CS:GO

DeKay's Sources: ESL Pro League introducing strict exclusivity rules for Pro Tour in 2020

by Jarek "DeKay" Lewis

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The ESL Pro League is set to feature multiple new exclusivity rules as part of the ESL Pro Tour starting in 2020, according to information provided to Dexerto.

ESL and DreamHack have announced a new CS:GO circuit that will begin in 2020, featuring a $5 million combined prize pool. The circuit has been named the “ESL Pro Tour” and will link over 20 tournaments together that are split between “Challenger” and “Masters” levels. 

One notable tournament that is included in the tour is ESL Pro League, which now features multiple exclusivity rules according to information provided to Dexerto.

In the “Pro League Focus” section of the ESL Pro League term sheet excerpt sent to Dexerto, there are multiple clauses regarding when teams can and cannot play other tournaments. 

“Beginning January 1st 2020, all member teams of Pro League shall not play in other Counter-Strike leagues, this means non Valve sponsored competitions where the first day of competition (excluding qualifiers) and the grand final day are more than fourteen (14) days apart, besides Pro League. 

All member teams of Pro League shall limit their tournament participation days, meaning the active competition days of a tournament they participate in regardless of if they play on that day or not, to not more than 60 days per calendar year (not including travel, media days, or break days). This number excludes official Valve competitions such as Minors and Majors, online qualifiers, and also excludes Pro League competition days. Exceptions to the number of tournament days allowed can be granted by the Members Meeting.

During the League Season (per jointly aligned schedule), teams shall not play in any other tournaments/leagues. Member teams may play online qualifiers for tournaments of $200,000 or higher in prize money during this period. This number excludes official Valve competitions such as Minors and Majors, and online qualifiers.”

ESL / Helena Kristiansson
ESL / Helena Kristiansson

Multiple sources have explained to Dexerto that despite the announcement of ESL Pro Tour, at least two teams with ESL Pro League spots have not yet agreed to participate in the tournament circuit. 

According to two separate sources, organizations will not be able to participate in ECS Season 8 while participating in ESL Pro League due to these new rules. 

Teams that hold spots in both leagues include Team Liquid, NRG, MIBR, Complexity Gaming, Cloud9, FURIA Esports, eUnited, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Mousesports, FaZe Clan, Astralis, Team Vitality, Optic Gaming, North, and Fnatic.

Dexerto has reached out to ESL, the Counter-Strike Professional Players' Association (CSPPA) and FACEIT for comment. 

This is a developing story, with more information expected in the coming days. We will update as and when more details about the ESL Pro Tour and Pro League emerge.