The 2019 edition of the Russian event will see the total prize pool increased back to the amount that had been on offer in 2016 and 2017, after 2018’s event, won by FaZe, had $300,000 up for grabs.
There will once again be eight teams in attendance, five of which will be directly invited, while the remaining three will come from qualifiers in Europe, the CIS region, and China. The first four invites have already been announced, as 2018’s runners-up Natus Vincere and semi-finalists AVANGAR return alongside newcomers in Vitality and Evil Geniuses.
In Europe, the two-stage qualifying process will be held on October 28-31, while the CIS open and closed qualifiers will take place on November 21-24. The organizers have yet to announce details of the Chinese qualifier.
The group stage of the event will run on December 17-19 before the competition moves on to the Crocus Expo for the playoffs on December 21-22. The format of either stage is currently unknown; in last year’s edition, the GSL group stage saw the top team in each group advance directly to the semi-finals, with the second and third-placed teams making it to the quarter-finals.
The participants’ list for the eight-team event currently looks as follows:
Fans wishing to attend the playoffs live can purchase tickets starting at 900 RUB (~$14) on EPICENTER’s website.