ESL and Dreamhack have announced the world's biggest and most lucrative Counter-Strike: Global Offensive circuit so far - the new ESL Pro Tour. The circuit will span all the continents and comes with a prize pool exceeding $5 million.
ESL Pro Tour will link more than twenty CS:GO tournaments and leagues. It "will feature an aggregate prize pool of over $5 million for 2020 from competitions on five different continents, making it the world's largest and most lucrative circuit in Counter-Strike's 20-year history."
According to the announcement, the goal is to have a single narrative building towards two Masters Championships every year. Both hope that ESL Pro Tour will let players go from proverbial rags to riches, while simultaneously becoming more engaging to current and new CS:GO players, as well as esports crowds in general.
ESL Pro Tour's tournaments will be split into Challenger and Masters tiers. The Challenger tier covers DreamHack Open, the Mountain Dew League and ESL's National Championships, and is your path to the Masters.
Masters, on the other hand, are high-profile competitions with at least $250,000 in prize money, and this will be where the CS:GO elite will reside. It includes 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: ESL One Cologne (Germany) and Intel Extreme Masters Katowice (Poland)", they wrote.
ESL's CEO Ralf Reichert said their growth in recent years made it clear that such a partnership is sorely needed. "It was the time to connect the dots where the outcome is a bigger picture that fits better with our vision for esports", he said.
Deramhack's co-CEO Marcus Lindmark said that the collaboration on ESL Pro Tour adds deeper meaning and purpose to both participants, while opening up exciting new business opportunities.