ESL, DreamHack announce eight ESL Pro Tour LAN events for 2021 with expanded schedule

The changes will allow the two tournament organisers to focus on storytelling, while also giving teams more time to prepare for the most important matches.

ESL and DreamHack have announced plans to host eight ESL Pro Tour LAN tournaments in 2021 — two fewer than what they had planned for this year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the globe — with a combined prize pool of $4.5 million. After consulting with teams and players, the two tournament organisers are also introducing significant changes to the way they schedule events in an effort to alleviate player fatigue and improve the quality of the show.

In recent years, the $250,000+ ESL and DreamHack LAN events took place over the course of a single week — normally from Tuesday through Sunday. But starting in 2021, these tournaments will be held over two weeks with a break between the group stage and the arena playoffs.

IEM Katowice will be ESL's first live event of 2021

ESL says that the spread-out format will make it possible to tell stories that were not covered before due to the tight schedule that was in place while also having more matches played on peak viewing days. At the same time, the tournament organiser added, the new model will favor teams, who won't require as many international trips to ESL and DreamHack events and will also have the opportunity to return home as soon as they are eliminated because flights are no longer booked automatically for the day after the event is over. This alone, ESL told, would have given the 13 Louvre Agreement teams an extra 17 days at home on average when looking at their 2019 results at IEM, ESL One and ESL Pro League competitions.

"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," Ulrich Schulze, Senior Vice President Product at ESL, said in a statement. "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."

In 2021, ESL will unveil a brand new dedicated studio in Europe that will "use the latest advances in technology to optimize the gaming experience for players and viewers around the world". The studio will function as a Covid-compliant central hub, hosting all group stage matches; however, it may even come to stage entire tournaments if the coronavirus pandemic continues to cancel plans for live arena events.

Below you can find the ESL Pro Tour's provisional calendar for 2021 (dates are subject to change):

Poland IEM Katowice - February 16-28 ($1,000,000)
Europe ESL Pro League S13 - March 10-April 18 ($750,000)
Europe DreamHack Masters - June 3-13 ($250,000)
Germany ESL One Cologne - July 6-18 ($1,000,000)
Australia IEM Melbourne - August 17-22 ($250,000)
Europe ESL Pro League S14 - September 1-October 10 ($750,000)
Other IEM Event - October 14-24 ($250,000)
Other IEM Event - December 2-12 ($250,000)

The typical event schedule under the new model will look as follows:

Masters tournament:

Week 1:

Thursday-Sunday - Group stage

Week 2:

Saturday-Sunday - Playoffs

Masters Championship tournament:

Week 1:

Tuesday-Wednesday - Play-in stage
Thursday-Sunday - Group stage

Week 2:

Friday-Sunday - Playoffs

According to ESL, the new format will take up 24 weeks of the calendar, just one more than its original plan for 2020 (without the ESL One: Road to Rio Major). While doing these calculations, ESL didn't differentiate between a team spending an entire week at an event or just travelling on Sunday for a tournament that would start the following week. Both scenarios take an entire week slot in ESL's view as it assumes that a team travelling on Sunday would have no other LAN commitments during that week.

ESL's planning for 2021 plus the scheduled player breaks leave 21 weeks in the calendar open — 17 if there are two Majors. Other tournament organisers are expected to react to the announcement soon, with Flashpoint Creative Director Duncan "⁠Thorin⁠" Shields describing ESL's new schedule as "beyond a joke" in a Twitter post this morning.

