ESL signs exclusive deal with Facebook for streaming Dota 2

ESL, one of Esports’ biggest leagues, have signed an exlusive deal with Facebook to stream Dota 2 and CS:GO. Let’s take a look at the new move.

by Brandon Ridgely

(Photo Credit: Tim Bartel)

ESL (or the Electronic Sports League) has been a pivotal name for Dota 2 among other games in the past. It was founded in 1997 and has been a presence in esports competition ever since. It’s consistently hosted huge Dota 2 events around the globe with prize pools up to $1 million. 

But now the esports behemoth has taken a new approach, and with it, Dota 2 might reach an entirely new audience. The ESL has decided to join with Facebook to stream its competitions.

While some look at Facebook as the next Myspace (in the not so good way,) this new partnership could mean major things for esports and an overhaul of the status quo we know and love. But we might love the new move even more.

Why?

For starters, Facebook is a mainstream tool to reach a major audience, one that is typically pretty far from the usual twitch.tv. And while we don’t exactly expect grandma to pick up a Team Secret shirt as a result, we can expect this move to put Dota2 in front of more new eyes than its had since The International 2017. Regardless of where you are on the deal itself, this is a great thing for the game.

As well, the deal makes Facebook the ESL’s exclusive main broadcaster, and the timing couldn’t be better.

Last year Facebook announced Facebook Watch, which allows for incredibly high quality streaming, a platform that has previously seen little use in the esports scene. But while ESL has always had Facebook content to draw in viewers, this move will be a major entrance to the site in a very new way. And along with crisp quality for the viewers, and an open door to an all new fanbase, this move marks Facebook’s first major foray into esports and Dota 2, which could be a major milestone we’ll look back on in the future. 

With the timing, uniqueness, and hint of an even brighter future for the scene and ESL, a league that has meant so much to it, we can only be excited about Dota 2 making its way to Facebook in the most meaningful way it ever has, and we are excited to see what the ESL make of their newfound opportunities. 

All eyes will be on for ESL’s upcoming 201 8 events, including ESL One Genting 2018 January 23rd-28th, and ESL One Katowice 2018 February 20th-25th, to see how the partnership works out. 

We only hope it lives up to the standards this deal has set. 

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Brandon Ridgely

US Editor - Covering all things sports with a bit of everything else. Current favorite games: NBA 2K21, Madden 21, and Football Manager 2020.

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