Counter-Strike is returning to the city that never sleeps.

The Electronic Sports League announced yesterday that ESL one will return to the Barclays Center for the fourth time, pitting the best CS:GO players in the world against each other from September 26-29 for $200,000 in prizes on offer.

After the announcement of the ESL One: Cologne 2019, which is set to take place in the “Cathedral of Counter-Strike” from July 2nd until July 7th, ESL confirmed the much-anticipated return to New York.

ESL One New York 2019 will be the second ESL One event of 2019, and will take place barely two months after Intel Extreme Masters XIV – Chicago, which is going to take place from July 18-21.

The tournament will feature 8 teams, 6 of which will be invited, with the remaining two earning their spot via qualifiers. One qualified team will come from European qualifiers, while the other will have to fight their way through the North American qualifiers. Both European qualifiers and North American qualifiers will be played on June 27th-29th.

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The qualification slots will be up for grabs in closed qualifiers, where we will get to see 4 invited sides and 4 qualified teams. Qualifications will be played in double-elimination brackets, with all matches played in Bo3 format, with the exception of Grand Finals, which will be played in Bo5 format. The same format will be used for both European as well as North American qualifiers.

Once the qualifiers end and we get the 8 teams that will participate in the ESL One: New York 2019, the teams will be put in two groups of 4 teams. The group stage will be seeded based on the ESL CS: GO World Rankings.

See the full ESL world rankings here

The format for the group stage will be double-elimination format with teams playing Bo3 matches. Once the group stage ends, only the top two teams will get to advance into the playoffs.

Playoffs, unlike the group stage, will be single-elimination bracket with Bo3 format. The 1st team from group A will get paired with the 2nd placed team from group B, while the 1st team from group B will get to face off against the 2nd placed team from group A.

While the prize distribution is yet to be announced, the prize pool is set to be at $200,000, which bear in mind is less than the last 3 instalments of ESL One: New York, when the prize pool was $250,000.

This while still being a huge amount of money seems a bit low for an event of such magnitude. All tier one events, such as ESL One tend to have at least $250,000 in the prize pool. Nonetheless, this is one of the most prestigious events, which will have no problem attracting big teams, especially as it does count towards the Grand Slam which offers $1 million in prize money to the winner.

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