CS:GO

Thorin cuts ties with ESL over "unethical and unprofessional" Pro League

by Daniel Cleary

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Duncan ‘Thorin’ Shields has criticized tournament organizer ESL after it was announced late that they would be adopting a new format, affecting many players who were expected to compete in Season 11 of the ESL Pro League.

Valve’s willingness to allow outside tournament organizers to host different leagues and tournaments throughout the year has often resulted in many pro teams getting a chance to compete for large prize pools.

However, one of the leading CS:GO tournament organizers, ESL, have received a lot of criticism after it was initially reported by DBLTAP that they had planned to cut half of their teams, some of whom had been offered slots, from the upcoming Season of their Pro League.

ESL
All teams who have received an invite to ESL's global pro league.

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As seen in previous seasons, the ESL Pro League was initially expected to feature 48 of the world’s top teams in total, including those who had competed in the previous iteration of the league.

Unfortunately for many of the former EPL teams, the late announcement of the changes and introduction of the global format meant that they would have to compete in the secondary Mountain Dew League for a season, in order to fight for their spot again.

Among those critical of the massive change was long-time analyst of the esport, Thorin, who revealed that he would be cutting all ties with the tournament organizer after hearing the news.

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“In light of the unethical and unprofessional behaviour of ESL over their EPL dealings I won't be working with their org under any circumstances.” he expressed, calling for those responsible for the decision to be removed from the company.

Thorin also shared that he had previously planned on working with ESL on an upcoming project but turned it down despite missing out on “over a thousand dollars” for the agreed work.

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“I won't work with unethical scumbags who treat people like valueless pawns in a sick game that aims only for power and money,” Thorin explained, before continuing to show his disappointment with the decisions made by ESL.

Along with the unwelcome changes to the ESL Pro League, many were critical over the lack of communication from the tournament organizer on much of what had happened, leaving certain teams unsure of what their future within the league looked like.

Although many teams have been invited to take part in the global ESL Pro League, they have not been confirmed for the league as of yet. Some top teams such as Astralis are still considering joining the likes of MiBR and Cloud9 for FACEIT's new 'B Site' League.

Thorin himself has announced that he will be working as on-air talent and creative director of B Site. He helped design the format for the league along with former Overwatch League caster MonteCristo, who will also be joined as on-camera talent by Auguste ‘Semmler’ Massonnat, after both casters left the OWL.