Media holding company and esports tournament organiser WePlay Esports has launched the WePlay Academy League (WAL), a new CS:GO competition for young talent.
The league’s inaugural season will feature eight CS:GO youth teams battling for a share of its $100,000 (~£72,407) prize pool. The participating teams include Astralis Talent, Fnatic Rising, FURIA Academy, mouz NXT, NAVI Junior, BIG. OMEN Academy, Young Ninjas and VP.Prodigy.
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According to the release, the idea behind the league is to provide aspiring talent with experiences similar to that of being a professional esports athlete, including large prize pools, high-end production and LAN events.
The competition’s age limit is between 16 and 20 years old. At least four out of the team’s five players must be within that bracket.
A WePlay Esports spokesperson commented: “WePlay recognises the necessity to develop the next generation of players, and through WAL, youngsters will be able to make a name for themselves and gain the first-hand experience competing in a high-profile tournament.”
The announcement also states that WePlay aims to showcase the process behind the creation of an esports team, from scouting for players to forming a team and training.
WePlay Academy League Season 1 is set to kick off on July 19th. The competition will start with an online group stage, which will run through to August 8th.
The four highest-ranked teams will then qualify for offline playoffs taking place from August 27th to 29th at the WePlay Esports Arena in Kyiv, Ukraine.
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Esports Insider says: The introduction of the WePlay Academy League clearly shows WePlay Esports’s commitment to helping to develop CS:GO talent. Given the league has been formed in a joint effort with some of the most prominent esports organisations, it has the potential to become an effective and sustainable CS:GO talent pipeline that the current scene very much needs.