ESL announces new ESL Challenger League in Asia-Pacific
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ESL Gaming announced that it is adding an additional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive League division for the Asia-Pacific region. Beginning in Season 40, teams within the division are now provided with a clear path to the Masters level of ESL Pro Tour.

Formerly known as ESEA Premier, ESL Challenger League features a prize pool of $20,000 per season. ESL stated that the addition “represents the doorway for aspiring local teams to compete regionally.” Teams competing on servers in Singapore, Taipei, Hong Kong, Seoul, Guam and Tokyo are welcome to compete.

Prior to ESL Challenger League, teams within the Asia-Pacific region had limited opportunities to qualify for ESL Pro League. Teams relied on ESL World Ranking invitations, though this was difficult because groups within South East Asia, China, East Asia and Eastern Russia struggled to compete against other regions due to ping issues.

However, Challenger League provides a direct path into the ESL Pro League Conference. At this tournament, teams have an opportunity to qualify for ESL Pro League. After ESL’s restructuring, the top ESL Challenger League team in Asia-Pacific qualifies for the ESL Pro League Conference.

Season 40 ESL Challenger League qualifications

For the upcoming Season 40, Asia-Pacific teams will have three ways to qualify for ESL Challenger League.

  • Two teams will qualify through ESL World Ranking
  • The top eight teams from Season 39 Open qualify for ESL Challenger League by their playoff standings
  • Six teams will qualify through an additional set of tournaments

According to ESL, there will be three qualifiers taking place at the end of January 2022, where teams can qualify for Challenger League.

  • Qualifier 1: Jan. 17-18
  • Qualifier 2: Jan. 19-20
  • Qualifier 3: Jan. 22-23

Each qualifier is structured as a single-elimination bracket with a best-of-three qualifying match. The top two qualifying teams will earn a spot in ESL Challenger League for Season 40.

Moving forward, teams will exclusively qualify for ESL Challenger League via the ESEA Asia-Pacific Open division for Season 40 into Season 41. ESL stated that additional information regarding registration will be announced soon.

Minna Adel Rubio is an esports journalist with an interest in first-person-shooter games. She specializes in class-based, arena, and tactical shooters like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valorant, Overwatch, and Team Fortress 2. Additionally, Minna is a senior CS:GO guides writer at Dignitas and a graduate student. Catch her on Twitter for memes and more content!