Under the new format, the 2016 ESL Pro League finals will feature 12 teams in total, up from the traditional eight teams that have attended in past seasons. This group will be comprised of the top six teams from both Europe and North America, participating in offline round robin matches leading into the playoffs.
The top three teams from each group will advance to the playoffs which will be played as a single elimination, best-of-three bracket. First place teams in each group will advance directly to the semifinals with the second and third place finishers advancing to the quarterfinals. ESL Pro League finals will take place on Oct. 26-30 in São Paulo, Brazil, and will decide the season 4 championship.
"This was truly one of the first times players were able to provide direct input on ESL Pro League rules and protocols," said Viktor Jendeby, WESA Players Council Chairman. "Needless to say, it's a banner day for me and my fellow competitors as these changes positively impact our experience in the Pro League. Plus it's also a prime example of WESA's vision to bring more transparency and fair play into our sport."
WESA also approved new prize money distributions for the Pro League season, changes which were based on Player Council feedback. The prize money pool of US$750,000 will now be distributed as follows amongst the teams who make it to the offline finals in Brazil.
ESL Pro League finals prize money distribution:
- 1st Place: $200,000
- 2nd Place $90,000
- 3rd/4th Place: $45,000
- 5th/6th Place: $35,000
- 7th/8th Place: $30,000
- 9th/10th Place: $25,000
- 11th/12th Place: $20,000
"These ESL Pro League changes will strengthen the entire tournament, enabling more teams to attend the finals, and enhancing the status and competitiveness of the Pro League," added Ken Hershman, WESA Executive Chairman and Commissioner. "With this decision, it's already evident that the influence of WESA's Players Council is being directly felt across our sport and will serve an important role as we continually look to improve and grow the league."
The ESL Pro League for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the first professional esports competition that is played under WESA regulations. WESA, which was founded in May 2016, is focused on professionalizing the sport by introducing elements of player representation, standardized regulations, revenue sharing for the teams, as well as predictable schedules for fans, players, organizers and broadcasters.
For more information about WESA, visit www.wesa.gg.
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