One of the world’s largest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournaments, the Esports Championship Series, has announced the 16 teams that will fight for a main spot in the third season.
This season will also see more teams than ever receive a chance to qualify for the ECS’ main league, as 16 teams will compete in both a North American and European development league, which will see two teams from each division qualify for the main tournament. Taking place between Feb. 28 to March 16, the divisions will be made up of four qualified teams and four invites, consisting of some of the strongest team from each region.
For the North American division the invited teams includes Misfits, Renegades, Winterfox, and Selfless. Meanwhile, the European invites are Gambit, Kinguin, FlipSid3, and North.
The coming three weeks will now be dedicated to seeing which teams from each region are strong enough to make it through the initial portion of the development league. In total, only two teams from each region will qualify for the playoffs, where the two lowest-placing teams in the previous season of the ECS will fight to remain in the main league. A loss could spell relegation for the teams coming from the previous season, which has a considerable impact for the European division, as fan favorites Virtus Pro and Fnatic will await the victors of the league winners.
The second season of the ECS concluded on Dec. 11, and saw current Valve Major champions Astralis take home the $250,000 first prize over OpTic Gaming in an impressive 2-0 sweep. While neither a date nor prize pool has been announced as of yet by the ECS, fans are looking forward to the event’s upcoming season.