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Play on the world’s largest competitive gaming platform directly from your mobile device with the ESL Play App. Sign up for cups, get information about your matches and report your results.

* Sign up and check in for upcoming cups of your favorite editions.
* Browse through all the leagues you are playing or have played in the past.
* Check match details of your upcoming matches and past matches.
* Submit matchmedia and results for matches you play.

For more games visit
Report issues you encounter to [email protected]

Version 5.10.2

- Bug fixes and improvements

Ratings and Reviews

Good app. could be great

Needs feature to follow a certain game to get notification when there is new or upcoming events

Definitely enhances the esl experience

You can favorite the games you like most and search cup for those game. Plus they have almost every game you can imagine very nice app.

Best way to view on mobile

Much better than safari and easier to navigate.

The developer, Turtle eSports Technology GmbH, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Linked to You

The following data may be collected and linked to your identity:

  • Contact Info
  • User Content
  • Identifiers
  • Usage Data
  • Diagnostics

Data Not Linked to You

The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More


Turtle eSports Technology GmbH

31.5 MB


Requires iOS 11.0 or later.
iPod touch
Requires iOS 11.0 or later.

Age Rating

© 2021 Turtle eSports Technology GmbH



  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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ESL Gaminghas entered into a strategic partnership with Monster Energy that extends the energy drink’s involvement to include 18 tournaments worldwide as well as the new CS:GO HUB.

Monster Energy has been an active partner of Dreamhack since 2014. Now that Dreamhack has merged with ESL, Monster Energy will expand its support to include ESL Pro Tour CS:GO events including Intel Extreme Masters, the ESL Pro League, DreamHack Open, and ESEA Premier in addition to ESL Gaming’s Dota 2 properties, ESL One and DreamLeague Dota 2 leagues.

ESL Monster EnergyImage credit: ESL Gaming

RELATED: ESL Gaming and 433 strike Virtual Bundesliga partnership

CS:GO HUD is an analytics platform designed to help players and teams analyse in-game performance. ESL called it ‘the most significant layout redesign’ since the original HUD launched in 2018. The all-new CS:GO HUD platform will debut at IEM Cologne on July 6th.

ESL Gaming Co-CEO Craig Levine commented: “We are thrilled to welcome Monster Energy to the larger ESL Gaming family, continuing their commitment to being one of the largest supporters of the gaming and esports community. With ESL and DreamHack providing some of the biggest and best esports competitions and events in the world, our collaboration will play a large role in fulfilling our vision of creating a world where anyone can be somebody.”

It’s a big year for ESL Gaming. In addition to the Dreamhack merger and new HUD, the organisation will reveal a new version of the IEM Cologne Trophy — ‘The Chalice’ — in July.

RELATED: ESL Gaming Co-CEO Craig Levine breaks down the DreamHack merger

Monster Energy CMO Dan McHugh added: “What started as a new and exciting partnership between DreamHack and Monster Energy in 2014 has since developed into one of the longest and most successful partnerships within the esports and gaming industry.

“Not only have we enabled top-tier DreamHack esports tournaments, but we have also been an integral part of their festivals throughout the world with exciting on-site activations that have gathered fans of all ages and backgrounds. We look forward to growing our relationship even further with ESL Gaming and being a part of the future of esports across the globe.”

Esports Insider says: Monster was an early adopter of esports sponsorships and maintains an impressive 10-year partnership with Evil Geniuses in addition to deals with Fnatic and Team Liquid. Energy drinks are a popular commercial category among esports sponsors, with everyone from Coca-Cola to brand-new companies getting involved.

Read The Esports Journal

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Games for Learning EnglishVocabulary Games & Activities・Grammar Games & Activities

ESL Games Plus offers interactive online games for learning and teaching English as a Second Language. Our learning games are mostly suitable for teaching ESL Kids and Teenagers. There are activities for teaching and practising English grammar, vocabulary, sentences, listening and pronunciation skills.・By playing our fun educational games, students learn English vocabulary, sentence structures, grammar, listening, pronunciation and phonics.The site features these ESL Activities Online: ESL Classroom Games, Memory Games, Spelling Games, Sentence Games, Interactive Board Games, Hangman Games, Jeopardy, Wheel・ Games, Concentration Games, Matching Games, Car Racing Games, Pirate Games, Crocodile Games, Word Recognition Games, Mobile Games for iPad, iPhones and Android devices.

