ESL has announced that the winners of the UK & Ireland CSGO Premiership will progress to the Mountain Dew League (MDL) – one tier below the ESL Pro League.
Starting with ESEA Season 26, winners of ESL UK’s Prem and also the ESL Mistrzostwa Polski (Poland’s national league) will reach the MDL.
If the team that wins the Prem has already secured a spot in the MDL, then the second-placed team will get the promotion instead.
“This unique partnership provides a clear pathway for CSGO players to progress from amateur ranks to compete on the world stage linking the national leagues to the Pro League through MDL,” ESL said in a statement.
“ESL and ESEA have a staunch belief that anyone wishing to play at the top level in esports should be supported, and offered a clear path to make their dream a reality.”
Ulrich Schulze, ESL
Then, from Season 27, ESL’s French, Spanish and German leagues will also provide qualification spots to the MDL.
The already-established ESEA League will continue to run alongside this new initiative.
ESL is set to move its European National Championships to be part of ESEA’s system, creating promotion spots up to MDL, the only league that feeds directly into the Pro League.
The news comes after ESL UK announced a similar path to pro in League of Legends last year. The ESL UK & Ireland LoL Premiership winners progress to the EU Challenger Series Qualifiers, for example.
The currently confirmed CSGO promotion slots are as follows:
ESEA Season 26
- Mountain Dew League will expand from 24 to 27 teams
- 2 from ESL Major Series
- 1 from ESL UK (Premiership)
- 1 from ESL Poland (Mistrzostwa Polski)
- 4 slots from ESEA Main division
Additionally, VirtusPro will compete in MDL Season 26 after relegation from the Pro League.
ESEA Season 27
- 1 from ESL Germany (Meisterschaft)
- 1 from ESL France (Championnat National)
- 1 from ESL Spain (Masters)
- 4 from ESEA Main division
“The continued growth of the esports industry relies on the fostering of new talent,” commented Ulrich Schulze, VP of pro gaming at ESL.
“ESL and ESEA have a staunch belief that anyone wishing to play at the top level in esports should be supported, and offered a clear path to make their dream a reality.
“Today’s announcement does just that by uniting ESEA’s leading anticheat, local servers for Europe with ESL’s passionate fan base.”
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.