ESL unveils 2021 tournament calendar

The majority of the tournaments in the year are planned as studio events without a live audience, with ESL One Cologne to be evaluated as a potential exception.

The schedule for DreamHack and ESL events in 2021 has been released by the tournament organizer on Thursday, alongside the company's plans regarding the transition towards LAN play. The initial competition of the year will be played fully online, with the transition to studio play planned for the playoffs of ESL Pro League Season 13, taking place in April.

Up until November, when the PGL Major is planned to take place, ESL and DreamHack tournaments will not feature audiences, albeit the possibility of having a crowd will be considered for ESL One Cologne, scheduled for July.

Cologne is the only ESL event before November that could have an in-person audience

ESL Pro League Season 13 playoffs are planned to be played at a LAN studio in Malta, where Season 11 was supposed to be held before those plans were derailed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company noted that all events will be run according to "Return to LAN" protocols, which the company has decided on in conjunction with the CSPPA. Additionally, ESL pointed out that the 2021 calendar will be dependant on the latest health guidances, "with ESL Gaming’s top priority being the safety and well-being of all personnel, players and attendees involved".

The "Return to LAN" protocol includes, amongst others:

- Testing and other measures before arrival at the event
- Travel and arrival at accommodation
- Creation of a controlled environment among participants, staff and others
- Ongoing COVID-19 testing procedures during stay
- Prepared actions in case of positive tests
- Prepared measures in order to ensure that players can return home safely

DreamHack Atlanta is noted as the first "festival event" that could feature an audience, with IEM Winter/China on December 2-12 set to be the first large-scale CS:GO tournament with in-person viewing.

You can find the list of events, the dates on which they will be played, and how they will be run below:

IEM Katowice 2021: 16 - 28 Feb / $1,000,000 / 24 Teams / Online
EPL: Season 13 Malta: 08 Mar - 11 Apr / $750,000 / 24 Teams / Online with Studio Playoffs
DreamHack Masters Spring 2021: 29 Apr - May 9 / $250,000 / 16 Teams / Studio
IEM Summer 2021: 03 - 13 June / $250,000 / 16 Teams / Studio (prev. IEM Melbourne)
ESL One Cologne 2021: 06 - 18 Jul / $1,000,000 / 24 Teams / Live Event LANXESS
EPL: Season 14 Malta: 08 Sep - 10 Oct / $750,000 / 24 Teams / Studio
IEM Fall 2021: 14 - 24 Oct* / $250,000 / 16 Teams / Studio
IEM Winter 2021: / 02 - 12 Dec / $250,000 / 16 Teams / Live Event Asia

*ESL acknowledged that IEM Fall overlaps with the recent announcement of the PGL Major. They are working on solutions to adjust and will update in due course.

News and updates about the ESL Pro Tour structure will follow in the coming weeks, including all information around DreamHack Open competitions.

