Nick J. February 20, 2020
Esports tournament organizer ESL has officially released its talent lineup for ESL Pro League Season 11, featuring some of the most well-known casters and analysts. ESL's strong lineup is a little on the shallow side, which could be attributed to rival league Flashpoint's signing of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's other premier broadcasters.
Some of ESL's announce talent, like popular host and interviewer Frankie Ward, are only scheduled for the group stage portion of the tournament. On the other side, former professional player David "DAVEY" Stafford will take a third desk role alongside spunj for the finals in Denver but won't be present during the season..
Here is the talent list for ESL's Pro League Season 12:
- Tres "stunna" Saranthus, Desk Host
- Chad "spunj" Burchill, Analyst
- Henry "HenryG" Greer, Commentator
- Alex "machine" Richardson, Commentator
- David "DAVEY" Stafford,
- Harry JustHarry Russel
- Hugo "Hugo" Byron
- Frankie Ward
- James Banks
As the cold war between a reactive Flashpoint and ESL continues, this is just another way for the two competing leagues to court outside attention from non-endemic brands and new fans. It may be that only one of the two leagues will ultimately survive.
ESL and Flashpoint fight over teams, talent, observers, and the future of CSGO
It's not just a desk and commentary talent that are at stake, either. There are a very small number of professional observers available to cover the matches that might overlap between ESL and Flashpoint.
Currently, ESL has a big lead on Flashpoint. While it's a push between the talent attending Flashpoint and ESL Pro League, ESL came out on top in regard to the quality of teams that Pro League will field in 2020.
ESL announced it and 13 Partner teams had signed an agreement that provided for a revenue-sharing model between ESL, the teams, and the players. Flashpoint offers a similar model, but only to teams who spend $2 million on the league's buy-in.
Flashpoint has had its open qualifiers as well, but any teams that make it through aren't eligible for its revenue-sharing program. Here are the thirteen confirmed teams for ESL Pro League Seasons 11 and 12 including partnered and unpartnered teams:
There isn't much time left before both leagues are in full swing, and so far neither tournament organizer has announced who will observe its matches. It is likely that David "prius" Kuntz, Heather "sapphiRe" Garozzo, Alexander "Rushly" Rush, and Connor "Sliggy" Blomfield will be involved in some way given how integral their contributions have been to date.
The ESL Pro League debuts on March 16.