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ArenaNet and ESL to Launch US$400,000 ESL Guild Wars® 2 Pro League

Guild Wars 2 to pay out its largest ever cash prize over two ESL Pro League seasons

ESL, the world’s largest esports company, have partnered with ArenaNet™, the publishers and developers of the acclaimed Guild Wars franchise, to bring to life the ESL Guild Wars 2 Pro League, a US$400,000 all-new tournament series. The prize pool, which will be paid out over the course of two seasons, is the largest ever prize purse for Guild Wars 2 competitive play and one of the biggest cash prizes in ESL Pro League history.

ESL Guild Wars 2 Pro League competition will open up to incorporate the widest possible field of players from both Europe and North America: together with ArenaNet, ESL will lower age and region restrictions to free up eligibility for a wide range of aspiring professionals. Open qualifiers for the league begin November 14th, with season one to kick off later in November and run through until early 2016, when a Season Finals LAN event in ESL Studios will conclude the competition.

“ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2 recently enjoyed record numbers for players participating in PvP competition, and we are confident that the ESL Guild Wars 2 Pro League will help further foster this growth,” said Sebastian Weishaar, Senior VP of International Business at ESL. “At ESL, we’re very excited for what lies in store for the ever-evolving game and look forward to enjoying its high-level competition both online and in our Burbank and Cologne studios.”

“We’re seeing massive growth in players joining Guild Wars 2 and competitive play is the fastest growing segment in the game,” said Colin Johanson, Game Director at ArenaNet. “Working with ESL to develop this tournament is a natural next step for us, inviting more players from this growing community to come take their shot at being elite.  Guild Wars 2 Pro League is the result of our vision to create a tournament system where the majority of our player community can participate and are given a clear path to improve their skills, form teams and qualify, giving them a real shot at fame, glory, and big cash prizes.”

The ESL Guild Wars 2 Pro League is set to incorporate the new in-game “PvP Leagues”, intended to help beginning and up-and-coming players progress their skills, set goals and earn in-game rewards as they fight their way into higher ranked divisions. The PvP Leagues, which introduced leaderboards for guild teams as part of a Guild Challenger League, will become a feeder system for the new ESL Pro League. At the end of each season, the bottom ranking teams will have to face off against the top teams from the Guild Challenger League, in a competition called the “Challenger Cup”, to defend their position in the ESL Guild Wars 2 Pro League. The top teams per region from the Challenger Cup will then be promoted into the next season of Pro League.

At the end of two seasons, ArenaNet will host a World Championship event.  Timing, prizing and location for the championship event will be announced during ESL Guild Wars 2 Pro League seasons.

For details regarding the ESL Guild Wars 2 Pro League, including official rules, information on eligibility, and tournament structure, please visit the official ESL Guild Wars 2 Pro League website. To download Guild Wars 2 and play for free, and for more information on the core game and its upcoming expansion, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, please visit www.guildwars2.com.

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