Despite the whirlwind of hype surrounding the release of Counter-Strike 2, ESL Pro League will continue its competition on Global Offensive for the time being, and look to hosting future competitions on CS2.
“As the competition is currently ongoing and in order to preserve the tournament integrity… ESL Pro League Season 18 will continue to feature CS:GO, as potentially the last Tier 1 league in this historic chapter of Counter-Strike,” ESL confirmed on Sept. 27.
At one point, chatter swirled about exactly when the competitive scene would switch to the new version, and what would happen if the game was released during a competition.
ESL has effectively closed the door on switching to CS2 in the middle of the tournament, even though Ryan Friend of Dust2.us reported just the other day that they polled players on potentially switching over the second CS2 dropped.
In Counter-Strike‘s more-or-less open ecosystem, different tournament organizers host different leagues and competitions, with CS developer Valve stepping in to award certain organizers rights to Majors. As the competition for events is fierce, a common move for attention from esports fans has been for orgs to declare their event “the last XYZ CS:GO event.”
BLAST used this strategy with their Major in May, ESL with their IEM Dallas in June and partially with Pro League in September. Now that CS2 has been released, fans are finally free of the deluge of “last event” marketing, and are freed up to enjoy the game on its own terms, not out of an obligation to witness said “last event.”
CS2, the long-awaited new iteration of the Counter-Strike franchise, dropped right in the middle of an ESL Pro League match between Complexity and Monte today.