ELEAGUE to host next CS:GO Major

After less than a year of operation, Valve has handed over the reigns of CS:GO’s 10th Major event to TBS‘ ELEAGUE. Set to take place over the week of the 22-29th January, with the event being split between their studio and the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia.

Back in August, Valve had decided that there would be no third Major in 2016. This was followed by confirmation that the next Major would be in January, with many fixing their sights onto MLG to be taking the reigns. In today’s announcement from TBS, it turns out that they would be the organisation running the $1m (£768,192) show. 

The tournament will follow the format of the previous events, being 16 teams. The first eight teams are those who finished top eight at the ESL One Cologne Major in July 2016. The teams are set to be:

SK Gaming Team Liquid Virtus.pro GODSENT
Astralis Flipsid3 Tactics Natus Vincere Gambit Gaming

SK are on the road to their third Majors in a row and with their competitiors slowly fading throughout the other competitions so far this year, they’re going in as favourites. With Liquid, GODSENT and Na`Vi facing slumps recently and Virtus.pro going on the up – who will be set to take over the current champions? Big name teams such as NiP, Dignitas and EnVyUs will also need to see themselves through the Major Qualifier, setting that up to be a difficult competition in its own right.

The final eight teams, or challengers, are set to be decided via the 16 team Major Qualifier, set to be held the week before Christmas, on December 15-18th, from their studios. Eight of those teams will be the lower eight teams from Cologne, and the top eight teams from the Regional Minor Championships, hosted in the months before. Dates on those are yet to be announced.

ELEAGUE, ESL, MAJOR, SK GAMING
Reigning champions SK Gaming holding their ESL One Cologne trophy aloft. Can they do the same with ELEAGUE in January? (photo: HLTV)

ELEAGUE has immediately come under scrutiny. First off on the aspect of how it would be broadcast. Turner’s press release instantly stated in the byline that “TBS & Twitch to Simulcast Major Championship”.

The next issue people found is that the venue for the finals, the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, has only enough seating for 4,665 people. Some people are saying that this isn’t enough for an event of this standing, especially considering the previous major sold out a 14,000 crowd. Others say that this isn’t a problem and it could create a closer atmosphere, making it a better event.

Tickets are available now from ELEAGUE’s site, which also includes information on hotels and travel.

Esports Insider says: After months of waiting we finally know the next location for the biggest event in CS:GO’s calendar. What’s more is that it’ll be broadcast by the Broadcast company, potentially making this CS:GO’s largest event yet.