Electronic Sports League
2000 as ESL
The Electronic Sports League, often abbreviated ESL, is an eSports league founded in 1997 and operated by Turtle Entertainment in Cologne, Germany. Today it has more than 5,000,000 registered members and consists of over 1,000,000 teams, thus being one of the biggest gaming leagues, and has organized several Counter-Strike, Counter-Strike: Source and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive events over the years.
The ESL, is nowadays present in 37 countries. Each sections of ESL are operated by ventures under a license granted by Turte Entertainment GmbH. These sections could correspond to a country, (like ESL Germany for instance), or to a group of low-demography countries (like ESL Nordic for Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark).
The ESL supports over 50 games in different games and runs several tournaments which are ruled by volunteer admins.
On November 1, 2011, the Electronic Sports League came under scrutiny regarding the issue of delayed payment of prizes. Several professional players stated that ESL was among tournament organisations which delay the payment of prize money up to eighteen months after competition. FXOpen's staff stated that their policy was to not send for their players to compete at IEM events because of the uncertainty in receiving prize money. IdrA claimed that, while ESL typically makes prize payments after a long delay, they eventually always pay what is owed. Michal "Carmac" Blicharz, the ESL Pro Gaming Director, stated that ESL was on schedule with prize money payout for IEM events and that ESL remains on pace to deliver prize payments for IEM tournaments within three months of competition.
The Intel Extreme Masters, often abbreviated IEM, is ESL's flagship competition since 2007. In 2006, IEM replaced the ESL Counter-Strike Champions League (CSCL), when the Intel sponsored European tournament saw room for expansion outside of the European market, especially in the North American market, Intel provided funds for a worldwide tournament, calling it the Intel Extreme Masters. IEM also established a format of smaller qualifying events, leading up to a large final event that held at the CeBIT, the world's largest and most international computer expo. All of the Grand Finals have been held at CeBIT. Starting in 2008, the Tournament was billed as being worldwide, boasting participants from Europe, North America, and Asia. Counter-Strike 1.6 was the only game offered in the first season, but the variety of games has increased, to as many as the four different titles offered during Season 5. The first IEM Season I of the Counter-Strike era, was followed by 26 events including five World Championship finals that lead up to the IEM Season VI World Championship, which was the last season to feature Counter-Strike.
I 2013, ESL announced a new premier gaming competition for Europe's best in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The competition, dubbed the ESL Major Series One, or simply EMS One, featured the best teams from Europe competing for one of the largest independent Counter-Strike: Global Offensive prize pools to date. The league featured three successful events in 2013, with finals held at the ESL Studios in Cologne, Germany. In early 2014 ESL and Valve announced that they would hold a tournament at the Intel Extreme Masters venue in Katowice. The event, EMS One Katowice, would be Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's first Valve sponsored and community founded CS:GO Major tournament. The event proved to be the most successful event in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to date, in which home team Virtus.pro beat Ninjas in Pyjamas in front of 11,500 Counter-Strike fans from all over the world. After the four EMS One tournaments in 2013 and 2014, ESL rebranded the tournament concept as the ESL One. ESL has since hosted one more CS:GO Major under the ESL One brand in Cologne and will host two more in 2015, ESL One Katowice 2015 and ESL One Cologne 2015.
The ESL Pro Series, commonly abbreviated EPS, is a Counter-Strike and now Counter-Strike: Global Offensive national league held and organized by Electronic Sports League. The format is a group stage followed by a playoffs, and each national series have its own specificities. Players are allowed to participate in the ESL Pro Series only if the reside in the country/countries where the series are held.
In November 2014, ESL announced a new league system with three leagues for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the ESL Pro League, the ESL Major League and the ESL Open League.
ESL Pro League
The ESL Pro League will be the highest league in this system and will feature sixteen of the best teams from all over Europe. With offline finals and US$48,000 up for grabs, the ESL Pro League will see the highest level of competition and also the highest reward. Eight teams will be invited to the new ESL Pro League, with these set to be revealed within the next two weeks. The other eight slots will be up for grabs through several qualifiers.
ESL Major League
The ESL Major League will be positioned directly below the ESL Pro League and offers a US$2,000 prize pool to its participants. A total of 32 teams will be able to qualify for the ESL Major League through several qualifiers. At the end of the season, the best teams from the league will make it into the ESL Pro League.
