It’s nearly 12 years ago, in December 2002, that the first finals of the ESL Pro Series took place in Cologne, Germany. The total prize purse was an impressive €80,000, and the games played were Counter-Strike 1.6, Warcraft 3, Jedi Knight 2 and NASCAR 2002. Played out on CRT monitors in back rooms instead of on stadium stages, it was the start of something that few would have predicted back then.
Get thrown back to the olden days with this Season 1 highlight video below, which, despite being in German, should be enough of a blast from the past to be entertaining for everyone.
12 years later, the ESL Pro series is still going strong, with a total of 28 seasons played, €2,620,000 in prize money awarded and 133 German champions crowned for a wide variety of games. This makes the ESL Pro Series Germany one of the longest running eSports tournaments in the world!
For those not acquainted with the ESL Pro Series, it's a national championship series now held across a wide variety of countries including Germany, France, North America, Poland, the United Kingdom, Russia and Spain. Be sure to click your country's links in the network bar above to find out more about your local ESL Pro Series and how you can take part!
In order to celebrate the tournament's epic birthday, we've launched our ESL Pro Series legacy page, which honors all the German champions we've had over the years, many of whom also went on to be known on the international scene. The most dominant of these were without doubt Dennis “HasuObs” Schneider and Daniel “miou” Holthuis, who both have six titles apiece to their names. Most succesful team is by far mousesports, with 17 combined titles spread over League of Legends and Counter-Strike 1.6, Source and Global Offensive.
For pictures and videos of all the past seasons and a full overview of what players and teams managed to claim ESL Pro Series titles throughout the years, go here: http://www.eslproseries.de/rueckblick/
If you think you can be the next HasuObs or miou, make sure to get involved in your country's local ESL Pro Series by clicking on the relevant link in the network bar!