A new competitive CS:GO circuit has been announced by ESL and DreamHack offering teams the chance to contest a $5m prize pool and play at two of the biggest live events in esports.
The ESL Pro Tour will click off in 2020, combining ESL and and DreamHack tournaments, building towards IEM Katowice and ESL One Cologne.
Tournaments in the ESL Pro Tour will be split into Challenger and Masters levels.The Challenger level will include DreamHack Open, the Mountain Dew League and ESL’s National Championships.
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The announcement comes as eight of the world's top CS:GO teams prepare for the New Champions Stage of the StarLadder Berlin Major.
The ESL Pro Tour calendar will be confirmed at ESL One New York on September 28th.
ESL said the competitions will serve as a platform for teams to elevate themselves to Masters level tournaments.
The Masters category will largely be arena tournaments with $250,000 or more in prize money and will still feature the world’s best teams as usual.
It will include ESL One powered by Intel, Intel Extreme Masters, DreamHack Masters and the ESL CS:GO Pro League.
Teams will win points in the ESL Pro Tour Ranking and the best of them will compete in two Masters Championship finals each year at the world’s largest and most attended independent CS:GO Tournaments - Germany's ESL One Cologne and Intel Extreme Masters Katowice in Poland.
Connecting the dots
ESL CEO Ralf Reichert said the ESL Pro Tour will create a clearer path for players to "become somebody".
He said: "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.
"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."
Marcus Lindmark, co-CEO at DreamHack, said: "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.
"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."