After the close of Season 14, the ESEA League has officially announced that there will be changes to the Invite division during Season 15. The biggest change is the reduction of teams from 12 to 9. The change will no doubt build up a stronger competition between teams, as each match will have more meaning, but it will also slightly change the structure of the season.
The following is taken from the ESEA Announcement
The following changes will go into effect immediately:
Invite reduced to 9 team division Invite players will be limited to two (2) Invite teams per season
Due to the lower amount of teams, there will also be a slight change in the weekly structure of matches for the Invite division only. There will be 9 weeks of matches with all teams playing each other two times. Five teams will play one map four times throughout the season while four teams will play one map three times. The first and last week of the season will be played on the same map, ensuring the greatest level of map consistency.
By reducing the amount of teams in Invite, it will allow for each team to play every team twice throughout the season. This will result in a more pure seeding for the LAN Finals. We have also added another roster restriction limiting a player to two Invite teams per season. This restricts a players ability to hop team from team, using roster spots and potentially killing teams. All other roster restrictions will remain in effect.
They have also announced the teams who will be part of the Season 15 Invite division and the teams that will be chosen by the community in a community wide poll. The polls should be up shortly, as the season starts in less than a week. CS:GO North American Teams: Team iBUYPOWER Cloud9 Vagrant Area-51 Gaming eLevate MouseSpaz mollyWHOP The Stream Team
Teams in the Invite Poll: CS:GO European Teams: Ninjas In Pyjamas Titan HellRaisers fnatic Natus Vincere VirtusPro Team 3DMAX Team Dignitas CSGO
Teams in the Invite Poll:
The North American Invite is missing one notable team, . The team is comprised mostly of players from Denial who chose to not finish out Season 14, despite having one of the best records following the departure of Sam "DaZeD" Marine and Justin "mosbeck" Mosbeck. It appears that the team will have to play their way through the lower divisions if they wish to earn an Invite spot.
The administrators have also stated that they will be making a one-time exception to the ESEA LAN policy that would normally ban teams who qualify, but do not attend the ESEA LAN. Teams who were not able to make the trip last season will still be involved in Season 15, but have been warned that if they do not attend future LAN playoffs, they would be removed from Invite and banned.