ESL and DreamHack to launch CS:GO circuit in 2020 with over $5 million in prize pool
ESL and DreamHack announced on Tuesday the ESL Pro Tour, a global CS:GO circuit to launch in 2020 with over $5 million in aggregate prize pool.
The ESL Pro Tour will combine over 20 ESL and DreamHack tournaments into "one narrative that builds towards two grand championships each year". With this new system, ESL and DreamHack aim to "create a more complete path from zero to hero for aspiring players, a more compelling story to follow for existing CS:GO fans, and a more transparent structure for new esports fans."
The ESL Pro Tour competitions will be split into two levels: Challenger and Masters. The first includes the DreamHack Open stops, ESEA MDL and the ESL National Championships, and will serve as a platform for teams to reach the Masters-level arena tournaments with $250,000 or more in prize money. These include the ESL One, IEM and DreamHack Masters events, and the ESL Pro League itself.
By competing in the ESL Pro Tour competitions, teams will win points towards a circuit ranking, with the best sides earning spots at the two Masters Championship finals, which will be held at IEM Katowice and ESL One Cologne.
“ESL’s growth in recent years has led us to rethink what we are doing," ESL CEO Ralf Reichert said in a statement. "We have built some of the world’s most impressive esports tournaments, and it was the time to connect the dots where the outcome is a bigger picture that fits better with our vision for esports.
"This partnership between ESL and DreamHack will give youths a clearer and more complete path to becoming somebody, and a structure that is more welcoming and digestible for new esports fans."
According to a press release, the ESL Pro Tour "will feature an aggregate prize pool of more than $5 million (USD)", with more details to be announced on September 28 during a media briefing at ESL One New York.
It is currently unclear whether this initiative will mean that more prize money will be injected into the tournament landscape. Just by combining the prize pool from all IEM, ESL One, DreamHack Open, DreamHack Masters and ESL Pro League events that have already been held in 2019 or are confirmed for the final months of the year, we get $4.950 million - a figure that obviously includes the $1 million from the Major that ESL held in Katowice, which had an extra $500,000 when compared to the IEM event that the Polish city hosted the year before.