Facebook has officially partnered up with global eSports company ESL to bring the emerging industry over to the world’s largest social media platform. Along with more than 5,000 hours of eSports events, Facebook will also launch 1,500 hours of original content as part of the deal. The partnership puts Facebook in prime position to become a leader in eSports’ productions.
Beginning in June, Facebook will stream competitions from the Counter Strike community. An original half-hour highlight show will follow many of the events as well. To make this experience even more user-friendly, Facebook will be offering the coverage in English, Spanish, French, Polish, Portuguese, and German languages.
With this agreement in place, Mark Zuckerberg’s enterprise may have one streaming site in mind: Twitch. Twitch has long been the home of eSports’ online streaming amongst gamers. Undoubtedly, Facebook knows an up and coming organization when they see one, and eSports only continue to gain popularity. The social media site’s pact with ESL merely confirms that they are looking to become the new home of eSports streaming online.
Last year, a study determined that more than 800 million hours of eSports were streamed via Twitch. That figure accounted for more than 71% of all eSports consumption amongst viewers. With the power and reach of Zuckerberg’s empire though, eSports viewership will likely be more spread out in the near future.
Facebook’s partnership with ESL capped off a big week for the company. Just days prior to the announcement, the site signed a deal to broadcast several MLB games on the league’s official Facebook page; a one of a kind deal in modern day sports. Jumping on the eSports’ bandwagon was the next logical move for Facebook as they look to become a force to be reckoned with in the sports market.
The latest deal with Facebook is just another notch in eSports’ belt. The industry has recently signed large agreements with Twitter and the NBA as it continues to grow internationally. After raking in nearly half-a-billion dollars in 2016 revenue, Facebook has picked the perfect time to join forces with the booming enterprise.