Twitter is opening a new front in its battle to become a live-streaming destination. On Thursday, the social platform announced a new deal with, ESL, the world’s largest eSports company, that will include a total of 1,500 hours of live broadcasts from over 15 events.
The competitive gaming coverage will include the ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters (IEM), and DreamHack circuits. The broadcasts will be kicked off this Saturday with IEM Katowice and its Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Starcraft II tournaments.
The live-streams will be available globally to both logged-in and logged-out users via dedicated ESL, IEM, and DreamHack live URLs. Additionally, ESL is also going to produce an original weekly highlights show for the platform, complete with behind-the-scenes footage from the events.
“Esports fans are endemic to digital and this partnership with Twitter expands ESL’s reach for all of our major tournaments for fans around the globe,” said ESL social media and editorial vice president Johannes Schiefer. “Intel Extreme Masters Katowice is our most anticipated live event, and we are excited to bring premier content from this tournament and beyond to more fans in a premium experience.”
Last summer, Twitter teamed up with Turner’s eLeague to live-stream its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive semifinals and championship. The ESL deal is a major coup for the company, which faces stiff competition from Facebook — the social network is currently hosting live coverage of Blizzard’s Heroes of the Dorm competition.
Twitter began tapping into its gaming community last year with the launch of its official gaming account. Described as the site’s dedicated gaming hub, the arrival of Twitter Gaming was welcomed by ESL in the form of a tweet.
Over a year later, the company’s COO Anthony Noto now claims the platform is back bigger and better than ever when it comes to eSports. “We see this collaboration as a way to tap into the engaged audience of gamers that are already using Twitter as a primary source of content,” said Noto. “By partnering with the leading eSports companies like ESL and DreamHack, we look forward to bringing the best of eSports live video and conversation together on Twitter.”
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