ESL has today revealed a new initiative to expand its path for aspiring CS:GO players to rise through the ranks from the National Championship level onto the amateur ranks in order to qualify for the ESL Pro League.
Starting with ESEA Season 26, the winners of the ESL UK Premiership and the ESL Mistrzostwa Polski, the official national leagues of the UK & Ireland and Poland respectively, will claim a place to compete in the Mountain Dew League (MDL).
This partnership is aimed at providing a clear pathway for CS:GO players to progress from amateur ranks to compete on the world stage linking the national leagues to the Pro League through MDL.
The investment in the path-to-pro system will continue from Season 27 with ESL’s French, Spanish and German leagues providing qualification spots to the MDL, establishing ESL’s national leagues as the leading grassroots CS:GO leagues in each territory. The already-established ESEA League will continue to run alongside this new initiative.
To achieve this, ESL is set to move its European National Championships to be part of ESEA’s system creating promotion spots up to MDL, the only league that feeds directly into the Pro League. The team that wins the National Championship will qualify for the MDL, creating a clear path from there to the Pro League. If the team that wins has already secured a spot in the MDL, then the second place team will get the promotion instead.
The currently confirmed promotion slots are as follows:
ESEA Season 26
· Mountain Dew League will expand from 24 to 27 teams
· 2 from ESL Major Series
· 1 from ESL UK (UK Premiership)
· 1 from ESL Poland (Mistrzostwa Polski)
· 4 from ESEA Main division
Additionally, VirtusPro will compete in MDL Season 26 after relegation from the Pro League.
ESEA Season 27
· 1 from ESL Germany (Meisterschaft)
· 1 from ESL France (Championnat National)
· 1 from ESL Spain (Masters)
· 4 from ESEA Main division
Ulrich Schulze, VP Pro Gaming at ESL commented: “The continued growth of the esports industry relies on the fostering of new talent. ESL and ESEA have a staunch belief that anyone wishing to play at the top level in esports should be supported, and offered a clear path to make their dream a reality. Today’s announcement does just that by uniting ESEA’s leading anticheat, local servers for Europe with ESL’s passionate fan base.”
The Mountain Dew League is the exclusive path into the Pro League, offering support for the EU and NA regions as well as the wider world through the Mountain Dew League Global Challenge. With the inclusion of the European national leagues into the path to the ESL Pro League, amateurs can join the Mountain Dew League and compete for their chance to join the elite teams.
Esports Insider says: This is big news for the national leagues of the UK, Ireland and Poland and offers a sizable opportunity for the teams playing in them. Moreover, it’s having structures like these in place that matter for esports long term growth as an industry.