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ESL to broadcast two of its top global esports competitions exclusively on Facebook: CS:GO Pro League & ESL One

Press Release   •   Jan 18, 2018 14:00 GMT

WESA and ESL bring CS:GO Pro League Exclusively to Facebook Starting in February 2018; ESL One Kicks Off Exclusive Streaming on January 23 with ESL One Genting 2018

Facebook Adding New Ways to Enjoy ESL Competitions, Including Streaming in 1080p/60fps and Watching in Facebook 360 for Gear VR

Los Angeles, CA - January 18, 2018 - ESL, the world's largest esports company, today announced that it will bring content from two of the top esports competitions exclusively to Facebook in 2018. 

WESA, the World Esports Association, along with ESL, announced that the world's top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competition, CS:GO Pro League, will be broadcasted exclusively on Facebook, kicking off with the upcoming Season Seven. Distribution will begin February 13, 2018 and run for four seasons of Pro League, through December 2019. ESL will also broadcast one of its flagship circuits, ESL One on Facebook, featuring Dota 2 and CS:GO. The first event this year will be ESL One Genting 2018 taking place January 23-28, 2018, bringing 16 of the world’s best Dota 2 teams to Malaysia for a six day event. Additionally, ESL will produce and broadcast a weekly five-minute show celebrating the Dota community on Facebook Watch, Facebook's platform for shows.

Competitions will be streamed exclusively via Facebook Live in English and Portuguese, with other languages available as well. All live broadcasts from CS:GO Pro League and ESL One will be available in 1080p/60fps on Facebook. Both Pro League and ESL One will also be streamed in VR. Soon, Facebook will roll out multiple options for watching competitions in VR, starting with Facebook 360 for Gear VR app which will provide an immersive, big screen viewing experience for ESL competitions on the go.

“Building on our successful partnership, we believe Facebook is the perfect platform to bring both Pro League and ESL One competitions to new and existing audiences,” said Nik Adams, Senior Vice President Global Media Rights & Distribution, ESL. “With Facebook broadening their portfolio of top-tier live sports events and leagues, we are excited to add this content to their lineup and guarantee the very best of viewing experiences to our passionate fans.”

“Not only does this mark an important step for Pro League, our teams, and our players, but it is also an incredible opportunity to be at the forefront of sports media consumption,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Chairman and Commissioner, WESA. “With Facebook’s scale, especially in gaming, and the digital-first instincts of our viewers, we believe this partnership will both reach and better serve our global CS:GO audience by bringing the excitement and drama of Pro League directly to our fans.”

ESL will also leverage Facebook's innovative cross-posting feature. With cross-posting, ESL can easily post videos and reach audiences on all participating team and player Pages. The feature lets ESL reach new, relevant audiences and see aggregated insights for posts across all Pages. Team and player Pages can also distribute videos in a customized post and get insights into video performance on their specific Page. This new feature will work with live and 360 video, and it will be available soon for videos that were previously live.

“For years ESL has used Facebook to nurture its global community while broadening the audience for esports competition to millions of fans worldwide,” said Leo Olebe, Global Director, Games Partnerships. “Having two of ESL’s most adored properties for CS:GO and Dota 2 streaming exclusively on Facebook is the next step in our efforts to delight the passionate esports community on Facebook. The ability to now watch esports in 1080p and in VR underscores our commitment to adding more ways for fans to watch and connect with each other around the esports content they love most.”

Today’s news follows the announcement in May 2017 by ESL and Facebook to bring 5,000 hours of ESL content to Facebook. By collaborating closely, ESL has grown its community reach on Facebook from 700K to more than 25M people each month. In one year, ESL content generated over 2.5 billion impressions and reached over 300 million users on Facebook globally. Additionally, 45 percent of ESL’s audience at major events is filled via Facebook campaigns.

Competition for CS:GO Pro League kicks off February 13, 2018 at: https://www.facebook.com/ESLProLeagueCSGO/, while the ESL One series for Dota 2 begins January 23 at: https://www.facebook.com/WatchESLOne/. All ESL Pro League and ESL One circuits for Dota 2 are also available on ESL’s website at: https://www.eslgaming.com/.  

About ESL

ESL, a part of the international digital entertainment group MTG, is the world's largest esports company, leading the industry across the most popular video games with numerous online and offline competitions. It operates high profile, branded international and national leagues and tournaments such as the Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL One, ESL National Championships and other top tier stadium-size events, as well as grassroots amateur cups, leagues and matchmaking systems. ESL covers a broad field of services in gaming technology, event management, advertising and television production, fully catering to the needs of the esports ecosystem. With offices in North America, Germany, Russia, France, Poland, Spain, China, and partners in many other countries, it has a truly global footprint. (www.eslgaming.com)

About WESA
WESA was founded in May 2016 and counts as its Members thirteen of the world’s most popular esports teams (EnVyUS, FaZe Clan, Fnatic, G2 Esports, mousesports, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, North, OpTic Gaming, Renegades, SK Gaming, Splyce and Virtus.pro) together with ESL, the world’s largest esports company. This elite group shares a collective vision to continue to professionalize esports by introducing elements of player representation, standardized regulations and revenue sharing for teams. Based on traditional sports association models, WESA also aims to create predictable schedules for fans, players, organizers and broadcasters by engaging all appropriate stakeholders. Pro League for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Paladins are the first two professional esports competition played under WESA guidance.