MTG properties DreamHack and ESL have announced the introduction of a new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament circuit, ESL Pro Tour.
The circuit will link over 20 ESL and DreamHack tournaments & leagues across five continents and feature a total prize pool of more than $5 million (£4.1 million) in 2020.
Tournaments in the ESL Pro Tour will be organised into two levels: Challenger and Masters. The Challenger level will include DreamHack Open, Mountain Dew League, and ESL’s National Championships – with the aim of aiding teams in progressing to Master tournaments.
The Masters category will comprise of arena tournaments with $250,000 (£207,870) or more in prize money. This include ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters (IEM), DreamHack Masters events, and ESL CS:GO Pro League.
Marcus Lindmark, Co-CEO of DreamHack commented on the circuit in a release: “This collaboration will provide a deeper meaning and purpose to all of our properties, allowing us to provide fans with more thrilling experiences than before. On the other hand, it also represents a much larger and more attractive opportunity for sponsors and media to engage with the esports audience. ESL Pro Tour mirrors our ambition to provide up-and-coming players with a clear pathway to become tomorrow’s esports professionals.”
Throughout the ESL Pro Tour, teams will win points to decide rankings. The best teams throughout the circuit will then compete in two Masters Championship finals: ESL One Cologne in Germany and IEM Katowice in Poland.
Ralf Reichert, CEO of ESL added: “ESL’s growth in recent years has led us to rethink what we are doing. We have built some of the world’s most impressive esports tournaments, and it was the time to connect the dots where the outcome is a bigger picture that fits better with our vision for esports,” added, “This partnership between ESL and DreamHack will give youths a clearer and more complete path to becoming somebody, and a structure that is more welcoming and digestible for new esports fans.”
Esports Insider says: This should be an exciting announcement for CS:GO fans. By bringing together tournaments from both levels of play and creating a link between them all, there will be a lot of opportunities for crafting narratives that increase the stakes of events.