LETS GO
2021-01-21 16:11
10 replies
Noo
2021-01-21 16:11
5 replies
Make GOAT s1mple MVP of all of them already and Navi winners
2021-01-21 16:13
4 replies
I only know s2mple
2021-01-21 16:13
Group stage Elimination is more likely.
2021-01-21 16:15
s2mple who?
2021-01-21 16:17
#26
 | 
Estonia Sn4pzhat
Kekw
2021-01-21 16:17
Katowice online
2021-01-21 16:13
3 replies
#42
 | 
Pakistan hawrU
Lan In undisclosed location in europe Both the play in and the main event
2021-01-21 16:28
2 replies
#50
 | 
Nepal askyee
it was supposed to me in studio enviroment but look at their schedule
2021-01-21 16:35
1 reply
#60
 | 
Pakistan hawrU
Yeah its gonna be online I just realized it now thag they changed it My bad
2021-01-21 17:04
#2
JaCkz | 
United States M1RBO
yeaaahhahh so good
2021-01-21 16:11
1 reply
very nice come to MALTA!
2021-01-21 17:26
POG
2021-01-21 16:11
cool
2021-01-21 16:11
nice calender breaks
2021-01-21 16:11
#7
ropz | 
India icle
Katowice online :(
2021-01-21 16:12
3 replies
#31
 | 
Finland who_asked
sad mens ((
2021-01-21 16:20
:( sad
2021-01-21 16:27
#75
 | 
Finland OGx
very sad (((
2021-01-21 18:24
#8
 | 
India xEleanorex
ok
2021-01-21 16:12
#9
 | 
United Kingdom tank6123
espada to win win esl oh i keep forgeting :(
2021-01-21 16:12
YES LAN
2021-01-21 16:12
#12
HS | 
Estonia qoznyyy
gon be good
2021-01-21 16:13
LANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
2021-01-21 16:13
#15
 | 
Australia B_Tannen
Dreamhack Winter best event.
2021-01-21 16:13
2 replies
How
2021-01-21 17:34
1 reply
#86
 | 
Australia B_Tannen
Young Swedish talent farm, and best vibes.
2021-01-22 04:58
#16
 | 
United States drac0z
INVITE GAMBIT TO MORE EVENTS MENS((
2021-01-21 16:13
#17
 | 
India avithour
CIS team to win Sweden Major.
2021-01-21 16:13
nice
2021-01-21 16:15
#20
 | 
Slovakia xaboff
NOOO WHY NO AUSTRALIAN CROWD, THEY DONT EVEN HAVE COVID
2021-01-21 16:15
germans love majors cuz they're always in germany :/ sad
2021-01-21 16:15
Good, i hope they dont fuck with everyones schedule like last year though
2021-01-21 16:16
IEM Katowice 2021: 16 - 28 Feb / $1,000,000 / 24 Teams / Online
2021-01-21 16:16
Imagine caring about cOVERRATEDronavirus in 2021 LOOOOOOOOOOOOOL
2021-01-21 16:18
2 replies
No wonder half of russia died
2021-01-21 17:54
1 reply
Nt cOVERRATEDronavirus panicer
2021-01-21 17:59
Nice
2021-01-21 16:19
#29
 | 
India Ez4ez
Ohhh yeah lan is back baby :*
2021-01-21 16:19
#30
 | 
Australia Zilox
noooooooooo IEM MELBOURNE
2021-01-21 16:19
Katowice online omegalul
2021-01-21 16:22
ESL One Cologne 2021: 06 - 18 Jul / $1,000,000 / 24 Teams / Live Event LANXESS Live = lan? i arent think that with the current situation in germany germans enlighten me maybe i am wrong
2021-01-21 16:21
2 replies
There is half a year until that event. Many things can change for the better in the meantime, now all the vaccines are starting to spread out, so they probably hope things are better in the summer
2021-01-21 16:26
even with vaccines starting there is now way mass events will be allowed by july.
2021-01-21 18:09
1 mil tourney online LMFAOOOO
2021-01-21 16:23
#35
 | 
United States GameZ_iwnl
realistically couldnt they run a no-crowd low studio budget LAN built on just raw production value? No stage, no fancy shit, just some tables, and chairs and have PGL level production with broadcasting.
2021-01-21 16:25
4 replies
isn't that kinda what esl announced or am i missing something in your post? 'The majority of ESL & DreamHack tournaments will be hosted as in-person competitions from within a controlled studio environment for 2021. This means we’ll be stepping away from events with live audiences until later this year. '
