AEG, the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company and ESL, the world’s largest esports company, today jointly announced a strategic long-term global partnership that will align each company’s assets to further broaden the reach of esports around the world.
The partnership will enable ESL to utilize AEG’s global network of more than 120 clubs, theaters, arenas and stadiums for qualifying events, tournaments, and world championships, including the Barclays Center, The O2 Arena, and Oakland’s Oracle Arena. The deal also leverages AEG’s leadership in live event production, ticketing, marketing and sponsorship to further promote and expand competitive esports worldwide. Additionally, the two companies are looking to develop new esports events and expand the ESL’s presence in the Asia Pacific region.
“Esports has reached mainstream status. Our tournaments are viewed by as many, if not more spectators as traditional sports, so it is a natural progression that industry events increasingly become held at world class venues,” said Steven Roberts, Executive Chairman at ESL. “Our partnership with AEG enables us to further improve the spectator experience and create additional, global events for audiences and partners.”
“This will be a powerful relationship. Both organizations are committed to creating the best live events for fans around the world and together we will create new events that will unite the community and celebrate players, teams and leagues. As esports continues to transform the global sports landscape, our alliance will enable ESL to expand their geographic reach, optimize their operations and enhance the esports fan experience, while eliminating much of the risks associated with producing live sporting events,” said Bob Newman, President of AEG Facilities.
“ESL has been at the forefront competitive esports gaming from the beginning,” said Shawn Trell, Chief Operating Officer of AEG Live. “We are confident that our alliance will be a win-win for both companies and will take the ESL brand to new heights around the world. Our mutual aim is to deliver premium customer experiences and new programing that brings esports events to mainstream global audiences.”
Since 1999, ESL has played a pivotal role in the rise of esports by creating professional gaming leagues, organizing competitions and tournaments and producing and streaming premium live events to mainstream audiences around the world. Today the global esports market generates $493 million in revenues with an audience of more than 115 million regular viewers. By 2019, the global esports market is expected to generate $1.1 billion in revenues with an audience of approximately 215 million regular viewers.