Counter-Strike could be heading back to LAN. ESL have made their intentions clear about Pro League Season 12, stating that if “travel is possible,” the next season of their CS:GO tournament will be played in a “studio environment.”
The ESL Pro League is coming back in just a couple of months, and it could mark a return to normalcy in esports.
The possibility of LAN is being explored by ESL, and if teams can travel safely to a centralized hub, it will happen.
In a statement on June 8, ESL said that Pro League Season 12 will be going ahead on LAN if the situation allows for it.
It would make for the first major CS:GO tournament to jump back onto a LAN environment. BLAST and Flashpoint are still yet to make an announcement about their return to studios.
The #ESLProLeague will return on September 2nd with it's 12th season ?
✅ 24 of the world's best teams
✅ 4 action-packed weeks with top tier #CSGO
Get all the details regarding format, qualification process and the new special qualifier below ?
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 8, 2020
“In case players can travel safely without larger restrictions again, ESL Pro League will be hosted in a studio environment with the originally announced format,” they said.
However, ESL also has a contingency plan in place if things go awry.
“Should travel not be possible, we will take ESL Pro League online again and divide it into regional online leagues covering all five regions: Europe, North America, Asia, Oceania, and South America.”
A return to stadium audiences remains unclear though. With the cancellation of events like IEM Melbourne and ESL One Cologne, it’s unlikely fans will be able to pack out an arena to watch the best teams go at it until 2021 at earliest.
The ESL Pro League will include the best 24 CS:GO teams from around the world, split into four round robins. A full list of teams already announced for ESL Pro League Season 12 can be found below.
- 100 Thieves
- Evil Geniuses
- FaZe Clan
- G2 Esports
- Natus Vincere
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Team Liquid
- Team Vitality
The remaining eight teams will qualify through various regional events and the Mountain Dew League. ESL Pro League Season 12 is set to kick off on September 2.