The idea of having the Champion of Champions series was first introduced in 2021. Elisa Esports had expressed their interest in partnering with Relog Media, Funspark and GRID to provide a ray of hope for amateur teams, by giving them opportunities to participate in several tournaments over a set period with a prize money to the tune of USD 2.7 million. Teams relevant to the European scene, across both tier 1 and tier 2, were really interested.
There are some top tier teams that aren’t affiliated with Flashpoint or ESL Pro League, and this Champions of Champions Tour would help them carve an identity through a methodical brand-building exercise, with opportunities and performances leading to rewards they were denied earlier being the central idea. Teams that showed spark here and built a platform that didn’t exist before stood to gain financially as well, thereby paving way for a more rewarding future. That’s why there was always the promise of a substantial prize pool, at par with other tournament organizers like BLAST and ESL, provided competition was intense.
But after some time, for some reason, Elisa seems to have backed out of the deal, leading to a state of flux for several teams that wished to compete. After a year, filled with several backroom dialogues and meetings, GRID, along with their founding partners FACEIT, Eden Sports, Relog Media, Fantasyexpo and Black Molly Entertainment, are back with a joint new tournament that has been christened the “Champion of Champions Tour (CCT)”. This will run from August 2022 to January 2024 and will offer a whopping prize pool of USD 3.4 million.
Now that we talked about how this Champions of Champions series came to life, let’s talk about the specifics and what kind of qualifiers we’ll be seeing for this tour.
A series of qualifiers will be held shortly to determine the initial batch of teams. South American qualifiers are slated for 30-31 July, the Central European qualifiers will take place on August 6 to 7. Sign-ups for the North American qualifiers (17 to 18 August), Southern Europe (September 17 to 18) and Northern Europe (September 25 to 26) are yet to open. The dates for the remaining two regions in Europe (East and West) will be announced in due course.
Only four successful teams will proceed from each regional qualifier to the play-in portion of the online series, where they will join 12 invited teams to feature in a single elimination playoff that serves to identify qualification for the main online stage. The play-in teams will then join some more invited teams to the main online stage, with the same format used to determine the winners of the online series.
Apart from earning cash prizes, teams will stand to earn tour points that will play a significant role in giving them a regional and global rankings. This will also help teams qualify for the studio and arena portions of the tour. In any case, the winner of the main online stage will earn a direct entry to the Studio Finals.
Yes, we all know that online tournaments are not the same deal as the offline ones, but with a prize pool this huge, we can expect the very best teams in the world to put up a good performance. And once the offline portions of the tournament arrive, this tournament is for sure going to match up the hype they’ve been building up throughout the past year.