ESL and DreamHack are joining forces to bring you the next evolution in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive esports; the ESL Pro Tour.
ESL has created many memorable tournaments across the globe since its inception in 2000. In the early days, they were few and far between, with each being its own unique competition. Over time, as more tournaments were created, the CS:GO narrative became convoluted and unclear. The ESL Pro Tour is the next evolution of CS:GO esports; a yearly circuit of interlinked competitions ranging from foundation level with rising stars to global championships with veteran names. Each tournament will have a clear place in the circuit so that teams and fans alike will know exactly what is at stake and what is needed to make it to the very top.
How does it work?
The ESL Pro Tour is comprised of two tiers:
- Challenger tournaments are the foundation level, where teams seeking to make it big can enter and start making a name for themselves
- Masters tournaments are the CS:GO tournaments we all know and love; big names competing shoulder to shoulder with up and coming teams
- Masters Championships are the elite twice-yearly tournaments to decide which team is the absolute best. Expect only the very top teams at these prestigious competitions.
Throughout the year, multiple Challenger and Masters tournaments will be held around the globe, giving both local and international teams the chance to rise up and make it to the coveted Masters Championships; IEM Katowice in the winter, and ESL One Cologne in the summer. With the Pro Circuit, teams will have to accumulate points in order to climb up to the next tier, making it easy for players to see how close they are to being promoted. All points will be displayed via the global ESL Pro Tour ranking to create a more complete path from zero to hero for aspiring players, a more compelling story to follow for existing CS:GO fans, and a much more transparent structure for new esports fans.
Where and When?
At ESL, we believe that everybody can be somebody. That is why the ESL Pro Tour will have tournaments taking place across the globe on five different continents and different levels (Masters and Challenger), with each giving local talent a chance to shine. Furthermore, a clear schedule with dates and locations will allow fans and players to plan their year accordingly!
What’s the difference between Masters and Challenger?
Masters tournaments are over $250,000 in prize money and generally take place in larger venues (e.g. arenas). They are designed for the world’s best teams to compete in, whereas Challenger tournaments are designed for highly competitive teams aspiring to play on the Masters level regularly.
What’s the first competition that counts towards the ranking?
We will announce that on September 28. Though the tour starts in 2020, the first points-granting tournaments will be held in 2019.
Are DreamHack and ESL now one company?
No, though ESL and DreamHack belong to the MTG Group. The ESL Pro Tour is a collaboration similar to the Intel® Grand Slam. All tournaments are operated by their own respective teams.