ESL announces CS:GO 2021 events calendar, big Pro Tour format changes, more

The ESL has announced some big changes headed to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s competitive scene next year, along with a full reveal of its events calendar, as it hopes to “bring some stability back” for players, fans, and the organisation itself. These changes include an all-new format for ESL Pro Tour events, a shiny new studio “designed for CS:GO”, and more.

“Following one of the most unpredictable and challenging years in esports history, we’d like to reveal our vision and outlook for ESL Pro Tour 2021,” the ESL announces on its site. “By announcing our calendar for the upcoming events next year we wish to bring some stability back for the players, fans and ourselves. We hope that LAN events will return and we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation leading into 2021.”

The first of these major updates is the official CS:GO 2021 calendar itself, which next year will feature a “lower density of matches” – that is, eight ESL Pro Tour LAN tournaments, which will be “held over the course of two back-to-back weekends”, instead of over a single week.

This, as the company explains, has several big positives: less time travelling and spent away from home but more space for preparation for the teams taking part, and “much more time to be able to create premium content, tactical analysis, hype trailers, and really focus on the storylines of Counter-Strike”.

Together, the events – which you can see in the calendar below – have a combined prize pool of $4.5 million.

As for that brand-new studio, the ESL says it’s “taking yours, ours, and the player’s experience to the maximum level with a studio designed for CS:GO”. This includes some snazzy, super modern kit like “all of the latest Intel technology”, such as 240Hz monitors, tables with adjustable heights, “anti-flash smart glass”, player booths that actually rotate, and other stuff besides. You can get a sneak peek at the studio design in the tweet below.

It’s worth noting that, in light on the ongoing pandemic around the world, the above plans aren’t set in stone. However, the ESL says it “will monitor the situation and keep you updated on any necessary changes to our events”. But, for the meantime, it looks like we know what’s in store for CS:GO’s esports scene next year.