Tournament organiser ESL Gaming has revealed a myriad of updates for the 2022 ESL Pro Tour for CS:GO including format, live audiences, and renamed events.
The 2022 ESL Pro Tour will include over 25 events, many of which are planned for LAN play before a live audience.
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Per ESL Gaming, it has changed the naming conventions of its competitions with the ‘overarching goal of simplification’. Tournaments that are highly competitive in nature and are on the pathway to EPT Championships will operate under the ESL naming from 2022.
As such, DreamHack Open will be renamed ESL Challenger and ESEA Premier will be renamed ESL Challenger League.
ESL Pro Tour 2022 will include:
- Two EPT Championships: IEM Katowice & IEM Cologne
- Five EPT Masters tournaments (including ESL Pro League)
- Four ESL Challenger tournaments
- Four ESL Challenger League seasons
- Ten+ ESL National Championships
All EPT Challenger level competitions will qualify into ESL Pro League as of 2022. A new stage of EPL has been created to facilitate this change, called the EPL Conference. ESL plans to host both the EPT Masters and EPT Championships on LAN before a live audience.
ESL Pro Tour 2022 Masters and Championships dates:
- ESL Pro League Season 15: Nov 23-28, 2021; March 9th through Apr 10th 2022
- IEM US: May 31st to June 5th, 2022
- ESL Pro League Season 16: June 14-19, 2022; August 31st through October 2nd, 2022
- IEM Cologne: July 5-17, 2022
- ESL Pro League Season 17: November 22-27, 2022
- IEM China: December 6-11, 2022
ESL Challenger competitions scheduled in the U.S., Spain, Australia, and the Netherlands are planned to take place on LAN in conjunction with DreamHack Festivals, including a live audience. ESL Gaming notes that ‘all events will be subject to local COVID-19 restrictions to ensure a safe event for all participants, staff and fans attending’.
The IEM Rio Major is under consideration with Valve for 2022. ESL Gaming assured fans that any previously purchased tickets remain valid for the event.
Esports Insider says: Consolidating and simplifying its Pro Tour makes perfect sense for ESL, especially as more tournament organisers seek to attract up-and-coming talent for the lower levels of play. Let’s hope to see the return of regular LAN in 2022.