ESL and DreamHack have revealed a three-year strategic agreement with Blizzard Entertainment which will see them create new ESL Pro Tour formats for StarCraft II and WarCraft III: Reforged, with Blizzard providing prize pools of $1.8 million and $200,000 USD respectively for the first season.
The ESL Pro Tour StarCraft II will take over from the StarCraft II World Championship Series, featuring a minimum of four continents, with the global finals moving from BlizzCon to the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice.
The ESL Pro Tour Warcraft III: Reforged, however, aims to build a new competitive platform around the remake of the classic game.
"We feel extremely honored to establish a new home for RTS esports fans and be responsible for two of the most prestigious esports titles of all time," said Sebastian Weishaar, CPO at ESL. "ESL and DreamHack are deeply rooted within Blizzard esports games and have built ecosystems around them for years now. Tying both StarCraft II and Warcraft III into the ESL Pro Tour narrative is our contribution to these passionate communities and will provide both titles with a promising platform to continue writing esports history."
"We are so proud that StarCraft II and Warcraft III are home to two of the most passionate, storied and devoted communities in esports history," said J. Allen Brack, President of Blizzard Entertainment. "Both ESL and DreamHack have been long-standing partners for our esports, and we want to give our players, talent, content creators and fans the stability inherent in a long-term relationship, keeping these communities thriving for years to come."
"This deal is a great step forward for StarCraft II esports and creates an exciting new esports scene around Warcraft III: Reforged," said Pete Vlastelica, President and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports. "We're deeply committed to bringing the best in competitive entertainment to fans and players around the world, and we're thrilled to expand our collaboration with ESL and DreamHack in support of that effort."
The ranking and qualifying for the ESL Pro Tour StarCraft II is based on Blizzard's WCS system, and there will be seven tournaments in the first season, including Katowice 2020 and 2021, with two IEM events and four DreamHack tournaments leading up to next year's event in Katowice.
For Warcraft III: Reforged, however, there'll be one ESL competition and three DreamHacks, with a Championship tournament rounding things off in 2020.
Is this a good move for these two titles?
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