The United Kingdom is set to host its most prestigious Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competition to date as preparations begin for the ESL Pro League Season 3 Grand Finals in London from May 14-15. Featuring competition between four top teams from both Europe and North America, the Grand Finals will be the final point of a season awarding US$750,000 in prize money, with the winner taking home an astounding US$200,000 lion’s share. The London Grand Finals mark the first of two major events in the US$1.5 million 2016 ESL Pro League calendar.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive continues to break records and attract millions of viewers on multiple online platforms, with Intel Extreme Masters Katowice becoming the most-watched non-Major event of all time earlier this month. Last year’s ESL Pro League seasons saw over 100 million online sessions created and almost 30 million hours of online content watched, with this year’s inaugural season setting new milestones for online league viewership.
“This is by far the most prestigious year of ESL Pro League to date, and we’re taking it to the next level in indigo at The O2,” said Ulrich Schulze, VP of Pro Gaming at ESL. “The ESL Pro League is synonymous with consistently high-level competition, and we’re looking to take only the best of the best to the UK. It’s been a great season of top-tier play and the UK, with its rich FPS history, is sure to bring out the fighting spirit in these teams.”
Eight teams will head to ESL UK’s newly finished industry-leading studio in Leicester for the group stages of the ESL Pro League competition (May 11-12), set to be played out behind closed doors. Only the four best teams will progress to London for the Grand Finals, which will be played out from May 14-15 at indigo at The O2 in front of a live audience*.
“We’ve been spearheading a lot of local competition over the past few years to encourage grassroot growth of the esports industry in the United Kingdom,” said James Dean, Managing Director at ESL UK. “It’s great to see that we are now at a place where the UK is attracting premier esports tournaments: ESL Pro League in London’s O2 is a testament to how far we’ve come and we look forward to many more events like this one in the future.”
For more information, please visit the official ESL Pro League website. Tickets for the finals in London are on sale for £39.99, with an early bird special of £29.99 in the first week.
* Audience members must be aged 18 or over, so as to comply with the game’s PEGI rating in the United Kingdom.