The online CS:GO circuit has long been male-dominated in terms of those that compete, but now there is an option for female players to compete against each other.
ESL Gaming announced at the end of 2021 that they were going to devise their own women’s circuit for CS:GO, which didn’t go down too well with some esports stalwarts such as Thorin, and now the organisers have put some more meat on the bones of what to expect from the new tournament.
We now know that the tournament will be called the ESL Impact and it will feature two league seasons, each with their own LAN Finals.
In addition, there will also be one other standalone event, plus a variety of online cash cups to compete for throughout the inaugural season in 2022.
The current ESEA Cash Cups will be rebranded to ESL Impact Cash Cups for the new event and these will also include dedicated tournaments for the South Africa and Oceania regions in season, allowing teams from these regions to compete and earn a potential Wild Card spot.
In season two, South Africa and Asia will be the regions where the Cash Cups will be contested again with one Wild Card spot available through each.
The $500,000 prize pool will be split across the different competitions with $150,000 up for grabs in each of the two league seasons and the remaining cash spread amongst the other competitions.
The ESL Impact League will start on March 17 and will run for six weeks with the games broadcast live on a Thursday and Friday over that period.
Eight teams per region will compete in the event, split into two groups of four. They will play against the other teams in a Round-Robin Best of Three format for the event.
Three regions will be competing in the first event, Europe, North America and South America.
Two teams from each region will be invited into each regional tournament, with the remaining six teams decided through a series of open qualifiers.
The top two teams in each region, as well as two Wildcard teams from the aforementioned Cash Cups, will then progress through to compete against each other at the Global Finals, which will be contested at the DreamHack Dallas event scheduled for June 2022.
Of course, all the standard options will be available for these events including live streaming of the matches and of course, betting sites will be offering a range of esports betting on the different tournaments.
Furthermore, at the end of the first season of action, the ESL will review the format alongside the women’s players’ council and based on the feedback given in discussions between the two, some adjustments may be made to the second league season moving forward.
The first Open Qualifiers to earn a spot in the ESL Impact league will take place on March 8 and 9, with the Second Open Qualifier will take place on March 11 and 12.
Three teams will earn a spot in the league from each qualifier.
The South Africa Cash Cup takes place on April 23 and 24, with the Winner qualifying for the Global Finals. The Oceania Cash Cup will also run at the same date and offer the same incentives and prizes.
It is going to be interesting to see how the ESL Impact takes off, especially given some of the criticism levelled against it and there will be many industry insiders watching closely to see how this female-only tournament shapes up.