Uli Shulze on ESL One Focusing on CSGO



ESL One New York has traditionally been a DoTA tournament. The tournament has heavily focused on one game and been quite successful because of it. However this year, ESL have decided to switch one Valve game for the other.

They will be introducing CSGO into ESL One New York instead of Dota2. “With its timing shortly after The International, New York had always been challenging with Dota 2,” said Ulrich Schulze, vice president of pro gaming at ESL. “CS:GO on the other hand had not had a big event on the East Coast yet. We decided to switch because of that.”


The CSGO calendar had become extremely saturated since the last few months. There were very few tournaments during this time period and its proximity to The International 6 caused a fatigue amongst viewers. Hence the decision to switch to CSGO makes sense.


“I think we have a very unique city and venue for this event, and the eight teams coming to the event are considered the best in the world,” said Schulze. “We also have a new format for the tournament, with the Swiss system leading into the semifinals, and thousands of people on-site of course. So all the factors for a great event are there.”

This year there are only two majors. Both the Majors are over and the next major has already been announced in Atlanta in 2017.


What about fatigue and teams not signing up for each and every event?

“Overall we certainly see a movement of teams attending fewer tournaments, and that trend giving room to more of the tier 2 teams to shine and win events. Everyone is trying to do CS:GO these days, and it is pretty obvious that it would not be sustainable with every team attending 40 events every year, but we already see that this is resolving itself.

“Overall we do have significant prize money, a big arena and a well established brand, so the event stands out from the other tournaments happening around it.”

ESL One New York

“With the arenas we are going to, we usually have space for more than one game,” explained Schulze. “We want to make sure we provide everyone who shows up an amazing weekend, and broadening the amount of games you can watch is a key part of that. So it is definitely something you are going to see more often.”

To make things even more difficult for themselves ESL decided to bring in Street Fighter 5 for New York. This means that they are not only running two tournaments for two games at an ESL One event for the first time, but they are running a major Street Fighter 5 competition for the first time.

“Our company is full of fighting game fans, and we just needed a good opportunity to kick it off,” mentioned Schulze when discussing why they chose Street Fighter.

“New York felt like the right opportunity to deliver something that is true to the game with its big open tournament, but also brings what we can do well, which is a big stage and show. It is definitely different from what we usually do, but we do have experienced people managing the event so they will be more than ready to have everything run smoothly.”

We wish all the teams the best of luck at ESL one New York