2000 as ESL
ESL (formerly known as the Electronic Sports League) is the world’s largest esports company; it is operated by Turtle Entertainment in which MTG owns a major stake.
The Electronic Sports League was launched in 2000 as the internationalization of the Deutsche ClanLiga. The ESL started as a series of online leagues as well as an online magazine known as ESLGaming.com. Since its launch, ESL has grown to be the largest esports company in the world with offices all around the globe. The Electronic Sports League was rebranded as just ESL in 2014. In July 2015, the Modern Times Group acquired a majority stake (74.04%) in Turtle Entertainment, later increasing it by a further 8.44% in September 2018.
ESL, is nowadays present in 37 countries. Each sections of ESL are operated by ventures under a license granted by Turtle Entertainment GmbH. These sections could correspond to a country, (like ESL Germany for instance), or to a group of low-demography countries (like ESL Nordic for Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark).
ESL has supported over 50 games in different games and runs dozens of tournaments every year.
On November 1, 2011, the Electronic Sports League came under scrutiny regarding the issue of delayed payment of prizes. Several professional players stated that ESL was among tournament organisations which delay the payment of prize money up to eighteen months after competition. FXOpen's staff stated that their policy was to not send for their players to compete at IEM events because of the uncertainty in receiving prize money. IdrA claimed that, while ESL typically makes prize payments after a long delay, they eventually always pay what is owed. Michal "Carmac" Blicharz, the ESL Pro Gaming Director, stated that ESL was on schedule with prize money payout for IEM events and that ESL remains on pace to deliver prize payments for IEM tournaments within three months of competition.
The Intel Extreme Masters, often abbreviated IEM, is ESL's flagship competition since 2007. In 2006, IEM replaced the ESL Counter-Strike Champions League (CSCL), when the Intel sponsored European tournament saw room for expansion outside of the European market, especially in the North American market, Intel provided funds for a worldwide tournament, calling it the Intel Extreme Masters. IEM also established a format of smaller qualifying events, leading up to a large final event that held at the CeBIT, the world's largest and most international computer expo. All of the Grand Finals have been held at CeBIT. Starting in 2008, the Tournament was billed as being worldwide, boasting participants from Europe, North America, and Asia. Counter-Strike 1.6 was the only game offered in the first season, but the variety of games has increased, to as many as the four different titles offered during Season 5. The first IEM Season I of the Counter-Strike era, was followed by 26 events including five World Championship finals that lead up to the IEM Season VI World Championship, which was the last season to feature Counter-Strike.
In 2013, ESL announced a new premier gaming competition for Europe's best in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The competition, dubbed the ESL Major Series One, or simply EMS One, featured the best teams from Europe competing for one of the largest independent Counter-Strike: Global Offensive prize pools to date. The league featured three successful events in 2013, with finals held at the ESL Studios in Cologne, Germany. In early 2014 ESL and Valve announced that they would hold a tournament at the Intel Extreme Masters venue in Katowice. The event, EMS One Katowice, would be Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's first Valve sponsored and community founded CS:GO Major tournament held by ESL.
The ESL Pro Series, commonly abbreviated EPS, was a Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive national league held and organized by Electronic Sports League. The format is a group stage followed by a playoffs, and each national series have its own specificities. Players were allowed to participate in the ESL Pro Series only if the resided in the country/countries where the series are held.
ESL Pro League
The ESL Pro League was the highest league in the ESL League system and featured sixteen European teams with offline finals. Eight teams were invited to the new ESL Pro League with the other eight slots determined through qualifiers. The ESL Pro League lasted for one season before being discontinued upon ESL's acquisition of ESEA, forming the ESL ESEA Pro League.
ESL Major League
The ESL Major League, originally positioned directly below the ESL Pro League, was now the highest ESL League division at the time of its discontinuation. A total of 32 teams competed in a single-elimination bracket, with the top 4 teams proceeding to ESEA's Main division.
Intel Extreme Masters
ESL Pro League
|Season 9||Team Liquid||G2 Esports|
|Season 8||Astralis||Team Liquid|
|Season 7||Astralis||Team Liquid|
|Season 6||SK Gaming||FaZe Clan|
|Season 5||G2 Esports||North|
|Season 4||Cloud9||SK Gaming|
|Season 3||Luminosity Gaming||G2 Esports|
|Season 2||Fnatic||Natus Vincere|
ESL Major Series One
|EMS One: Katowice 2014||Virtus.pro||Ninjas in Pyjamas|
|EMS One: Fall 2013||VeryGames||Ninjas in Pyjamas|
|EMS One: Summer 2013||VeryGames||Virtus.pro|
|EMS One: Spring 2013||Ninjas in Pyjamas||Fnatic|
ESL (Other events)
|ESL Expo Barcelona||2016 (2016-02-19 to 2016-02-21)||Fnatic||Astralis|
|ESL Pro League|
|ESL Pro League: Winter 2014/15||2014 (2014-12-03 to 2015-04-12)||Natus Vincere||Titan|
|ESL Major League|
|ESL Major League: Winter 2014/15||2014 (2014-12-03 to 2015-03-25)||CPLAY||GPlay.bg|
ESL European National Championship
|ESL European Nations Championship|
|ESL ENC Season 2004||2004-08-24 to 2004-08-27||Sweden||Austria|
|ESL ENC Season 2005||2005-08-24 to 2005-08-27||Germany||Bulgaria|
|ESL ENC Season 2006||2006-08-24 to 2006-08-27||Sweden||Norway|
|ESL ENC Season 2007||2007-08-24 to 2007-08-26||Poland||Germany|
|ESL ENC Season 2008||2008-04-29 to 2008-08-22||Sweden||Germany|
|ESL ENC Season 2008 (CS:Source)||2008-04-29 to 2008-08-22||Czech Republic||France|
|ESL ENC Season 2009||2009-06-02 to 2009-08-22||Sweden||Germany|
|ESL ENC Season 2009 (CS:Source)||2009-06-02 to 2009-08-22||Germany||France|
|ESL ENC Season 2010||2010-06-20 to 2010-08-22||Sweden||Ukraine|
|ESL ENC Season 2010 (CS:Source)||2010-06-20 to 2010-08-22||United Kingdom||Denmark|
- 2018-07-08 | Professeur" Burazin of HLTV.org at ESL One: Cologne 2018 by Zvonimir "
- 2018-04-23 | MIRAA" Mira of HLTV.org by Luis "