FACEIT, Twitch announce competing CS:GO teams for ECS

The Luminosity Gaming team including Epitacio "TACO" Pessoa, left, celebrates after beating Natus Vincere 16-2 on the second map for the championship of the MLG Counter-Strike Columbus Major. Kyle Grillot for ESPN

On Saturday, Twitch and FACEIT released a majority of the 20 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams that will compete for their shot at $3.5 million in the Esports Championship Series (ECS). Two spots are currently up for grabs and will be decided later Saturday.

The European leg will feature some of Counter-Strike's best competitors and the biggest names in the industry. Premier teams Astralis, EnVyUs, FaZe Clan, Fnatic, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Dignitas and Virtus Pro were invited into the league. Meanwhile, German-based squad mousesports qualified Friday, with the final spot going to the winner of Saturday's match between Gambit Gaming and G2 Esports.

In North America, the league will showcase a slightly lower tier of competition, with slightly bigger organizations competing. The most notable is likely recent Major League Gaming Columbus major winner Luminosity Gaming and third/fourth place Team Liquid, but the league also invited Cloud9, compLexity, Counter Logic Gaming, NRG eSports, OpTic Gaming, and Team SoloMid. New squad Echo Fox took the ninth spot in the league Friday after defeating Splyce, while the winner of Selfless and ex-Obey Alliance will take the final spot Saturday evening.

Since the announcement, some of the Counter-Strike community has been outraged by the lack of Brazilian squad Tempo Storm being included in the North American part of the league. That team has had impressive performances throughout this year, which brings to question why it wasn't invited to the league or even the qualifier. Luminosity Gaming's captain, Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo, expressed his disappointment via Twitter.

While no talent lineup has been announced for the league, the qualifier has featured familiar faces on the desk. Former Gfinity and ESL host Paul "ReDeYe" Chaloner and freelance analyst and writer Duncan "Thorin" Shields have been guests on the broadcast. Additionally, it has featured FACEIT staff James "JZFB" Bardolph and Daniel "DDK" Kapadia as casters and analysts on the desk.

The news of the series comes while other companies compete to build the best Counter-Strike league in the world. Last year, the Electronic Sports League (ESL) teamed up with the E-Sports Entertainment Association League (ESEA) to bring the ESL ESEA Pro League, which is now known just as the ESL Pro League. That event features the best teams -- including most of those in the ECS -- in both North America and Europe each week in a league two times a year.

In May, television network Turner Broadcasting Group and sports management agency WME|IMG will team up to bring the first televised CS:GO league ELEAGUE, hosted in Atlanta each week. That league, however, has only European squads Astralis, Ninjas in Pyjamas, mousesports and EnVyUs confirmed to participate.