ESL CS:GO Pro Tour Update for 2021 Includes New Studio and Vision

ESL, the tournament organizer behind the ESL Pro League and IEM events, and gaming event organizer DreamHack announced a series of changes slated to take effect in 2021. This announcement confirms that the Cologne-based company will institute a new event format that will see a minimum of 16 teams featured in ESL Pro Tour Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions with group stages and finals spanning over the course of two back-to-back weekends. 

Additionally, a newly built studio specifically designed to comply with COVID-safety measures will act as a central hub for players, which ESL claims uses current advances in technology to optimize the gaming experience for both players and viewers around the globe. 

The Intel Extreme Masters Katowice, now scheduled for February, will be the debut competition of ESL Pro Tour CS:GO 2021 and aims to hold competitive play via a LAN network inside the newly created studio. The new format will see ESL and DreamHack host eight Masters CS:GO tournaments throughout the year:

2021 Competition Dates:

  • Intel Extreme Masters Katowice: Feb. 16-28, 2021
  • ESL Pro League S13: March 10 – April 18, 2021
  • DreamHack Masters: June 3-13, 2021
  • ESL One Cologne powered by Intel: July 6-18, 2021
  • Intel Extreme Masters Melbourne: Aug. 17-22, 2021**
  • ESL Pro League S14: Sept. 1 – Oct 10, 2021
  • Intel Extreme Masters: Oct.r 14-24,2021
  • Intel Extreme Masters: Dec. 2-12, 2021

*All dates are still subject to change. 

**WIP based on the tournament break planning for 2021. 

Schedule changes are the thrust behind a new philosophy and will see a double weekend format utilized to create a more balanced competitive schedule. Now, the time between game weekends will be used to create content specific to the players who make the playoffs as teams prepare for upcoming matches.

With this in mind, ESL and DreamHack have stated that the two share the same vision of creating an open-ecosystem that “allows aspiring pro players to rank up and follow the path ‘from zero to hero’.” Challenger level tournaments will continue to represent opportunities for young talent to reach Masters level competitions.

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