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[e][h]ESL Gaming GmbH
Company Information
Esports Production
Parent Company:
ESL North America (ESEA)
ESL Australia
ESL France
ESL Spain
ESL Italy
ESL Poland
1997 as Deutsche ClanLiga
2000 as ESL
Germany Cologne
636 [1]

ESL Gaming GmbH (formerly known as the Electronic Sports League) is the world’s largest esports company.


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 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.

Payout Controversy[edit]

On November 1, 2011, the Electronic Sports League came under scrutiny regarding the issue of delayed payment of prizes. [2] Several professional players stated that ESL was among tournament organisations which delay the payment of prize money up to eighteen months after competition. [3] 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. [4] IdrA claimed that, while ESL typically makes prize payments after a long delay, they eventually always pay what is owed. [5] 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. [6]

Premier Events[edit]

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.

Major Events[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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.


ESL One[edit]

Event Date Prize Pool 1st 2nd
ESL One: Rio 2020
2020-11-09 2020-11-09 to 2020-11-22
ESL One: Cologne 2020
2020-08-21 2020-08-21 to 2020-08-30
ESL One: New York 2019
2019-09-26 2019-09-26 to 2019-09-29
Evil Geniuses Astralis
ESL One: Cologne 2019
2019-07-02 2019-07-02 to 2019-07-07
Team Liquid Team Vitality
ESL One: New York 2018
2018-09-26 2018-09-26 to 2018-09-30
mousesports Team Liquid
ESL One: Cologne 2018
2018-07-03 2018-07-03 to 2018-07-08
Natus Vincere BIG
ESL One: Belo Horizonte 2018
2018-06-13 2018-06-13 to 2018-06-17
FaZe Clan mousesports
ESL One: New York 2017
2017-09-15 2017-09-15 to 2017-09-17
FaZe Clan Team Liquid
ESL One: Cologne 2017
2017-07-04 2017-07-04 to 2017-07-09
SK Gaming Cloud9
ESL One: New York 2016
2016-09-30 2016-09-30 to 2016-10-02
Natus Vincere
ESL One: Cologne 2016
2016-07-05 2016-07-05 to 2016-07-10
SK Gaming Team Liquid
ESL One: Cologne 2015
2015-08-20 2015-08-20 to 2015-08-23
Fnatic Team EnVyUs
ESL One: Katowice 2015
2015-03-12 2015-03-12 to 2015-03-15
Fnatic Ninjas in Pyjamas
ESL One: Cologne 2014
2014-08-14 2014-08-14 to 2014-08-17
Ninjas in Pyjamas Fnatic

Intel Extreme Masters[edit]

