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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

ESL to introduce Ancient into map pool for IEM Summer

Ancient will be introduced into the map pool for all ESL Pro Tour events starting with IEM Summer, ESL has announced. The decision was made following discussions between the tournament organiser, the ESL Pro League player council, and the Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association (CSPPA).

Ancient was added to the Active Duty map pool on May 3 as a replacement for Train in what was the first change to the pool since Vertigo replaced Cache in March 2019. Valve then clarified that the new map would not feature in the current round of Regional Major Ranking (RMR) events, which offer points towards qualifying for the PGL Stockholm Major.

IEM Summer will be the first ESL Pro Tour event to feature the new map

IEM Summer is set to run from June 3-13, with $250,000 on offer. It will feature six of the top ten teams in the world rankings, as well as 11 teams inside the top 20.

Earlier on Wednesday, ESL announced a collaborative effort with BLAST to create a “unified approach to the governance of scheduling tournament dates, rulebook alignment and integrity policies.” It remains to be seen whether these aligned policies will see Ancient introduced during the BLAST Premier Spring Final, the culmination of BLAST’s tournament circuit for the first half of the year, with the event taking place right after IEM Summer, from June 15-20.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

BLAST Rising to return in May with $30,000 prize pool

BLAST has announced the second edition of BLAST Rising, a tournament aimed at helping the development of teams outside the top 20 in the world rankings. Produced by Fantasyexpo, the company that holds the BLAST Premier broadcasting rights in Poland, the event has been expanded from 16 to 24 teams and will offer $30,000, down from last year’s €30,000 ($32,450 at the time).

It remains unclear which teams will be taking part in BLAST Rising 2021 or how they will be determined, but HLTV.org knows that the organisers are hoping to attract teams from multiple territories. The event will run from May 3-23, concurrently with Flashpoint 3, the first Regional Major Ranking (RMR) tournament of the year in Europe.

BLAST Rising 2021 will kick off on May 3

BLAST Rising 2021 will kick off with six double-elimination groups, with the top two progressing to the playoffs. The third-placed teams will then compete in a knockout stage to determine the last four teams reaching the single-elimination bracket. All matches will be played in a best-of-three format.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring BLAST Rising back for a second year and offer teams outside of the world’s elite an opportunity to impress,” Andrew Haworth, Commissioner for BLAST Premier and Director of Operations and Production for BLAST, said in a statement.

“Being able to broaden the CS:GO landscape to a wide range of teams and help create a sustainable ecosystem is something that is hugely important to us at BLAST.”

Last year’s BLAST Rising tournament was won by HAVU, who beat Endpoint in the grand final. The Finnish side have retained only two players from that team, signing Sami “⁠xseveN⁠” Laasanen and Jemi “⁠jemi⁠” Mäkinen later in 2020, and Jani “⁠Aerial⁠” Jussila only January 1, 2021.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Funspark announces 2021 tournament series with $630,000 prize pool

Funspark has announced that $630,000 in prize money will be up for grabs in its 2021 ULTI circuit, which will run from March through to December. The event series will have regional tournaments in Europe and Asia leading up to the Grand Final, where $300,000 will be on the line.

There will be two seasons in both regions, with each season starting with two tournaments, called ‘Regional Series’, featuring a GSL group stage and a single-elimination bracket. The teams with the most points over the course of the season will qualify for the next stage, a double-elimination tournament called ‘Playoffs’.

Details are still scarce about the Funspark ULTI Grand Final, which will be held on LAN if everything goes according to plan after the 2020 event was postponed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic. The best-performing team of the circuit in Asia and the top two teams in Europe will qualify for the Grand Final, which will also include three invited sides and the finalists of the FunSpark ULTI 2020 Europe Final, a $250,000 tournament announced on Saturday.

Below you can find all the dates for the Funspark ULTI 2021 circuit:

Europe:

Regional Series 1 – March 29 – April 11
Regional Series 2 – May 10-23

Playoff 1 – June 14-20

Regional Series 3 – September 13-26
Regional Series 4 – November 1-14

Playoff 2 – November 29 – December 5

Asia:

Regional Series 1 – March 29 – April 11
Regional Series 2 – May 24 – June 6

Playoff 1 – June 21-27

Regional Series 3 – September 27 – October 10
Regional Series 4 – November 15-28

Playoff 2 – December 6-12

Grand Final – December (Dates TBD)

Funspark has also revealed some of the teams that will be taking part in the first Regional Series in both regions. In Europe, all the slots have been filled through invites, but, according to Funspark, there will be open qualifiers for the following tournaments in this region.

Europe

Asia

The $630,000 prize pool will be split between the three stages as follows:

Funspark ULTI Regional Series – $180,000 ($30,000 per tournament in Europe, $15,000 in Asia)
Funspark ULTI Playoff – $150,000 (Distribution TBD)
Funspark ULTI Grand Final – $300,000

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

cs_summit set to return with $200,000 prize pool

Beyond the Summit announced on Saturday the first details about the seventh edition of cs_summit. The tournament will be held between January 25 and 31 and will have $200,000 on offer.

It’s still unclear which teams will be competing in cs_summit 7, but HLTV.org knows that the tournament will be based in Europe. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it will not feature teams from North America, however, with FURIA, Liquid and Evil Geniuses all set to travel to Europe soon for the BLAST Premier Global Finals, which will kick off on January 19.

Beyond the Summit hosted its first five Counter-Strike tournaments at its studio in Los Angeles, drawing fans’ attention with a casual atmosphere. Last year, the company was behind the second Regional Major Ranking (RMR) tournaments in Europe and North America with a combined prize pool of $200,000.

BIG won the European tournament after beating Vitality in the final, while Evil Geniuses won the North American competition, taking down Gen.G in the title decider.

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