ESL and DreamHack Join Forces With Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft and Warcraft have long been the most popular real-time strategy games and the obvious choice for esports. Blizzard Entertainment brought these amazing games back into the spotlight, with a sequel, as well as the Remastered and Reforged editions.
The best players in the world compete on the ESL and DreamHack stages for huge prize pools and international recognition. They are right to be optimistic about what 2020 will bring as ESL, DreamHack and Blizzard have signed a strategic agreement.
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An Important Milestone for Esports and RTS Fans
The ESL is the largest esports company in the world and its Pro Tour events bring together the best real-time strategy gamers. Meanwhile, DreamHack is the organizer of the premier gaming lifestyle festival, attended by enthusiastic fans worldwide. These two companies have been working together for quite a while, as they are both part of the MTG international entertainment group. The recently signed deal with Blizzard Entertainment will add millions of dollars to their flagship events until the end of 2022.
StarCraft II fans will find many similarities between the new ESL Pro Tour StarCraft II and the previous World Championship Series. The best part is that the new string of tournaments will involve players from four different continents, with the winners converging to the global finals.
We’re excited to announce the future of StarCraft II esports. Our 3-year deal with ESL will help create a longstanding, high-quality program that keeps StarCraft II esports thriving for years to come.
— StarCraft Esports (@esportstarcraft) January 7, 2020
One of the changes brought about by the strategic agreement is that the finals will be played at the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice. Warcraft fans were not forgotten either as they get the new ESL Pro Tour Warcraft III: Reforged.
The Future of RTS Esports Looks Bright Again
StarCraft was the first game to be played at the highest level by professional gamers, therefore the predecessor of modern esports. It used to dominate the international stage, but over the years it lost much of its shine and only retained in South Korean stronghold. Real-time strategy games overall have suffered a decline, but this new agreement is likely to revive the popular genre.
ESL and DreamHack have the merit of taking Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournaments to the next level. Their online and offline tournaments award significant prizes and are being watched by millions of fans worldwide.
The addition of two real-time strategy games to the ESL Pro Tour will breathe fresh life into the sails of StarCraft and Warcraft and their dwindling communities. The ESL platform is likely to act as a springboard for real-time strategy games and propel them back to the big esports stage.
Blizzard Entertainment didn’t take a leap of faith with ESL and DreamHack and instead made the safe choice with proven esports companies.
This partnership will strengthen their joint position in the market, and provide StarCraft and Warcraft with a fast-track to major tournaments. These companies have been working together for a while and this deal represents a significant milestone in the long-term relationship. Depending on the success of this arrangement, the agreement could be extended beyond 2022.
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