Counter Strike: Global Offensive

ESL unveils 2021 tournament calendar

The schedule for DreamHack and ESL events in 2021 has been released by the tournament organizer on Thursday, alongside the company’s plans regarding the transition towards LAN play. The initial competition of the year will be played fully online, with the transition to studio play planned for the playoffs of ESL Pro League Season 13, taking place in April.

Up until November, when the PGL Major is planned to take place, ESL and DreamHack tournaments will not feature audiences, albeit the possibility of having a crowd will be considered for ESL One Cologne, scheduled for July.

Cologne is the only ESL event before November that could have an in-person audience

ESL Pro League Season 13 playoffs are planned to be played at a LAN studio in Malta, where Season 11 was supposed to be held before those plans were derailed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company noted that all events will be run according to “Return to LAN” protocols, which the company has decided on in conjunction with the CSPPA. Additionally, ESL pointed out that the 2021 calendar will be dependant on the latest health guidances, “with ESL Gaming’s top priority being the safety and well-being of all personnel, players and attendees involved”.

The “Return to LAN” protocol includes, amongst others:

– Testing and other measures before arrival at the event
– Travel and arrival at accommodation
– Creation of a controlled environment among participants, staff and others
– Ongoing COVID-19 testing procedures during stay
– Prepared actions in case of positive tests
– Prepared measures in order to ensure that players can return home safely

DreamHack Atlanta is noted as the first “festival event” that could feature an audience, with IEM Winter/China on December 2-12 set to be the first large-scale CS:GO tournament with in-person viewing.

You can find the list of events, the dates on which they will be played, and how they will be run below:

IEM Katowice 2021: 16 – 28 Feb / $1,000,000 / 24 Teams / Online
EPL: Season 13 Malta: 08 Mar – 11 Apr / $750,000 / 24 Teams / Online with Studio Playoffs
DreamHack Masters Spring 2021: 29 Apr – May 9 / $250,000 / 16 Teams / Studio
IEM Summer 2021: 03 – 13 June / $250,000 / 16 Teams / Studio (prev. IEM Melbourne)
ESL One Cologne 2021: 06 – 18 Jul / $1,000,000 / 24 Teams / Live Event LANXESS
EPL: Season 14 Malta: 08 Sep – 10 Oct / $750,000 / 24 Teams / Studio
IEM Fall 2021: 14 – 24 Oct* / $250,000 / 16 Teams / Studio
IEM Winter 2021: / 02 – 12 Dec / $250,000 / 16 Teams / Live Event Asia

*ESL acknowledged that IEM Fall overlaps with the recent announcement of the PGL Major. They are working on solutions to adjust and will update in due course.

News and updates about the ESL Pro Tour structure will follow in the coming weeks, including all information around DreamHack Open competitions.

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