FACEIT and Twitch have partnered up to host a new global league called the Esports Championship Series (ECS), which will pay out $3.5 million over the course of two seasons.
Kicking off on April 9, the Esports Championship Series will have a European and a North American division, both featuring ten teams, eight invited and two qualified.
The most interesting aspect about the ECS is that it offers co-ownership to the competing teams, who will get seats on the board as well as a share of the tournament’s revenue. The top teams from these two divisions will duke it out at an offline event, the details of which are as-yet unannounced. The league will put a total of $3.5 million on the line – a figure that includes financial team support and will be spread out over two seasons.
“Players and teams are the heart of the esports community and deserve the opportunity to reap the rewards of their hard work and dedication to grow esports into a mainstream phenomenon,” said FACEIT co-founder Michele Attisani.
“We make the community our first priority and as such, we’re excited to support the first esports league that positions teams as co-owners.”
The announcement of the Esports Championship Series comes six months after the end of the third iteration of the FACEIT League, which came to a close at DreamHack Winter. fnatic were crowned champions at the event in Jönköping after beating Luminosity 2-1 in the grand final.
At the start of the year, FACEIT co-hosted the ELEAGUE Road to Vegas, an event that served as a prelude to the $1.2 milion-a-season league that will be organised by Turner and WME | IMG.
The qualifiers for the Esports Championship Series will run from April 6-8 in Europe and North America. In both regions, four invited sides will square off in a best-of-two round robin group stage for two spots in the best-of-five semi-finals, in which they will take on two seeded sides. The winners of these matches will secure berths in ECS.