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CSGO Blogpost

ESL and FACEIT are teaming up – An overview on general directions and immediate actions for the CS:GO community

In this blog post, we want to highlight our general direction and a few immediate actions that we will take to improve the CS:GO ecosystem within a shared vision and by enabling synergies across our products.

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Dear CS:GO community,

we are excited to share the news of the merger between ESL and FACEIT to form the ESL FACEIT Group. With the help of our new investor SGG, we will be working together to develop and support competitive gaming ecosystems. If you want to know more about our new business, please read our official press release here.

Since both ESL and FACEIT are heavily involved in the CS:GO landscape, we wanted to share  details about the areas we intend to focus on immediately to generate more value for fans, players, teams, and organizers.

As our teams start to work more closely together, other projects will follow that will also take into account the feedback we receive from the community and other stakeholders.   

TL:DR

  • FACEIT and ESEA allying to fight cheating even more effectively by sharing tech, infrastructure and data capabilities, and to provide better solutions to other tournament organizers
  • Promote more stability for the NA scene through more incentives for professional teams, more operational and communication capabilities, and a richer schedule of competitions
  • Support the development of local scenes by funding third party local organizers and by expanding our calendar of grassroots programs
  • Keep investing in “path to pro” by providing the best up-and-coming players with new opportunities to grow and a chance to be put in the spotlight at professional events
  • Rewards for fans watching all our CS:GO content via FACEIT point drops on both our own and official co-streamer’s channels

At the end of the blog, we have an FAQ section that will actively be kept updated to answer any questions from the community related to our merger.

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Combine our efforts to combat cheating

Both FACEIT and ESEA have invested significant resources to provide the community with effective anti-cheat solutions. By merging our tech knowledge and data infrastructures we are going to develop even stronger anti-cheat programs to defend the integrity of all matches, from top professional LANs to online tournaments and pugs across both platforms.

It is imperative to the health of the competitive scene and the enjoyment of players to remove cheaters from CS:GO, and this will remain a top priority for our new company. Our anti-cheat technology will always be available for free to everyone, from small tournament organizers to major esports events on LAN.

Create better stability and content for NA CS:GO

One of our core objectives is to revitalize the North American player base and esports scene for CS:GO. We believe this is crucial for healthy global competition and our larger goal of sustaining grassroots, regional fandom.

  • We are incentivizing NA teams to invest in NA-based rosters. The Louvre Agreement signed by EPL partner teams now contains special incentives for teams to invest in North American-based rosters and to spend more time competing in NA over the year. We hope this concentrates more talent in NA, creates a better practice experience for all top players in NA, and reduces travel stress. As another high priority, we plan to actively engage other North American esports organizations to field rosters.
  • FACEIT and ESEA expanding NA operations and communications efforts. To improve the management of online competitions and the level of communication with teams and players, FACEIT and ESEA will be sharing and investing more resources to provide an overall better experience with an initial focus on this region.
  • We are evaluating bolstering the North American Cash Cup program on ESEA, as well as using the FACEIT studio in California to move few of our North American Events on LAN. During the next few weeks we will be able to share more details.

Support the development for all regions

While strengthening the North American scene is our initial priority, our ultimate goal is to create a truly global ecosystem and provide accessible, well-connected competitive circuits to everyone. We plan to split our efforts between our own new initiatives and supporting outside tournament organizers.

More than 3,000 tournament organizers created and managed tournaments by accessing our tools and infrastructure during the past year. This developed and passionate grassroots layer is what makes CS:GO special and we will increase our investment in it in the future.

  • We have created a $100,000 fund to support small local organizers. We seek to empower passionate and independent third-party tournament organizers to create grassroots competitions. To achieve this goal, we are creating a fund of $100,000 in prize pools which local organizers from around the world can apply to. Rather than a one-off activation, this is the first of many initiatives which we aim to finance by connecting better endemic and non-endemic brands with grassroots initiatives.
  • $1,000 Cash Cups twice a month for South America, Asia, Oceania, and South Africa. Starting in February, the Cash Cups on the ESEA platform will expand to South America, Asia, Oceania and South Africa. Every month will feature 2 tournaments with $1,000 of prize money each with a $100,000 of total prize money for the year.
  • GGFORALL expands in Brazil. Based on the feedback following the announcement of ESL’s GGFORALL initiative, we have decided to extend the planned women’s league to cover South America as well as Europe and North America in its inaugural season. The program is currently in development and we intend to provide more details in several weeks, including details about participation opportunities for South Africa and Oceania.

