ESL changes Pro League promotion rules for MDL

12:00, 07 Jan 2020

ESL have announced changes to its ESEA MDL CS:GO competitions. In the past, the winners of the European and North American versions of the MDL would directly qualify for the ESL Pro League. 

These promotions have been removed and are instead up for grabs at ESEA MDL Global Challenge. This event traditionally takes place after the regular MDL season has played out and sees the winners of the different divisions face off.

The distribution of regional teams at the Global Challenge has been adjusted as well. Only three North American teams will be able to attend, down from four. The newly vacant slot will be offered to the winner of the Asia-Pacific Open division.

This means that from Season 33 onward, the Global Challenge will be made up as follows:

The top 3 MDL Europe teams
The top 3 MDL North America teams
The top 1 MDL Australia team
The top 1 Asia-Pacific Open team

The organizer will also be adapting the tournament to its now more prestigious status with additional best-of-three matches.

The changes are significant, because the Australian and APAC regions historically didn't have an opportunity for promotion into the ESL Pro League. It also upgrades the tournament’s status on the increasingly busy CS:GO calendar.

This was necessary to prevent situations like last July's ESEA Season 31: Global Challenge. Here, European champions Team Vitality appeared to take the competition less than serious. Some strange map picks and weapon choices resulted in the favorites being unexpectedly eliminated in the events' semi finals.

Afterwards, player Nathan "NBK" Schmitt explained that the team had not wanted to participate in the first place, because they had already been promoted into the EPL:

In previous seasons, the Global Challenge could be an afterthought.

With more and more events vying for teams’ attention, this effect was unlikely to lessen over time. In that light, the decision to move promotion up to the Global Challenge was a necessary one.

ESL acquired tournament platform ESEA back in 2015. Its next season is set to start January 13th and runs until April 6th.


Image via HLTV.

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