Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) recently announced that it has signed a two-year deal with ESL, the world’s largest eSports company, to distribute and stream ESL’s electronic sports events and games across Yahoo’s properties. The agreement will extend to collaboration on the development of new tournaments to be covered and distributed by Yahoo, expected to offer novel sponsorship opportunities for advertisers.
Disclosing the arrangement, Zachary John, VP of Yahoo Video and Esports, pronounced on its advantages:
“Our Yahoo Esports team is extremely excited to be partnering with ESL to bring greater coverage of its leading eSports events, as well as innovate in new competitive formats and content offerings that we are sure will excite both fans and advertisers alike. Yahoo’s unique storytelling, highly talented editorial staff and global scale are a great combination with ESL’s experience and leadership in the space.”
Under the deal, Yahoo Esports will employ its unique storytelling and in-depth coverage of ESL events, such as the ESL One and IEM global competitive series, to extend distribution of the ESL eSports franchise. Yahoo Esports will livestream ESL-produced tournaments in HD quality throughout the world and promote content globally to eSports fans across Yahoo properties. Promoters of third-party brands will be able to benefit from the Yahoo Esports ESL alliance by sponsoring eSports coverage and new tournaments.
eSports, developing globally in the 1990s, traces its origins to the earliest electronic games. It is now a multi-million dollar industry estimated to have generated revenues of $750 million in 2015. Yahoo launched its Yahoo Esports division in March 2016 with the expectations of making the property a leading portal for professional eSports coverage of major games and events. Yahoo Esports is available globally on a variety of platforms including iOS and Android. It will focus on providing unique video content of live tournaments.
Yahoo Esports will cover the top competitive games including “League of Legends,” “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive,” “Dota 2,” “Street Fighter V,” “Heroes of the Storm,” as well as offer discussion on current issues and interviews with leading personalities in the eSports industry. Yahoo Esports presenters will include Travis Gafford, Taylor Cocke, Dylan Walker, Michael Martin and Andrea Rene.
ESL is the largest video gaming event or eSports company in the world. The company operates a number of very well-known franchises such as the Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL One, and ESL National Championships. It also hosts other top tier stadium-size events and grassroots amateur cups, leagues and matchmaking systems. ESL also offers gaming technology, event management, and advertising and television production services. The company, which has its headquarters in Cologne, Germany, also has offices in China, France, North America, Poland, Russia, and Spain.
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