Revamped Dota 2 ESL Pro Tour officially announced

ESL Pro Tour
Image credit: ESL Pro Tour

ESL Gaming, a part of the ESL FACEIT Group, has officially unveiled details about its upcoming ESL Pro Tour (EPT) in Dota 2.

The announcement marks the return of the DreamLeague and will see teams from six regions compete in two seasons for a chance to appear at the newly created Riyadh Masters tournament.

ESL has built a new system to distribute slots, with every region guaranteed one slot and other slots filled by Elo rankings.

The DreamLeague is a Dota 2 tournament series that saw a total of 13 seasons before its hiatus in 2020. The brand, owned by DreamHack, will make its return in 2023 as an integral part of the new ESL Pro Tour.

The main part of the Pro Tour will consist of two group stages and a playoff round. The group stages are set to start in late March. After the first group stage is over, a season of DreamLeague with a $1m (~£820,000) prize pool will take place, in which teams will be competing live in Europe.

After DreamLeague Season 19, the EPT continues for another round of groups, after which another season of DreamLeague will take place, again with a $1m prize pool.

The group stages will initially feature 16 teams, with the best-placed four teams advancing to the second group stage, and the last four teams leaving the tournament. The second group stage (eight teams in total) will see the first four teams continue to the playoffs, and four teams eliminated.

Importantly, the champion of DreamLeague Season 19 will join the best-placed two teams of Season 20 and the best playoffs teams at the Riyadh Masters 2023.

The Masters itself will consist of a Play-in phase, followed by a group stage, and concluding with the playoffs. The entire DPC will be supported by Intel, Predator, DHL, and Monster Energy.

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The new circuit is announced days after journalist Richard Lewis first reported on its launch via Substack. In his report, Lewis noted that ESL Gaming has plans to create a circuit that will take place between Dota 2 Majors and the DPC, and mentioned that the DreamLeague brand is to be revived. Both statements have now been confirmed by ESL Gaming.

Ivan Šimić
Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.