With the fourth season of the ESL Pro League now over, the industry-leading event organizer has unveiled its plans for the forthcoming seasons of the league.
The changes include a 25 percent bump to the league’s prize purse, with the 2017 season of the league offering a $2 million prize pool spread across the two seasons. This means that ESL will be offering the same amount of prize money as Valve’s own major events, which the competitive Counter-Strike scene orbits around.
With the popularity of CS:GO still at an all-time high, tournament organizers have consistently been increasing their payouts to reflect the game’s widespread viewer base. An example of this came in late 2015, when ten esports organizations began asking for a prize pool minimum of $75,000 to even accept invitations to LAN events.
Additionally, the schedule for the first season of 2017 has already been made public: The regular season will take place from February 7 to May, and the finals will be held at the Verizon Theatre in Dallas, Texas from June 3–4.
North American fan favorites Cloud9 won the last iteration of ESL Pro League on Oct. 30 in Sao Paolo, Brazil; where the team defeated hometown heroes SK Gaming in the grand finals.