Twitter has been making a lot of deals to bring video content to its social network lately, including broadcasts involving the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball (MLB). But it hasn’t overlooked its growing video game-loving audience, and has just announced a pairing that will include eSports content.
Turner and WME/IMG have announced that the final rounds of ELEAGUE, which has been airing tournaments over the past few weeks on TBS and gaining a solid viewing audience, will also be streamed live on Twitter. This marks the debut eSports event for the social channel.
Broadcasting will begin Friday night at 10PM EDT for the semifinals, and Saturday at 4PM EDT for the finals. The event will also be shown on TBS and Twitch, but Twitter promises a larger amount of involvement with its streaming, including real-time highlights, GIFs, memes, statistics and score updates. Periscope will also feature content from the ELEAGUE event, including behind-the-scenes footage with select players.
“Twitter is the native social platform for eSports and this partnership provides our passionate fans with an additional opportunity to consume ELEAGUE content as we reach the pinnacle of our first season,” said Christina Alejandre, general manager for ELEAGUE and vice president of eSports for Turner Sports in a press release. “We’re excited for our first ELEAGUE championship and look forward to offering these content experiences to our high-engaged fan base.”
“ESports fans go to Twitter to see and talk about what is happening now in competitive gaming,” said Anthony Noto, chief financial officer for Twitter.” Gamers are one of the largest and most engaged audiences on Twitter, and we are thrilled to partner with Turner and WME/IMG to bring them the live content from ELEAGUE and Twitter commentary they are already looking for, on one screen.”
ELEAGUE already had its fair share of sponsors over the course of the season, including Domino’s, Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Credit Karma—all of which will play a part in advertising during the semifinal and championship events.
The partnership with Twitter not only provides another way for fans to watch live ELEAGUE content, but also gives the social platform its first entry into eSports. Facebook made the jump to eSports earlier this year when it announced a partnership with Blizzard so that games such as Overwatch can be connected with accounts, allowing players to connect with friends and empowering streamers with more options.