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2020-2021 Gears Esports Program Announce

 Summary

  • The 2020-2021 Gears Esports Season will be entirely online.
  • The minimum age to participate in all competitions, including Pro League, is 13 (with parental consent).
  • North America and Latin America will be combined into one region.
  • The Pro League will consist of 12 teams. The top 4 NA and top 2 LATAM Pro League teams based on Summer Quarter results will automatically qualify while the remaining 6 spots will be determined through Qualification play.
  • Each Pro League team will be allowed to enlist a Challenger player as a substitute for their roster.
  • Pro League results will be used to seed events. In the second Split we will also introduce “Mid Split Playoffs”.
  • Each event, Mid Split Playoffs and Majors, will provide new teams an opportunity to earn a spot in the Pro League.
  • A Pro League LCQ will be introduced at the start of each Split to provide teams with a final opportunity to earn a spot in the Pro League Qualifier tournament.
  • The first Pro League Qualifier tournament will be Sunday, September 13th.

Context

Following expert guidance from local and international health authorities, the 2020-2021 Gears Esports Season will be operated entirely online. We’re excited to announce that the exclusion of live events allows us to open the program to all players over the age of 13 for all competitions, including the Pro League (Note: Players aged 13-17 will still be required to have parental consent to compete). We are also excited to announce the combination of the North American and Latin American regions into a single region for both Pro League and Challenger competitions, meaning NA and LATAM players are free to team together without having to live in the same region.

Graphic showing the teams that automatically qualified for the 2020-2021 Gears Esports Pro League (Rise, UYU, Hive, Noble), and where the final spots will come from (3 from Challenger Points and 3 from a Pro League Qualifier)

The new, combined Pro League will consist of 12 teams. In recognition of their performance last quarter, the top half of both NA and LATAM Pro Leagues (based on Summer Quarter results) will automatically qualify for the Season 2 Pro League as long as they retain 3 of 5 players. Presuming they meet this requirement, the pre-qualified teams will be: UYU, Rise, Hive, Noble, Pittsburgh Knights, and Fire N Ice. The remaining 6 spots will be determined through Pro League Qualification play kicking off September 13th.

Pro League Qualification will consist of 4 Online Tournaments and a 32-team double elimination playoff tournament, with both phases directly qualifying 3 teams. Like last season’s Weekly Challenger Tournaments, the Pro League Qualification Tournaments will take place each Sunday starting September 13th, with the Qualifier Playoff Tournament taking place October 10th and 11th. Once the starting Pro League teams have been determined, each team will have the opportunity to add one Challenger player as a substitute to their roster. As the Pro League will no longer take place on Sunday, Pro League substitutes will be able to continue competing in the Weekly Challenger Tournaments on Sundays while still filling in for their respective Pro League rosters when necessary. Please check out the handbook for additional information concerning Pro League subs.

The first Split will begin on Tuesday October 20th and continue through to our first Major event in early December. Each week will feature a Weekly Challenger Tournament, with the finals taking place on-broadcast Monday night; please note that ladders will be removed from official program competition. As mentioned above, Pro League will no longer take place on Sunday (or Monday), and instead take place over Tuesday and Wednesday; Emergence Days will move to Thursday. Each Split will be capped off with a Major event, and followed by another Pro League Qualifier in which the bottom 2 Pro League teams compete against the top 7 teams based on Challenger points and the winner of a Pro League Qualifier LCQ: a single elimination tournament the day prior to the Pro League Qualifier.

Rather than compete directly for prizing, Pro League play will be used to determine event seeding and Pro League relegation, making all prizing based on event performance. To give teams more to play for throughout the season, the second Split will see the introduction of a “Mid-Split Playoff”, which will feature two separate competitions: a double elimination tournament between the top 10 teams in the Pro League for cash, and; another double-elimination tournament between the bottom 2 Pro League and top 8 Challenger teams for Pro League placement, with the top Winners Bracket and Losers Bracket teams locking in a spot for the second half of the Split. Following both events (the Mid-Split Playoffs and Majors) Pro League and Challenger Point standings will be reset (though the standings will be used for initial OLT seeding), allowing new teams to form and make their way to the top of the standings.

Keep an eye on the @EsportsGears Twitter and gears.gg for more news on the upcoming season, including the official handbook, broadcast schedules, Watch-n-Win programs and more opportunities to compete, and thank you for your continued support.

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