ESL Gaming Announces Shopify as Key Sponsor for ESL Pro Tour

As Part of Agreement, ESL Gaming, Shopify and TLnet will Collaborate on Key Enhancements to ESL Pro Tour

STOCKHOLM/COLOGNE/NEW YORK, May 20, 2021 — ESL Gaming, the world’s largest esports company, announced today that Shopify, a leading global commerce company, will be a key sponsor of the ESL Pro Tour StarCraft® II, including Intel® Extreme Masters Katowice 2022. 

The ESL Pro Tour StarCraft II, combining the Real-Time Strategy (RTS) legacies of Blizzard Entertainment®, DreamHack and ESL, is a yearly competition that features online tournaments with the global finals held at the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2022. 

As part of the agreement:

  • The ESL Open Cups allow all aspiring, talented players to participate in weekly tournaments with an opportunity to win weekly prize money, are now the ESL Open Cups Powered by Shopify.
  • ESLGaming, Shopify and TLnet will join forces to host a contest for community mapmakers to try to find the best new map for StarCraft II (more details to be announced).
  • A video series featuring players and key community members will be produced to tell the stories of people who are dedicating their lives to StarCraft II.

“The StarCraft II community has a long-standing legacy with ESL Gaming because we have been involved and invested in supporting this game since its release in 2010,” said Shaun Clark, Director ESL Pro Tour at ESL Gaming. “With Shopify as a key sponsor, we have a tremendous opportunity for both us and our community to continue this mission and give back to all players and fans.”

“As major fans and supporters of the StarCraft II community, our focus has been on backing third-party community events and cheering on our pro team, Shopify Rebellion,” said Dario Wünsch, Esports Program Manager at Shopify. “Being on the pro circuit with ESL Gaming allows us to forge even closer ties to the SCII community and to help continue building upon its momentum. We’re excited to become more deeply involved and to support players and mapmakers on the journey to build an even stronger SCII esports ecosystem.”

The ranking and qualifying format for the ESL Pro Tour StarCraft II is based on the proven model of Blizzard’s former World Championship Series. Last year’s StarCraft II tour comprised seven tournaments in total to allow new players to make their way to the top. One IEM competition and four DreamHack tournaments will lead up to the Masters Championship at Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2022.

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ESL Gaming is the world’s largest esports and gaming lifestyle company. Since 1994, the company has been shaping the industry and leading esports and gaming innovation on a global scale across the most popular video games with numerous online and offline esports competitions, and through premier gaming lifestyle festivals. The company operates high-profile, branded international leagues and tournaments under the ESL Pro Tour, including ESL One, Intel® Extreme Masters, DreamHack Masters, ESL Pro League, and other preeminent, stadium-size tournaments. ESL Gaming also produces and hosts DreamHack Open tournaments, ESL National Championships, grassroots amateur cups, matchmaking systems, and DreamHack’s gaming lifestyle festivals — which feature everything gaming under one roof. ESL Gaming is part of MTG, the leading international digital entertainment group. More information is available at


StarCraft II is an action-packed Real-Time Strategy game that has become widely recognized as part of the most acclaimed and influential real-time strategy series ever made. The game also established itself as a fixture of global esports through the World Championship Series (WCS). Following the retirement of the WCS in 2019, players around the world have continued to enjoy watching top pros like Cho “Maru” Seong Ju and Joona “Serral” Sotala through the ESL Pro Tour.

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