fredisalearns courses

Games & Fun Activities for English Learning・

Memory Games

esl memory games

This site features the best ESL concentration gamesto help students master English vocabulary and grammar. These vocabulary games help students develop good word recognition, listening, reading and spelling skills.・

Sentence Monkey

sentence grammar games

This ESL activity helps students practice sentences and grammatical structures in a fun way. Students drag and drop words to finish and form correct grammatical sentences. ・Who knew gap fill exercises could be fun?・

Pirate Board Games

esl board games

ESL Games Plus features interactive board games which provide the ultimate fun English ・learning experience. Battle your way across the Pirate Waters whil practicing English grammar and vocabulary. Pirates are your nasty enemies. ・

Crocodile Board Games

board games for esl interactive

Based on the same pirate board game concept, ESL Games Plus features the interactive crocodile board game variation, which will help students practice grammar, vocabulary and sentence structures in a fun way. ・

Preschool & Kindergarten ESL Videos

Preschool & Kindergarten ESL Video

There are free ESL videos for teaching kindergarten and preschool levels on this site.
These videos will help ESL teachers to teach vocabulary, grammar and sentence patterns to kids.

1st Grade to 3rd Grade ESL Videos

1st Grade to 3rd Grade ESL Videos

Teach your 1st, 2nd and 3rd grader EFL/ESL learners new vocabulary, grammar and sentence structures using top quality free animated videos. These videos will help your learners focus longer.

Word Search Puzzles Online

Word Search Puzzles Online

ESL Kids Word Search Games online: Play vocabulary based interactive ESL Word Search Puzzles and Learn new vocabulary.

Crossword Puzzles Online

Crossword Puzzles Online

Interactive ESL/EFL Vocabulary and Grammar Crossword Puzzles: Learn and practice English vocabulary and grammar by solving crossword puzzles online.

Hidden Pictures Powerpoint

hidden pictures ppt games
On this site you will find Hidden Pictures ESL Powerpoint Games, Powerpoint Vocabulary Games, PPT Vocabulary Games, Hidden Pictures PPT Games for ESL, Jeopardy Games for Classroom Teaching.・・

Flash Cards - PPT & PDF

flash cards vocabulary for ESL
ESL, Powerpoint Flash Cards, Vocabulary Powerpoint Flash Cards for English Teaching, PPT Flash Cards for ・Interactive Whiteboards, Overhead Projectors. There are also ESL PDF Flash Cards to meet your teaching needs.・

Printable Board Games & Cards

board games
Printable ESL Board Games, Printable ESL Flashcards, Card Games, Game Cards: Our ESL Crocodile and Pirate Baord Games are two of the same concept that will help you practice just about any English language skill you want to practice.・

Phonics Worksheets

Phonics Worksheets
This area features many phonics printable activities from our Kiz Phonics速 course. The phonics worksheets will help teach short & long vowels, consonant blends and digraphs, vowel digraphs, r-controlled vowels and other phonemes, which are essential for teaching early literacy.

Phonics Games & Videos

Phonics Games and Videos
This section features many phonics games and videos to help children with no reading skills learn to decode and read words in English. Our videos teach the different phonemes without any ambiguity and the games help children pratice themselves.

Math Games for Kids

Math Games for Kids
Games and activities to practice and develope core math skills from 1st grade to 5th grade.

Science Games for Kids

Science Games for Kids
Games and activities to develop science knowledge for kids between kindergarten to 5th grade.

Reading Quizzes

Advanced level reading comprehension exercises. Develop reading skills to conquer English exams such as IELTS, TOEFL and SAT by practising with these reading exercises. The exercises are also perfect for non-native university students looking to improve their reading skills for academic studies.

Develop vocabulary with idioms A-Z exercises

Advanced level English vocabulary exercises. This vocabulary section is based on over 500 words advanced English learners must know before entering English exams like IELTS, TOEFL and SAT.

EPIC FINALS! Serral vs Clem - ESL SC2

ESL (company)

This article is about an esports company. For the planned European club football competition, see European Super League.

