Three of the biggest names in esports and gaming are going to work together as part of a three-year agreement that will see new games and formats at a series of festivals.
ESL Gaming and DreamHack will create new ESL Pro Tour formats for both StarCraft II and Warcraft III: Reforged games, with Blizzard Entertainment providing prize pools of over $1.8 million and over $200,000, respectively, for the first season of each.
“We are so proud that StarCraft II and Warcraft III are home to two of the most passionate, storied and devoted communities in esports history,” said J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard Entertainment. “Both ESL and DreamHack have been long-standing partners for our esports and we want to give our players, talent, content creators and fans the stability inherent in a long-term relationship, keeping these communities thriving for years to come.”
The new ESL Pro Tour StarCraft II will feature tournaments on a minimum of four continents with the global finals moving to Intel Extreme Masters Katowice. ESL and DreamHack will also build a new competitive platform for Warcraft III: Reforged by introducing a new ESL Pro Tour for the game.
“ESL and DreamHack are deeply rooted within Blizzard esports games and have built ecosystems around them for years now,” said ESL’s Sebastian Weishaar. “Tying both StarCraft II and Warcraft III into the ESL Pro Tour narrative is our contribution to these passionate communities and will provide both titles with a promising platform to continue writing esports history.”
The ranking and qualifying format for ESL Pro Tour StarCraft II is based on Blizzard’s existing system. The first season of the StarCraft II tour comprises seven tournaments, including both Katowice 2020 and Katowice 2021. Two IEM competitions and four DreamHack tournaments will lead up to the Masters Championship at Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2021.
Warcraft III: Reforged esports will consist of one ESL competition and three DreamHack tournaments, culminating in a championship tournament in 2020. In addition to both ESL Pro Tours, weekly ESL Open Cups will be held for the wider amateur and grassroots community.
“We are both proud and humbled by the fact that Blizzard has chosen DreamHack and ESL to take the lead for competitive StarCraft II and Warcraft III moving forward,” said DreamHack co-Chief Executive Officer Marcus Lindmark. “This strengthens our joint position as the top tournament organizers in the market with a unique combination of reach and knowledge, and an extensive and successful history.”