ESL Banned MIBR From Playing in North America: Can South American Teams Play in NA?

ESL Banned MIBR From Playing in North America: Can South American Teams Play in NA?

How will the South and North American teams be divided?

ESL banned the MIBR team from participating in the American ESL Challenger due to the organization's region.

Yesterday, MIBR became the champions of ESL Challenger League North America season 43, beating Evil Geniuses Black in the final. However, this victory was followed by an unexpected statement from ESL.

ESL Senior Vice President of Gaming Ecosystems Ulrich thefyingdj Schulze stated that MIBR would no longer participate in ESL Challenger North America because the organization's parent region is South America.

Our definition of regions depends on the organization's residence, and MIBR's residence is in South America. <...> Therefore, they will not be allowed to play ECL NA in the future.
Ulrich theflyingdj Schulze

What Led to This Decision?

Yesterday, ESL published the list of participating teams for IEM Katowice 2023, and it caused dissatisfaction among some fans. The list of teams registered for the Play-In includes MIBR, and most importantly, the team entered the tournament due to the South American rating.

This fact caused indignation. MIBR has been competing in North American tournaments for several years, and slots for Major events are obtained through a simpler region, closing the way for clubs such as 00NATION, Fluxo, and 9z.

Fluxo stays overboard
Fluxo stays overboard

ESL responded to this resentment by banning MIBR from participating in North American ecosystem tournaments next year. The solution looks logical and correct but has a couple of nuances.


Did ESL Make the Right Decision?

ESL believes that MIBR belongs precisely to the region of South America. But is it so? Yes, MIBR has 5 Brazilian players, but the organization's headquarters is in Mexico, so the team played in North America.

How to determine the MIBR region?
How to determine the MIBR region?

The most controversial thing about this decision is that ESL independently chose the region for the team. At the same time, there were no announcements about other South American teams participating in NA tournaments. From the last ESL Challenger NA, TeamOne and LOS + oNe also fit the definition of a South American team from ESL, but the tournament operator did not say anything about them.

This confusion spoils the ecosystem even more, and without ESL's statement, it would be clear that all American tournaments are open to North and South American teams. However, now it is necessary to solve the issue of regions.

What Does ESL Need to Do?

ESL has two options: unite South and North America or make a clear division between the two regions. In the first option, we will get one sufficiently strong region in which there will be clarity, but it will be difficult for South American teams like 00NATION, Fluxo, and 9z to break into Major events.

In the second option, ESL should give a choice to the organizations, and they should decide in which region they will perform and not change it even during the season. In this case, we will receive an influx of young blood at Major events.

ESL cannot be idle, and the tournament operator must choose one option. Otherwise, the confusion will continue, and MIBR will feel aggrieved. After all, it became the only club banned from participating in tournaments with good prizes and forcibly sent to a less wealthy region.