Esports organizer and production company

ESL Horizontal Logo 2019.svg

Logo since 2019

PredecessorDeutsche Clanliga
FoundedNovember 27, 2000 (2000-11-27)




Area served


Key people

Ralf Reichert & Craig Levine (Co-CEOs)
OwnerModern Times Group (82 %)
ParentModern Times Group

The ESL Gaming GmbH, doing business as ESL (formerly known as Electronic Sports League), is a German esports organizer and production company that produces video game competitions worldwide. ESL was the world's largest esports company in 2015,[1] and the oldest that is still operational.[2] Based in Cologne, Germany, ESL has eleven offices and multiple international TV studios globally. ESL is the largest esports company to broadcast on Twitch.[3][4]


ESL's logo prior to February 2019

The Electronic Sports League launched in the year 2000 as the successor of the Deutsche Clanliga, which was founded in 1997.[5] The company began with an online gaming league and a gaming magazine. It also rented out servers for game competitions.[1]

In 2015, ESL's Intel Extreme Masters Katowice was at the time, the most watched esports event in history.[6] The event had more than 100,000 in attendance and Twitch viewership was over one million.[7]

In July 2015, Modern Times Group (MTG) bought a 74 percent stake in ESL from its parent company, Turtle Entertainment, for $86 million.[8][9][10][11] That same month, ESL announced its participation in "esports in Cinema," which would broadcast live esports events to over 1,500 movie theaters across the globe. Esports in Cinema included Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive coverage from ESL One Cologne 2015 and ESL One New York,[12] as well as a documentary, "All Work All Play," which follows the rise of esports and highlights pro gamers as they work toward the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship.[13]

After a player publicly admitted Adderall use following ESL One Katowice 2015, ESL worked with the National Anti-Doping Agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency to institute an anti-drug policy.[14][15][16] It was the first international esports company to enforce anti-doping regulations.[17] Random tests for the drugs prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency were implemented for its events.[18][19] Punishments for the use of performance-enhancing drugs range from reduced prize money and tournament points to disqualification and a maximum two-year ban from ESL events.[20]

ESL worked with publisher Valve in August 2015 for ESL One Cologne 2015 at the Lanxess Arena where 16 teams competed in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.[9][21][22] ESL implemented randomized drug testing at the event.[23] All tests came back negative.[24] The tournament had over 27 million viewers,[14][25] making it the largest and most-watched CS:GO tournament at that time.[26]

In October 2015, ESL held a Dota 2 championship at Madison Square Garden Theater.[1] That same month, ESL partnered with ArenaNet to produce ESL Guild Wars 2 Pro League, which is one of seven official ESL Pro Leagues.[27]

ESL held its 10th arena event in November 2015 at the SAP Center in San Jose, California.[1] The event had over 10 million viewers through Twitch[28] and was the largest Counter-Strike event in America at that time.[29] ESL partnered with Activision for the 2016 Call of Duty World League for the World League's Pro Division.[30]

In November 2015, ESL announced its acquisition of the E-Sports Entertainment Association (ESEA), promoters of the ESEA League, after previous collaborations: ESL uses the ESEA anti-cheat system for the ESL CS:GO Pro League.[31] The ESEA platform is used for ESL events as well as offline finals.[32] As of July 2016, ESL is a member of the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC), a non-profit members' association to maintain integrity in professional esports.[33] In 2017, ESL partnered with Mercedes-Benz for Hamburg DOTA 2 Major.[34]

In March 2021, ESL announced a partnership with 1xBet.[35] On April 28, 2021, Intel and ESL again renewed their partnership in a three year contract, which will see the two companys invest US$100,000,000 in esports, throughout 2024.[36]


ESL hosts competitions around the globe, partnering with publishers such as Blizzard Entertainment,[5][37][38]Riot Games, Valve, Microsoft, Wargaming and multiple others to facilitate thousands of gaming competitions annually.[39] ESL competitors are supported on both national and international levels. Some of their more notable competitions include the following:

ESL Play[edit]

ESL Play is the world's leading platform for esports. It provides tournaments and ladders across all games and skill levels. ESL Open, the first cup on the league ladder, is open to everyone, including beginners. ESL Major competitions have entry requirements and winning on this level is required to earn a spot in ESL Pro competition. However, ESL Major also contains Go4 Cups, which are free tournaments that are open to everyone. Tournaments at this level require prior qualification.

ESL National Championships[edit]

ESL National Championships are region-specific ESL Pro competitions held in various countries. ESL Meisterschaft, the German championship, began in 2002 and is the oldest esports league in existence.[40] The ESL UK Premiership, another regional esports program, has been ESL's largest regional tournament since 2010. National Championships are established in order to spread local esports competition around the world.[41]

ESL National Championships are held for Battlefield 4, Counter-Strike, Dota 2, Halo, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Mortal Kombat, Smite, StarCraft II, World of Tanks, and Rainbow Six.

