Esports: Facebook seals exclusive streaming deal with ESL

Social media giant becomes main broadcast partner for esports firm's top competitions.

Esports: Facebook seals exclusive streaming deal with ESL

Global esports event company ESL has announced that Facebook will be the exclusive broadcast partner for its two main competitions.

Both the CS:GO Pro League and the ESL One circuit will be available exclusively on the social media platform and through embedded streams on the respective event websites.

Official tournament broadcasts will be available in both English and Portuguese, with a number of other language options available. The length and financial terms of the partnership were not made public, but the Variety website reports that the contract will run for four seasons of the Pro League.

On top of the live streams, Facebook Watch will also be leveraged to produce additional broadcasts around the events. In the past, ESL has only used Facebook to share stories and clips alongside select streams.

“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 of Facebook 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.”

ESL added in a statement: ‘Over the last two years, Facebook has been consistently growing its capabilities as a video platform as well as its presence in esports and gaming. Having been a part of this journey with them, we’re excited to now be at a stage where we can take the next step towards realising our shared ambition to grow the overall esports audience and to bring our sports to an even broader group of viewers than ever before.’

Facebook’s coverage will begin with Dota 2 at ESL One Genting 2018, which takes place between 23rd and 28th January.