ESL Premiership Update – Future of UK CS:GO

ESL has been a titan of the Counter Strike scene. ESL Premiership started in 2015, with 2-3 splits per year. Two closed qualifiers, and two open qualifiers would be joined by 4 teams qualifying through Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) brackets.

ESL Premiership is considered the highest level division of Republic of Ireland (ROI) and UK CS:GO circuits. Since COVID, ESL Premiership moved entirely to an online format, which saw Endpoint win 6 splits in a row, and take second place to ITB in Spring 2023. ESL Prem Autumn 2023 saw Raptors Esports Club, invited via open qualifier win over Endpoint, who made their 8th consecutive grand finals appearance.

What’s Next for ESL Premiership?

ESL Premiership and National Championship banner

Source: ESL

On September 15th, ESL posted an update regarding ESL Premiership on its main website.  In the post, they confirmed that 2023 will be the final season of ESL Premiership. They thanked Promod for their time supporting the ESL Premiership.

The hope is that UK CS:GO teams will continue competing in ESEA leagues and the FACEIT ecosystem. On the main ESL website, their update harkened back the years of supporting not just UK CS:GO, but CS:GO through all of Europe, LATAM and Oceania. They cited that their ventures in both domestic leagues and pan-regional online tournaments ultimately spread them too thin.

CS2 and ESL

The launch of CS2 will be the conclusion of the ESL National Championship program. ESL maintains an interest in regional and national competition, but it will not be their active focus. The total effected regions from the closer of ESL National Championships are the following.

  • UK & ROI
  • Benelux
  • France
  • Spain
  • Turkey
  • Australia & New Zealand
  • Brazil
  • Germany
  • Poland

With the entirely new game on the horizon, it remains to be seen what the impact of a juggernaut like ESL taking a step back will be. Polish and German teams will still have opportunities to represent their countries at IEMs Cologne and Katowice. But otherwise, opportunities for Tier 2 teams will require support from other third parties.

ESL continues to be open to supporting third party events, as it has done so in other esports titles. Times are changing and ESL will be missed!

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