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Esports at The O2 as AEG partners with ESL

Lucrative esports, or competitive video-gaming, events are headed to The O2 Arena, the Barclays Center and more as AEG commits to a "long-term" alliance with promoter ESL

By Jon Chapple on 09 Sep 2016

Counter-Strike players, ESL One, Cologne, 2015

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players at the ESL One tournament at Lanxess Arena, Cologne


image © ESL

Electronic Sports League (ESL), the world’s largest esports promoter, has signed a strategic partnership with AEG, giving it access to the latter’s global venue network for qualifying events, tournaments and world championships.

The partnership will open up over 120 AEG-operated venues, including the Barclays Center (18,103-cap.) in New York, the Oracle Arena (19,596-cap.) in Oakland, California, and the world’s leading arena, The O2 (20,000-cap.) in London, to ESL for esports – or  video-gaming – competitions.

In addition to making available its venues, the deal will also “leverage AEG’s leadership in live event production [AEG Live], ticketing [AXS], marketing and sponsorship to further promote and expand competitive esports worldwide”, says AEG, while both companies will collaborate to expand ESL’s reach in the Asia-Pacific region.

“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”

“Esports has reached mainstream status,” comments ESL’s executive chairman, Steven Roberts. “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.”

AEG Live’s chief operating officer, Shawn Trell, adds: “We are confident that our alliance will be a win-win for both companies and will take the ESL brand to new heights around the world. Our mutual aim is to deliver premium customer experiences and new programming that brings esports events to mainstream global audiences.”

Esports revenues will reach US$493 million in 2016, with a regular worldwide audience of more than 115 million. By 2019, the global esports market is expected to be worth $1.1 billion.

 


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