Provide a better path to professional play

The cornerstone of our vision is helping rising stars realize their full potential and become professional players. Our new company allows us to place even more resources behind this goal and to streamline a player’s experience from grinding online to standing in front of a stadium of cheering fans.

  • Expand FPL  – FPL program will expand in multiple other regions, and we will be driving a significant amount of resources to support technical and soft skill development of the players through monthly stipends, hardware support and professional coaching.
  • Integrate rising stars from FPL into ESL LAN events – Top performing young players from FPL can look forward to being invited to ESL’s premier esports events. There they can meet professional players and teams in person and be featured via interviews and media days. 
  • Create new online youth programs through FACEIT and EPL teams – We will provide technical and operational support to our EPL partner teams as they set up scouting and development programs on FACEIT to replicate the success of organizations that have been running similar initiatives.

Reward fans for watching

We now have the opportunity to better reward fans for watching esports events and their favorite content creators, as well as connect them to the platforms on which they play.

  • FACEIT Points drop for ESL events. Beginning with IEM Katowice in February, CS:GO fans will immediately receive FACEIT points drops by watching the tournament on Twitch. These drops will also be present on every future ESL live streamed event.
  • Official co-streamers of IEM Katowice will now have FACEIT Point drops. The FACEIT point drops on Twitch will also be available to official co-streamers.  We will share information shortly on how to apply to our co-streaming program.

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FAQ – (Last update 25.01.2022)

Q: Does this transaction change your values or what you stand for?

Esports and competitive gaming are for everyone, everywhere. We will continue to welcome players, fans, creators, talents and employees from all backgrounds into our arenas, festivals and platforms.

Q: Is there any plan to move competition locations?

All tournaments for CS:GO will be happening in their announced locations at their announced times. Our future 2023+ calendars will be locked in towards the end of the year.

Q: Are the calendars for ESL Pro Tour changing, and occupying more space in the calendar?

Our priority is to elevate our existing ESL Pro Tour events and increase their engagement levels (e.g. with FACEIT Twitch Drops, Co-Streaming). We’re not looking to add additional tournaments to the CS:GO calendar.

Q: Will there be changes to #GGFORALL?

We believe in #GGFORALL and are planning to further extent our initiatives over the next years to tackle discrimination, promote mental wellbeing and progress environmental sustainability in esports. A concrete first step is expanding the Women’s CS:GO Circuit into South America right from the get-go, based on the important feedback from the community.

Previous Questions/Answers.

Q: What happens to my FACEIT/ESEA accounts?

In the short term, nothing will change. However, in the future we could look into the possibility of putting all our products under the same account system to make it easier for the community to access different features and services.

Q: Will FACEIT remain free?

10 years ago FACEIT started by providing an open platform available for everyone and for free. This will never change.

Q: What happens to my FACEIT/ESEA subscription?

Initially, all the products and relative subscriptions will keep operating as it is now. We are planning to start some promotional campaigns to allow the CS:GO community to get more value from both of our products for an overall cheaper price. We will announce more details soon.

Q: Will ESEA and FACEIT exist next to each other?

ESEA and FACEIT will work by focusing on different directions, similarly to what happened in the past 2 years: ESEA will focus on team-based competitions such as league system and cups while FACEIT will keep focusing on PUG experience, FPL programs and enabling third party organizers through tournament tools and HUBS.

Q: Will account bans on ESEA be applied on FACEIT too and vice versa?

This is our vision for the future. From tomorrow we want to start working immediately together to understand and develop a universal and shared strategy around bans, especially the ones that are cheating related.

Q: Will FACEIT and ESEA share the same Anti-Cheat?

Our ambition is to make the experience as smooth as possible for all the players and we believe that having a single Anti-Cheat is the way to go. However, there are many tech aspects that still need to be addressed for which we don’t have yet a final answer.

Q: Will there be any changes in the 3rd party organizer program on FACEIT?

Nothing will change, except the fact that thanks to this merger we will now be in a stronger position to provide even better technological, operational and financial support to all organizers within the scene.

We will be looking out for your feedback on social media and keep adding more questions and answers to this FAQ.

 🤝