ESL have released an official format, schedule and more information for the upcoming ESL ESEA Pro League.
Earlier this week, ESL and ESEA announced their combined Pro League, which will see a whopping $1 million handed out over the course of two seasons this year ($500,000 a season).
After announcing teams for the Pro League for the European division, for the American division and also announcing teams for the Premier division in both Europe and North America (the league below the Pro league), ESL and ESEA continue to release more information about the league before it kicks off on May 4th.
|ESL and ESEA have set the stage for the year's biggest league so far (photo hltv.org)|
The ESL ESEA Pro League will have twelve teams in each division, who will compete in weekly matches to determine those who will advance to the offline finals in ESL's arenas, once in Los Angeles and once in Cologne. The top four teams of each divison will advance.
Each division will function in a round robin format with each team playing others twice. All matches will be in a best-of-one format with map pre-selected ahead of the matches.
The ESEA ESL Pro League commences on May 4th and will run for eight weeks; the full schedule is as follows:
|Week||Days of Play||EU Time||NA Time|
|Week 1 (May 4-10)||Mon. to Thur.||19:00||02:00|
|Week 2 (May 11-17)||Mon. to Wed.||19:00||02:00|
|Week 3 (May 18-24)||Mon. to Thur. + Sat. to Sun. (4 matches)||19:00||02:00 / Sat.-Sun.: 0:00|
|Week 4 (May 25-31)||Mon. to Thur. + Sat. to Sun. (4 matches)||19:00||02:00 / Sat.-Sun.: 0:00|
|Week 5 (June 1-7)||Mon. to Wed.||19:00||02:00|
|Week 6 (June 8-14)||Mon. to Thur.||19:00||02:00|
|Week 7 (June 15-21)||Tue. to Thur. + Sat. to Sun. (6 matches)||19:00 / Sat.-Sun.: 17:00||02:00 / Sat.-Sun.: 0:00|
|Week 8 (June 22-28)||Monday (6 matches)||19:00||02:00|
The final week will see all matches played at the same time.
ESL and ESEA have also supposedly integrated their lowest divisions (i.e. ESL Open & Major, ESEA Open & Main, etc.) allowing teams to rise up to the ESEA Premier division; teams that then win ESEA Premier will have a chance to enter the ESL ESEA Pro League.