ESL and DreamHack are bringing LAN back in the form of ESL Pro Tour in 2021. In 2020, esports were thrown into a crazy spin. League of Legends Worlds is in a bubble in China and Counter-Strike players are running major qualifiers online. Yet in 2021, ESL and DreamHack are working together to create a series of events in 2021 at a new COVID-safe ESL studio. They will host LAN events in the ESL Pro Tour CS:GO 2021.
These events will see up to $5 Million US dollars in prize pool split among them. Below are the tentative events that they plan to run.
- 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. 14-24,2021
- Intel Extreme Masters: Dec. 2-12, 2021
All dates subject to change, Intel Extreme Masters Melbourne date subject to change based on tournament break plans.
The new vision of ESL Pro Tour CS:GO is part of our ongoing mission to place players and fans at the centre 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,” Senior Vice President Product at ESL Ulrich Schulze said in a press release. “With this new format, ESL Pro Tour will bring players and fans alike closer to the action.”
With these dates in mind, it will help players with travel schedules which in the past have gotten quite ridiculous with teams going straight from the airport to mainstage. The ESL Pro Tour will combine ESL and DreamHack tournaments, furthering the tournament ecosystem for CS:GO.
The ESL Pro League, DreamHack Masters, Intel Extreme Masters and ESL One events are all beacons of CS:GO esports. What really looks great is that the DreamHack Open, Mountain Dew League and ESL National Championships will continue. The amateur level events will provide young players with opportunity to break into the top tier of the scene.
Finally, LAN will be back.