ESL unveil 2024 calendar; Pro League shortened
Two groups will play out simultaneously to make room for the reduction to ESL Pro League's running time.
ESL has revealed the ESL Pro Tour 2024 schedule, with the tournament organizer set to host seven Masters and Championship events alongside six Challenger tournaments across the upcoming calendar year.
ESL will once again host their flagship LAN tournaments, IEM Katowice and IEM Cologne, as ESL Pro Tour Championship-level events in the Spring Season, with fans set to descend on the iconic Spodek and Lanxess arenas once more as teams fight for the two $1 million prize pools.
While IEM Katowice will play out on a similar date to the 2023 edition, January 31 - February 11, it does, however, leave just three days for teams to prepare for the PGL CS2 Major Copenhagen Europe RMR, which kicks off on February 14 and will likely be one of the most important events of the year.
IEM Cologne's date range, meanwhile, has been pushed forward by two weeks. Now, teams will make their way to the city in west Germany on August 7-18 instead, with best-of-five grand finals still being employed for the two Championship events.
There is a notable reduction in the number of events hosted when compared to ESL's Pro Tour for 2023. The tournament organizer scheduled over 40 competitions throughout the year, a vast majority of which consisted of ESL National Championships, which were recently axed.
Another noteworthy change is the change to ESL Pro League's tournament duration. ESL has slashed its running time from five weeks at present — ESL Pro League Season 18 plays out on August 31-October 1 — to just three weeks, with Season 19 taking place on April 23-May 12 and Season 20 on September 3-22.
To accommodate the substantial change, ESL has revealed that two groups will play out simultaneously moving forward, as opposed to one week per group currently.
The remaining ESL Pro Tour Masters events include IEM China, playing out on April 8-14 in a yet-to-be-announced city; IEM Dallas, which returns for another iteration on May 27 - June 2 after ENCE triumphed in Texas back in May; and IEM Fall, scheduled to begin on October 7, with its city of choice also yet to be decided.
ESL will also host four Challenger tournaments on LAN throughout 2024, two of which are confirmed to be in Europe, though again the exact location hasn't yet been decided.
North America will hold their own Challenger event in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 4-6, in what will be ESL's return to the state as ESL Challenger Atlanta 2023 is due to take place in a few months' time on December 15-17. The location of the fourth Challenger competition is still yet to be finalized, but it will go live on April 26-28.
The remaining two Challenger tournaments are editions of ESL Challenger League, which returns to the Pro Tour calendar. The online competitions, which will serve Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Australia and New Zealand, encompass a large amount of the year, playing out across February-June for Season 47 and July-November for Season 48.
The ESL Pro Tour 2024 calendar is as follows:
EPT Masters and Championship events
IEM Katowice — January 31 - February 11
IEM China — April 8-14
ESL Pro League Season 19 — April 23 - May 12
IEM Dallas — May 27 - June 2
IEM Cologne — August 7-18
ESL Pro League Season 20 — September 3-22
IEM Fall — October 7-13 (location TBA)
*Events in bold denote a Championship-level tournament
EPT Challenger events
ESL Challenger League Season 47 — February - June
ESL Challenger #56 — April 26-28 (location TBA)
ESL Challenger #57 — June 14-16 (location TBA)
ESL Challenger League Season 48 — July - November
ESL Challenger Atlanta — October 4-6
ESL Challenger #59 — November 22-24 (location TBA)