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ArenaNet and ESL to Launch ESL Guild Wars® 2 Pro League, with $400,000 at Stake and Open Qualifiers for All Players

Guild Wars 2 competitive play levels up with two seasons of ESL Pro League tournaments offering the biggest cash prize ever for the game, with in-game systems and leaderboards on the way to help give all players a shot at elite PvP

ArenaNet™, publisher and developer of the acclaimed Guild Wars® franchise, and ESL, the world’s largest esports company, today announced the ‘ESL Guild Wars 2 Pro League’, an all-new tournament series offering $400,000 (USD) in cash prizes. The prize pool, which will be offered over the course of two seasons, is both the largest ever for Guild Wars 2 competitive play and represents one of the biggest cash prizes ever offered by ESL in Pro League competition. The tournament opens up elite competition to the widest group of Guild Wars 2 players ever by lowering age and region restrictions for eligibility.

ESL Guild Wars 2 Pro League is part of the ongoing growth and evolution of Guild Wars 2 competitive play.  The game recently saw record numbers of players participating in PvP and this is part of a growth trend overall in the player community since ArenaNet announced Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, the game’s first expansion coming on October 23rd, and the core Guild Wars 2 game going play for free this past August.

Guild Wars 2 Pro League makes elite competition in Guild Wars 2 attainable for the great majority of players, using ESL’s guidelines to lower age restriction to anyone 16 years old and over, and broadening eligibility to all global regions.  ArenaNet has also developed systems within the game’s PvP mode designed to give players a path to pro competition.  In August, ArenaNet used the stage at its last WTS Championships in Cologne to announce the introduction of an in-game system called PvP Leagues coming with Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. It’s a system intended to help beginning and up-and-coming players progress their skills, set goals and earn in-game rewards as they fight their way into higher ranked divisions. The system also introduces leaderboards for guild teams as part of a Guild Challenger League, which will become a feeder system into the new Pro League. At the end of each Pro League season, the bottom ranking teams will have to face off against the top teams from the Guild Challenger League in the Challenger Cup, risking possible removal from competition. The top teams per region from the Challenger Cup will then be promoted into the next season of Pro League. 

Once teams are in the ESL Guild Wars 2 Pro League, eight teams from each region will compete for a combined prize pool of US$400,000 over the course of two seven week seasons. The first season kicks off with qualifiers in mid-November, as an open tournament that will determine four of the eight teams who will compete in the ESL Pro League.  The other four teams will include a mix of World Tournament Series Finalists and the highest ranking teams in the final round of the October Go4GuildWars2 Cups, which will continue to run as weekend tournaments until October 25. The season will ultimately lead up to a Season Finals LAN event at ESL studios featuring the top four teams. All teams who make it to the finals are guaranteed winnings from the US$200,000 prize pool for that season.



© Chris Baylis 2011-2015