ESL Pro Tour[edit]

The ESL Pro Tour is a year-round circuit that uses a ranking system for qualification to a major championship event.

As of 2020[update], ESL hosts three titles for the ESL Pro Tour: Counter-Strike, StarCraft II and WarCraft III.[42] The two major championship events for those titles are IEM Katowice 2021 (for the three titles) and ESL One Cologne 2020 (for Counter-Strike only).

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ESL One Cologne was held online in August 2020.[43]

ESL One[edit]

ESL One refers to premier offline tournaments across a variety of games,[44] like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive[45][46] and Dota 2, and are usually considered among the most prestigious events for each game.[47] ESL One events are often selected to be part of the Valve-sponsored CS:GO Major series. The ESL Counter-Strike Majors have been: EMS One Katowice 2014, ESL One Cologne 2014, ESL One Katowice 2015, ESL One Cologne 2015, ESL One Cologne 2016, IEM Katowice 2019, and ESL One Rio 2020. As of December 2019, ESL has hosted six of the fourteen Valve Major tournaments.

Intel Extreme Masters[edit]

Main article: Intel Extreme Masters

The Intel Extreme Masters is the world's longest-running global esports tournament series.[48]

ESL Technology[edit]

ESL created the ESL Wire Anti Cheat software to combat online cheating in the increasingly competitive field.[49] In 2015, ESL enhanced its tournament software by integrating Wargaming's "Battle API" into its tournaments. The API makes player and game data available through the API application.[50] That same year, ESL released ESL Matchmaking which uses ESL's API to match competitors based on skill.[51][52] Microsoft worked with ESL to create an Xbox app to use the ESL tournament system through Xbox Live on Xbox One in 2016.[53]


AnyKey is a diversity initiative created by ESL and Intel to include underrepresented members of the gaming community in competitions including women, LGBTQ people and people of color.[54][55] AnyKey is made up of two teams for research and implementation.[56][57] AnyKey has researched and implemented a code of conduct, which aims to address an inclusion policy for esports events and online broadcasts and the harassment issues underrepresented populations face. It has also created and hosted women's tournaments. The two teams continue to research and implement inclusion in the gaming community.[58]


In 2017, ESL partnered with Hulu to produce four esports series (Player v. Player, Bootcamp, Defining Moments and ESL Replay).[59]


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  13. ^"esports in Cinema Live Event Confirmed for All Work All Play July 28 Premiere Broadcast from Cologne, Germany to over 465 European Cinemas". Reuters. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2016.[dead link]
  14. ^ abMolina, Brett (25 August 2015). "Video gamers drug-tested ahead of competition". USA Today. Archived from the original on 18 March 2020. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
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  16. ^Wingfield, Nick; Dougherty, Conor (23 July 2015). "Drug Testing Is Coming to E-Sports". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 8 November 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  17. ^Lumb, David. "Anti-Doping Regulations Come to Esports: A Q&A With Electronic Sports League's Michal Blicharz". Fast Company. Archived from the original on 3 January 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  18. ^Sarah E. Needleman (23 July 2015). "Now Coming to E-Sports: Random Drug Testing". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 3 January 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  19. ^"Video Game League Announces Random Drug Tests For Competitors". NPR. 13 August 2015. Archived from the original on 30 May 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  20. ^Tach, Dave (12 August 2015). "ESL adopts World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited substances list, like steroids and pot". Polygon. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  21. ^MIRAA. "ESL One Cologne with $250,000". HLTV. Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  22. ^"ESL Announces World's Largest CS:GO Tournament This August". IGN. 23 February 2015. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
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  24. ^Mueller, Saira (22 October 2015). "esports Is Big Time: Pro Video Gaming League Eyes Global Distribution, Drug Testing". IB Times. Archived from the original on 17 April 2019. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  25. ^Wynne, Jared (26 August 2015). "ESL One Cologne pulls in $4.2 million in revenue for teams, sets viewer records". Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  26. ^"27 Million People Watched the Biggest Counter-Strike Tournament Ever". IGN. 25 August 2015. Archived from the original on 18 January 2021. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  27. ^Richard Procter (14 October 2015). "Guild Wars 2 Gets Its Own Esports League". Forbes. Archived from the original on 18 August 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  28. ^Lee, Kevin (28 March 2015). "esports: the latest 21st century phenomenon or passing fad?". TechRadar. Archived from the original on 15 August 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  29. ^"IEM San Jose With $100K CS:GO Tournament". Domination esports. Retrieved 22 June 2016.[permanent dead link]
  30. ^Keshav (28 October 2015). "ESL confirms they're partnering with Activision for Call of Duty World League Pro Division". Charlie Intel. Archived from the original on 30 October 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
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  32. ^Trevor Schmidt. "ESEA partners with IEM for CS:GO Qualifiers". ESEA. Archived from the original on 24 June 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  33. ^"ESPORTS INTEGRITY COALITION LAUNCHED WITH IAN SMITH APPOINTED AS THE FIRST ESPORTS INTEGRITY COMMISSIONER". 8 July 2016. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  34. ^NikShiP (21 August 2017). "ESL partnership with Mercedes-Benz kicking off with Hamburg DOTA 2 Major | EGameTube". EGameTube. Archived from the original on 26 December 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
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External links[edit]


