ESL and DreamHack will hold eight ESL Pro Tour LAN tournaments in 2021, the tournament organizers announced Tuesday.
The total is two fewer than what was planned for 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic impacted the world.
The ESL Pro Tour 2021 calendar will begin with IEM Katowice in February, one of the ESL Pro Tour's Master events. The calendar will conclude with an IEM tournament in Asia in December.
The $250,000 ESL and DreamHack tournaments will be spread over two weeks in 2021, with a break between the group stage and the arena playoffs.
"The new vision of ESL Pro Tour CS:GO is part of our ongoing mission to place players and fans at the center of the esports experience," Ulrich Schulze, Senior Vice President Product at ESL, said in a statement. "The dynamic double weekend format will maximize excitement and content for fans around the world, while players will benefit from a more balanced competitive schedule.
"The time between the game weekends will now be used to create content specific to the players who make the playoffs meaning, while teams prepare their tactics, ESL will create new trailers, interviews and tactical analysis tailor-made to every match-up at the weekend. With this new format, ESL Pro Tour will bring players and fans alike closer to the action."
The tournament organizers contend that the new format will benefit the players given the "lower density" of matches as well as spending less time away from home.
"For our tournaments it means we will now have much more time to be able to create premium content, tactical analysis, hype trailers and really focus on the storylines of Counter-Strike," the tournament organizers said.
The new format will span 24 weeks of the 2021 calendar.
The following is the current rundown of the tournaments: IEM Katowice (Feb. 16-28); ESL Pro League season 13 (March 10-April 18); DreamHack Masters (June 3-13); ESL One Cologne (July 6-18); IEM Melbourne (Aug. 17-22); ESL Pro League season 14 (Sept. 1-Oct. 10); IEM tournament (Oct. 14-24); IEM tournament (Dec. 2-12).
--Field Level Media