2021-01-21 16:27
3 replies
#41
 | 
United States GameZ_iwnl
I meant more as a general thing for all TO´s I should have clarified my apologies! Edit: I also briefly just skimmed and misread and thought it said all events but Cologne will be online
2021-01-21 16:29
2 replies
Cologne will be a live event you mean? Same with IEM winter in Asia, but lets hope more of them can switch to live events as the year unfolds
2021-01-21 16:38
1 reply
#54
 | 
United States GameZ_iwnl
Hopefully. This online period has just been dull, and it feels like no team is at their full capacity. The only upside is a lot more teams seem willing to make riskier roster moves, and its setup and interesting landscape for when we come back to lan
2021-01-21 16:50
#37
 | 
Serbia LtN))
F Kato :(((
2021-01-21 16:26
RIP KATO
2021-01-21 16:28
1 reply
who? where? what? edit: oh katowice lol
2021-01-21 16:31
Really wanted Katowice to be on lan :(((
2021-01-21 16:29
#44
smooya | 
Switzerland x676
Do Katowice studio at least, omg!!! how are you doing a fking Katowice online??!!
2021-01-21 16:29
Rip Katowice
2021-01-21 16:30
#46
 | 
Ukraine StaR1y
Where are the qualifications? Or again the same commands?
2021-01-21 16:30
kato online Sadge
2021-01-21 16:31
#49
 | 
Brazil Gildocsg0
FUCK OFF ESL
2021-01-21 16:34
#52
 | 
Australia Rezonact
Sad vibes for us Aussies, thats IEM Melbourne cancelled 2 years in a row, but this time they've actually cancelled it indefinitely.
2021-01-21 16:38
again a corona year f cs lan
2021-01-21 16:40
#55
device | 
Turkey c0ir
what is studio? studio = LAN or what?
2021-01-21 16:56
5 replies
#56
 | 
China HEIDASHUAi
Yes
2021-01-21 16:58
2 replies
#67
device | 
Turkey c0ir
ty
2021-01-21 17:52
1 reply
#79
 | 
China HEIDASHUAi
Yea like #77 said theres no audience but at least it's LAN. Better than online
2021-01-21 18:41
#77
 | 
Germany F0kussi3rt
Yes just without Viewers
2021-01-21 18:30
1 reply
#78
device | 
Turkey c0ir
sadly
2021-01-21 18:33
#57
 | 
World Beard43
Yes, bring back LAN.
2021-01-21 16:58
"IEM Summer 2021; previously IEM Melbourne", excuse me? where is IEM Australia? Why is it removed?
2021-01-21 16:59
Katowice fully online really sucks, they should have tried to get all the teams together in a LAN environment.
2021-01-21 17:00
AN EVENT WITH PEOPLE IN MADRID, LEMME GET THEM TICKETS
2021-01-21 17:11
#62
 | 
Estonia nordjoker
FINALLY
2021-01-21 17:17
bow down to Malta everyone! The future capital of esports
2021-01-21 17:27
nice
2021-01-21 17:30
Lan, very nice
2021-01-21 17:54
#71
 | 
Brazil Sudario
Nice
2021-01-21 18:03
Katowice :(
2021-01-21 18:18
#74
 | 
France Uexo
Katowice online, fuck
2021-01-21 18:24
Sucks about Katowice. But I still consider this good news. LAN is back in sight brotherzzz.
2021-01-21 18:27
#81
 | 
Australia vamped
Seems a bit ambitious to aim for April on LAN. I hope it happens but I highly doubt it with the current situation.
2021-01-21 19:10
#82
 | 
North America joeS
Fuck yes. Dreamhack Atlanta is in-person again. Incoming bring your own pc tournament ))))
2021-01-21 19:39
Auf nach Köln!
2021-01-21 19:57
#84
 | 
Canada dennek
cologne with audience lets fucking goooo
2021-01-21 20:08
$1mil for so many events lets gooooo
2021-01-21 21:28
#87
 | 
Malta MIHAJA
Hope ESL Pro League 14 ends up being a LAN since it's at the end of the year and the Maltese government said that all the Maltese are expected to be fully vaccinated by the end of summer in Malta. Would love to attend another tournament in person and if everyone attending is vaccinated there is no reason for it not to be a live event!
2021-02-20 15:02
Login or register to add your comment to the discussion.