Games esl play

E-sports promoter ESL becomes world’s biggest video-game events company

The Reicherts watched their sports-crazy son in a dramatic match-up, taking on some of the world’s top players.

Benjamin played soccer, which always got their adrenaline flowing. But this wasn’t soccer. It was “Quake” — a video game. Laser-eyed teenagers sat in front of screens, killing each other with axes, nail guns, rocket launchers and other virtual weaponry.

The Reicherts weren’t expecting much fun. But by the time Benjamin vanquished his foes to take second place in the tournament at a small Internet cafe, they’d turned nervous, almost excited. They clapped, they cheered. It wasn’t quite World Cup soccer, but they were into it.

Benjamin’s older brother, Ralf, took in the scene. The thought came in a flash: If my parents get this excited watching a video-game tournament, the potential is there for millions of others around the world to do the same. And millions of dollars to be made.

In that moment — in an Internet cafe in Gothenburg, Germany in 1999 — Reichert became one of the first eSports entrepreneurs. The next year, at age 24, he and several business partners formed their own company, known as ESL.

Since then, ESL has grown to become the biggest video-game events company in the world, vaulting the high-stakes virtual battles from little cafes to giant stadiums and arenas with tens of thousands of roaring fans.

Ralf Reichert, managing director of ESL, at the company’s studios in Burbank.

(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

This month ESL filled the 18,200-seat Madison Square Garden in New York City as the Vega Squadron team defeated Team Secret in a “Dota 2" championship. More such events in California and elsewhere will follow, as Cologne, Germany-based ESL rapidly expands its North American operations, centered in Burbank. It also aims to produce Hollywood-style programming around competitions and to work with major broadcasters looking to capitalize on a burgeoning new market.

Professional video game player Dominik Reitmeier of Team Fnatic shouts on stage during a game of “Dota 2” at the ESL One tournament at Madison Square Garden earlier this month.

(Robert Paul /

ESports, or competitive gaming, is on the verge of becoming a $1-billion global industry, according to analyst estimates. Professional players are joining teams with investors, coaches and even personal trainers. Some 200 million people play, tune into online broadcasts or attend events at cafes, bars and major venues like Staples Center.

Players themselves collected at least $30 million in prizes last year, with ESL awarding $15 million alone through its tournaments. The eSports promoter expects $60 million in revenue this year, with surges soon to come from boosting the 3-year-old arena-events business, signing TV deals and entering new countries.

Reichert and his colleagues were prescient, but the road to success has been long, hard and uncertain. Reichert had a dream, but many people told him that’s all it would ever be.

Starting out, the company launched an online gaming league and a gaming magazine. Reichert and his partners rented out computer servers for competitions. They even stooped to setting up convention booths for game publishers and developed websites to earn enough cash to survive.

The concepts didn’t catch fire as fast as hoped. In the mid-2000s, ESL’s biggest competitors folded.

But Reichert persevered. The company had built patience into its name, incorporating under the brand Turtle Entertainment. Investors and employees stuck with them. By 2013, the patience began to pay off.

Twitch, YouTube and other online video-streaming services let fans watch games and follow stars. Game makers plunged into the eSports market, fine-tuning games for spectator appeal.

