The Electronic Sports League yesterday began talking about plans for their gargantuan Pro League this year, as well as their intent to expand the broadcast reach of their tournaments. As part and parcel of that, they announced the teams invited into the European and North American segments of the competition.
There was one spot left in the North American contingent, one spot left that could have been given to Australians. And that spot is now ours.
The co-owner of North American organisation announced this morning in a statement to HLTV.org that Renegades' Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team, which is made up of five Australians, would be occupying the final spot in the upcoming season of the ESL Pro League.
"Our players have travelled a great distance from their homes in Australia and committed to relocating to North America in order to regularly play in a higher level of competition," Renegades' Christopher Mykles said.
The move immediately catapults Renegades into a position to earn a slice of US$750,000 if they only compete in the Pro League's first season. It's a greater prize pool than what's available to any other Australian team right now, although the teams competing in the local leg of the Call of Duty World League could stand to earn even more if they win the Australian division while also finishing highly at the global finals. Opportunities are also available to teams in the Oceanic Pro League for League of Legends, although the route there is far more difficult (having to qualify through the wildcard tournament before qualifying for the LCS finals).
That's not including Australian teams and players that will compete in Capcom's Pro Tour for various fighting games, those duking it out in Hi-Rez's third-person MOBA SMITE, the intense competition in StarCraft 2, the legions of players tuning their decks in Hearthstone, Wargaming's ongoing efforts with their World of Tanks and World of Warships leagues, Epic's intentions for Unreal Tournament's competitive scene, the steady scene of players behind the FIFA series and the healthy turnout Nintendo continues to get for Pokemon, Mario Kart and other games (please let Pokemon GO! be a viable tournament game).
It's not the only earnings available to the Australian members of Renegades though: they're due to compete in Taiwan later this month as part of the Intel Extreme Masters Taipei tournament, and they're also booked in to compete in the ELEAGUE televised tournament being run by Turner Broadcasting and WME | IMG.