ESL and BLAST react to Valve’s K.O. for partnered Counter-Strike Leagues cover image

ESL and BLAST react to Valve’s K.O. for partnered Counter-Strike Leagues

A new era in Counter-Strike esports.

Earlier today Valve announced the end of partnered Leagues in Counter-Strike starting 2025. The decision signals the end of franchised partnered leagues in CS:GO. Valve’s decision directly impacts the two biggest tournament organizers in CS:GO - ESL and BLAST. The new rules come into effect starting 2025.

TOs react to Valve’s announcement

Representatives from both companies reacted to the announcement on social media. ESL and BLAST operate most of the biggest esports events in CS:GO. 

All competitions will be based on ranking/qualifiers from 2025 on,” said ESL Ulrich Schulze SVP of ESL Faceit Group. “Implementing the vision Valve shared with us, we’ve been working on adjustments to our events (our flagships are already there).”

ESL’s Senior Vice President of Game Ecosystems, Ulrich Schulze said the group is already making adjustments to their events and calendar. ESL runs the majority of Tier 1 tournaments in the calendar year. These events include the iconic IEM Cologne and IEM Katowice events. They also run multiple ESL Pro League events throughout the year. 

BLAST reaffirmed its World Premier

BLAST has its own ecosystem featuring two seasons - Spring and Fall - before culminating in the World Finals. The BLAST Premier World Finals will take place later this year.

BLAST Premier will remain an integral part of tier 1 CS in this new open ecosystem. We are excited as ever to continue to innovate the esports viewing experience and take our tournaments to all corners of the world. 

Both tournament organizers said they will release more information about their esports ecosystem in the near future. IEM Cologne 2023 is currently underway with the final six teams competing for the glory of winning the final CS:GO Cologne event.