This week, the nation’s largest video game company, Activision Blizzard Inc., announced the hiring of former ESPN and NFL Network Chief Executive Steve Bornstein to oversee new eSports initiatives.

ESPN broadcast college games earlier this year. TBS and talent agency WME/IMG plans to run and televise an eSports league in 2016.

ESL is poised to take advantage. Kevin Lin, chief operating officer of Twitch, said ESL’s deep roots in the industry and ability to adapt has made them “one of the top eSports event organizers in the world.”

Dennis Fong, chief executive of game streaming app and one of the first pro gamers, said he recently partnered with ESL because it has “proven that they are the best” organization of its kind.

ESL’s big break came in early 2013, when the city of Katowice, Poland offered use of the 11,500-seat Spodek arena. Katowice officials had seen eSports as an economic stimulant. The idea that he could draw 50,000 spectators over a weekend surprised Reichert, but it fueled him with boldness. It was ESL’s first stadium-size production — and gave Reichert the “turning point mentally to say we are here.”

Today, it’s hard to find gaming events without workers in ESL T-shirts rushing about, manning cameras and calling shots behind the scenes. Nine offices worldwide provide unrivaled scale, ESL says, with expanding presence in India, Russia and Australia and forthcoming projects in the Middle East and Latin America.

The company said annual viewing of ESL productions more than doubled from 2012 to 2014, to more than 50 million hours, reaching 70 million individuals, mostly online.

ESL operates leagues, with a regular season and playoffs. It attracts players with free-to-enter tournaments, identifies the best and then makes money by showcasing their games at venues and online broadcasts. Next month, teams will compete for $150,000 at the SAP Center in San Jose over “Counter-Strike” and “League of Legends.” It will mark a major milestone: ESL’s 10th arena event.

At about $45 a seat, the five events in 2015 should generate $3 million in ticket revenue, Reichert said.

ESL also manages competitions for top game makers. Activision Blizzard turns to ESL to put on its annual fan convention BlizzCon in Anaheim. Riot Games, the Los Angeles company behind eSports’ biggest hit “League of Legends,” has been a customer since it launched. Microsoft’s “Halo” league is maintained by ESL.

On a Sunday in August, for instance, Activision Blizzard took over ESL’s studio in Burbank, working alongside ESL’s crew to stream big matches for computer game “World of Warcraft” on Twitch. A spot at the BlizzCon championship in November and $100,000 were at stake.

In the control room during a live broadcast of a world championship qualifier game of “World of Warcraft” from the ESL offices in Burbank.

(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

To accommodate more projects, the Burbank office is doubling in size to 25,000 square feet this fall, just 16 months after opening. About a third of the company’s 300-plus workforce will be based there.

More employees are in New York City, working to add top-notch sponsors to a roster that includes T-Mobile and Pizza Hut.

They’re also talking to media companies to bring ESL content to TV worldwide. Reichert said he never imagined discussions with ESPN and NBC about broadcasting video games. But he’s on board to get eSports in front of as many people as possible because “a sport can only be commercially successful if a lot of people watch it,” he said. Generating monstrous rights fees, he expects, will come with time.

TJ Sanders, left, and Nathan Zamora, right, chat on camera during a live broadcast from ESL’s North American headquarters in Burbank.

(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Industry experts fear that game makers could cripple ESL by bringing eSports projects in-house. ESL’s hedge is dedicating 15 employees to developing fan bases for smaller, newer games. Executives also argue that publishers — or new entrants — would need a long time to match ESL’s skills and efficiencies.

ESL also is busy branching into related businesses. It’s looking to spearhead drug testing, betting regulations, stat-keeping and other industrywide standards. If the pieces come together, Reichert sees media rights fees, ticket sales and sponsorship deals booming. Merchandise, tournament entry fees and online ads also contribute revenue.

To accelerate growth, the company took $87 million from Swedish media giant Modern Times Group last month, surrendering a majority stake. Early investors cashed out, but executives including Reichert held onto shares with the belief that the eSports market is still in its early days.

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Twitter: @peard33

SERRAL LATE GAME In Starcraft 2 - Serral vs SHowTimE ESL SC2

ESL Gaming

ESL, formally known as Electronic Sports League, is an esports organisation who stage competitions across the world, who have quickly become the world’s largest esports company. ESL are the also the oldest esports organisation still in operation today, with the company based in Cologne, Germany, although they have offices at eleven different locations around the world. ESL launched back in 2000, starting out by establishing an online gaming league, as well as a gaming magazine. They also rented out servers for gaming tournaments and events. With over 3 million registered members at the time of writing, their standing at the top of the esports industry is certainly justified.

