Last year ESL announced an exclusive deal with Facebook that would make ESL One and EPL English broadcasts exclusive to Facebook’s platform with no options to watch on Twitch or YouTube. While the move was a big one for Facebook, it wasn’t so hot for ESL or it’s fans.
“While we still think that Facebook has potential because of the sheer number of people on the platform, the way it has performed so far certainly hasn’t been up to the expectations we had,” – Ulrich “theflyingdj” Schulze, ESL VP.
The deal for 2019 will keep content on Facebook but also allow for broadcasts and VOD content to be on Twitch and YouTube as well. Here’s the full release from ESL:
Deal includes distribution of ESL’s global tournaments: IEM, ESL One and Pro League.
In partnership with Facebook Gaming, we are proud to announce the expansion of our partnership to bring coverage of all global ESL esports competitions non-exclusively to the Facebook platform.
ESL will broadcast both its flagship circuit events, Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) and ESL One, as well as the premier professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) Pro League. Distribution began with the Regional Qualifiers in CS:GO for the IEM Katowice Minor on January 16, 2019 and will run through December 2019. Competitions will be streamed globally on Facebook in English via 1080p/60fps broadcasts with ESL Pro League live streams in both English and Portuguese.
“ESL brings together a global community of esports fans and aims to deliver amazing esports experiences to audiences around the world, both online and through large scale events,” said Ralf Reichert, Co-CEO, ESL. “ESL will be providing multiple sources in which fans can experience our flagship circuits online — including a return to Facebook Gaming to continue bringing content to its rapidly growing audience.”
Since the start of ESL livestreaming on Facebook, both companies have collaborated to make significant updates to the watch experience for esports fans. New updates include, video quality and stability improvements as well as easier ways to discover ESL events.
“Expanding ESL content to include all global esports competitions is a way for us to satisfy the growing appetite for watching gaming video content on Facebook,” said Leo Olebe, Global Director, Games Partnerships, Facebook. “Providing ESL fans a way to watch esports on multiple platforms is something we know the community cares about, and that’s a big reason why all 2019 content will broadcast anywhere ESL chooses to stream. We’ll continue to listen and act on feedback from gamers as we work together in building the world’s gaming community.”
Fans can watch ESL livestreams at fb.gg, Facebook’s home for gaming video, and at each tournament Page: