The Emirates Esports Federation and consulting and management company ITW Global have unveiled a new global franchised esports league.
Known as EGL (E-Gaming League), the competition is scheduled to take place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) starting in April 2024.
According to a release, the inaugural EGL will feature a draft format featuring players from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America in addition to a ‘lucrative prize pool.’ Moreover, the league will feature six franchises.
For its inaugural edition, the EGL will onboard six franchises as ‘Team Owners’, details regarding the franchises’ identities have yet to be revealed.
The first EGL season is said to feature a range of titles, including Dota 2 and PUBG, with qualifiers scheduled to take place throughout February and March 2024. Top players from the qualifiers will earn eligibility for the draft selection, a method that has traditionally been used in some sports models.
Before the inaugural season, EGL plans on hosting a range of ‘pre-event’ activities starting in the UAE from February 2024. Information on the build-up activities was not revealed.
The franchise model has seen various degrees of success within the esports industry. In April 2023, tournament organiser Skyesports launched India’s first franchised esports league while in North America, Evil Geniuses and Golden Guardians left the LCS in November, reducing the number of teams competing in the league to eight.
Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Shakbout Al Nahyan, President of the Emirates Esports Federation, spoke on the news: “Asia is one of the fastest-growing Esports markets currently and with Indian gamers participating in this league, this league will provide country’s talented esports athletes with the platform to showcase their ability.
“We are excited about the potential of this league and look forward to creating an event that will truly change the trajectory and contribute to the growth of Esports.”