At E3, Intel and ESL, the world’s largest eSports company, have announced a technology deal that should have some interesting affects on the eSports community. I know, it’s been a real slow week for games news, huh? Try not to get the information overload get you down, though, because this is a pretty interesting business deal.
As ESL’s official technology partner, Intel will power all of ESL’s activities in amateur and professional gaming, including online competition platforms ESL Play and ESEA, National Championships in multiple countries and major events such as the Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL Pro League.
With the eSports audience expected to reach 500 million fans worldwide by 2020, and this year’s Intel Extreme Masters registering as the biggest eSports event in ESL’s history with 173,000 attendees and 46 million viewers, this partnership aims to deliver the best possible experience to meet the evolving technical demands of players and fans.
The two companies also revealed the Intel Grand Slam that will offer a $1 million team prize. The Intel Grand Slam will reward the first team that wins four of the last 10 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions hosted by ESL and DreamHack. Qualifying events include the Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One, ESL Pro League and DreamHack Masters series. The Intel Grand Slam will kick off at ESL One Cologne on July 7th-9th.
Gregory Bryant, senior vice-president and general manager of the Client Computing Group at Intel, said of the partnership:
“Intel’s involvement in eSports and the gaming community has spanned more than 15 years, and we’re always looking for ways to take the player and fan experience to the next level. In this next phase of our long-time partnership with ESL, we’re investing in the development of future eSports stars, further expanding our global footprint with the Intel Extreme Masters circuit, and exploring fresh formats like the Intel Grand Slam that we announced today.”
And Ralf Reichert, CEO of ESL, said:
“Intel has been a key partner for us since 2001, and the partnership was extended globally with the launch of the Intel® Extreme Masters in 2006. We’ve been building the eSports industry together with Intel for the last 15 years, and now look forward to building the future with Intel integrated into almost every ESL product globally.”
Intel’s technology will be the backbone for ESL’s eSports events, studios and broadcasting operations, with all tournament PCs running the latest Intel Core i7 processors and all of the eSports League’s production hardware will be running on a combination of Intel Core and Xeon processors. Additionally, ESL’s studios in North America and Europe will be renamed The Intel eSports Arenas.