that after expansion of the league Spirit will have a spot, so all ok
2021-07-07 18:52
#15
 | 
Ukraine volod1m1r
navi jr last place incoming
2021-07-07 09:36
1 reply
#111
 | 
United States 3manu3l
m0NESY rip
2021-07-07 18:17
pretty cool actually
2021-07-07 09:36
#17
 | 
Spain Nepomu
Ez for mouz nxt
2021-07-07 09:36
123
2021-07-07 09:36
ez for NaVi jr
2021-07-07 09:36
So they uave big academy and furia academy that can barely compete in SA scene, but not spirit academy?
2021-07-07 09:37
13 replies
#26
 | 
Hungary szia
yeah, i like big, but their academy will get shredded. finished dead last in the last 99liga with a record of 3-15. they stand no chance against any of these teams
2021-07-07 09:47
1 reply
the revamped the complete lineup only n1k is still from the first lineup
2021-07-12 23:28
#37
Polin | 
Europe Daudy
Spirit probably didnt want to pay entry fee or sign the contract.
2021-07-07 10:03
10 replies
I think its actually because one of Spirits player is 15yo, but you need to be atleast 16yo (4 players from 16-19 according to the article)
2021-07-07 10:18
9 replies
#63
Polin | 
Europe Daudy
JDC is 21 so i am really doubtfull about age being a problem here. But maybe sinc ehe is "too young" to play CS. Still more probable cause is money.
2021-07-07 11:36
8 replies
"The competing teams must feature at least *four* players between the ages of 16 and 20."
2021-07-07 20:07
7 replies
JDc is 21 so that doesnt hold up learn to read.
2021-07-07 20:10
6 replies
At least 4. He is the 5th. Learn to read.
2021-07-07 20:14
5 replies
So his point for spirit is null. Tell that to him
2021-07-07 20:22
4 replies
no its cause he isnt allowed to play in tournaments. You need to be 16 to be allowed to play
2021-07-12 23:29
3 replies
But the rule is very specific as in 16-20 years old. JDC also breaks this rule which means it shouldnt be problem for spirit. Monesy played in tournaments when he wasnt 16 same goes for Frozen.
2021-07-13 12:40
2 replies
It says that 4 of 5 players must be between 16 and 20 Everyone except jdc is under 20
2021-07-16 19:48
1 reply
4 out 5 players from spirit are 16-20 so his argument doesnt stand. IS this so difficult to grasp?
2021-07-17 13:59
EZ 4 Mouz
2021-07-07 09:41
#22
 | 
Hungary szia
very nice. ez money collecting for GOD TORZSI
2021-07-07 09:42
Broky (20 yrs) ZyWoo (20 yrs) Bymas (17 yrs) Ropz (21 yrs) Frozen (18 yrs) Team up for 1 tournament cash grab ez win
2021-07-07 09:47
3 replies
lol bymas
2021-07-07 09:55
Did u event read? U need 4 players from 16-19
2021-07-07 15:27
1 reply
#124
 | 
Slovakia xaboff
16-20 bro, did U even read it?
2021-07-07 22:00
ez for mouzNXT
2021-07-07 09:45
MouzNXT outlook these teams pretty easily, maybe Na’Vi or Ninjas stand a chance… Furia gunna get demolished
2021-07-07 09:46
1 reply
pretty sure Big is even worse then furia
2021-07-07 11:56
#27
 | 
Serbia bra1np
Just remember Gambit Youngsters ... With addition of Hobbit, top 1 ez... I assume we can see something similar from Nip, mouz and Navi academy teams soon
2021-07-07 09:47
Where is hltv academy?
2021-07-07 09:48
Very good Gj we play
2021-07-07 09:48
Nice
2021-07-07 09:49
#31
 | 
Sweden HaasF1Team
Fnatic rising???!?!? Cccool
2021-07-07 09:50
ez money for mouz nxt lol
2021-07-07 09:52
#34
rain | 
Russia Veyles
Spirit Academy > VP Prodigy
2021-07-07 09:57
#35
 | 
Russia eles1ze
I would like to see more tournaments like this
2021-07-07 09:59
Where are the Gambit Juniors?
2021-07-07 10:04
2 replies
In IEM Cologne 2021. Time flies, huh?
2021-07-07 13:30
In colonge
2021-07-08 09:58
That's awesome
2021-07-07 10:04
Gambit should be invited wtf, all 20 years and below except hobbit...meet the requirements
2021-07-07 10:06
1 reply
Ez tournament win 16-0 every map
2021-07-16 19:50
Doesn't make sense at all that much money for fucking ACADEMIES
2021-07-07 10:08
1 reply
Cash is a great motivation to go all-out
2021-07-07 10:21
#43
 | 
France t3r4byt3
Fnatic themselves should play with how bad they are nowadays lol
2021-07-07 10:18
#44
 | 
Poland zdun
G2 needs to make an academy team so KennyS can play
2021-07-07 10:20
Fnatic make the academy roster again? POG!
