ESEA have informed Dust2.us that the start of the league season for MDL in both Europe and North America will be pushed back, with matches in both regions likely to "start before February."
In a message distributed to MDL players in both regions and obtained by Dust2.us, ESEA went on to say that they are holding off on playing any matches while they await ESL's confirmation of move ups and move downs from the previous season. The message also encouraged players to avoid scheduling matches in the immediate future, and pointed towards booking dates in February if teams were looking to plan out their schedule well in advance.
The message also clarified that matches "will almost definitely start before February", but gave the dates as a guideline to avoid any early scheduling issues. As for the resolution of ESL Pro League move ups and downs, the organizer said that they had not been given a date as to when a team list would be finalized, but that "[ESL] should have everything announced within a week or so."
The delay in the start of the league follows a report earlier today from Jarek "DeKay" Lewis, citing that ESL has requested to meet teams that are participating in ESL Pro League as they look to sign them to new agreements. A handful of teams, such as MIBR and Cloud9, were reported by DeKay to be departing ESL's league in order to create a new league founded by a handful of North American organizations, tentatively under the title of B Site. The reported departure of the two teams would leave empty slots in ESL Pro League, with possibly more slots opening up if other teams choose not to re-sign.
Matches in the remaining ESEA leagues, ranging from Open to Advanced, are set to get underway as of January 13th. Additionally, teams looking to make use of the lack of league matches can signup for the upcoming DreamHack Open Anaheim qualifier on January 17th.