A tournament with a rich history: ESL Pro League Season 16 announcement

Alisa Barladyan
31 Aug 2022

The fall part of the CS:GO competitive season kicks off with ESL Pro League Season 16 matches. The teams will compete for the championship for a month and share a substantial prize pool and BLAST ranking points. Who will participate in the tournament? At what broadcast will the audience be able to see the confrontation between the best teams in the world? All the information is in our material.

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A tournament with a rich history: ESL Pro League Season 16 announcement

ESL Pro League tournaments are held twice a year. The first tournament was held in 2015 in Cologne. The first ESL Pro League champion was Fnatic with olofmeister, flusha, JW, pronax and KRIMZ. The Swedish five were at their peak during this period, winning several major tournaments (including two majors), and one of the memorable milestones of the lineup was a win at the first ESL Pro League event.


In the seven years of the league's existence, there have been 15 tournaments from ESL. In September, the community will witness its 16th season. ESL Pro League Season 16 will feature 24 teams, 15 of which are ESL partners, three from the HLTV World Rankings, and six from the qualifiers.

The event will be held in two stages: the group and the play-ins. In the tournament's first stage, all the teams will be divided into four groups of six participants. In each group, round-robin matches will be played during the week. After playing all the series played, the best team in the group will advance directly to the quarterfinals, while second and third place will begin their path to the play-ins in the 1/8 finals. The tournament will be held from August 31 through October 2. All the matches will be held in RE3 format and the grand final will be held in RE5 format.

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ESL Pro League tournaments regularly feature both world's top and little-known teams from the tier-2 scene. For them, the tournaments of this level are one of the few opportunities to try their hand against the best players in the world.

Outsiders, in particular, are qualified for the tournament. After the departure of YEKINDAR and buster, the Russian team can hardly be considered even as a top-3 team from the CIS. In the summer, it unexpectedly lost to Movistar Riders in the finals of ESL Challenger Valencia, and it performed poorly at IEM Cologne 2022 without winning a single map in the main part of the tournament. During the season's summer break, the squad led by Jame had the opportunity to prepare for facing their opponents and play many maps for the upcoming battles. However, the consequences of the painful reshuffle after the Antwerp Major are likely to accompany the Russian team to ESL Pro League Season 16.

Team Spirit and Cloud9 went through with the quotas of the world rankings. The "dragons'" management replaced degster with young talent from the matchmaking called w0nderful, and already in Cologne, this squad was fighting at the level of the top teams. Chopper has already suggested that the newcomer will soon be in the top 5 snipers of the CS:GO competitive scene, and his squad has great potential to win future tournaments. As for Cloud9, its roster was affected by global events in the spring, and the players couldn't fully prepare for competitions. Already by the summer, the roster entered the Cloud9 organization, gained strength over the summer, and is once again eager to reassert itself as a contender for the titles. Individual play of sh1ro, Ax1Le and their teammates remains at their usual high level, and considering a break, a chance to solve all the organizational issues and productive training without LAN events should positively affect the team's dynamic.

The ESL partners were mostly represented by teams from the top 20 of the HLTV ranking. At this event FaZe Clan will try to win the Inter Grand Slam and take the gold ingots. KRIMZ as part of Fnatic will attempt to repeat their success of 2015. G2 Esports will continue to show the audience their experiment with the Danish captain HooXi, while the lineup stars will continue to perform feats for victories on maps. Team Liquid, encouraged by their success at BLAST Premier: Fall Groups, will try to buy YEKINDAR from Virtus.pro for their roster matches at the tournament. Each ESL affiliate team has their own interests in the ESL Pro League Season 16, but there is more likely a future winner among them.

Below is a list of all the participants in the tournament:

  • Astralis;
  • BIG;
  • Complexity;
  • ENCE;
  • Evil Geniuses;
  • FaZe Clan;
  • Fnatic;
  • FURIA Esports;
  • G2 Esports;
  • Heroic;
  • MOUZ;
  • Natus Vincere;
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas;
  • Team Liquid;
  • Team Vitality;
  • Cloud9;
  • Movistar Riders;
  • Team Spirit;
  • MIBR;
  • Endpoint;
  • Eternal Fire;
  • Outsiders;
  • HEET;
  • FTW
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In addition to money, the teams compete for direct invitations to the upcoming big tournaments and BLAST ranking points. The total prize pool is $835,000, and $175,000 of which will go to the best team of the tournament. Along with that, the winner will receive direct invitations to BLAST Premier: World Final 2022 and IEM Katowice 2023, as well as 2,800 BLAST ranking points. See the complete prize distribution below.

PlacePrize moneyTournament invitationBLAST points
1175000$BLAST World Final 2022; IEM Katowice 20232800 pts
270000$1400 pts
3-435000$875 pts
5-817500$262,5 pts
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You can watch all ESL Pro League Season 16 matches on the official ESL broadcast. The matches are commentated on it in English. During the playoffs, the cast will be broadcast directly from Malta.

Below is the ESL Pro League Season 16 group stage match schedule. There will be three BO3 matches during the game day starting at 11:30, 15:00 and 18:30 GMT time.

Schedule of matches
Schedule of matches

Group A matches will be held from August 31 to September 4, in Group B teams will play from September 7 to 11. Group C will play from September 14-18, and Group D will finish the group stage September 21-25.

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