Peter Levin, Lionsgate’s president of interactive ventures and games, brought the opportunity to Pilgrim and helped organize the new content partnership. Lionsgate acquired a majority stake in the Fast ‘n’ Loud producer last November.
“Our partnership with Craig Piligian and relationship with ESL created the perfect opportunity to bring together the biggest esports promoter in the world and one of the most established and prolific unscripted production companies,” said Levin in a statement. “We see tremendous growth potential in esports as it becomes a major player in the gaming ecosystem, and we’re thrilled to bring esports to more fans on an expanding array of platforms.”
ESL has a registered user base exceeding 6.1 million, logging more than 12.1 million games played. According to a release announcing the partnership, the company’s competitions and tournaments in the Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL Pro League series attracted more than 100 million viewers over the past year who watched 9.5 billion-plus hours of programming through various platforms like live streaming video website Twitch.
The esports economy is projected to expand to US$1.1 billion in revenue by 2019 and entertain an audience of 345 million esports enthusiasts, according to games market research group Newzoo.
ESL announced recently their launch of a channel dedicated to electronic sports: esportsTV.