Esports tournament organizer ESL has unveiled the final list of twenty-four CS:GO teams that will participate in the ESL Pro League Season 11.
ESL Pro League will now feature a team ownership format where thirteen-member teams will be majority stakeholders in the League. The tournament organizer announced the list of thirteen teams that will have a say in the management and running of the League. ESL will act as the operator, although the announcement does not reveal ESL’s role in the League’s future.
The Louvre Agreement,’ as we have grown fond of calling it, is a clear vote of confidence by the best teams in the world and their players to create the most valuable products. It will build a platform to create stability and growth, without sacrificing the ability for new teams and players to climb to the top. Sebastian Weishaar, Chief Product Officer, ESL.
The Louvre agreement is between ESL and thirteen-member teams who will co-govern the new League. The thirteen-member teams, ESL and DreamHack will have a say in the League’s operations and will take crucial decisions to ensure the League’s success.
While the Louvre agreement grants majority ownership to the thirteen participating teams, it also includes a path for non-members to qualify to the League.
It has been a long-time ambition for us to be a part of and contribute to a more structured CS:GO scene, giving players, teams and tournament organizers a stronger foundation. This industry-defining agreement is hugely significant in the history of our game, and we’re proud to be part of it. – Anders Horsholt, co-CEO of Astralis Group
The Louvre agreement is open-ended, allowing non-members to become members in the future based on their performance. With a dynamic structure, ESL Pro League aims to become the dominant player in the scene, despite facing stiff competition from BLAST and FLASHPOINT.
The ESL Pro League is a 24-team CS:GO league that hopes to become profitable and ensure a sustainable esports business model for teams. The League has a lock-in period of three years and teams have the option to extend their association with the League by another three years per condition. ESL will have until the end of the second year to meet crucial performance benchmarks, reaching which would allow ESL to continue to be the League’s operator. If ESL fails to meet these performance benchmarks, the third year of the Louvre agreement would be its last year.
The Pro League announcement comes days after FLASHPOINT’s (formerly B Site) announcement. The North American-based FLASHPOINT league features teams like Cloud9 and MIBR; however, the absence of several top tier CS:GO teams is in contrast to ESL Pro league’s star-studded lineup. The FLASHPOINT League does feature some of the best CS:GO talent, which could be a draw to the average North American CS:GO viewer.
ESL’s team list includes all ten of the best teams in the world. While ESL has done away with the relegation system for its member teams, the remaining non-members will have to earn their slots in the League every year. The winner of the Mountain Dew League and the regional qualifiers will receive direct slots in the League.
Here is the final list of ESL Pro League member teams for Season 11:
Ninjas in Pyjamas
This list includes thirteen-member teams and eleven teams who have qualified via various regional qualifiers and via the Mountain Dew League.
The change in the League ownership means the end of the World Esports Association’s involvement with the league. They were involved in negotiations with the member teams till January, however, they are not a part of the final cut.
Counter-Strike is seeing rapidly increasing numbers and the game witnessed its highest peak player numbers in 2020. With new formats and a push towards sustainability, tournament organizers and CS:GO teams are on the path to profitability.
2020 will see the debut of several new esports Leagues such as FLASHPOINT and BLAST Premier. While ESL Pro League retains its name, the new format and structure signal a shift from the traditional format of the Pro League.
ESL Pro League kicks off on March 15, featuring four round-robin groups. The winner of each group has a chance to directly qualify for the semifinals, one step closer to the title. The ESL Pro League features a prize pool of $500,000 and will be broadcast live on Twitch.