The Electronic Sports League, or ESL, is bringing Gears of War to the big leagues.
ESL has announced a partnership with Microsoft to bring Gears of War to the eSports circle. ESL plans to start with eight preseason cups this September with a $500 weekly prizepool. After the preseason, ESL will have active Gears of War qualifier cups on October 4th and 11th, followed by a Pro League Qualifier that will be broadcasted live on October 18th on Twitch.
From there, eight teams will compete over the course of seven weeks, from October to December, with the top four teams advancing to the finals in January 2016. The winning team of these finals will receive a $50,000 prizepool.
ESL is also offering an open series for Gears of War. The open series will run concurrently with the Pro League, and feature more casual matchups of the game with weekly $500 prizes for winning teams.
The team at ESL plans on running two seasons of the Pro League. If the game proves to be successful, it will likely join the other ESL Pro Leagues, including Halo, Counter-Strike and Dota 2.
The Electronic Sports League is one of the largest European-based eSport leagues in the world. Founded in 1997, the ESL league has over 5 million members and has played over 12 million game sessions in 74,000 tournament matches.
Gears of War was first released in 2006, and is considered one of the best console exclusive titles on the Xbox 360. The series, developed by Epic Games, has since spawned two sequels, and a prequel game for the Xbox 360. Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is currently being developed for the Xbox One and PC, which will provide beta access to Gears of War 4 upon release.
Currently, Gears of War is also being played professionally in the North American eSports league, Major League Gaming, or MLG. Their tournament season is currently ongoing.
So what do you think? Is Gears of War a good fit for the ESL? Leave your comments below.