IEM Season I
Event Date Winner Runner-up
IEM I World Championship 2007-03-15 to 2007-03-18 Team Pentagram H2k Gaming
IEM Season II
Event Date Winner Runner-up
IEM II Global Challenge Los Angeles 2007-10-18 to 2007-10-21 Fnatic SK Gaming
IEM II World Championship 2008-03-06 to 2008-03-09 mousesports e-STRO
IEM Season III
Event Date Winner Runner-up
IEM III Global Challenge Los Angeles 2008-10-03 to 2008-10-05 SK Gaming mibr
IEM III Global Challenge Montreal 2008-10-17 to 2008-10-19 Fnatic SK Gaming
IEM III Global Challenge Dubai 2008-10-22 to 2008-10-25 mousesports ESC Gaming
IEM III Asian Championship Finals 2008-11-13 to 2008-11-16 e-STRO Lunatic-hai
IEM III American Championship Finals 2008-11-21 to 2008-11-23 mibr X3O Gaming
IEM III Asian Championship Finals II 2009-01-16 to 2009-01-18 wNv Teamwork WeMade FOX
IEM III European Championship Finals 2009-03-03 to 2009-03-08 mTw ALTERNATE aTTaX
IEM III World Championship 2009-03-06 to 2009-03-08 Fnatic Meet Your Makers
IEM Season IV
Event Date Winner Runner-up
IEM IV Global Challenge Gamescom 2009-08-20 to 2009-08-23 mousesports mTw
IEM IV Global Challenge Chengdu 2009-10-01 to 2009-10-03 SK Gaming Fnatic
IEM IV Global Challenge Dubai 2009-10-17 to 2009-10-24 Fnatic Meet Your Makers
IEM IV American Championship Finals 2009-12-11 to 2009-12-13 Evil Geniuses compLexity Gaming
IEM IV European Championship Finals 2010-01-14 to 2010-01-17 mousesports Fnatic
IEM IV Asian Championship Finals 2010-02-05 to 2010-02-09 WeMade FOX Ultimax
IEM IV World Championship 2010-03-06 to 2010-03-08 Natus Vincere Fnatic
IEM Season V
Event Date Winner Runner-up
IEM V Global Challenge Shanghai 2010-07-29 to 2010-08-01 Fnatic TYLOO
IEM V American Championship Finals 2010-10-08 to 2010-10-10 compLexity Gaming Evil Geniuses
IEM V European Championship Finals 2011-01-20 to 2011-01-23 Fnatic mTw
IEM V World Championship 2011-03-01 to 2011-03-05 Natus Vincere Frag eXecutors
IEM Season VI
Event Date Winner Runner-up
IEM VI Global Challenge Guangzhou 2011-10-01 to 2011-10-05 Fnatic mousesports
IEM VI Global Challenge New York 2011-10-13 to 2011-10-16 SK Gaming Team WinFakt
IEM VI Global Challenge Kiev 2012-01-19 to 2012-01-22 Natus Vincere SK Gaming
IEM VI World Championship 2012-03-06 to 2012-03-10 ESC Gaming Natus Vincere
IEM Season X
Event Date Winner Runner-up
IEM X gamescom 2015-08-05 to 2015-08-08 Team Envy Team SoloMid
IEM X San Jose 2015-11-21 to 2015-11-22 Natus Vincere Team SoloMid
IEM X Taipei 2016-01-29 to 2016-02-02 The MongolZ Renegades
IEM X World Championship 2016-03-02 to 2016-03-05 Fnatic Luminosity Gaming
IEM Season XI
Event Date Winner Runner-up
IEM XI Oakland 2016-11-19 to 2016-11-20 Ninjas in Pyjamas SK Gaming
IEM XI World Championship 2017-03-01 to 2017-03-05 Astralis FaZe Clan
IEM Season XII
Event Date Winner Runner-up
IEM XII Sydney 2017-05-03 to 2017-05-07 SK Gaming FaZe Clan
IEM XII Oakland 2017-11-16 to 2017-11-19 Ninjas in Pyjamas FaZe Clan
IEM XII World Championship 2018-02-27 to 2018-03-04 Fnatic FaZe Clan
Event Date Winner Runner-up
IEM XIII Sydney 2018-05-01 to 2018-05-06 FaZe Clan Astralis
IEM XIII Shanghai 2018-08-01 to 2018-08-06 NRG Esports TYLOO
IEM XIII Chicago 2018-11-06 to 2018-11-11 Astralis Team Liquid
IEM XIII World Championship 2019-02-13 to 2019-03-03 Astralis ENCE
IEM Season XIV
Event Date Winner Runner-up
IEM XIV Sydney 2019-04-29 to 2019-05-05 Team Liquid Fnatic
IEM XIV Chicago 2019-07-18 to 2019-07-21 Team Liquid ENCE
IEM XIV Beijing 2019-11-07 to 2019-11-10 Astralis 100 Thieves
IEM XIV World Championship 2020-02-24 to 2020-03-01 Natus Vincere G2 Esports
IEM Season XV
Event Date Winner Runner-up
IEM XV New York Online: Europe 2020-10-06 to 2020-10-11 FaZe Clan OG
IEM XV New York Online: North America 2020-10-06 to 2020-10-18 FURIA Esports 100 Thieves
IEM XV New York Online: CIS 2020-10-13 to 2020-10-25 Nemiga Gaming
IEM XV Beijing Online: Europe 2020-11-06 to 2020-11-22 Team Vitality Natus Vincere
IEM XV Beijing Online: North America 2020-11-06 to 2020-11-22 Chaos Esports Club Triumph
IEM XV Beijing Online: Oceania 2020-11-13 to 2020-11-22 Renegades ORDER
IEM XV Beijing Online: Asia 2020-11-13 to 2020-11-22 ViCi Gaming TYLOO
IEM XV Global Challenge 2020-12-15 to 2020-12-20 Astralis Team Liquid
IEM XV World Championship 2021-02-16 to 2021-02-28 Gambit Esports
IEM XV Melbourne 2021-08-17 to 2021-08-22 Cancelled
IEM Season XVI
Event Date Winner Runner-up
IEM XVI Summer 2021-06-03 to 2021-06-13 Gambit Esports OG
IEM XVI Cologne 2021-07-06 to 2021-07-18 Natus Vincere G2 Esports
IEM XVI Fall 2021-09-28 to 2021-10-10 TBD TBD
IEM XVI Winter 2021-12-02 to 2021-12-12 TBD TBD