United Kingdom Duncan 'Thorin' Shields
Duncan 'Thorin' Shields
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
OK | 
Oh wow thats cool!
2020-09-22 16:05
1 reply
That's basically "stealing" teams from other tournaments, since teams can't travel and have to stay for two weeks. If you decide to play an ESL tournament, you will have to block two weeks instead of one playing one tournament instead of two. Good for content and I lik the idea but I can't believe that this is the actual reason.
2020-09-23 12:49
South Africa @FyreCS
2020-09-22 16:05
unban hunden
2020-09-22 16:05
1 reply
nope, tho i still like him as a person but no
2020-09-22 16:40
ggez 4 covid
2020-09-22 16:06
2020-09-22 16:07
Lan in early 2021? I aren't think that
2020-09-22 16:07
6 replies
wait for december lets see if it works
2020-09-22 16:13
lan maybe but without crowd imo
2020-09-22 16:14
United Kingdom novaseer
it means no NA teams which is probably a good thing
2020-09-22 17:00
3 replies
Mongolia Kkura
2020-09-22 17:34
United States CaliNinja
2020-09-23 00:10
1 reply nt, go home zucc, youre drunk
2020-09-24 02:45
France Garow_
2020-09-22 16:07
9 replies
pm | 
France ilian_87
Ask Zerator to do a cs event
2020-09-22 16:11
they had events in occatanie and marseille plus IEM goes all over the world so who knows there might be a French event
2020-09-22 17:03
7 replies
IEM New Delhi when?
2020-09-22 17:16
4 replies
I guess it depends do you guys have any sports stadiums for large crowds?
2020-09-22 17:22
3 replies
they got the biggest cricket stadium in the world
2020-09-22 18:11
dude are you serious?
2020-09-22 19:00
1 reply
I know literally nothing about New Delhi, that's why I asked
2020-09-22 19:50
France Garow_
But a big event like Worlds 2019 LoL in paris will be great: IEM PARIS 2021 or 2022 with 250,000 $ for winner and this event will take in Accor Hotels Arena for example
2020-09-23 09:55
1 reply
seems like an interesting idea
2020-09-23 15:25
2020-09-22 16:08
2020-09-22 16:08
2020-09-22 16:09
1 reply
was also announced for this year. But for Cologne was a change necessary.
2020-09-22 16:15
2020-09-22 16:09
Denmark pdxm
2020-09-22 16:10
Potential Katowice or Cologne major? Prize pool for these tournaments are major-tier.
2020-09-22 16:10
2 replies
Major $4M next year
2020-09-22 16:21
1 reply
2020-09-22 19:35
Croatia nAmeless69
Beyond a joke lul
2020-09-22 16:11
Thorin comment is a low IQ bait. Two Flashpoints in the year with overall 2 million Prizepool contribute nothing to the scene cuz only 12 teams fight for it and all 12 are washed up teams for EU skill level. So from the 4.5 Million prizemoney, easy 30-40 teams make a win + more relevance for sponsorships. Thorin doesn't understand the basics of eSports. What a Joke person.
2020-09-22 16:11
3 replies
he's 19 years in this industry but you, random troll on hltv know better
2020-09-22 18:12
REZ | 
Sweden jackir
literally nothing you just said made sense literally nothing
2020-09-22 19:24
1 reply
All make sense. But Thorin IQ fans dont know how eSports works.
2020-09-22 19:25
Looks a lot more entertaining than what we've had this year
2020-09-22 16:12
Lan return pls :/
2020-09-22 16:13
Poland Po_Prostu
wait what? corona suddenly disappeared or what?
2020-09-22 16:13
Serbia LtN))
Very Nice! Let's Go NAVI !
2020-09-22 16:13
We need LANs in 2020! Nobody cares about corona!
2020-09-22 16:14
all online 100%
2020-09-22 16:15
2020-09-22 16:15
come china
2020-09-22 16:16
LAN Coolstory bruh
2020-09-22 16:19
Poland SebL
Great, Major now has to get a better prize pool, because it's getting to a point in which Major is just another nothing special tournament.
2020-09-22 16:25
2 replies
United Kingdom novaseer
To be fair, both of the Majors missed this year will probably factor into future Majors' prize pools, as well as the fact that, you know, you're forever immortalised in CSGO itself if you win.
2020-09-22 16:47
1 reply
Poland SebL
Yes, but I think prize pool's should be higher to atleast 2M$.
2020-09-22 17:33
2020-09-22 16:28
Phew, good! CS is alive!
2020-09-22 16:42
United States B0b3rT
Please IEM Chicago we need more tournaments in Midwest
2020-09-22 16:46
2020-09-22 16:52
2020-09-22 16:52
ez for the last dance.
2020-09-22 17:09
PogU Very nice! I hope 2021 will be a good year of CS, Tournaments look very exciting. But Dreamhack Masters should have like at least 400.000 - 450.000$ prize pool, just like Dreamhack Masters Las Vegas 2017. in my opinion, 250.000 is very little.
2020-09-22 17:15
Its still no lan tournaments this year?
2020-09-22 17:24
1 reply
End of the year
2020-09-22 18:05
Finally some good and old LAN tournaments! Waiting for 2021! :)
2020-09-22 17:31
CS looking good for next year good job!
2020-09-22 17:41
2020-09-22 17:42
Poland Sebolele
Omg 1m $ IEM Katowice <3
2020-09-22 17:51
ahhaha gl hosting lan events, pandemic will last 2 more years at least
2020-09-22 18:00
Thats nice, we need big turnaments.
2020-09-22 18:55
2020-09-22 18:56
bring lan back or its gg
2020-09-23 14:27
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