Turner and WME | IMG to run a CS:GO championship with finals at CES
Turner Sports plans to expand its esports and Counter-Strike footprint even further this winter.
The American media company made headlines earlier this year after announcing it would run and televise a Counter-Strike league. Now the company, along with its partner, the international talent agency, WME | IMG, plans to run a separate Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Championship, with finals played at next year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January.
The championship will be mostly independent from Turner and WME | IMG’s recently announced ELEAGUE, which will feature two, 10-week Counter-Strike tournaments in summer 2016, with competition airing live on TBS.
Top teams from around the world (the names of which haven’t been announced yet) have been invited to participate in the championship, but there is also an open bracket that any team can enter.
Teams that make it through the open bracket will go up against the invited teams in the championship bracket, facing off for a spot in the final and their share of a $50,000 prizepool. The winner of the Counter-Strike Championship will also receive an invitation to the ELEAGUE tournament.
An exact start date for the championship has not yet been announced, but matches will be streamed on FACEIT’s Twitch channel, with the best-of-three finals taking place live on Jan. 7 from 12.30pm PT.
“I think it’s a great venue to display something like this,” said WME | IMG’s head of esports, Tobias Sherman, on having the finals at CES. “Simply because CS:GO in general has been skyrocketing in popularity, but also in North America.”
Update 1.16pm CT, Dec. 7: FACEIT has released more details about the qualifying round of the championship.
"Teams can earn a spot in the CS:GO tournament through two qualifying phases: Phase 1 is the Open Qualifier, which are two online tournaments open to all players on the FACEIT platform starting Saturday, December 12 through Sunday, December 13. All levels of players are welcome to battle, with the top placing team of each open qualifier gaining access to the final round.
Phase 2 will be two closed online qualifiers for each region [North America and Europe] between six of the top pro gaming teams invited to participate, along with the leading teams from the Open Qualifier. This phase of qualifiers will run from Tuesday, December 15 through Friday, December 18, streamed live on Twitch.tv."
Image via Valve | Remix by Jacob Wolf