ELEAGUE, the Turner Sports/IMG joint venture, will host the next $1 million Counter-Strike Major in January at Boston University’s Agganis Arena, the organization announced Thursday.
The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals will take place Jan. 26-28 in Boston. The group stage will take place Jan. 19-22 at the ELEAGUE studio in Atlanta, as will the ELEAGUE Major Qualifier, which will take place Jan. 12-15. The Agganis Arena has a capacity of 7,200.
“We’re looking forward to hosting our second ELEAGUE Major in back-to-back years and bringing a CS:GO championship to Boston for the first time,” Craig Barry, chief content officer at Turner Sports, said in a news release. “Following the record-setting engagement during last year’s ELEAGUE Major, we appreciate Valve’s ongoing trust in us and all of the continued support from the esports community.”
ELEAGUE, which first entered esports last year with two Counter-Strike seasons, hosted the inaugural ELEAGUE Major in January (which Astralis won). ELEAGUE is also in the middle of the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier, a 16-team tournament that will resume next week with the playoffs.
The top eight finishers from the previous Major – PGL Major Champion Gambit, Astralis, Immortals, Virtus.pro, Fnatic, SK Gaming, BIG and North – will be invited as Legend teams. The bottom eight finishers from the prior Major will play in the Major Qualifier.
Per Valve’s rules, Immortals would only maintain its Legend status if three of its five players remain on the roster, which appears unlikely after the release of Vito “kNg” Giuseppe and requested departure of Lucas “LUCAS1” Teles and Henrique “HEN1” Teles.
The regional Minor championships will determine the eight teams — two each from the Americas, Asia, Europe and CIS regions – that will also participate in the 16-team Major Qualifier. The Minors will begin with the Asia and CIS tournaments, held Oct. 26-29 in Seoul, South Korea and Bucharest, Romania. The European and Americas events take place Nov. 2-5, in Bucharest and Toronto.