ESLGaming and ESEA recently announced they would be teaming up to form a new Counter Strike: Global Offensive pro league this May. The ESL ESEA Pro League will feature a $1,000,000 (US) prize pool, along with travel. Starting May 4th, the ESL ESEA Pro League will hold its tournament over the course of several months, between 12 teams in two divisions, North America and Europe. The finals will be held at ESL headquarters in Burbank, California and Cologne, Germany. They recently announced the teams that will be representing the North American and European divisions. North America will feature eSports giants such as Team Liquid and Counter Logic Gaming, while Europe will be pitting well known names like SoloMid and Fnatic against each other.
ESLGaming has a long history of one of the leaders in the eSports industry, having held multiple Counter Strike tournaments for Global Offensive and Source. ESL has also used their technology to introduce development kits to assist indie developers in implementing matchmaking. The managing director of ESL, Ralf Reichart, noted that ESLGaming started with the original Counter Strike fifteen years ago.
“ESL started out with Counter-Strike more than fifteen years ago. Now, many years later, we are extremely humbled to be in a position where we can pioneer the first regular US$500,000 Counter-Strike tournament together with ESEA. We are proud to have continuously lead the industry in terms of innovation and broadcasting quality and are sure that this new venture will be an unparalleled experience for our global audience. We couldn’t be more excited.”ESEA League is a community-based eSports company well known for their matchmaking and anti-cheating software. The company has sponsored lessons for new players in games such as Team Fortress, as well as Counter Strike. ESEA was also subject to significant controversy when an employee used their anti-cheat software to release a malware, forcing users to mine Bitcoins. The ESEA President, Eric Thunberg, expressed that the combination of ESEA's league setup and ESL's production quality represented a "major milestone" for Counter Strike fans.
ESL and ESEA both have an Open League for independent players. ESL's Open League will be open until May 4.