It was just under a year ago since ESEA launched their dedicated Dubai servers which marked a pivotal moment to expand their service to the growing CSGO community in the Middle East. Although it may have gone slightly under the radar for the global community, ESEA has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the local players
One of the biggest problems that players from the Middle East have experienced was that the region has been tagged onto Europe for the purpose of matchmaking, tournament qualifications, etc. This creates a ceiling for competition as players from the region often ping 110ms+ to most popular European servers . Another key problem is the lack of structure: relatively few leagues and tournaments means that there aren’t many opportunities to showcase up and coming players as well as develop rising talents.
Today is one step closer to more prominently featuring the Middle East on the global CSGO scene with the announcement that ESEA nearly doubled the server capacity, launching a Rank S division for the Middle East, and adding a brand new Open division for the ESEA League. Users living in the Middle East will also now be matched only on servers in Dubai for all pugs, ladders, and events which will allow them to play higher quality, more balanced matches.
The Middle East region will initially be comprised of the following countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Some countries, most notably Qatar, are physically located in the Middle East but have not been included in the new region yet due to players having higher ping to Dubai servers than to European servers. For now, Qatar will remain in the Europe region while work continues to resolve routing issues between popular residential ISPs and data center in Dubai.
Rank S Middle East will feature a $2,000 per month prize pool and ESEA will be initially inviting a select group based on recent tournament results and ESEA rankings. Following this, the top two Rank A+ users from each month in the Middle East will be moved into Rank S. In regard to the new Middle East Open division for Season 28, a minimum of 17 teams is required to have an operational division and encourage everyone to sign up. Provided the number reaches 17 teams the division will have $1,500 of prize money and will scale up depending on the number of sign ups. You can get your team signed up today here.