Today ESL announced that they are closing the ESL National Championship program which ultimately means that after eight years ESL Premiership will no longer run in the UK. The announcement comes just one week after ESL Premiership returned to LAN for the first time since 2019 with Raptors EC beating Endpoint to complete their underdog run.
In the original statement made on the ESL site, the tournament organisers stated that “the United Kingdom & Ireland will play a final season in 2023 before stopping in 2024” However this tournament has already been played which makes ESL Premiership Autumn 2023 the last of it’s kind. ESL has claimed that there is room for regional and national competitions in the future, but it will not be their main focus.
ESL UK followed up on the original statement to look back on the last 20 seasons of ESL Premiership and clear up what it means for the region. Most notably they hinted at working with other tournament organisers in the future.
This does not mean the end of UK CS as teams can continue their path to pro via the ESEA leagues and the FACEIT ecosystem, with the focus for teams to reach the ESL Challengers League and beyond […] We are happy to talk to any UK/Ireland tournaments in the region that are willing to take on the ESL Premiership’s footsteps.
The last eight years have been up and down for the UK scene, but the one thing that we could always fall back on was the ESL Premiership. The loss of the UK’s national tournament will sting for a long time, the history and great moments won’t be lost, but it opens an opportunity for other TOs to step up and create the next UK circuit.
All eyes turn to the likes of UKIC and EPIC.LAN. A message from FFACT the UKIC League Manager in the UKCSGO discord reveals that there might be something already being worked on:
Since 2015 the ESL Premiership has been a cornerstone for UK & Irish esports as its longest-standing national championship
Autumn 2023 was the final season for the ESL Premiership.
Quite the journey! Thank you all for playing a huge part in it.
— ESL UK (@ESLUK) September 15, 2023