The Electronic Sports League (ESL), the big name company behind several well-known eSports tournaments such as CS:GO ESL Cologne and the upcoming ESL New York, has announced that they have signed a contract for a five-year partnership with a company by the name of Anshutz Entertainment Group (AEG). AEG is a company focused on sports and music promotion and the partnership between the two aims to better host as well as promote eSports events around the world.
One reason why this important and could mean serious business for the eSports industry is that AEG operates and/or owns stakes in several big named sporting venues throughout the world, two of them being the Staples Center in Los Angeles and the O2 in London.
While the Staples Center has hosted eSports events in the past, like the League of Legends World Championships, AEG wants to get a bigger piece of the $892 million industry through this partnership with ESL.
“We are sitting on what we think is the evolution of a new spectator sport,” AEG Facilities Chief Chuck Steedman told Bloomberg. “How many times in your lifetime can you say there’s a new spectator sport out there? I don’t think it’s happened in my lifetime.”
The two companies have been fairly vague in terms of their long term plans. In a press release they stated that ESL will garner easier access to “AEG’s global network of more than 120 clubs, theaters, arenas and stadiums for qualifying events, tournaments, and world championships” as a result of this, and that AEG will be assisting ESL in things like event promotion, sponsorships and ticketing.
Image courtesy of LALive
On top of better hosting of current eSports tournaments, the pair also claim to be “looking to develop new eSports events” as well as further expanding ESL’s reach around the world, particularly in the Asia Pacific region