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: 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:
And here are the countries which CS:GO tournaments will take place later this year:
- Australia & New Zealand
- 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.