2021-07-07 10:23
Age in CSGO does not fucking matter lmfao, this ain't soccer. And even in soccer most players get to their prime around 27/28 years old. Stop with this bullshit. There is players with 17/18/19 on hltv and on top academy teams that have no place there and will never be pro players, let alone top players. Just look at astralis talent, Navi junior (except m0nesy and aunkere), the list goes on and on. This is getting out of hand and I don't know who has the fault here. Age does not matter in CSGO, and will never do , unless you are maybe fucking 80
2021-07-07 10:24
7 replies
kscerato, vini, ablej, acor, gade, borup and golden were all in academy teams like 3 years ago, don't talk shit when a lot of these players will be in the top 20 before 2025
2021-07-07 11:22
1 reply
Ablej? Kek. Anyways, it's just a coincidence. I can give you a lot more players that never played in academy teams and are on top and you know who they are
2021-07-07 11:51
TF?... dude can I have some of what your smoking?
2021-07-07 11:36
2 replies
Reply needs to have actual content
2021-07-07 11:51
1 reply
Apologies if you are illiterate
2021-07-07 12:26
#74
 | 
Brazil Bactuga
I Dont think it matters as much for ONLINE Cs, but for LAN it does, considering the old players will probably have played 5x more than the new ones.
2021-07-07 12:05
I don't think you understand the point of academy teams
2021-07-07 18:54
#48
 | 
United Kingdom sexic
322 omfg
2021-07-07 10:29
#49
 | 
Hungary bentseh
Lets go Torzsás
2021-07-07 10:38
Certainly interesting how Spirit academy (top1 academy team) arent even invited to this event :D. Even astralis who are horrible are
2021-07-07 10:46
5 replies
Because Astralis helped plan the thing and found it. Its not about the best teams, its about who signed the contracts etc
2021-07-07 11:24
Zont1x is too young.
2021-07-07 15:29
1 reply
mouz nxt >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> spirit ac
2021-07-12 23:30
1 reply
Not at all lol mouz nxt are trash fluked few games
2021-07-13 13:48
Nice prize pool for a schoolchildren tournament
2021-07-07 11:16
i can already tell fnatic rising is better than main
2021-07-07 11:17
1 reply
Not hard tho xaxaxa
2021-07-07 11:32
#54
 | 
Finland RPGWiZaRD
Good idea to push 100.000 price pool for Academy teams only. Could use 1-2 more organisers like this as it would really be good for new talents to become more motivated in doing what it takes to the reach the top when the steep income curve isn't so steep between lower tier and higher tier events.
2021-07-07 11:19
#55
 | 
Poland Pete229
spirit academy??
2021-07-07 11:19
1 reply
#119
 | 
Slovakia GUZU
+1
2021-07-07 19:23
young ninjas clearly better
2021-07-07 11:30
Ez4FnaticRising
2021-07-07 11:32
#61
 | 
Poland Adik1973
Ez4 polish gods
2021-07-07 11:35
#64
JK | 
Asia flipflop
Astralis talent will definitely finish in the last place
2021-07-07 11:41
2 replies
#85
 | 
Denmark theHeniek
U forgot about Big's academy BP prodigy Fnstic rising Futia's academy
2021-07-07 12:42
1 reply
Piriaz1n > lnz + monesy
2021-07-07 18:31
#65
 | 
Poland baba_booey
Rip spirit academy
2021-07-07 11:47
Spirit Academy?
2021-07-07 11:53
fnatic rising +mhl +kei
2021-07-07 11:56
interesting
2021-07-07 12:00
This is actually good for scene
2021-07-07 12:03
EZ4NAVIJUNIOR
2021-07-07 12:05
sheeeesh
2021-07-07 12:12
Mouz or yn will win
2021-07-07 12:22
Gambit back to Gambit Youngsters for 1 tournament, ez 100k
2021-07-07 12:28
#83
 | 
Denmark theHeniek
I didn't notice that vp prodigy is actually vp prodigy
2021-07-07 12:40
I've been saying this
2021-07-07 12:48
#88
 | 
Sweden skick4d
damn dis shit be bussin GL
2021-07-07 12:56
EZ4GAMBIT
2021-07-07 13:11
Looks like a cool project. CS really needs young talents. That said, this even more true for NA/SA region :|
2021-07-07 13:22
#92
 | 
Australia Beard43
Wow impressive! Should make some interesting viewing
2021-07-07 13:27
Astralis talent Will honestly lose I think
2021-07-07 13:43
#96
 | 
Denmark N1nQa
Impressive
2021-07-07 14:01
No spirit?
2021-07-07 14:06
YES I TOLD ABOUT IT FEW MOTNHS AGO FINALLY HAPPENS LETS GO
2021-07-07 14:06
2 replies
How did you know?
2021-07-18 23:58
1 reply
Bold prediction
2021-07-21 19:18
#99
ropz | 
Sweden smx31
That’s really cool, love how orgs are willing to support the tier 2/3/up incoming scene. Very important for the future of pro cs
2021-07-07 14:15
1 reply
+111
2021-07-21 19:18
#103
 | 
Norway fenkshui
Fnatic Rising?
2021-07-07 15:30
easy for mouz nxt
2021-07-07 15:31
#107
 | 
Brazil setsz
furia academy POGG
2021-07-07 15:43
100.000 $ for these teams is too much. What the hell is going on with tournament organisers
2021-07-07 16:06
wheres mibr
2021-07-07 18:05
1 reply
spirit academy also inst there, not every team is altho there should be more room right? already 8...
2021-07-07 19:17
actual good stuff!
2021-07-07 19:16
Where is x6tence?
2021-07-07 19:20
So ez for Navi
2021-07-07 22:30
ez for nip junior
2021-07-08 00:59
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