Media holding company and esports tournament organiser WePlay Esports has launched the WePlay Academy League (WAL), a new CS:GO competition for young talent.
The league’s inaugural season will feature eight CS:GO youth teams battling for a share of its $100,000 (~£72,407) prize pool. The participating teams include Astralis Talent, Fnatic Rising, FURIA Academy, mouz NXT, NAVI Junior, BIG. OMEN Academy, Young Ninjas and VP.Prodigy.
According to the release, the idea behind the league is to provide aspiring talent with experiences similar to that of being a professional esports athlete, including large prize pools, high-end production and LAN events.
The competition’s age limit is between 16 and 20 years old. At least four out of the team’s five players must be within that bracket.
A WePlay Esports spokesperson commented: “WePlay recognises the necessity to develop the next generation of players, and through WAL, youngsters will be able to make a name for themselves and gain the first-hand experience competing in a high-profile tournament.”
The announcement also states that WePlay aims to showcase the process behind the creation of an esports team, from scouting for players to forming a team and training.
WePlay Academy League Season 1 is set to kick off on July 19th. The competition will start with an online group stage, which will run through to August 8th.
The four highest-ranked teams will then qualify for offline playoffs taking place from August 27th to 29th at the WePlay Esports Arena in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Esports Insider says: The introduction of the WePlay Academy League clearly shows WePlay Esports’s commitment to helping to develop CS:GO talent. Given the league has been formed in a joint effort with some of the most prominent esports organisations, it has the potential to become an effective and sustainable CS:GO talent pipeline that the current scene very much needs.