Earlier this week, two of the biggest names in CS:GO esports—DreamHack and ESL—announced they will merge to create what could be one of the most significant developments in CS:GO esports history: a new ESL Pro Tour.
This new tour will link over 20 different ESL and DreamHack tournaments and leagues across five continents. Most importantly, it’s expected to be a more organized and synchronized CS:GO global tour.
Estimates suggest the tournaments will feature a total prize pool of more than $5 million. Then, the first year of the new ESL Pro Tour will begin at some point in 2020.
How will CS:GO ESL Pro Tour be organized?
Rather like what has happened on the Dota Pro Circuit, which seems to have been used as a template for this new CS:GO tour event, the 20 or so ESL Pro Tour tournaments will occur at different levels.
The lower level will be called Challenger. It will feature some of the smaller tournaments, such as the DreamHack Open, Mountain Dew League, and the ESL National Championships. The winning teams in these smaller Challenger events will then gain entry into the higher-tier events.
These will be called Masters events: big-money CS:GO tournaments, each of which has a prize pool of at least $250,000. These will include many of the top CS:GO tournaments of the year. We’re talking the ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters events, DreamHack Masters events, and the ESL CS:GO Pro League.
Across the 20 tournaments, the teams competing will earn points to decide their ranking in the table and the best teams will then compete in two key Masters Championship Final events, which have been designated as the ESL One Cologne and the IEM Katowice in Poland.
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What are the positives for gamers?
The Co-CEO of DreamHack Marcus Lindmark spoke about the new tour and stated.
“This collaboration will provide a deeper meaning and purpose to all of our properties, allowing us to provide fans with more thrilling experiences than before.”
“ESL Pro Tour mirrors our ambition to provide up-and-coming players with a clear pathway to become tomorrow’s esports professionals.”
Given how successful this kind of structure has been in the Dota Pro Circuit, it is exciting for CS:GO fans and players to think that they will soon have a similar tour in place for CS:GO.
Furthermore, given the added structure and excitement, this new tour is also likely to bring in additional sponsorship and further interest from investors, which could push up the value, especially of the Masters tournaments and the Championship Finals, considerably.
Add to that a clear pathway for CS:GO players to be able to follow to reach the top of esports and it is easy to see why the new CS:GO Pro Tour could be one of the key innovations in esports in 2020.
Images courtesy of ESL Gaming