ESL Open League
The ESL Open League will be open to each and every CS:GO team - all you need to participate is sign up and play. Get your competitive career started and build up a reputation for you and your team through a season of group stages and playoffs. The best teams from our ESL Open League will make it into the ESL Major League at the end of the season.
|ESL One: New York 2017||
|ESL One: Cologne 2017||
|ESL One: New York 2016||
|ESL One: Cologne 2016||
||SK Gaming||Team Liquid|
|ESL One: Cologne 2015||
|ESL One: Katowice 2015||
||Fnatic||Ninjas in Pyjamas|
|ESL One: Cologne 2014||
||Ninjas in Pyjamas||Fnatic|
ESL Major Series
|ESL Major Series One|
|EMS Katowice 2014|
|Katowice 2014||2014 (2014-03-13 to 2014-03-16)||Virtus.pro||Ninjas in Pyjamas|
|Cup #1||2013 (2013-02-13 to 2013-02-14)||Epsilon eSports||n!faculty|
|Cup #2||2013 (2013-02-20 to 2013-02-21)||Ninjas in Pyjamas||Epsilon eSports|
|Cup #3||2013 (2013-03-10 to 2013-03-02)||Fnatic||Team LDLC.com|
|Cup #4||2013 (2013-03-13 to 2013-03-14)||VeryGames||Team LDLC.com|
|Grand Finals||2013 (2013-03-18 to 2013-04-21)||Ninjas in Pyjamas||Fnatic|
|Cup #1||2013 (2013-05-14 to 2013-05-15)||Copenhagen Wolves||Team LDLC.com|
|Cup #2||2013 (2013-05-21 to 2013-05-22)||Western Wolves||Fnatic|
|Cup #3||2013 (2013-05-28 to 2013-05-29)||Ninjas in Pyjamas||Team LDLC.com|
|Cup #4||2013 (2013-06-04 to 2013-06-05)||Team LDLC.com||Copenhagen Wolves|
|Grand Finals||2013 (2013-06-19 to 2013-07-14)||VeryGames||Virtus.pro|
|Cup #1||2013 (2013-09-03 to 2013-09-04)||Ninjas in Pyjamas||Copenhagen Wolves|
|Cup #2||2013 (2013-09-10 to 2013-09-11)||Ninjas in Pyjamas||VeryGames|
|Cup #3||2013 (2013-09-17 to 2013-09-18)||Astana Dragons||ENCE eSports|
|Cup #4||2013 (2013-09-24 to 2013-09-25)||Copenhagen Wolves||PartyDaddlers|
|Grand Finals||2013 (2013-10-26 to 2013-10-27)||VeryGames||Ninjas in Pyjamas|
ESL (Other events)
|ESL Expo Barcelona||2016 (2016-02-19 to 2016-02-21)||Fnatic||Astralis|
|ESL Pro League|
|ESL ESL Pro League: Winter 2014/15||2014 (2014-12-03 to 2015-04-12)||Natus Vincere||Titan|
|ESL Major League|
|ESL Major League: Winter 2014/15||2014 (2014-12-03 to 2015-03-25)||CPLAY||GPlay.bg|
|ESL Open League|
|ESL Open League: Winter 2014/15||2014 (2014-12-XX to 2015-XX-XX)||TBD||TBD|
Intel Extreme Masters
ESL European National Championship
|ESL European Nations Championship|
|ESL ENC Season 2004||2004-08-24 to 2004-08-27||Sweden||Austria|
|ESL ENC Season 2005||2005-08-24 to 2005-08-27||Germany||Bulgaria|
|ESL ENC Season 2006||2006-08-24 to 2006-08-27||Sweden||Norway|
|ESL ENC Season 2007||2007-08-24 to 2007-08-26||Poland||Germany|
|ESL ENC Season 2008||2008-04-29 to 2008-08-22||Sweden||Germany|
|ESL ENC Season 2008 (CS:Source)||2008-04-29 to 2008-08-22||Czech Republic||France|
|ESL ENC Season 2009||2009-06-02 to 2009-08-22||Sweden||Germany|
|ESL ENC Season 2009 (CS:Source)||2009-06-02 to 2009-08-22||Germany||France|
|ESL ENC Season 2010||2010-06-20 to 2010-08-22||Sweden||Ukraine|
|ESL ENC Season 2010 (CS:Source)||2010-06-20 to 2010-08-22||United Kingdom||Denmark|