European Professional Go League

Now the first step has been taken to start an European Professional Go Organization. These are exciting times and I wish them all the luck in the hard work it will take to make this a success.

Every year they will take the 12 strongest European players that want to compete in a European professional league. If you are not strong enough you will loose your pro status and be replaced with some stronger player. This is quite different from how it works in Asia where you keep your pro status for life, no matter if your strength decline.

Personally I think this is a bit strange and I think they instead should allow one, two or zero new players each year depending on their strength. Maybe the aspiring players need to play five pros and win at least two of the games. If several players manage this then they play against each others to decide who will get the pro status this year. If none of them are strong enough then none of them will become pro.

In the beginning the new European pro organization will have a hard time to find any sponsors and it is very uncertain how they will manage to get any games played unless they play online. Maybe they will play the games when they are participating other regular amateur tournaments in Europe?

No matter how hard it will be for the organization, they must keep working hard and build relationships with media and potential sponsoring companies. They must get popularity and interest from the go playing community and most crucial of all, they must work hard in spreading the knowledge and interest of go in the general population in Europe to get the broad customer base that they are lacking today.

So far the information available is quite vague so maybe they are not talking about real pro status, but just a new league with strong players. That is not as exciting but can be very interesting as well. Such a league might push strong players to become even stronger so that they can participate one year and compete for the honour and money of the first price.

I have hoped for an European professional Organization for a while. I am aware that such an organization will not be as strong as the Asian ones, but it doesn't have to be. But it will need to have a core of really strong players who are really dedicated to the game and have a strong passion to spread the interest of the game to as many as possible. I believe that such a core team of strong European professionals is the only thing that can make this happen and I really hope that they exist.

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