ESL has announced the 24 invited teams for Pro League season 11. Along with a new format, they also revealed that both Cloud9 and MIBR are no longer competing.
After a quiet January, CSGO is expected to go through some big changes in the year 2020, with multiple leagues looking to define the future competitive landscape.
ESL are rolling out the “all new” Pro League for their 11th season, with 24 teams from all around the world invited for the next campaign. It will have company with the still yet-to-be-named B Site League, as well as the BLAST Premier series.
Finally ready to share this with all of you: Our all-new, truly global #ESLProLeague. Featuring the best teams and players invited and qualified to a pure and raw Season 11.
All details at https://t.co/C1Ho59MmSy pic.twitter.com/wcLZmetcxS
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) January 24, 2020
Earlier in the week, Jarek ‘Dekay’ Lewis reported that ESL would soon be announcing the 24 competing teams as well as the new format, and provided a list of the 24 expected teams. The list is largely the same, but with two notable changes.
Both Cloud 9 and MIBR, who have reportedly agreed to compete in B Site League, are no longer competing in the ESL Pro League, and are not listed among the 24 teams. Taking their place are OG, the dominant Dota 2 organization that expanded into CSGO at the end of 2019, and GODSENT, a returning Swedish brand led by CS legend Markus ‘pronax’ Wallsten.
Assuming that ESL gets these teams to sign the LANXESS Agreement, that incentivizes teams to commit to the league, this could potentially leave slim pickings for the competing B Site organizers. 21 of the 25 currently ranked top teams have been invited to ESL, and potentially may not compete in the NA league, however nothing has been confirmed yet.
For Season 11, the 24 teams will be split into four groups of six, and participate in best-of-three matches in a round-robin format. No more regional leagues; all play in one league. Group winners will get playoff byes, and second and third-place finishers will play in the first round.
The final six teams in playoffs will play in "arena location for a three-day live event."
The official Pro League page says the "truly global league" will start on March 16, 2020.
List of teams invited to in ESL Pro League season 11:
- Evil Geniuses
- Team Liquid
- G2 Esports
- Natus Vincere
- FaZe Clan
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- 100 Thieves
- Team Vitality
Notable teams/rosters NOT invited to ESL Pro League:
- MAD Lions
- Rumored TSM lineup (not confirmed)