ESEA has announced a massive update to their league system, with the division formerly known as MDL and now known as Premier doing away with training seasons, implementing a simplified path to EPL that now provides two spots in the league per season, four seasons per year with increased prizepools, and a change to the division's format that will feature two best-of-three round robin group stages for the regular season.
Additionally, via their performances in Premier teams will earn invites to the closed qualifier for DreamHack Open events, giving teams more opportunities to earns spots in LAN events while also increasing the incentives to take the league seriously.
The increase in prizepool sees $100,000 split between North America and Europe with ESEA planning on spreading the prizepool between the top eight teams in each division. This change addresses a significant criticism of Premier as teams previously could make playoffs but earn nothing after an entire season if they did not make top four in the division.
With this announcement, ESEA have also ceased offering prizepools for Rank S play with the money being moved to the Cash Cups as part of ESEA's focus on team competition. With this, NA teams will now have the opportunity to compete in twice monthly $15,000 events. To prevent one team from dominating the Cash Cups ESEA have also introduced a new rule stopping teams from participating in the next event if they already won the two preceding events.
In the announcement ESEA also laid out plans to increase the broadcast quality with a more structured schedule and a virtual studio and the end of their title sponsorship deal with MDL. Additionally, in an announcement yesterday ESEA have set up a way to apply for an invitation to Advanced based on their spot in an "industry-standard world rankings", seemingly replacing the Advanced qualifiers seen in previous seasons.