ESL polls teams on mid-EPL playoffs switch to CS2
The tournament organizer could switch to the new title as early as the semi-finals of their league in Malta.
ESL has polled teams at ESL Pro League Season 18 on a possible early switch to Counter-Strike 2, asking them of their preferences in the event that the new title releases mid-playoffs. ESL confirmed they had questioned teams regarding an early transition in a statement to Dust2.us.
The release of Counter-Strike 2 is expected on Wednesday after repeated teases from Valve last week, which means that rollout would coincide with the middle of Pro League's bracket stage.
The game's release would not force ESL to immediately transition to the new title as Valve are providing support to allow for ongoing tournaments to conclude on CS:GO, but the tournament organizer has polled teams present in the playoffs of their league in Malta if they would consider an early switch to the new title, possibly as early as the semi-finals or grand finals.
"Generally, we survey teams and players participating in our competitions to get an understanding of their opinions on a variety of topics," ESL told Dust2.us.
"Now, we are indeed in discussions with the EPL Playoffs teams to understand their preferences in the event that Valve's tease for tomorrow holds true and CS2 releases to replace CS:GO. Once any final decisions come out of this we'll update you as soon as possible."
A potential end-of-event switch raises a number of concerns as 66 matches of Pro League have already played out on CS:GO, almost making a joke of the large majority of the event, and potential bugs and issues with the full release of CS2 could hinder the final games of the tournament.
Some teams have already started practicing CS2, but a mid-event transition is hard to imagine coming to fruition, despite ESL's poll. In the event that the change doesn't happen in Pro League, IEM Sydney could well serve as the first top-tier event in the new game.