ESL has unveiled today the four teams that received direct invites for ESL Challenger February, the first of a series of $100,000 CS:GO events that were previously named DreamHack Open.
Two of the invites were handed to Virtus Pro and FURIA, who are the seventh and 10th best CS:GO teams in the world, respectively, according to HLTV’s world rankings. The other invites were given to Movistar Riders and Dignitas. The event is completed by Complexity, HEET, 9z, and ORDER, who earned a spot via their respective region’s qualifiers.
ESL Challenger February was originally planned to take place in person at the DreamHack Anaheim festival, but the tournament organizer switched it to online play in Europe due to the rise of COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant.
The $100,000 event will split the eight teams into two double-elimination format groups. The opening and winners matches will be played as best-of-one games, while the elimination and decider matches will be best-of-three series. The top two teams from each group will move on to the single-elimination playoff bracket, where all matches will be best-of-three series too.
ESL Challenger February will run from Feb. 11 to 13 and the winner will earn half of the prize pool ($50,000) as well as a direct invitation to ESL Pro League Conference season 16 in June. This will be the first of the Challenger events, which is a way for tier-two teams to gain points in the ESL Pro Tour circuit and secure invites for bigger tournaments where the best CS:GO squads in the world play.