Champion of Champions Tour is finally here: What we’re looking forward to

After over a year of delays, the Champion of Champions Tour (CCT) is now well underway, with worldwide Group Stages and Playoffs taking place now into early 2023.

The CCT has been challenging for organizers to say the least. When it was initially announced in April 2021, the intention was for a Champion of Champions World Final event by the end of 2022. The current expectation according to organizers is that those same finals to take place in January 2024, with a total prize pool of $3.4m being awarded between now and then. Talk about missing a deadline.

CCT Finally Gets Underway

Internal drama at CCT?

CCT was originally announced as a competitor to BLAST and ESL under the name Elisa Champion of Champions, a competition where European teams could improve their rankings without being official partners of the largest leagues. The founders at the time were Elisa, Relog Media, Funspark and GRID Esports. So why the huge delays?

During the delays, CCT has been shrouded in mystery. Of the founders, only Relog Media and GRID Esports are still part of the project. It’s a huge change, given Elisa’s name was front and centre to the promotion.  And what’s worse – no one seems to know when Elisa and Funspark left the project. The website was rebranded and new partners boarded, with FACEIT, Fantasy Expo and Eden Esports all involved. GRID Esports are particularly crucial to the project, as CCT use their data to rank individual player and team performance. The data-driven nature is something they’ve leant into heavily during marketing, so to lose that would be disastrous.

With funding in constant flux, it makes sense that it’s taken so long for the project to come together. No matter the delays, we’re just happy CCT seems to be well on its way. More competition to the big boys like ESL and BLAST is never a bad thing, especially when they give smaller teams an opportunity on the big stage.  CCT are boasting over 3000 best-of-three matchups in the build-up to their Grand Final, with over 10,000 hours of broadcast. That’s an absurd amount of Counter-Strike, and with great production could see CCT brute-force themselves into the game’s elite tournaments.

Currently, Central Europe and North America have their regular CCT series happening. Meanwhile, the most recent CCT Playoff was the North Europe Series 2, which saw dev1ce’s return to competitive play. The series was eventually won by ENCE, who defeated HAVU 2-0.

I have to commend the decision to start the bulk of the competition in November and December and fill in the empty off-season calendar slot. At the very least, it provides teams a place to bootcamp and try out their rosters.