ESL Challenger North America Betting Tips & Live Streams

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ESL Challenger North America History

ESL Challenger is an international tournament series launched in 2022. Serving as a successor to the DreamHack Open, it features LAN tour stops across the world. 

This series is organized by ESL Gaming, as a subsidiary of ESL FACEIT GROUP. The other brands under the ESL FACEIT GROUP include ESL, FACEIT, DreamHack and DreamHack Sports Games. 

The ESL Challenger Series is a 4 season tournament that functions as a feeder league for the ESL Pro League. 

The ESL Challenger League is the first major step towards professional competition and it attracts the biggest upcoming talents across the world. 

The ESL Challenger Series hosts tournaments across North America, Europe and Asia, South Africa, Oceania, and Latin America throughout the year. The winners of the NA, EU, and APAC editions qualify to the ESL Conference League.

Where to bet on ESL Challenger North America

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ESL Challenger North America Live Streaming & Where to Bet

Most of the popular CS:GO competitive tournaments are streamed online on popular platforms and are available for free. You can use:

  • Betting Sites bet365, Stake and Pinnacle

The ESL Challenger League NA is broadcast exclusively on ESL’s official Twitch handles weekly. You can visit the ESL website to view upcoming matches and their schedule. 

Head to these Twitch handles to watch Challenger series matches:


Highlights are broadcast weekly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays on the same handles listed above. 

ESL Challenger League North America Format

The ESL Challenger League games take place throughout the year, and are split into four seasons - Summer, Spring, Fall and Winter. Each season consists of the following stages:

  • Season Groups
  • Season playoffs
  • Season Final

Here’s an outline of how the ESL Challenger League in North America is structured from the group stages to the finals.

  • Each Season hosts 16 competing teams. Participants are split into two groups consisting of 8 teams each. The group stage follows a Double Elimination format.
  • The opening and winners’ matches follow the best of 1 format. The elimination and decider matches follow a best of 3 format. 
  • The eight who get through the group stage enter the playoffs stage, which follows a single-elimination format. All matches in the playoffs are decided on a best of 3 basis.
  • The winners of the playoffs move onto the semifinal round which follows the same format as the playoffs
  • The winners of the semifinal rounds go head to head in the grand final, competing for an invite to the ESL Pro league. 
  • Winners of the finals move on to the ESL Pro League while the teams that finish in 2nd-10th place get to compete in the next season of the ESL Challenger League without having to go through the qualifying stages. The teams in 11th-14th place drop to the Relegation league

Before teams can make it through to the ESL Challenger League, they must go through a long series of qualifying matches. Teams start out by entering themselves into the Challenger Series cup matches hosted online by ESL. Winners of the cup matches go through to start competing in the ESEA league. 

The ESEA league is made up of four stages:

  • Open
  • Intermediate
  • Main
  • Advanced

Here’s a brief outline of each stage:

  • The winners of the Open and Intermediate Divisions qualify for the Advanced stage, while the remaining teams from 2nd-8th place head to the Main round.
  • The eight teams in the Main stage will play a double elimination bracket, and all eight progress to the Advanced stage according to their seed.
  • The Advanced Division winner qualifies directly to the Challenger League, while teams in 2nd-4th place head to the Relegation League. The remaining teams from 6th-16th place qualify for the next round of the ESEA Advanced.

The Relegation league is a double-elimination gauntlet which determines which teams will advance to the Challenger League. The top five go through, while the ones in 6th-8th place can try again at ESEA Advanced.

ESL Challenger League North America Prize Pools

The ESL Challenger League is a relatively new entrant to the tournament calendar and as such, sees lower prize pools than bigger and more prestigious tournaments. 

The smaller prize pools are also due to the fact that the league is meant to be a feeder league for professional tournaments. 

The overall prize pool at the ESL Challenger tournament in North America is $50,000. The value of the prize pool on offer remains the same across the four-season format.

Since ESL Challenger League NA started in 2022, it has followed a fixed format for prizes for top performers. The bigger incentive for players is to compete for the opportunity to play at ESL Conference tournaments. 

Here’s the prize breakdown for ESL Challenger League North America: 

  • 1st place wins $20,000
  • The runner up gets $11,500
  • 3rd place gets $7,000
  • 4th place gets $4,000
  • 5th and 6th placed teams get $2,500 each
  • 7th and 8th placed teams gets $1,250 each

ESL Challenger League North America Teams & Winners

MIBR, a Brazilian esports team, won the first edition of the ESL Challenger league and qualified for the EPL Conference. They were one of the top teams at the event, seeding in 1st-4th place alongside Endpoint, Eternal Fire, and Outsiders. 

paiN Gaming has attended two seasons of the League, Season 40 where they placed third and 41, which they won. They’re number 21 on the HLTV world rankings as of Season 43, and are among the best teams in the NA circuit of the Challenger series.

The ESL Challenger League sees scores of upcoming teams rising through the ranks and many others who fail to meet the standards of the highest levels of competition. 

The most recent team to see a high level of success at the ESL Challenger League are ATK , who won S43 and placed second in S44. 

Here are a list of names of recent winners of the North America leg of the ESL Challenger League: 

  • Season 42: ATK
  • Season 41: paiN Gaming
  • Season 40: MIBR

Prior to season 40, the league was run under the name of the DreamHack Open and followed a format that is no longer used.