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Business • Feb 12, 2019

ESL announces surprising change to streaming deal with Facebook

ESL announces surprising change to streaming deal with Facebook

Esports event organizer ESL and Facebook have decided to expand their deal to stream ESL’s various tournaments and competitions, but this time with one major omission.

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Some of ESL’s most high-profile events, including Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) and ESL One, and the ESL Pro League will be broadcast on Facebook and now on other streaming services.

The new agreement comes just a few months after it was reported that Valve, publishers of CS:GO, were unhappy with ESL and Facebook for the comparatively low viewers Facebook managed to pull in for CS:GO events on the platform, against games like Call of Duty on Twitch.

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No other specific streaming platforms were named, but it now seems that fans who weren’t crazy about watching events on the site won’t have to.

Facebook will still be showing ESL events, but they will now be available on other sites like YouTube or Twitch. 

The move is one that will not only be good news to fans, but it should be good news to developers like Valve who can get back to enjoying massive success with their popular esports broadcasts. 

ESL
Australis winning the ESL Grand Slam in December 2018 pulled in much lower views than similar CS:GO events on other streaming platforms.

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In January 2018, ESL partnered with Facebook to give the social media giant exclusive broadcast rights to ESL One (Dota 2) and the ESL Pro League (CS:GO), a move that was met with much backlash from many corners of the esports space.

“Providing ESL fans a way to watch esports on multiple platforms is something we know the community cares about,” Leo Olebe, Global Director of Games Partnerships at Facebook said about the deal. “And that’s a big reason why all 2019 content will broadcast anywhere ESL chooses to stream.”

With the IEM Katowice 2019 CS:GO Major set to begin on February 13, fans will surely be happy to hear they can watch the tournament somewhere other than Facebook. 

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