StarLadder has announced StarSeries i-League Season 7, the latest iteration of its popular Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament series.
Typically, StarSeries i-League competitions are held in Kiev, Ukraine, but Season 7 will take place in Shanghai, China. It’ll start on March 30th and run until April 7th.
The prize pool for the upcoming event will be bumped up to $500,000 (£384,755), whereas it has traditionally sat at $300,000 (£230,853). The changes don’t end there, there will be an invitation allocated for a South American team. Team Wild, who won at the GAMECON Open earlier this month, are the team in question.
16 teams will be in attendance, with 13 of them receiving direct invites to compete for the cash prize. The remaining three slots will be obtained through regional qualifying events, with a team each coming from North America, Europe, and Asia.
Sergey “Negative” Bidzan, Head of Events at StarLadder commented: “The South American region has plenty of players with high potential, but they are almost unable to prove themselves on the international stage and to become a part of some famous organization. Only a few teams have managed to “escape” from the region and, moreover, it became possible only due to great efforts and no smaller portion of luck.
“Starting in 2019, we are planning to open another way to the international stage for these players. We are starting to cooperate with local leagues and tournament organizers who can organize regional qualifications and send the best teams to the LAN-finals of StarSeries.”
The tournament itself will utilise the Swiss group stage system with best-of-three series taking place. The playoffs, however, will adopt a single-elimination process with best-of-threes also being played. The grand final will be a best-of-five affair.
Esports Insider says: It’s great to see StarLadder start to go out of its comfort zone by changing the location of the tournament and increasing the prize pool, and it’s also a good touch to give a South American team a chance to compete alongside some of the best teams in the world. It’s relieving that best-of-one matches won’t be anywhere to be seen, too.