ESL changes qualification process for ESL Pro Tour events in 2023

The EPT points will no longer exist next year.

Image via ESL Gaming

ESL Pro Tour, one of the most important tournament circuits in CS:GO esports, will undergo major changes next year.

The qualification process for EPT Championship events, IEM Katowice and IEM Cologne, is set to be updated. ESL will no longer use the structure of EPT points, starting with IEM Katowice 2023. Moving forward, the tournament organizer will invite champions of “prominent mostly EPT tournaments” or use the ESL world rankings.

This means that IEM Cologne 2022 will be the last EPT Championship with the current structure in place. The tournament organizer will still have 16 teams attending the Play-In stage of IEM Katowice and IEM Cologne, with half of them moving to the group stage and joining eight invited teams. The EPT Championship structure for 2023 looks as follows:

Play-in stageGroup stagePlayoffs
ESL world ranking slotEPT Championship winnerGroup stage top six
ESL world ranking slotEPT Masters winnerGroup stage top six
ESL world wanking slotEPT Masters winnerGroup stage top six
ESL world wanking slotCS:GO Major winnerGroup stage top six
ESL world ranking slot – EuropeESL world ranking slotGroup stage top six
ESL world ranking slot – EuropeESL world ranking slotGroup stage top six
ESL world ranking slot – EuropeESL world ranking slot 
ESL world ranking slot – North AmericaESL world ranking slot 
ESL world ranking slot – North AmericaPlay-in top eight 
ESL world ranking slot – South AmericaPlay-in top eight 
ESL world ranking slot- AsiaPlay-in top eight 
ESL world ranking slot – OceaniaPlay-in top eight 
ESL National Championship (Poland and Germany)Play-in top eight 
Affiliate event winnerPlay-in top eight 
Affiliate event winnerPlay-in top eight 
Affiliate event winnerPlay-in top eight 

The regionalized ESL world ranking slots will be evaluated after each EPT Championship and, depending on the performance of a region, ESL can redistribute the slots into the next EPT Championship. The EPT Masters invitations will be distributed in accordance with announced events.

There will be a maximum of three EPT affiliate event champions invited directly to the play-in stage of EPT Championship events in 2023. In case there are no EPT affiliate events, these three slots will be filled according to the ESL world rankings.

“We are on a continuous mission to simplify the ESL Pro Tour,” ESL said in a press release. “Our current structure in which we invite teams to an EPT Championship via two ranking (EPT points and ESL world ranking) systems leads to confusion.”

ESL created the EPT ecosystem in September 2019 and is partnered with 15 CS:GO teams, which grants them a permanent slot in the ESL Pro League.