ESports are about to get a lot more social, thanks to a partnership between Twitter an ESports League (ESL). Twitter has been an eager adopter of livestream video, particularly in the realm of sporting events, and this agreement will grant streaming rights to the social network, along with an exclusive weekly show.
“Twitter is a very strong eSports platform, where many of our fans and followers already engage with DreamHack events,” Marcus Lindmark, CEO and president at DreamHack, said in a statement. “This will be a shortcut for fans, as they can both watch and engage on the platform at the same time.”
ESL’s partnership with Twitter kicks off right away with the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice tournament on Friday, as well as DreamHack Austin this April. In addition to streaming live tournaments into the indefinite future, ESL will produce Twitter-exclusive highlights for a weekly, half-hour show that will cover eSports events and behind-the-scenes footage.
This news makes a lot of sense, considering ESL’s new partnership with with former Fox TV exec David Hill—who launched Fox Sports in the US—to give its video game competitions more TV-style production values.
The deal covers more than 15 events in the ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) and DreamHack eSports circuits. According to ESL, the video streams will be available for free worldwide at esl.twitter.com, iem.twitter.com and dreamhack.twitter.com as well as on Twitter’s app for Apple TV, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV.
IEM world championship events across League of Legends, StarCraft II and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) have broken records each year with over 113,000 visitors to the IEM Expo and over 34 million livestream viewers tuning into the action last year. ESL has partnered with Sliver.tv to broadcast in virtual reality, a number of global TV broadcasts and online streams across multiple channels for maximum viewership.
Social media has become a strong ally in the world of eSports, as proven by the recent partnership between Facebook and Activision Blizzard. Ahead of its successful World of Warcraft: Legion expansion, Blizzard made it possible for fans to log in to the game launcher with a Facebook account and stream directly onto the social feed.