ESL gets even bigger, acquires ESEA

The world’s largest esports company just got bigger

Photo by Helena Kristiansson via ESL/Flickr

The world’s largest esports company just got bigger.

Europe-based tournament organizer ESL has acquired Counter-Strike: Global Offensive platform ESEA, the company announced on its website today. ESEA will continue operations as usual, but will have access to ESL products and services for the future, according to the company’s press release.

ESL says the acquisition will allow its brand to “expand its North American footprint.” The tournament organizer has already hosted major events in North America for the past few years, including this weekend’s in Intel Extreme Masters San Jose.

“We are especially excited for what the future holds for North America,” ESL co-founder Jens Hilgers said in the press release. “The recent expansion of our Burbank studio and the addition of the ESEA platform and team puts us in a great position to do amazing things.”

ESL and ESEA partnered in 2015 to broadcast the ESL ESEA Pro League, a round robin Counter-Strike competitive league featuring the game’s best teams—Fnatic, Team SoloMid, Cloud9, Luminosity, and Counter Logic Gaming—from both Europe and North America. With the acquisition, the two groups are likely to work more closely together—ESL, for instance, may institute ESEA’s systems in its major tournaments.

With the move, ESEA becomes yet another part of the sizable esports portfolio owned by Swedish digital media company Modern Times Group (MTG). Last year, MTG bought a majority share of ESL, followed by the purchase this month of esports festival and tournament organizer DreamHack.