ESL and DreamHack have announced that eight ESL Pro Tour LAN tournaments will be held in 2021. The ESL Pro Tour 2021 calendar kicks off with IEM Katowice in February, one of the ESL Pro Tour’s Master events. The calendar ends with an IEM tournament in Asia in December.
The ESL and DreamHack tournaments, which include a combined prize pool of $4.5 million, will take place over the course of two weeks in 2021, however, there will be a break between the group stage and the arena playoffs. In 2020, 10 LAN tournaments had been planned by ESL and DreamHack organizers before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
According to Ulrich Schulze, Senior Vice President Product at ESL, “The new vision of ESL Pro Tour CS:GO is part of our ongoing mission to place players and fans at the center of the esports experience. The dynamic double weekend format will maximize excitement and content for fans around the world, while players will benefit from a more balanced competitive schedule.”
“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. With this new format, ESL Pro Tour will bring players and fans alike closer to the action,” Schulze added.
ESL believes that the spread-out format will allow stories that were not covered before to be told since there are fewer time restrictions. It will also enable matches to be played on peak viewing days. The new model is intended to support teams, who won’t be forced to make as many international trips to ESL and DreamHack events. It will also allow them to fly home after being eliminated rather than waiting for the event to end. ESL says teams will have an additional 17 days at home on average compared to 2019.
The new format will cover 24 weeks of the 2021 calendar. The current rundown of the tournaments is as follows: IEM Katowice (Feb. 16-28); ESL Pro League season 13 (March 10-April 18); DreamHack Masters (June 3-13); ESL One Cologne (July 6-18); IEM Melbourne (Aug. 17-22); ESL Pro League season 14 (Sept. 1-Oct. 10); IEM tournament (Oct. 14-24); IEM tournament (Dec. 2-12).
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