ESEA Premier & ESL ANZ Champs to merge in 2022; a new pathway to Pro League, plus community initiatives

Two new tiers, a $55,000 AUD prize pool, international opportunities and much more.

ESL Australia have today announced an overhaul of their ESL ANZ Champs product, with two extra tiers of competition — titled ANZ Main & ANZ Amateur — replacing the current ESEA Premier structure going forward.

The restructure will further solidify ESL Australia’s commitment to developing the grassroots CS:GO scene in the region, with a focus not just on competition, but also in the community.

“Through the strengthening of our existing professional-tiered league, and the introduction of new community-focused competitions, we will be creating a cohesive grassroots ecosystem that sets our region up for success,” said James Fletcher, Product Manager for ESL ANZ Champs.

ANZ Main and ANZ Amateur will replace the ESEA Premier and ESEA Open leagues respectively in 2022. The new three-tiered competition will include a $55,000 AUD prize pool, with the majority up for grabs at ESL ANZ Champs.

Teams currently competing in ESEA leagues will be re-seeded into the new tiered system based upon their placement in Season 39, as well as their performance in the Promo-Relegation Open Qualifier, set for late January.

ESL Australia have also announced tie-in community initiatives, including ESL-run PUG nights — aimed at boosting community interaction with the ecosystem and providing more opportunities to the region’s teams, players, casters and admins.

“We are heavily investing in the development and success of the ANZ CS:GO community, with these opportunities providing players and organisations with the structure and incentive to continue to grow for future years,” said Fletcher.

As far as international opportunity goes, the top two teams of ESL ANZ Champs will receive an invite to the ESL Pro League Conference, where regional qualifiers will battle it out to join the EPL Group Stage and take on the world’s best.

Both Renegades and ORDER competed recently at the first EPL Conference in November, with each team nabbing a win but failing to qualify for the second stage.

LookingForOrg received a direct invite to the ESL Pro League Group Stage through their victory at ESEA Premier Season 38 to honour the original EPL qualification pathway.

The 2022 merger comes after over five years and 20 seasons of ESEA competition in the region.

More details surrounding the Promo-Relegation Qualifier, exact prize pool distribution and dates for the new league system are expected in the coming weeks.

Nicholas Taifalos
Nicholas "Taffy" Taifalos got his start publishing the escapades of some of Australia's pioneers in Counter-Strike and Dota overseas. Now, he turns his eye to events closer to home, from grassroots projects to the height of Oceanic competition and everything in-between. He still hopes for the day Dota makes a glorious return to the pinnacle of OCE esports.

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