Having seen their productions more than double between 2012 and 2014, ESL’s Intel Extreme Masters Katowice quickly became the most viewed esports event of all time, with more than 100,000 in attendance, along with over one million watching on Twitch. However, in July 2015, Modern Times Group purchased a 74% stake in ESL for $86 million. Following this announcement, ESL declared that they were participating in “esports in Cinema”, which would see over 1,500 movie theatres across the globe broadcasting live esports action. The likes of Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive featured heavily from the ESL One Cologne and New York.


Today, the tournaments such as ESL Play, ESL Pro Leagues, ESL One and Intel Extreme Masters are among the biggest in the esports calendar, with popular games including Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone, Halo, StarCraft 2 and Heroes of the Storm helping to make up such major events. ESL have also worked tirelessly to eradicate drug use from professional gaming, after a player admitted to using Adderall following the ESL One Katowice 2015. They have since worked with national anti-doping agencies and the world anti-doping agency in a bid to enforce anti-doping regulations. Random tests were implemented for the first time, with punishments for those guilty ranging from reduced prize money to disqualification, along with two-year bans from all ESL events.


The “ESM One” was formally a professional gaming competition, with European teams competing in Dota 2 tournaments. At the time, it was the largest independent Dota 2 competition in the world, with teams battling it out for a prize fund of $156,000. The EMS One also featured Counter Strike: Global Offensive events. Having been renamed as ESL One, the league brought together teams and players from all over the world, again featuring both Dota 2 and CSGO, along with Battlefield 4.

The first ESL One event took place in Frankfurt, Germany back in June 2014, with Invictus Gaming defeating Evil Geniuses 2-1 in the final of the Dota 2 competition, taking home the majority of the $150,000 prize pool in the process. A year later, and having already staged a similar event the previous year, the ESL One New York 2015 took place, with Dota 2 and Counter-Strike again dominating proceedings. European team Vega Squadrom took first place in the Dota ESL tournament, while Natus Vincere won the CS:GO event, defeating Virtus.Pro in the final. The event would then move to Manila in 2016, where qualifying Chinese team, Wings Gaming, shocked Team Liquid to win the Dota 2 event.

Despite not being one of the main esports titles at ESL One events, Battlefield 4 has played a significant role in previous events, with Meet Your Makers winning the first ever tournament back in the Season Winter 13/14 in Cologne, before the likes of Fnatic claimed an unprecedented five consecutive titles at the ESL Studios.

Action has since returned to Frankfurt, before both Genting and Hamburg add to the list of host cities for the ESL One in 2017. Digital Chaos took home $125,000 after winning the Dota 2 event in Malaysia, while the world’s best players will head to Germany in October. Also in 2017, both Cologne and New York will host major Counter Strike: Global Offensive tournaments. With arenas such as the Barclays Center in New York, Arena of Stars in Genting and LANXESS Arena in Cologne having recently hosted ESL One events, attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators between them, the growth potential with such events is phenomenal.

ESL Play

ESL Play is one of the world’s leading esports platforms, providing players of varying abilities with tournaments and leagues in which to test their skills against opponents. Popular esports titles including League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone, Warcraft and Rocket League make up major ESL Play events, with action taking place in the United Kingdom, North America, Asia and across Europe. ESL tournaments generally have entry requirements, with winning major events earning places in ESL Pro competitions, however they also have Go4 Cups which are free and open to everyone.

Prize pools for such events can range from between $500 and $5,000. PlayStation, mobile app, Windows 10 and Xbox One users are all able to take advantage of such tournaments, with the chance to win some hefty cash prizes, attracting more and more players all the time. Some of the less well-known games, such as Tricky Towers, Eternal, FIFA 17, S.K.I.L.L. and World of Tanks still regularly feature, helping to give the popularity of such titles a significant boost.

ESL Pro League

ESL also currently host nine official Pro Leagues for Overwatch, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League, Gears of War, Guild Wars 2, Halo 5: Guardians, Hearthstone, Mortal Combat X and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. S.K.I.L.L. was also formally part of the ESL Pro League, however it was scrapped after just one season due to disappointing interest.  It is undoubtedly the CSGO ESL Pro League that is the favourite among supporters at present, with the cross-continent tournament having finals in Los Angeles, Cologne and London.

