Esports startup Faceit is partnering with gameplay livestreaming site Twitch to create the Esports Championship Series. The esports league is starting with a Counter-Strike tournament where participating teams and players will be granted co-ownership in the business.
With this league, teams will be granted access to revenue sharing, profits, and representation on the league’s governing body. The first tournament league, dubbed ECS Counter-Strike, will have 20 teams competing for $3.5 million in prizes and financial support.
“Players and teams are the heart of the esports community and deserve the opportunity to reap the rewards of their hard work and dedication to grow esports into a mainstream phenomenon,” said Michele Attisani, cofounder of Faceit, in a statement. “We make the community our first priority and as such, we’re excited to support the first esports league that positions teams as co-owners.”
The companies say that all parties involved worked very closely to determine a strict code of conduct for player treatment and payments, making sure everyone has the chance to benefit from the league’s success and the continued growth of esports. Teams and players will also be given seats on the league’s governing committee to help decide and enforce key aspects of the league, including regulatory framework, integrity, players’ welfare, holidays, and best practices to ensure synergy among the league and its participants.
The Esports Championship Series will be showcased exclusively on Twitch. Fans will be given direct access to every match of the ECS through Face-It’s official Twitch channel (www.twitch.tv/faceittv) with closed qualifiers for ECS Counter-Strike beginning today. Twitch and Faceit will also be providing travel, accommodations, on-site concierge services, high-quality tournament playing conditions, lounges, and parties to ensure an unparalleled experience for players.
“A major part of Twitch’s success is built around our relationship with the esports community, from the players and organizations who have made it a leading form of entertainment, to our own staff with deep roots in the scene,” said Stuart Saw, director of esports strategy at Twitch, in a statement. “We’ve listened to what the teams and players are looking for, which is to have a bigger voice in the movement, and it inspired us to partner with Face-It to launch the ECS. This will mark a significant and welcome change to the sport and will lead to a wider impact across the industry.”