ESEA have announced a large number of changes to their platform in their 2020 update, with the primary focus being on the introduction of two monthly $4,000 team cups that ESEA hopes will promote teamplay on their platform. Additionally, they have reformed the qualification and ranking system for Rank S and have discontinued weekly pots in Rank G.
The introduction of team cups has been a highly requested feature, especially in North America, where it has been argued that the economics of the region encouraged players to focus on Rank S and FPL rather than commit to a team.
ESEA's new system hopes to encourage team-based competition in both North America and Europe by having $4,000 up for grabs by teams two times a month. These cups can be entered by any players who are subscribed to ESEA Premium or Insider and will be played over the course of a weekend. In these single-elimination best-of-one brackets, teams will face off until the final round after which it be a best-of-three with the winner taking home $3,000 and the runner-up claiming $1,000.
The first cash cup is scheduled for August 15th, with teams able to sign up here. ESEA have also opened the GOTV for these cups, allowing aspiring casters to cover the events.
As for the changes to ESEA's PUG system, each rank will now have a set MMR, allowing players to climb from Rank D+ to Rank S through their performance rather than via qualifiers or being invited to Rank S/G. As a result of these changes, and the reallocation of prize money to the cash cups, ESEA have discontinued payouts for Rank G and have switched Rank S to a weekly payout system, reverting the 24-hour winner-take-all system introduced in 2019 following complaints from players.
Additionally, ESEA has introduced a decay system and a penalty for queueing with large groups in an attempt to promote solo queueing and more activity in the upper divisions.
Overall, these changes are a massive departure from ESEA's original Rank S system launched in 2015 and will hopefully encourage more teamplay in North America while still allowing individual talents to shine in PUGs.