The ESL Pro League has announced the launch of a Request for Proposals process for esports organisations looking to become a partner of ESL’s CS:GO league.
According to the release, the existing member teams and ESL have approved the search for a team or organisation to join their ranks for Season 14 onwards.
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“When the 2020 minimum revenue guarantees were set at the start of the year, no one in the scene could have foreseen the challenges COVID would throw up,” said Alexander Inglot, the CS:GO Pro League Commissioner.
“There was genuine trepidation about whether these lofty goals could be met in this new landscape, this new reality. But the year ended with us exceeding those seven-digit guarantees by nearly 20 percent and with each of our member teams walking away with six-figures USD of fresh revenue. There were a few raised eyebrows! And with our minimum guarantees set to more than double over the next two years, we are in a very strong and credible position, as are our existing member teams.”
Ralf Reichert, ESL’s Co-CEO also commented: “Between us, Alex and the teams, we have already had informal conversations and interest from over 15 different organisations, all from different corners of the world, asking about membership opportunities and how they can get involved, so it felt like with our foundations now in place, as well as a strong financial year behind us, it was the right time to explore if and how we could extend this stability and opportunity to another team.”
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“We know that the best teams want to play in our league and take home the trophy,” Reichert added. “We know our partners and our fellow members’ partners want to be a part of the Pro League and we wanted to see if we could welcome another team into the project we are building together.”
ESL Pro League is currently in partnership with 12 esports organisations, namely Astralis, Complexity Gaming, ENCE, Evil Geniuses, FaZe Clan, Fnatic, G2 Esports, mousesports, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Liquid and Team Vitality.
The partnerships were established as a part of the ‘Louvre Agreement’ signed in February 2020, based on which partnered organisations became majority stakeholders in the ESL Pro League and gained other benefits in the wider ESL Pro Tour.
Thirteen teams were originally part of the Louvre Agreement, however, 100 Thieves’s decision to withdraw from CS:GO means the tournament organiser is looking for a replacement.
Nicole LaPointe Jameson, CEO of Evil Geniuses added: “While the product that fans have watched on their screens has had to change somewhat due to COVID, we have seen and been involved in a whole new spirit of creativity and coordination in the way this ESL Pro League project, backstage, is evolving. We have a meaningful seat at the table, we have regular member meetings and working group calls, we iterate conditions and we collaborate on commercial projects.
“The first year has been tricky for obvious reasons but encouraging in many ways. Everyone is now hitting a groove in terms of the best way to work, and I am bullish on what we can do together this year and beyond.”
Esports Insider says: This is not a surprise after 100 Thieves’s departure from CS:GO. It will be intriguing to see which org ESL decides to go for; five of the current top 10 teams in the world according to HLTV are not in the Pro League, including Gambit, Virtus.pro, and FURIA.