ESL and DreamHack announced plans to host eight ESL Pro Tour offline tournaments in 2021, with a total prize pool of US$4.5 million, two less than the original plan before the outbreak this year. After negotiating with the teams and players, they are making changes to the way they arrange the event dates to reduce player fatigue and improve the quality of the event.
In recent years, ESL and DreamHack offline events with more than $250,000 in prize money are usually held within a week, usually from Tuesday to Sunday. But starting in 2021, these events will be held in two weeks, with a break between the group stage and the knockout stage.
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ESL said that it is now possible to tell more stories that could not be reported in the past due to the tight schedule to arrange many games on peak days. At the same time, the event organizers also said that the new model will benefit the team. They will no longer need to participate in all ESL and DreamHack events international travel, and it will also help them return to the base as soon as possible after being eliminated because now the flight will not be automatically booked the day after the game is over. ESL told HLTV that this alone can reduce the time spent by the 13 Louvre Agreement teams by an average of 17 days compared to 2019.
ESL Senior Vice President Ulrich Schulze said in a statement: ESL Pro Tour?s new vision is one of our ongoing missions, which is to put players and fans at the center of the gaming experience. The passionate double weekend event will bring the greatest excitement and satisfaction to fans all over the world, and the players will benefit from a more reasonable game schedule.
Now, the time between the weekends of each competition will be used to create content related to specific players entering the elimination rounds. On weekends, when teams are formulating tactics, ESL will tailor a new promotional video, interviews, and tactical analysis for each match. ESL Pro Tour will use this new way to bring players and fans closer.
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ESL will set up a new special studio in Europe in 2021, which will use the latest technological advances to optimize the gaming experience for players and audiences around the world. The studio will serve as the central hub under the epidemic, but if the epidemic continues to force the cancellation of offline venue competitions, it may even become the stage for the entire competition.
Temporary calendar for ESL Pro Tour 2021 (date may change):