Twitch and Faceit have launched Esports Championship Series (ECS) with prize money of $3.5 million.

Esports has been gaining popularity in the gaming industry. Market researcher firm Newzoo suggests that eSports drives more than 21 percent of viewership on livestreaming website Twitch. The site has more than 100 million viewers each month, who watch and talk about video games.

Newzoo also estimates that viewers watched about 475.5 million hours of eSports across all franchises from July 2015 to December 2015, which accounts for an average monthly viewing time of 79 million hours.

Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch and competitive gaming platform Faceit has taken a step further with the announcement of the Esports Championship Series. Teams participating in the league are not only competitors but they are also co-owners and have invested in the $3.5 million prize money.

Faceit announced that 10 teams from the U.S. and 10 teams from Europe will participate in the championship.

"Players and teams are the heart of the eSports community and deserve the opportunity to reap the rewards of their hard work and dedication to grow eSports into a mainstream phenomenon," says Michele Attisani, the co-founder of FACEIT. "We make the community our first priority and as such, we're excited to support the first eSports league that positions teams as co-owners."

Teams as well as players will also be a part of the league's governing committee and help in deciding and enforcing some key aspects of ECS such as player's welfare, regulatory framework, holidays, integrity and more.

"The resulting system aims to solve common anxieties such as unstable incomes, unrealistic competition schedules, and inconsistent event experiences, so players can concentrate on playing their very best," says Stuart Saw, the director of eSports strategy at Twitch. "Not only will players see growth through the league, the league's supporting initiatives will help them capture value from that growth to bolster their presence, marketability, and future career prospects."

Just like other eSports leagues, Twitch and Faceit will also provide travel, lounges, player parties, accommodation and more to players.

ECS will be exclusive showcased on Twitch. Viewers will get direct access to all matches of the league via Faceit's official Twitch channel (

The second season of ECS will also have a development league, which will train new teams and players to grow in the sport. Faceit says that more information on the development league will be shared in the coming weeks.

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