ESL UK posted a video on Twitter this Thursday to announce the return of the ESL Rainbow Six Premiership for the winter season, which is set to kick off in October 2019 in Manchester, Great Britain.
The competition returns to the north of England for the second time this year, as Manchester also hosted the finals of the spring season back in March.
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The winter season is set to begin on October 16 with the group stage fixtures, which will utilise the same best-of-one (Bo1) round-robin format as the summer season.
Once all group games are concluded, the top two teams advance to the finals, teams placed third to sixth enter playoffs, and the bottom two teams head to relegations in a bid to qualify for next season.
In the playoffs, third plays sixth and fourth plays fifth in a best-of-three (Bo3) series where the two winners advance to the semi-finals and the two losers drop out.
The final four compete in a single-elimination Bo3 format, which is also used for the grand finals between the two top teams.
Ahead of ESL Rainbow Six Premiership Winter, organisers revealed the spring and summer runners-up, Team Secret, had decided to move on from the Premiership in an effort to compete internationally.
This leaves two-times champions Natus Vincere (formerly known as MnM) as the top dogs of the tournament and the favourites to claim the largest slice of a £20,000 prize pool.
Joining NaVi in their quest for the title will be Fierce Esports, ESSENCE, “Soon to be named” and “Looking for org”, with the final three teams to be decided via open qualifiers on Tuesday, September 24 and Saturday, September 28.
In a post made on the official website, ESL also revealed the qualification process for the spring 2020 season.
The promotion series, which will be held over four weeks, are set to start on Wednesday, November 6 and will act as direct qualifiers for the ESL Premiership.
Teams will compete in weekly cup tournaments, with points awarded to them based on their finishing position. Teams who end the qualification process ranked among the top four will be invited to the relegations, set to kick off on December 7, 2019.
From there, the top two teams in the relegations will join the top six teams from the 2019 winter season in the 2020 spring season.