The esports scene has become a major attraction over the last few years, with major networks and internet platforms looking to provide some kind of option in the space. Facebook has decided to jump on that train to provide esports coverage of its own.
Status Update: Play On
Facebook has stepped up to be the newest platform to offer esports content to a growing audience that is only getting bigger. The social media company will team up with ESL, formerly Electronic Sports League, to see this done.
The news came as an announcement on the official ESL website. The company will be streaming tournaments and other original content on Facebook. Facebook will be streaming matches and events from Rank S, one of the world's top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ladders.
There will also be a weekly half-hour program that covers top and upcoming players, along with highlights from tournaments. The shows will also stream in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and German, and will start streaming in June.
ESL is one of the biggest online networks for esports, working with companies like Activision Blizzard and Riot Games to bring tournaments and specials around titles, like Call of Duty and League of Legends respectively. These specials are already streamed through the usual suspects like YouTube and Twitch, which have built an entire viewer base around different esports events on top of their regular user base. That's not to mention the mainstream coverage provided by networks like ESPN, TBS, and CW, which have all aired esports tournaments and specials on national TV.
And The Winner Is
This sort of deal is a win-win for both sides, since it gives ESL another platform on which to promote content and deals, while Facebook gets another major provider for its growing live stream service, which also added Major League Baseball earlier this week. This deal will now put Facebook in direct competition with the likes of Google and Amazon, which have both been looking to plant their flag in the esports space as well.
That said, the deal does swing more into ESL's favor. While it will be streaming sought-after content on Facebook - CS:GO is one of the more popular titles on the esports scene - ESL will still be free to stream its own content with the usual platforms, like Twitch and YouTube. Essentially, Facebook will have competition from its partner, but given that a set schedule is in place for most of its content already, that shouldn't be a problem.