Nordic tournament organiser and production company Elisa Esports has teamed up with global esports company ESL Gaming to create an official affiliate tournament for the ESL Pro Tour.
The Elisa Masters Espoo 2022 will be the first official ESL Pro Tour Affiliate event. The event will hand out $200,000 (~£163,900) in prize money, as well as a spot in the play-in stage for IEM Katowice 2023.
Elisa Esports is primarily known for its European CS:GO events, most notably the Elisa Invitational. The four best-placed teams from the Elisa Invitational, as well as eight invited teams, will participate in the Elisa Masters Espoo. The tournament organiser has revealed that the first invited team is Finish esports organisation ENCE.
The tournament is also supported by the city of Espoo, the second-most populous city in Finland. According to Mervi Heinaro, the VP of Vitality for the City of Espoo, Espoo will aim to become a ”pioneer in promoting a fast-growing digital culture”, with esports being an important factor.
Elisa Masters Espoo is set to take place in November 2022. The tournament finals will be played in front of a live audience at the Espoo Metro Arena. Elisa Esports noted in a release that this is a major milestone for the company and that this partnership will help Finnish players climb the ranks of professional CS:GO.
ESL Gaming’s Director of Product Management, Shaun Clark, stated: “We are thrilled to be inviting the winner of the Elisa Tournament Series into the ESL Pro Tour through this affiliate program. This partnership is a great starting point for this new initiative as we look to expand the global touch points of the EPT.”
The news follows ESL Gaming announcing the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Rio Major 2022 last month. Additionally, the tournament organiser announced that its mobile esports tournament, the Snapdragon Pro Series, will include three titles for its inaugural season in India.