A caesura for the German Esport. The ESL has decided to discontinue the ESL Championship after more than 50 seasons!
The ESL Championship in Counter-Strike can look back on a truly long history. Now, however, it is coming to an end after the ESL announced that it will discontinue the German championship next year.
Borderless Esports instead of National Leagues
In the (official announcement) main reason for the decision, the tournament organiser cited the ongoing development in the esports scene towards “borderless” tournaments that are not tied to nations.
While the national leagues programme has helped esports, especially in the early days, it has now reached a point where continuing the two-track approach at the ESL has led to problems.
Accordingly, the German ESL Championship will not be continued in 2024, while for other national leagues the actually planned final season will not be played in 2023.
No replacement in sight yet
The ESL Championship was an important competition for aspiring teams, especially for the German Counter-Strike scene. After all, there aren’t many tournaments in a competitive environment, which then also provides a stepping stone to the very big stage at the IEM Cologne
Especially after the merger with the 99Damage League, the ESL Championship was probably the most important competition for the German scene. (While the ESL has announced that there will still be a “German” slot for the IEM Cologne 2024), it is still unclear what the path to this will be.
Freaks4U Gaming, organiser of the championship in recent years, has already announced that they are working on a replacement. However, there is no successor as yet.
The end of an era: The ESLMeisterschaft will close its doors at the end of 2023 after more than 20 years of running.
Why and how it continues
– ESL Germany (@ESLGermany) September 15, 2023
The end of national leagues is also hitting hard other countries whose scenes rely heavily on ESL leagues. Australia, Poland, New Zealand and many more are facing a huge hole in their esports scene that will be difficult to bridge.