ESL Gaming unveil plans to return to regular in-person competition in 2021 & more
Cologne/Stockholm, December 15, 2020: ESL Gaming, the world’s largest esports company has today revealed full 2021/2022 planning and calendar for ESL Pro Tour StarCraft® II and Warcraft® III, as they announce the removal of a region lock which will see South Korean players able to compete on a regular basis in international StarCraft® II tournaments since 2015.
Today’s announcement confirms the full 2021/2022 tournament calendar for StarCraft II and Warcraft III aimed at maximising excitement for fans around the world. The StarCraft II circuit tour will kick off with the DreamHack StarCraft 2 Masters in May 2021 and conclude at IEM Katowice in February 2022 where players will be playing for a grand prize of US $500,000. The Warcraft III circuit will start with the DreamHack Warcraft 3 Open: Spring in May 2021 and culminate with the DreamHack Warcraft 3 Championship in December.
ESL Gaming and DreamHack have drawn out a list of plans to keep StarCraft II and Warcraft III operating throughout 2021 in spite of the ever-changing global pandemic landscape. It is hoped that StarCraft II tournaments next year will take place as regular in-person competitions, however plans are in place to run the tournaments as online-only if required or in case the global health situation eases, festivals are planned to happen on-site. However all decisions will be made in line with the latest health guidance with more updates on actual event-planning to come in the following months.
ESL Gaming has also announced that starting from the 2021/2022 season, players competing within the Korean esports ecosystem will also be able to compete regularly within international tournaments.
This change will see all StarCraft II competitions become global as South Koreans re-enter the global circuit for the first time since 2015.
2021 will be the second year of ESL Gaming’s three-year-long strategic agreement with Blizzard Entertainment 2021, a partnership that helped create the ESL Pro Tour providing years of stability for players and fans with it's $4,000,000+ prize pool.
"Our inaugural year for the ESL Pro Tour in 2020 has been challenging, however we believe the future is bright as we are happy to share our latest planning as we slowly begin to return to normality" said Shaun Clark, ESL Pro Tour Director at ESL Gaming. "One of our end of year goals was to ensure we provided our community, players and partners stability with detailing our 2021/2022 program."
ABOUT ESL GAMING
ESL Gaming is the world’s largest esports and gaming lifestyle company. Since 1994, the company has been shaping the industry and leading esports and gaming innovation on a global scale across the most popular video games with numerous online and offline esports competitions, and through premier gaming lifestyle festivals. The company operates high-profile, branded international leagues and tournaments under the ESL Pro Tour, including ESL One, Intel® Extreme Masters, DreamHack Masters, ESL Pro League, and other preeminent, stadium-size tournaments. ESL Gaming also produces and hosts DreamHack Open tournaments, ESL National Championships, grassroots amateur cups, matchmaking systems, and DreamHack’s gaming lifestyle festivals — which feature everything gaming under one roof. ESL Gaming is part of MTG, the leading international digital entertainment group. More information is available at about.eslgaming.com.
ESL Pro Tour - The ESL Pro Tour combines multiple, previously unconnected ESL and DreamHack tournaments from various game titles into dedicated circuits that build toward grand championships each year. The collaboration aims to create a more complete path from “zero to hero” for aspiring players, a more compelling story to follow for existing CS:GO, StarCraft II and Warcraft III fans, and a more transparent structure for new esports fans.