ESL and DreamHack: $5 million ESL Pro Tour coming in 2020
In early September, the ESL and DreamHack announced that they were collaborating on a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) pro circuit, the ESL Pro Tour.
- The ESL Pro Tour will have a combined prize pool of over $5 million and include events such as ESL One: Cologne and IEM Katowice
With a combined prize pool of over $5 million and includes many of the top CS:GO events, such as ESL One: Cologne and IEM Katowice, now under its umbrella, the ESL Pro Tour could very well do what no other organizer or circuit has in the past.
This promises to be an exciting development not only for fans of the eSport but for smaller teams to get a shot at the bigger championships, and of course, opens up new possibilities for CSGO betting.
What is the ESL Pro Tour?
The circuit will feature 20 events in a calendar year with the hopes of creating “one narrative that builds towards two grand championships each year.”
Valve majors are the biggest events on the competitive calendar, but CS:GO has no comparable league-based competition to rival the Overwatch League (OWL), the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), or the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS).
Making the CSGO Scene Easier to Follow for Fans and Bettors
In 2018, Valve made CS:GO free to play on Steam in hopes of drawing fresh blood. While the free-to-play model has helped CSGO grow its base, the multitude of tournaments and competitions billing themselves as “major” or “premier” has diluted the scene, making it hard for newbies to follow.
The ESL Pro Tour could solve many of the game’s problems in this space. It seeks to capitalize on the ESL’s increasing influence in professional CS:GO and establish a premier circuit structure, drawing in fans and bettors alike.
ESL Pro Tour Format
Set to start in 2020, the ESL Pro Tour will have two levels of competition: Masters and Challenger.
Masters tournaments will have bigger prize pools and will feature the best teams in the world, but competitors that qualify for the Challenger tournaments have the opportunity to advance to Masters events.
- Masters tournaments will feature prize pools of at least $250,000.
Tying the circuit together is the circuit ranking system. Teams receive points based on their performances at ESL Pro Tour events and earn qualification to the Masters Championship finals tournaments based on their standing in the rankings.
The Masters Championships are IEM Katowice and ESL One: Cologne.
Impact on eSports Betting
Many of the biggest CS:GO tournaments will remain on the calendar in 2020 but their inclusion in the ESL Pro Tour will help attract new bettors.
It will be easier for bettors and fans to follow the narrative of the competitive season and distinguish the contenders from the pretenders.
The Tour will also bring more exposure to traditionally smaller events. As a stop on the ESL Pro Tour, any and all tournaments will garner more legitimacy and offer CS:GO bettors more opportunities to gamble.
- CS:GO is already one of the most gambled-on esports in the world and the ESL Pro Tour will grow the market even more.
The announcement of the ESL Pro Tour is a welcome one as CS:GO continues to evolve in a vastly different esports environment than the one Counter-Strike games molded in the early 2000s.
Valve has gotten all it can muster out of the decentralized format the game has used since its release.
It’s time CS:GO reorganized for a more coherent professional structure. Fans and bettors alike will reap the benefits.
For a more in-depth betting guide in all things CSGO betting, be sure to check out our dedicated hub where our experts have poured the best betting tips from the industry, so you can increase your chances of winning!