ESL will now offer more ESEA’s MDL Global Challenge qualification slots to teams from Asia and Australia while reducing the corresponding slots for Europe and North America.
The Champions of the MDL Grand Finals for Europe and North America earn direct qualification slots to ESL Pro League. The ESEA MDL Global Challenge event usually takes place after the offline MDL Grand Finals.
Season 33 will feature a significantly different #MDL Global Challenge event format which gives teams from Asia and Australia a chance to qualify for the ESL Pro League.— ESEA (@ESEA) January 3, 2020
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ESL has reduced the overall number of slots for North America from four to three. This number matches the number of slots for Europe. At the same time, the tournament organizer adds more slots for teams from Asia and Australia. The tournament organizer has also made slight changes to the tournament’s format, adding more Best-of-Three matches.
The eight ESEA MDL slots will now be distributed as follows:
North America – 3 spots
Europe – 3 spots
Australia – 1 spot
Asia-Pacific – 1 spot
The distribution of ESEA MDL slots now offers an opportunity for teams down under to qualify for the Pro League. The Oceanic region has provided several top tier Counter-Strike talent; however, tournament organizers have only now provided opportunities for players from the region to prove themselves on a global scale.
During ESEA Global Challenge Season 31, Vitality took a laid-back approach to the tournament. The French team had already qualified for the Global Finals via the MDL Grand Finals. Vitality lost 0-2 to FURIA in the semifinals, an insignificant match that had no direct bearing on the team’s qualification for the Global Challenge Season 31.
The new rules will prevent the occurrence of such redundant matches, maintaining the competitive integrity of the tournaments.
In their official press release, ESEA also leaves open expansion opportunities based on the activity from each region.
Future seasons may feature additional regions depending on their volume of activity.
The increased activity from the Asian regions of Singapore, Taipei, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Seoul was one of the primary reasons for Asia’s inclusion as the fourth region.