DreamHack Open and ESEA Premier now have new names in the ESL Pro Tour circuit.

ESL has announced changes to its esports calendar for 2022 with over $5 million in prize money and more than 25 competitions across the year. The ESL Pro Tour circuit will also include some rebranded competitions such as ESL Challenger and ESL Challenger League.

Flagship events such as IEM Cologne and IEM Katowice will see fans returning to the venue, cheering for their favorite teams. ESL Pro Tour Masters events such as ESL Pro League will also see LAN and live audiences return for 2022 season.

While working tirelessly to refine and improve the program, we have made great changes to provide a better, clearer and more competitive structure. We are also ecstatic at the prospect of finally welcoming fans back to our competitions for the first time in two years.

 Shaun Clark, Director ESL Pro Tour at ESL Gaming

What are the dates for ESL Pro Tour Masters and Championship events?

There are six Masters and Championship tier events spread throughout the year. These events will feature the best CS: GO teams from across the world, competing on LAN and with a live audience. After over a year of online events, ESL is now ready to head back to LAN, in what will provide players and fans the truest experience of the game.

  • ESL Pro League Season 15: Nov 23 - 28, 2021 & Mar 9 - Apr 10, 2022.
  • IEM US: May 31 - Jun 5, 2022.
  • ESL Pro League Season 16: Jun 14 - 19 & Aug 31 - Oct 2, 2022.
  • IEM Cologne: Jul 5 - 17, 2022.
  • ESL Pro League Season 17: Nov 22 - 27, 2022.
  • IEM China: Dec 6 - 11, 2022.

What are the changes to the ESL Pro Tour ?

The ESL Pro Tour calendar year comprises a mixture of events from the grassroots to elite championship events. These events total more than 25 across the entire year and each circuit culminates in a Championship tier event.

  • 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.

The former DreamHack Open events are now challenger tier events while former ESEA Premier events are now challenger leagues. ESL is rebranding several tournaments and leagues in order to bring them all under one umbrella brand. The organizer continues with its support for grassroots events with more than ten national events across the world. 

The 2022 ESL Pro Tour Calendar. Image Credit: ESL.
The 2022 ESL Pro Tour Calendar. Image Credit: ESL.

The ESL Pro League is now the way to the top for Challenger tournaments. The Pro League acts as the link between Championship events and the Challenger events. With these changes, ESL has clearly defined the path to pro for young players. It also provides a ladder system for the players to climb their way to the top - Champions and Masters tier evnets.

What are the changes to ESL Pro League?

All EPT Challenger level competitions will now qualify teams to the ESL Pro League. ESL has added a new stage to the EPL, the EPL Conference, to accommodate the new teams. More details will be available soon. The ESL Pro League Conference Season 15 will take place from November 23-28, 2021.

When does IEM Katowice 2022 take place?

IEM Katowice 2022 will return as a LAN event and will feature a live audience. The tournament takes place between February 25-27, 2022 in Spodek, Poland. In addition to the CS:GO event, IEM Katowice will also feature Starcraft 2 stage veterans and various IEM Expo exhibitions. Fans will have to ensure they have a EU COVID certificate at the entrance. This is to ensure the safety of all attendees and players as well as to comply with local rules and regulations.

The tournament organizer has reached out to existing ticket-holders and asked them to confirm their presence at the 2022 event.

What’s the status of the Rio CS:GO Major?

ESL has revealed it is in talks with Valve for a Rio Major for 2022. Existing tickets will remain valid for the next year if the Major if confirmed. 

The ESL Rio Major, originally slated for November 2020 was canceled due to the travel restrictions and safety concerns due to the pandemic. But it seems ESL is still in talks with Valve about a possible Rio Major for 2022, in what should be a welcome announcement for South American CS: GO fans.

Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest CS:GO news and updates