This is the biggest deal to date since the initial Blizzard announcement last year.
ESL announced on Friday a massive streaming partnership with Facebook that includes:
- 5,500 total hours of content in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and German
- 1,500 of which will be Exclusive to Facebook
- Content includes: Counter-Strike competitions from ESEA (ESL’s subscription-based platform for amateur, semi-pro, and pro's), an exclusive 30min Counter-Strike show as well as their events like ESL One and Intel Extreme Masters
Now if ESL's deal sounds kind of familiar...it is.
In March, ESL signed a deal with Twitter to also broadcast ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters along with Dreamhack; as well as an exclusive 30min "eSports Sportscenter" show.
That also shouldn't be a surprise as Dreamhack parent company - MTG (Media Times Group) - also owns a 74% stake in ESL.
As Facebook is just entering these waters, there are numerous ways they could eventually take the lead:
/01 SCALE: Facebook should hit 2 Billion users by the end of Q2 this year. Over half of those users are daily. Which also leads to...
/02 MOBILE: 85% of Facebook's revenues comes from Mobile. As the rest of the world comes online, this is how they're going to access content - not via a PC or console. Facebook stopped reporting Mobile only user numbers but I'd guess it's ~1/3 of their total users.
/03 MONETIZATION: Ads, Donations, Subscriptions, Virtual Currency, Sponsorships, Influencer Campaigns - the list goes on
/04 VR: As VR eventually gathers more audience and others are trying to build VR platforms on top of Twitch or create separate ones, Facebook already has the hardware end with Oculus. From both playing and viewing, the experience potential is endless.
This battle is far from over and will be interesting to see how other platforms react in addition to the massive Chinese market. Grab the popcorn.