The ESL FACEIT Group has unveiled the details of the ESL Pro Tour. The ESL Gaming and FACEIT holding company announced that the ESL Pro Tour would have more than 40 tournaments take place across the year.
The 2023 season will run from January to December and will allow players at every level the chance to show off their skills in the various competitive tiers. This includes the EPT Challenger as well as the EPT Masters and EPT Championships.
The tournament organizer revealed that both offline and online events would be featured in the ESL Pro Tour. The Pro Tour Championships will also be held this year with a prize pool of $1 million (£860,000) for each.
IEM Katowice and IEM Cologne, the flagship tournaments of the year, were announced in September. The competitions will create the pinnacle of the event structure. The well-known tournaments will be held in the Spodek and LANXESS Arenas, their world-famous stadiums.
Compared to the 2022 iterations of the two championship events, the upcoming tournaments will have different starting dates. The IEM Katowice will begin on January 31 and the IEM Cologne on July 25.
The changes were made when the Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association (CSPPA) decided to move the summer break to June 12 – July 9. This was in a bid to have more equal season lengths.
The ESL Pro League Season 17 will begin on February 21 and kick off the five EPT Masters tournaments that will take place during the year. The 24-team tournament will be held in Malta and will have a live audience seated for the playoff stage.
Returning to the Mediterranean island was decided on after an August announcement that revealed that for the next three years, the tournament would continue to be held in Malta. ESL Gaming and GamingMalta lengthened their participation till 2024.
The ESL Pro League was also increased from four weeks to five, unlike the ESL Pro League Seasons 15 and 16 events. Due to this, the tournament’s conference stage will feed into the main event straight instead of an extended break between the two stages of play.
All ESL Pro Tour tournaments will be held in online qualifiers and regional competitions. The supported regions at the moment include Europe, North America, and Asia.
The IEM Dallas will return for a second year in 2023, while the IEM Spring and IEM Fall have not had their locations revealed yet. ESL FACEIT Group’s press release also revealed that ESL Impact’s roadmap for 2023 would be published soon.
Shaun Clark, the Senior Director of Game Ecosystems for CS:GO, spoke about the plans for next year and disclosed that there was still much to do despite laying out the plans for the year.
“Revealing our plans for the next year is always an important milestone for us!” Clark said.
“A clear goal each year is to give players, teams, talent, fans, and partners alike the opportunity to plan their year with us well in advance.”
“It’s exciting to be looking forward to over 40+ tournaments around the globe, serving all tiers of the CS:GO competitive pyramid – from aspiring to professional. While we’ve planned out these tournaments, our work is not done, as we look to improve and continuously work on putting on amazing experiences for all of our global community.”
According to the ESL Pro Tour’s competitive season, the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Rio Major 2022 is the next major event. The tournament is scheduled to kick off on October 31 and will feature 24 teams competing for the championship title.