ESL Concludes National Championships Amidst CS2 Release

Published: Sep 15, 2023 - Last Updated: Sep 16, 2023

ESL has announced that they will be closing the ESL National Championships program, following the release of CS2.

The company explained their decision, stating that “the borderless system is a much more dynamic and flexible foundation for the EPT (ESL Pro Tour) and a better pathway for aspiring teams and players to climb up the ladder”. Moreover, ESL also mentioned “compatibility issues” as one of the reasons for halting the program.

ESL National Championships Update
Image credits: ESL

ESL National Championships: Will There Be One Last Season?

As written above, the ESL National Championships are coming to an end, with a few selected countries and regions set to carry out their final season by the end of the year.

Here’s a list of countries, that will not operate their final season in 2023:

  • Benelux
  • France
  • Spain
  • Turkey

And here are the countries which CS:GO tournaments will take place later this year:

  • Australia & New Zealand
  • Brazil
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • United Kingdom & Ireland

Additionally, Polish and German teams will still have the chance to qualify to their home flagship events, IEM Katowice and IEM Cologne, through dedicated tournaments.

ESL Ready to Work With Third Party Organizers for Regional Tournaments

In spite of concluding their program, ESL expressed that they are open to working with third-party tournament organizers to create regional and national competitions in the future, while reiterating that those type of events won’t be an active focus of theirs in 2024.

Over the past 20 years, Counter-Strike National Championships were one of the most crucial events to many players’ development and gradual progression into the Tier 1 scene. It will be interesting to observe different paths aspiring pros will take in order to rise to the top and compare how it was in CS:GO vs CS2.

Furthermore, it will be interesting to find out how the CS:GO betting market will react to this important change.

Bruno Sobieraj

Since: September 16, 2023

My name is Bruno and my love for Counter-Strike was sparked when the Polish Virtus.pro was plowing through opponents from 2014 to 2018. Since then, I’ve been dreaming of working in esports and here I am.

See all articles from this author

Related Articles