Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was something of an e-sports slow burner. Rather than bursting on to the scene and replacing its previous iterations, it took many years to get people to move on from the embedded 1.6. Since then it's gone from strength to strength and now happily sits alongside Dota 2 and League of Legends as the world's premier e-sports. In that vein, big dogs ESL have announced an invitational tournament in Dubai for $250,000 and debuted their global rankings today.
The tournament, officially titled the ESL ESEA Pro League Invitational, is taking place as part of Games 15, which is apparently the Middle Eastern Gamescom or E3 combined with a GDC. It takes place in September 10th-12th this year. The teams announced to be taking part are:
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Natus Vincere
- Team ENVYUS
However according to a tweet from Ulrich Schulze, ESL's Vice President of Pro Gaming, it's possible the tournament will be expanded to 8 teams due to fan demand.
Wondering what the selection process was? Probably related to the newly announced World Rankings. Obviously, this is only ESL's version rather than some sort of objective truth, but as one of the biggest tournament organisers, what they think matters a little more than you or me. The numbers are based on tournament placings over the last two years and Fnatic comes out on top. The other teams above are all in the top 7, with only Team SoloMid missing out. The announcement post breaks down how it all works.