BIG joins ESL in recent expansion bringing the elite to 10 teams

The ESL Pro League is one of the biggest leagues running for CSGO. Beyond this game though, it is one of the biggest events in esports as a whole. The League consisted of only 12 teams, competing to find some of the best in the world at this game. Earlier this year, ESL announced the intent to expand the ESL Pro League with new additions.

After the initial selection process ended, the new trio of teams was announced last week. They were chosen through the Louvre agreement with a bidding process that went up to $20 million. Teams BIG, Furia, and Heroic are the latest additions.

This is what’s changed and what you can expect from the ESL Pro League now that things have expanded.

BIG tabseN

Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz

New ESL Pro League Trio of Teams

The process for these new teams making their way into the ESL Pro League began in March of this year. It was then when the ESL officially launched its search for proposals. This opened them up to receive offers from many different groups. There would have been no shortage of proposals to join one of the most impactful Leagues in gaming.

The league has already entered the Louvre Agreement, in which teams held a stake with the League. This means they share in revenue alongside taking part in the League itself. Naturally, this makes joining the league an attractive proposal to teams. It has been a long journey to pick the teams that are joining. However, these fully approved squads look impressive going into their first season.

Heroic had an amazing start to the year, but has financially fallen on hard times after former coach HUNDEN went on a crusade against the organization. Their entry into the EPL is a welcome boost to stability for the organization, yet their status in terms of players and staff may come into trouble soon.

FURIA is currently the de-facto team to look at out of South America and Brazil, after mibr fell on hard times in 2019/20. Each of the two teams is now partnered with a big tournament organizer, with mibr defaulting with BLAST, while FURIA is now engaged with the ESL.

BIG was awarded the final slot, and are now joining NaVi, Astralis, FaZe, Complexity, EG, NiP, Liquid, Vitality and G2 as a partner team with both BLAST and the ESL partnership status.

By our metric, the CSGO Elite consists of teams that have partnership status with both BLAST Premier and ESL Pro League. We now have a group of 10 teams that are considered core in competitive CSGO. One would expect Virtus.Pro to be part of this elite group, but BLAST/ESL have chosen otherwise.

ESL Pro League Teams 2021


ESL Pro League Growing Still

The ESL Pro League is one of the longer-running CSGO tournaments. The new expansion wshows clear potential for growth from the league still with events scheduled through 2022 already. Adding three extra teams will do well to spice things up for players and fans. New teams in the League is expanding the “stable” roster of long-term prospects for athletes by 15 player slots.

We probably can’t assume new teams are going to join the league in 2022, but if things go as planned, we assume both ESL and BLAST will seek to increase the permanent partner status of additional teams soon. When it comes to ESL Pro League betting we now have a few more teams that are going to become permanent fixtures on our bet slips.

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