ESL and DreamHack, both under the MTG brand, have collaborated to announce the new ESL Pro Tour circuit, linking more than 20 CS:GO tournaments and leagues and featuring an aggregated prize pool of over $5 million USD in 2020.
This means that ESL and DreamHack events over five continents will all be part of the same journey, including two grand championships a year, as well as creating a "more complete path from zero to hero" for grassroots contenders.
"ESL's growth in recent years has led us to rethink what we are doing. 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," said Ralf Reichert, CEO at ESL. "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."
"This collaboration will provide a deeper meaning and purpose to all our properties allowing us to provide fans with more thrilling experiences than before. On the other hand, it also represents a much larger and more attractive opportunity for sponsors and media to engage with the esports audience," adds Marcus Lindmark, co-CEO at DreamHack. "ESL Pro Tour mirrors our ambition to provide up and coming players a clear path to the professional on their way to becoming tomorrow's esports professionals."
Tournaments in this structure are split into Challenger and Masters, with the former including the Mountain Dew League, DreamHack Open, and ESL's national championships, sitting just below Masters, which are arena tournaments with $250,000 or more in prize money. These include ESL One, IEM, DreamHack Masters, and the ESL Pro League.
Teams get to win points in the ESL Pro Tour, which then decide who competes in the Masters Championship final each year at ESL One Cologne and IEM Katowice.
More details are coming at ESL One New York on September 28 in a media briefing, but for now what do you make of this structure?