After hosting ESL One Manila 2016 and ESL One Genting 2017, ESL wants to solidify its foothold in the SEA region by opening a new office in Singapore. The company also aims to add two more ESL One Dota 2 stand-alone events in 2018.
“With this strategic expansion, ESL is committing to bringing the best of esports to South East Asia, and to further build on the legacy left by the two successful mega events our company already held in Manila and Malaysia,” said Sebastian Radu, ad-interim CEO at ESL SEA.
ESL’s CEO, Ralf Reichert, highlighted his company’s role in building up grassroot tournaments and communities.
“ESL is and always will be about building esports: for the athletes, the fans and the aspiring players,” Reichert said. “Our new regional office will set us up to bring even more global events and tournaments to the region, but more importantly: to help build the local esports communities through grassroots and local championships, which are fundamental to the growth of esports anywhere in the world.”
ESL’s first major event in the SEA region, ESL One Manila 2016, was one for the Dota 2 esports history books. OG became the first Dota 2 team to win two Valve-sponsored events, following their surprise-victory at the Frankfurt Major. The $250,000 tournament was the largest esports event in the region at the time.
Southeast Asia boasts the fastest growing esports audience worldwide, according to a Newzoo report from Dec. 2016. The total esports audience in the region reached 19.9 million in 2016 and is set to exceed 40 million in 2019.