Academy teams must rebrand for PGL Major qualifiers—but multiple ownership still permitted
Counter-Strike organizations will be allowed to have two teams take part in the upcoming Krakow Major and qualifiers—as long as they have individual branding.
This was the ruling of PGL, the organizer of the Major, yesterday in response to criticism about how academy teams are currently addressed.
The issue became urgent for PGL to address, as both Team Spirit and Team Spirit's academy team will compete in the CIS Minor—the tournament where two winners will advance to the Major qualifier.
This of course creates potential problems for competitive integrity, should the two teams clash at any stage.
Academy teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have become a lot more frequent in recent times, as it allows established organizations to recruit budding talent. But while the practice is somewhat similar to traditional sports teams having a developmental team—but in traditional sports, these teams are not allowed to compete in the same competitions.
These protections have not yet been implemented in Counter-Strike, beyond the recent ESL ruling. In League of Legends, organizations are not allowed to have two teams in a top tier Riot Games-run league—even if those teams compete in completely separate regions.
As well as the Team Spirit issue, Fnatic also currently have two teams in the running for the Major. Fnatic Academy will compete in the European Minor, with the main Fnatic side already confirmed for the Major itself.