North American telecom giant AT&T has signed an agreement to sponsor several of ESL’s upcoming esports events.
The partnership may be a sign of ESL wishing to expand its mobile gaming ambitions. “We think about the esports of the future and that really is around mobile gaming,” AT&T assistant vice president Shiz Suzuki told USA Today. The two companies will also be hosting a joint 5G tech-demo at E3 between June 12 to 14.
Although ESL is best known for delivering world-class events in games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2, the company has spent the past two years attempting to integrate competitive mobile gaming into its platform as well.
While this may be a reflection of mobile gaming’s increasing global popularity, it has also become a key asset to ESL’s parent company, MTG. According to MTG’s quarterly earnings report on April 23, MTG’s main driver of revenue was mobile game studio Innogames, which generated $67 million in the first quarter of 2018 alone.
The implications of 5G technology on the gaming industry isn’t only limited to strictly mobile entertainment. On May 15, Oskar Gabrielson, CEO of DICE, spoke of it as one of the Battlefield developer’s main areas of focus, due to the record speeds and minimal latency 5G can offer.
“In a world where streaming games becomes possible, you won’t need to own a PlayStation or a phone. You’ll be able to play on any platform, anywhere, and at any time,” Gabrielson said.
AT&T will appear as a headline sponsor at ESL One New York on Sept. 26, future Intel Extreme Masters events, and the upcoming Arena of Valor Pro League.