The European Quake League recently presented their new initiative in the form of EQL: Pro, which caters towards the top eight 4on4 teams in the QuakeWorld community and features the classic ruleset which consists of DM2, DM3 and E1M2. The main idea behind this league is to ensure high quality QW 4on4 action every Sunday as they have a fixed schedule for playing the games, which makes it possible to provide better coverage for every single game.
After twelve seasons of division-based league structure the European Quake League team tries out something new which includes only the top teams within the community. The various new ideas behind this league makes it a rather experimental and interesting move. What are the new things that they will try out then?
First and foremost the league is closed to only the top eight teams in the community. Four are already directly qualified after having ended up on place 1-4 in the recently finished 12th season of the European Quake League
. The other four teams will have to qualify for the tournament in a qualification round which will happen on Sunday the 19th of December at 18:00CET (i.e. on "this" Sunday at the time of writing this). Recent revelations has made it clear that there are only three pre-qualified teams that will participate though as the Viper Squad won't participate due to parts of the squad going for holidays.
Moreover the admins have decided to try out a fixed schedule for all the games to cater for the spectators and increased possibility to plan and arrange coverage in advance. The chosen days will specifically be Sundays which is probably a very wise move. What would be interesting to know is whether the Sunday is split into different game times aswell, in order to avoid having the games go on in parallell.
The map pool for the whole league will be the traditional DM2, DM3 and E1M2. This will most likely make the best of the best players want to show up and ensures the highest quality on the games as compared to matches played on the "recently" introduced maps CMT1B, CMT3 and CMT4.
Wanting to have the best players in the league is also one of the main thoughts of this new initiative. Signs of this includes the sizes of the squads, which will be unlimited, and the fact that players can join other teams if it would happen that their own team should fail to qualify for the league (which wouldn't be due to the star player, who later joins a qualified team of course!).
All in all it's a very interesting concept and the consistency of how the show will be run is probably a key to making it all work; good preparations, no exceptions and professionalism among the organizers will most likely be very important ingredients for success. One thing is for sure though - you don't want to miss out on it!Key dates
18th December 12:00CET (Saturday): Deadline for qualification sign-up
19th December 18:00-00:00CET (Sunday): Qualification games
January: Start of league!
Source: European Quake League press release