ESL has teamed up with Intel and DHL to announce a new $500,000 Women’s CSGO Circuit.
This new competitive ecosystem aims to increase awareness, provide new opportunities, and improve the representation for all women CSGO players.
The initiative is the first step in ESL Gaming’s new #GGForAll program, following the belief that “it’s not GG (Good Game), until it’s GG for all,” and focusing on making gaming and esports an “inclusive, respectful and all-empowering space”.
This program will include several Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives to decrease the company’s environmental impact, to aid in establishing an inclusive gaming community free of discrimination, verbal abuse, bullying and more.
The CSGO ecosystem for women offers $500,000 across regional leagues, standalone events at DreamHack festivals and ESL Cash Cups.
The new leagues feature eight teams in both Europe and North America and a total of $150,000 prize pool. The three best teams from both regions, together with a South American and an Asian-Pacific team coming from open qualifiers, will participate in the Global League Finals at DreamHack Dallas (June 3rd-5th 2022) and DreamHack Winter (November 25th-27th 2022).
Furthermore, during DreamHack festivals, there will be standalone events which will, per event, see eight teams from all four regions battle over a $100,000 prize pool, equal to ESL Challenger events that are part of ESL Pro Tour. The first event will take place at DreamHack Valencia on July 1st-3rd 2022.
Finally, starting in January 2022, ESL Cash Cups for women’s teams will be added to ESEA, giving teams featuring a full women’s roster the opportunity to compete twice a month for their share of a total of $4,000 prize pool (split evenly between the Asian-Pacific, European, North American and South American regions).
On top of that, ESL Gaming has committed to instituting a women players council that will aid in defining further details around the CSGO ecosystem for women. It will also provide women with a platform for feedback towards ESL Gaming and other tournament organisers.
ESL will also continue to work towards increasing the representation of women as broadcasting talents as well as within the company.
It will introduce a talent development program that provides select aspiring broadcast talents the ‘tactics and tools to become successful’ and offers opportunities to cast competitions within ESL Gaming’s CSGO ecosystem. The company is also opening up additional job opportunities.
“By providing an infrastructure equal to their male counterparts, we are thrilled to create more visibility and opportunities for women in the esports space, as well as to support them in their professional development and to help make their dreams come true,” said Roberta Hernandez, SVP of people and culture at ESL Gaming.
“This is only the first part of a number of #GGForAll initiatives we are currently working on and we can’t wait to tell you more about what is yet to come.”
“At ESL Gaming we truly believe in a world where everybody can be somebody, so going back to the grassroots level and creating an all-new ecosystem to ensure ambitious women CSGO players are given equal chances is a great step forward,” added Brian Krämer, general manager for CSGO at ESL Gaming, and Charlie Sirc, product manager at ESL Gaming, in a joint statement.
“With a great line-up of events for next year already, we are super excited to develop this new product further in 2022 and beyond.”
Other CSR initiatives launched in conjunction with the women’s CSGO circuit include ESL Gaming’s recently announced efforts to offset its carbon footprint.
There’s more info at ggforall.gg.
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Earlier this year, Riot Games announced its own women’s tournament series for Valorant – VCT Game Changers, with UK org Tenstar Nova becoming back-to-back VCT Game Changers EMEA champions.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.