ESL announce return to LAN, new double-weekend format for ESL Pro Tour 2021

ESL has announced some big changes to ESL Pro Tour heading into 2021. The new event format will be based around eight already revealed tournaments which will each feature at least 16 teams. In a major change, the events will now take place across two weekends with the group stages and finals being split.

The goal with this is to be able to create content specific to the teams making the playoffs in an effort to help build up the narrative and drive more meaning for each match, team, and player. “The time between the game weekends will now be used to create content specific to the players who make the playoffs meaning, while teams prepare their tactics, ESL will create new trailers, interviews and tactical analysis tailor-made to every match-up at the weekend,” Ulrich Schulze, Senior Vice President Product at ESL said in the press release.

In an effort to return to LAN, ESL has stated that while the group stages will take place in their ESL Studio, the playoffs will take place in various arenas across the world. The studio is “specifically designed to comply with COVID-safety measures.”

You can find the new event structure and tentative schedule below:

New event schedule:

Masters tournament:

Week 1:
Thursday-Sunday – Group stage

Week 2:
Saturday-Sunday – Playoffs

Masters Championship tournament:

Week 1:
Tuesday-Wednesday – Play-in stage
Thursday-Sunday – Group stage

Week 2:
Friday-Sunday – Playoffs

ESL Pro Tour provisional 2021 calendar:

  • Intel® Extreme Masters Katowice: February 16-28, 2021
  • ESL Pro League S13: March 10 – Apr 18, 2021
  • DreamHack Masters: June 3-13, 2021
  • ESL One Cologne powered by Intel®: July 6-18, 2021
  • Intel® Extreme Masters Melbourne: August 17-22, 2021**
  • ESL Pro League S14: September 1 – Oct 10, 2021
  • Intel® Extreme Masters: October 14-24,2021
  • Intel® Extreme Masters: December 2-12, 2021

*All dates are still subject to change. 
**WIP based on the tournament break planning for 2021. 

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