ESL Gaming Announces details of ESL Impact – The CS:GO Women’s Circuit

Cologne/New York/Stockholm ESL Gaming, the world’s leading esports company, has today released additional details for ESL Impact – the $500,000 CS:GO women’s circuit announced as part of our #GGFORALL initiative last December. ESL Impact features two league seasons with live finals, a standalone event, and online cash cups for all-women teams. It is a first important step towards a more diverse CS:GO ecosystem as we are looking to attract more women into the game through a safe environment to compete in.

ESL Impact League Season 1 ($150,000 prize pool)

The league season will feature 24 teams spread equally across three core regions (EU, NA, SA). We will invite two teams directly for the inaugural season, while the other six teams are determined through two open qualifiers. 

Starting on March 17, ESL Impact League will be played and broadcasted every Thursday and Friday for six weeks. The eight teams per region will be split into two groups of four and play out a round-robin best-of-three format with each team facing each other twice to create more frequent play days and matches for the all-women teams to compete in. 

The winner of group A will then face off against the second-placed team of group B and vice versa for the two slots at the global finals. At the same time, each group’s last-placed teams will play relegation games against the best teams from the open qualifiers. 

The global finals of the first league season will take place at DreamHack Dallas, June 3-5, and welcomes the eight best teams from all participating regions. Six teams will qualify from the ESL Impact League season (top two of Europe, North America & South America each). The other two teams will be wildcards coming in through open qualifiers in South Africa & Asia/Oceania*.

*For ESL Impact Season 1, the wildcard slot will go to Oceania; for Season 2, it will go to Asia

The league’s format will be reviewed together with the women players council following the conclusion of its inaugural season to make adjustments based on their feedback. 

Season 1 Qualifiers

The qualifier for the first season of the ESL Impact League kicks off in less than a month, starting in early March. So start your journey and see if your team has what it takes to make it to DreamHack Dallas and play in the global finals. 


  • Open Qualifier #1: March 8-9 (3 teams qualify for the league season)
  • Open Qualifier #2: March 11-12 (3 teams qualify for the league season)
  • Unlimited single-elimination best-of-one bracket
  • Semi-final and 3rd place matches will be best-of-three
  • Each qualifier determines three teams

Wildcard Qualifiers

  • Open Qualifier ZA: April 23-24 (winner qualifies for Global Finals)
  • Open Qualifier OCE: April 23-24 (winner qualifies for Global Finals)
  • Unlimited single-elimination best-of-one bracket
  • Semi-final and 3rd place matches will be best-of-three

Qualifier signup links can be found at

Aligning the rules of participation for ESL Impact with our previous DreamHack Showdown,  all women can participate (cis and transgender). All details are found in the official rulebook. 

ESL Impact Cash Cups

The Cash Cups happening twice per month are now extended to include more regions. From now on, all Cash Cups happening on ESEA will be rebranded to ESL Impact Cash Cups and include dedicated tournaments for South Africa and Oceania. 

More details coming soon

We are currently working through some more details on the talent development program and hope to release those in early March to run alongside the ESL Impact League.

Further details on ESL Impact Valencia and the players council will follow in the coming weeks. Make sure to give @ESLCS a follow on Twitter for future updates and information!

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About ESL Gaming

ESL Gaming is the world’s leading esports company. For more than two decades, we have been shaping the industry and leading esports and gaming innovation globally across the most popular video games, creating a comprehensive ecosystem with opportunities for players to go from zero to hero, and for fans to witness the best stories esports has to offer. Our portfolio consists of high-profile products such as the ESL Pro Tour, Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL Mobile, DreamHack Festivals, and many more, ranging from grassroots to global elite competitions. ESL Gaming is part of MTG, the leading international digital entertainment group.

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