There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding mitch's statement regarding ESL Play and a possible upcoming league through the service.
First, it's best to get the elephant in the room out of the way. While mitch is a league admin for ESL Play's TF2 division, he is not an employee of ESL (in regards to their ESL Play division) nor does he necessarily have massive influence on the direction of ESL Play's expansion into TF2 — at least to my knowledge. While I've been told by mitch that plans are currently underway to start a league, and I trust that he's relaying this information in good faith, his word is not final.
Secondly, ESL Play and ESL (i.e. ESL Pro League, ESL One) are basically semi-autonomous entities in relation to their connection and influence. ESL's event organizing division will usually use ESL Play for said event's qualifiers, but a game being on ESL Play does not automatically segue the game into a possible LAN event. ESL Play's actions have little impact on the actions of their live event organizers.
Thirdly, ESL does own ESEA, yes. However, it's important to understand why ESL acquired the league in the first place. ESEA was acquired by ESL in late 2015 as an investment in the rapidly expanding CS:GO competitive scene. ESEA had not only the largest CS:GO league in the world, but also the largest paid pug system, and a professional division (Invite). After the acquisition, Invite was folded into ESL ESEA Pro League and TF2 was dumped as a result. It's also important to note that ESL Play likely has little-to-no influence or authority regarding ESEA's actions or administration.
This is not to say that ESL Play expanding into TF2 is a bad thing; I'm excited to see what might come out of this. I just wanted to clear up some wrong assumptions I've been seeing here and on Twitch.