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ESL, the esports organization that runs tournaments for a number games, revealed today that it is partnering with sports event company AEG. The two entities will form an alliance that will combine resources to “broaden the reach of esports around the world.” AEG operates more than 120 venues around the globe, including the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Oakland’s Oracle Arena. ESL will have access to those locations as well as AEG’s infrastructure for producing and marketing live events as well as selling tickets. This alliance will also push into the Asia Pacific region with completely new tournaments.
“Esports has reached mainstream status,” ESL executive chairman Steven Roberts said in a statement. “Our tournaments are viewed by as many, if not more, spectators as traditional sports, so it is a natural progression that industry events increasingly become held at world class venues. Our partnership with AEG enables us to further improve the spectator experience and create additional, global events for audiences and partners.”
ESL has already created and managed massive leagues for games like the military shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The company has thrown annual competitions in Cologne, Germany’s Lanxess Arena. In addition to that, ESL is one of the top partners for major gaming publishers that want to promote their releases with official tournaments. Using all of this experience, ESL will utilize AEG’s assets to bring pro gaming to more people in more places.
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“This will be a powerful relationship,” AEG Facilities president Bob Newman said in a statement. “Both organizations are committed to creating the best live events for fans around the world, and together, we will create new events that will unite the community and celebrate players, teams, and leagues.”
This partnership should also reduce some of the friction when it comes to spooling up a new tournament. ESL will now have the potential to reserve arenas in major metropolitan areas on a short-term notice because it will have full access to AEG’s scheduling. That’ll remove some risk from the logistical side of ESL’s business, and it’ll give esports fans a better chance of having a major event near their home.
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