Intel and ESL, the world’s largest eSports company, have announced a technology deal that will ignite global growth and innovation – one of the largest eSports partnerships in history. As ESL’s official technology partner, Intel will power all of ESL’s activities in amateur and professional gaming, including online competition platforms ESL Play and ESEA, National Championships in multiple countries and major events such as the Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL Pro League.
With the eSports audience expected to reach 500 million fans worldwide by 2020, and this year’s Intel® Extreme Masters registering as the biggest eSports event in ESL’s history with 173,000 attendees and 46 million viewers, this partnership aims to deliver the best possible experience to meet the evolving technical demands of players and fans.
ESL and Intel also revealed the Intel® Grand Slam that will offer a $1 million team prize. The Intel® Grand Slam will reward the first team that wins four of the last ten Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions hosted by ESL and DreamHack. Qualifying events include the Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL One, ESL Pro League and DreamHack Masters series. The Intel® Grand Slam will kick off at ESL One Cologne on July 7-9.
“Intel’s involvement in eSports and the gaming community has spanned more than 15 years, and we’re always looking for ways to take the player and fan experience to the next level,” said Gregory Bryant, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Client Computing Group at Intel Corporation. “In this next phase of our long-time partnership with ESL, we’re investing in the development of future eSports stars, further expanding our global footprint with the Intel® Extreme Masters circuit, and exploring fresh formats like the Intel® Grand Slam that we announced today.”
Intel’s technology will be the backbone for ESL’s eSports events, studios and broadcasting operations, with all tournament PCs running the latest Intel® Core™ i7 processors and all of ESL’s production hardware running on a combination of Intel® Core™ and Xeon™ processors. This year’s Intel® Extreme Masters finals was the most watched eSports tournament in ESL’s history and the expanded partnership will allow for even greater viewer experiences. Additionally, ESL’s studios in North America and Europe will be renamed to The Intel eSports Arenas.
“Intel has been a key partner for us since 2001, and the partnership was extended globally with the launch of the Intel® Extreme Masters in 2006,” said Ralf Reichert, CEO at ESL. “We’ve been building the eSports industry together with Intel for the last 15 years, and now look forward to building the future with Intel integrated into almost every ESL product globally.”
Source: Press release
Image source: eslgaming.com, Photographer: Kirill Bashkirov