The esports counter-terrorists are heading back to TBS.
Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive military shooter is getting a second season as part of Eleague’s televised competitions, and it kicks off with preliminaries September 7. Turner and esports talent-agency WME-IMG plan to feature the top Counter-Strike teams in a broadcast on the TBS cable channel at 10 p.m. on Friday nights. But fans can also catch the action on livestreaming video site Twitch. Esports is a growing market that is worth $892 million. Through sponsorships, ticket sales, and media rights, that market should grow to $1.23 billion by 2019, according to SuperData Research.
Following the preliminaries, Eleague will kick off the four-week group stage of the second season October 21. All of this will end with the quarterfinals November 29 that lead into the semifinals and grand finals December 2 and December 3.
“We’ve been very pleased with the performance of Eleague and the significant levels of engagement with our content across all platforms in our first season,” Eleague general manager Christina Alejandre said in a canned statement. “In our second season, we’ve enhanced the schedule to make the stakes even higher from a competitive standpoint, while also creating an opportunity for a more open field.”
Alejandre says that Eleague believes that the second season will keep audiences more engaged through its three months. That goal makes sense following ratings for the first season that only averaged 271,000 viewers on TBS. While the tournaments attracted a larger audience on Twitch, Eleague still has a lot of room to grow.