ESL Pro League[edit]

Event Date Prize Pool 1st 2nd
Season 14
2021-08-16 2021-08-16 to 2021-09-12
Season 13
2021-03-08 2021-03-08 to 2021-04-11
Heroic Gambit Esports
Season 12
2020-09-02 2020-09-02 to 2020-10-11
Season 11
2020-03-16 2020-03-16 to 2020-04-12
Season 10
2019-12-03 2019-12-03 to 2019-12-08
mousesports Fnatic
Season 9
2019-06-18 2019-06-18 to 2019-06-23
Team Liquid G2 Esports
Season 8
2018-12-04 2018-12-04 to 2018-12-09
Astralis Team Liquid
Season 7
2018-05-15 2018-05-15 to 2018-05-20
Astralis Team Liquid
Season 6
2017-12-05 2017-12-05 to 2017-12-10
SK Gaming FaZe Clan
Season 5
2017-05-30 2017-05-30 to 2017-06-04
G2 Esports North
Season 4
2016-10-26 2016-10-26 to 2016-10-30
Cloud9 SK Gaming
Season 3
2016-05-11 2016-05-11 to 2016-05-15
Luminosity Gaming G2 Esports
Season 2
2015-12-10 2015-12-10 to 2015-12-13
Fnatic Natus Vincere
Season 1
2015-07-02 2015-07-02 to 2015-07-05
Fnatic Cloud9

ESL Major Series One[edit]

Event Date Prize Pool 1st 2nd
EMS One: Katowice 2014
2014-03-13 2014-03-13 to 2014-03-16
$250,000 Ninjas in Pyjamas
EMS One: Fall 2013
2013-10-01 2013-10-01 to 2013-10-27
VeryGames Ninjas in Pyjamas
EMS One: Summer 2013
2013-05-14 2013-05-14 to 2013-06-30
EMS One: Spring 2013
2013-03-19 2013-03-19 to 2013-04-14
Ninjas in Pyjamas Fnatic

ESL (Other events)[edit]

Other Events
Event Date Winner Runner-Up
ESL Expo Barcelona 2016 (2016-02-19 to 2016-02-21) Fnatic Astralis

ESL League[edit]

ESL League
ESL Pro League
Event Date Winner Runner-Up
ESL Pro League: Winter 2014/15 2014 (2014-12-03 to 2015-04-12) Natus Vincere Titan
ESL Major League
Event Date Winner Runner-Up
ESL Major League: Winter 2014/15 2014 (2014-12-03 to 2015-03-25) CPLAY

ESL European National Championship[edit]

ESL European Nations Championship
Event Date Winner Runner-Up
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