The EPICENTER Counter-Strike tournament will take place Oct. 23-29 in St. Petersburg, Russia, according to a release Thursday from Epic Esports Events.
The playoffs will be played at the Yubileyny Sports Palace Oct. 28–29, where the fans can see the matches in person and see their favorite players at signing sessions during the event. This will be the city’s first time hosting an EPICENTER event.
The tournament will have a two-stage qualifying process, which will be held from Sept. 2-10 in Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, America, and China. A closed qualifier will follow from Sept. 11 to Oct. 1, and the top two teams of the closed qualifier will win a spot to compete in the main event.
The tournament boasts a prize pool of $500,000 and will feature 10 teams — up from eight last year — with two qualified teams and eight invited ones. So far. Astralis and SK Gaming have accepted invitations to the tournament, and rest of the field will be announced after Sept. 10.
ESForce, which owns EPICENTER, also owns a majority share in SK Gaming, which makes SK’s attendance in the tournament a direct conflict of interest.