Having raised the prize pool to $1.5 million in 2016, expectancy is huge for this year’s events.  The likes of SK Gaming, Team Liquid, North and G2 Esports currently find themselves at the top of the standings in North America and Europe respectively, with the finals taking place in Dallas between the 3-4 June. Cloud9 are the reigning champions having defeated SK Gaming in the final last time around, however it is the Germans who will be the favourites to gain revenge this year. ESL CSGO is certainly set to reach new heights in the coming years.

Intel Extreme Masters

The Intel Extreme Masters are a series of major esports tournaments sanctioned by the ESL, which include events in StarCraft 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Hearthstone and Quake Live. Despite having only been founded in 2016, the league has already played out ten seasons, with the 10th taking place in Katowice, Poland, having previously been held in Chengdu, Dubai, Hannover and Los Angeles, along with other cities.

The inaugural event took place in Germany back in 2007, with Team Pentagram taking home the spoils in the Counter-Strike competition, along with France’s Yoan “ToD” Merlo in Warcraft III. Season 2 saw the Intel Extreme Masters stage the World Championships in both Counter-Strike and Warcraft III, with Mousesports and Korea’s June “Lyn” Park coming out on top. Quake Live was added to the event in Season 4, while popular real-time strategy game, StarCraft 2 was introduced in Season 5, with Jung “AcE” Woo-Seo becoming World Champion.

League of Legends entered the equation in Season 6, with Russian outfit Moscow 5 winning the World Championship, ahead of more established names including Fnatic, Team World Elite and Counter Logic Gaming. A full list of games offered at the Intel Extreme Masters can be found below:

  • Counter-Strike (Seasons 1-6)
  • Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (Seasons 1-3)
  • World of Warcraft (Season 2)
  • Quake Live (Seasons 4-5)
  • StarCraft 2 (Seasons 5-6)
  • League of Legends (Seasons 5-6)

The longest running pro gaming circuit in the world celebrated its return to Katowice in style for the 2017 World Championships, with over 173,000 fans attending the event over two weekends of action. With champions from both IEM Oakland 2016 and IEM Gyeonggi 2016 facing off against each other, prizes in League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and StarCraft II were up for grabs, along with a total prize pool of $650,000. The likes of Flash Wolves, Astralis, Team Secret, Team Dignitas and home favourites, Pompa Team, were among the winners in one of the biggest esports events in history.

ESL National Championships

The ESL National Championships are region-specific ESL tournaments that are staged in various countries across the globe. The ESL Meisterschaft, the German Championship, is the oldest esports league in the world, having been founded in 2002. Meanwhile, the ESL UK Premiership has been the ESL’s biggest regional tournament since it began in 2010, helping to increase local esports competition in different areas. ESL National Championships are held for Battlefield 4, Counter-Strike, Dota 2, Halo, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Mortal Kombat, Smite, StarCraft 2, World of Tanks and Rainbow Six.

Current ESL CSGO champions include FMESPORTS from the United Kingdom, BIG from Germany, Outlaws from South East Europe, Risking Gaming from India and Torpedo from Scandinavia. Meanwhile in the world of League of Legends, MnM Gaming recently secured the 2017 National Championships in the UK, along with Mysterious Monkeys and Team Kinguin from Germany and Poland respectively.

ESL Technology

As well as esports and tournaments, ESL have pushed the boundaries when it comes to technology, creating the ESL Wire Anti Cheat Software, in a bid to combat online cheating, which has often been a problem in the industry. ESL integrated’s API into their tournaments back in 2015, ensuring that player and game data is available through an application. Around the same time, they also released ESL Matchmaking, which is used to pair competitors together, based on their skill levels within a wide range of esports games. If that wasn’t enough, ESL have also been working closely with Microsoft, creating an Xbox app that will see ESL tournament systems utilised on Xbox live and Xbox One.

ESL on Facebook

ESL have also recently teamed up with Facebook in a bid to make esports action more accessible, with the hugely popular social media platform announcing a deal to live stream esports action from around the world on their site. Despite the streaming market being dominated by Twitch, this new deal includes around 5,500 hours of esports action from ESL tournaments, as well as 1,500 hours of original programming. Already having similar deals in place with both Twitch and Twitter, ESL are certainly doing their upmost to reach out to new fans.

Read also: Esport Gambling in Germany

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