The purchase, which was first reported back in May, will see MTG take a 74 percent stake in the company. The remaining 26 percent will stay with the existing owners and founders of ESL.
ESL is one of the biggest organisations in esports, running some of the biggest events in the world, including regular events in locations like San Jose, Frankfurt and New York. The company is no stranger to big corporate partnerships, with their Intel-sponsored IEM tour series events taking place all over the world. Events like IEM Katowice in 2014 have surpassed one million concurrent viewers.
MTG operates broadcast TV channels, video-on-demand platforms, and esports broadcasting platform Viagame. The group has previously broadcast events like DreamHack, and has run three offline Hearthstone majors under the Viagame House Cup brand.
According to ESL, this investment will “help us fulfill our dreams of growing esports into a mainstream sport.”
“MTG’s extensive operational network in over 100 countries will help us bring ESL and esports to many more places around the world,” Ralf Reichert, CEO and founder of ESL, said. “While allowing us to continue expanding on strong, strategic local partnerships. The ESL leadership team could not be more excited about accelerating the development of the entire esports industry together with MTG for years to come.”
Make no mistake, this is a huge deal for esports. It’s one of the first times a traditional media organisation has made a major investment in esports. With MTG’s experience and investment combining with ESL’s reach and influence within the industry, this could be a very powerful partnership indeed.