Esports tournament organiser ESL Gaming has shared details of its upcoming women’s CS:GO circuit, which has been named ESL Impact.
ESL Impact will have two league seasons with live finals, a standalone event, and online cash cups for all-women teams. The combined prize pool for ESL Impact will be $500,000 (~£377,000).
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ESL Impact is part of the #GGFORALL initiative that was announced last year by ESL Gaming. The announcement was followed by heated debate and controversy on social media on the topic of female-only tournaments.
Starting on March 17, the ESL Impact League will be played and broadcasted every Thursday and Friday for six weeks. Eight teams per region will be split into two groups of four and play out a round-robin best-of-three format.
The league season will feature a total of 24 teams in three regions: Europe, North America and South America. Two teams from each region will be invited directly, and other six teams will be determined through open qualifiers. The best two teams of each region, as well as two wildcard teams, will compete in the global finals at DreamHack Dallas in June 2022.
ESL Gaming also announced that existing Cash Cups happening on the ESEA platform — which is owned by ESL — will be rebranded to ESL Impact Cash Cups and include dedicated tournaments for South Africa and Oceania.
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ESL Impact is the first new tournament to be announced since ESL Gaming and FACEIT were acquired by the Saudi-backed Savvy Gaming Group in January. In an interview with Esports Insider, ESL FACEIT Group co-CEO Craig Levine told Esports Insider that it would continue to develop the women’s circuit programme despite the Savvy Gaming Group acquisition.
Esports Insider says: The first women-only tournament series organised by ESL Gaming has raised a lot of attention (and controversy) since its announcement in 2021. As the tournament edges closer, we’re anxious to see how the tournament itself will look, and what the effects on the industry will be.