Mountain Dew launches CS:GO league, allows amateur teams to qualify for ESL Pro League

The Mountain Dew Pro League will give amateur teams a chance to qualify for the ESL Pro League, which features the highest-form of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competition. Provided by ELEAGUE/Turner Sports

Mountain Dew is making its second foray into esports today as it announces a new partnership with ESL and the Entertainment E-Sports Association (ESEA) to produce a new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive league called the Mountain Dew Pro League. The league will give amateur teams a chance to qualify for the highest level of competition in CS:GO, the ESL Pro League.

The league splits up teams from around the world into regional leagues, which will culminate into a final LAN event in December called the Mountain Dew Global Challenge. The North American and European team that places highest in the Mountain Dew Challenge will be invited to join the ESL Pro League.

"[The Mountain Dew League] provides a unique opportunity for aspiring professional gamers to realize their dreams on a global stage," said ESL America CEO Craig Levine in a news release Wednesday. "With the popularity of esports exploding, we're excited to partner with Mountain Dew and find the next generation of Counter-Strike superstars."

The qualifiers will begin in August, with the last-chance qualifiers on Aug. 27-28.

Competitors from the regular season in North America and Europe will be a mix of teams in the ESEA Premier Division and several teams who will move up from other ESEA amateur divisions: Main, Open, and Intermediate. No teams have been confirmed, since the ESEA Premier Division is still ongoing in both North America and Europe.

This will be Mountain Dew's second venture into the esports industry (its first was as a title sponsor at the Championship Gaming Series in 2006), which is set to reach more than 1 billion people in 2016, according to a report by analytics and insight research company Newzoo.