ESL, the world’s largest esports company, and WESA, an organization working to further professionalize esports, today announced that ESL Pro League is expanding to the APAC region with the addition of Southeast Asia, China, and Australia/New Zealand in Season 7 and intend to further expand the program into additional territories within the region and create a full league system in the future. ESL Pro league is the world’s largest professional league for Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), a renowned multiplayer first-person shooter game that has been a large part of the esports world.
ESL and WESA are looking forward to building a relationship with Asia with non-stop live coverage of the world class action. To support the expansion, ESL will begin the roll out of offline infrastructure, adding to the existing pool of servers and other technical framework that will allow the players from the newly included regions compete in conditions on-par with Pro League’s standards.
“This is an incredibly important step on our way to establish a truly global playing field for all professional Counter-Strike players in the world,” said Ulrich Schulze, Senior Vice President of Product at ESL. “The APAC region has waited long enough for a proper inclusion in a global gaming circuit. We’re excited to see how expanding Pro League to this region will further significantly strengthen and develop the professional scene.”
“WESA is the leading esports association, with 13 Member teams competing in multiple games and leagues, including Counter-Strike GO. WESA currently oversees the CS:GO Pro League, which is the world’s longest-standing CS:GO league, with a rich history of excellence. Up until now, however, the League has been comprised only of teams from North America and Europe. With today’s announcement, we will now expand for the first time into the APAC region,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Chairman and Commissioner, WESA. “With this expansion, we are able to broaden our audience and deliver the highest caliber Counter-Strike gameplay and Pro League coverage to our new fans in the region.”
Season 7 of the Pro League will feature open qualifiers and season matches held in Southeast Asia, China, and Australia/New Zealand. Teams in Australia and New Zealand can participate in a series of online qualifiers which will determine the eight teams will proceed to the APAC offline finals, set to take place at the ESL Studios in Sydney, Australia. The top two teams from the offline finals will secure their spots in the global CS:GO Pro League Finals in Dallas, Texas on May 18-20.
“With our Asian headquarter in Singapore, ESL Asia is hoping to build the strongest possible team to deliver only the best for the region. We are here to engage you, the fans in Asia, and together, we will grow esports in our region as one unit,” said Frank Sliwka, COO at ESL Asia.
The open qualifiers of the CS:GO Pro League will be held on March 18 and 25 for all three regions, followed by the season matches. A detailed overview of dates and the new regions, including each country that are eligible to participate in the Season 7 qualifiers, can be found here.
For more information about the Pro League CS:GO, please visit the official website. Be sure to follow ESL Asia on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates from our team.