A new tournament has been announced that will see CSGO academy teams go head-to-head, including the likes of Fnatic Rising and Young Ninjas.
The WePlay Esports media holding company and top CSGO organisations have announced the WePlay Academy League, which hopes to ‘shape the standards for the CSGO industry in fostering new talents’, giving players solid competitive experience. It will have a $100,000 prize pool for Season 1.
London-based Fnatic already have a Fnatic Rising League of Legends academy team, which takes part in the UK/Nordics NLC, and now a CSGO academy team will also adopt the Rising name.
The WePlay Academy League Season 1 will begin with an online round-robin group stage from July 19th to August 1st, where the teams will meet each other twice (possible tie-breakers could take place on August 3rd).
The three strongest teams will advance to the double-elimination playoffs that will take place at the WePlay Esports Arena Kyiv. The team that takes eighth place will be eliminated. The remaining four will enter the Gauntlet stage (August 7th to 8th) to fight for the remaining slot in the playoffs (August 27th to 29th).
To participate in the tournament, the players and teams must fit a list of requirements. Each team will consist of at least four players aged between 16 and 20.
The participating teams are as follows:
- NAVI Junior
- Young Ninjas
- mouz NXT
- BIG. OMEN Academy
- Astralis Talent
- Fnatic Rising
- FURIA Academy
“The WePlay Academy League is a perfect breeding ground for daring CSGO talent who are willing to challenge the status quo,” said Eugene Shepelev, lead esports manager at WePlay Esports.
“With the new regular event circuit, the up-and-comers will be able to hone their skill and potentially get picked for the main roster. Many future CSGO world champions will look back at the WePlay Academy League as the first event in which they got real on-stage experience.”
Kasper Hvidt, director of sports at Astralis, added: “The WePlay Academy League will give us the opportunity to not only match our talent players with those of the other big esports organisations, but also to share thoughts and ideas between some of the most experienced academy teams.
“Since day one, everything we have worked with in Astralis has been about developing our players and teams while also pushing some of the borders in esports. This move is yet another step on a new path which we hope and believe will benefit not only the players, teams, and participating organizations but also the talent scene in general.”
The news comes after WePlay announced Eugene Luchianenco has returned to WePlay Esports media holding company as head of esports, with Vitaliy Bozhko no longer the lead esports manager.
Fans will be able to watch the official English-language broadcast on the WePlay Twitch channel, and WePlay Smart TV App.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, 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.