ESL is pushing to strengthen its position as the world’s biggest independent eSports brand, announcing today that it has signed a multi-year, extensive partnership agreement with Twitch.
Twitch will become the exclusive streaming partner for ESL One Frankfurt 2014, the biggest European Dota 2 event to be held in a 2006 Football World Cup stadium: the Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt (Germany). The long-standing partnership is apparently the result of good synergy between the companies and numerous broadcasting milestones set by ESL using the Twitch platform.
The announcement comes after ESL has finished another successful Intel Extreme Masters season. Using Twitch as the platform, it broke a number of its own viewership and attendance records. The renewed deal is an expected step for ESL, as the company recently announced the expansion to North America, where it hosts competitions for a number of major titles, and has opened a full TV production studio in Los Angeles, California.
The deal includes far-reaching content and co-marketing collaboration worldwide, including Twitch being the exclusive Western world broadcaster for all ESL eSports events. ESL will also use Twitch to air the ninth season of Intel Extreme Masters, events from gamescom 2014, the ESL One Frankfurt 2014, and in ESL’s studios in Europe and North America.
“We are a pioneer within the industry by creating the most epic and magical moments possible,” said Ralf Reichert, CEO and Managing Director at ESL. “A big part of this is communicating and sharing an event’s atmosphere in high definition to thousands of eSports fans at home unable to attend. This wouldn’t be possible without Twitch and the power of its platform.”
“ESL has created a premium esports product at worldwide scale and are a top example of the premium gaming content available on Twitch,” said Stuart Saw, Regional Director, EMEA, Twitch. “They have a passion for games and have built a great community. And when you look at their record setting numbers and international reach, they are clearly one of the key players in the esports industry.”
ESL have worked with Twitch since the livestreaming platform launched in 2011 and from then on one viewership record after another was broken. Since 2011, enthusiasts from over 180 countries have tuned in to watch ESL’s content on Twitch.
The streaming platform recorded a peak of over 280,000 concurrent viewers on a single stream at the Intel Extreme Masters Cologne in 2013, which was broken only a few months later during the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2014, when the concurrent viewership in the Western world across all games at the event peaked at 643,000.
Will you be tuning in to any ESL tournaments this year? Which eSport would you turn pro for?