A record-breaking year for Turtle Entertainment, the leading eSports company in Europe

A record of 247,000 concurrent viewers following the live stream of an eSports event – Professional tournaments in America, Europe and Asia watched by millions of people from 173 different countries – The Electronic Sports League’s (ESL) number of registered users is approaching the four million mark

Cologne, February 3, 2012 – In 2011 Turtle Entertainment managed to break a number of previously established records. The organizer of the Electronic Sports League (ESL), the largest league for computer games in Europe, welcomed its three millionth registered user. Intel Extreme Masters, the global league of the video game champions, attracted more than 880,000 visitors to its live events in Germany, China and the US – plus millions of eSports fans around the world who followed the competition online via ESL’s web TV service – ESL TV. The opening of the year 2012 has also been marked with another record: more than 247,000 concurrent viewers tuned in on the live ESL TV stream during the Intel Extreme Masters Global Challenge Kiev in January making it one of the biggest events in the history of eSports.

Gaming on TV fascinates the masses

Gaming on TV is more popular nowadays than similar programs of classic broadcast stations with a target group of 14 to 29 years old like VIVA or Sport1. The numbers speak for themselves. More than 73 million viewers from 173 different countries around the globe tuned in on ESL TV to watch the professional tournaments broadcasted live in up to nine languages. This number indicates a growth by 300 percent in comparison to the last year’s results. This development was strongly influenced by the co-operation with TwitchTV, the world's largest video game broadcasting community, whose global video platform consistently delivered under the heavy load of traffic. In addition, in 2011 some of the classic broadcast stations recognized the global phenomenon that eSports becomes. Eurosport and ZDF.kultur reported from the events of the two main leagues of the ESL attracting more than six million viewers in Europe alone.

The growth continues in 2012. On January 22, during the Intel Extreme Masters Global Challenge Kiev, the ESL TV streams (powered by Razer) gathered more than 247,000 concurrent viewers – a new record for live coverage of an eSports live event.

All numbers at one glance – Gaming on TV

Total number of viewers in 2011: 73 million

Peak concurrent viewers: 247,000 viewers at the Intel Extreme Masters Global Challenge Kiev (January 22, 2012)

Reached countries: Viewers from 173 countries with content broadcasted in nine languages (German, English, Russian, Polish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Spanish and Swedish)

Professional gaming as a worldwide viewer magnet

Gaming enthusiasts not only play the games together, they also cheer for their idols on professional tournaments held by the ESL. The ESL Pro Series in Germany, for example, attracted thousands of fans to the Intel Friday Night Games in various German cities. This is only outnumbered by the international league for the computer game champions, the Intel Extreme Masters. More than 20,000 professional gamers from all around the world took part in the Intel Extreme Masters competitions in 2011. The best players in StarCraft 2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike 1.6 and Quake Live competed on the largest IT and entertainment conventions in Hanover, Cologne, New York and Guagzhou (China) for high prize money and the title of the World Champion. In this season of the league, the prize purse is 643,000 US dollar. All the 2011 live events attracted over 880,000 spectators at the venues and many millions on the ESL TV streams.

All numbers at one glance – Professional gaming

Professional gamers competing worldwide: more than 20,000

Prize money for the Intel Extreme Masters 2011/12 Season: 643,000 US Dollar

Live events in 2011: Kiev (Ukraine), CeBIT (Hanover), gamescom (Cologne), Comic Con (New York), Ani-Com & Games (Guanzhou / China)

Visitors: around 880,000

Casual gaming within the Electronic Sports League – Platforms with strong growth

In summer 2011 the ESL crossed a significant line. A student from Dorsten, Germany, was the three millionth gamer who signed up for the largest gaming league in Europe. Meanwhile, the 4 million mark is almost reached with more than 10,000 matches played per day by more than 790,000 teams. The ESL website and its affiliated platforms, Consoles Sports League and DotAlicious, count more than two million unique visitors and 8,4 million visits per month. Especially popular is the successful Go4-cup series, where teams and players can win prize money every week. The League of Legends series alone gathers more than 2,400 players every month in the 5on5 mode.

With the continued development of ESL Wire Anti Cheat and the start of ESL VERSUS, Turtle Entertainment elevates the gaming to a new level. While ESL Wire Anti Cheat ensures a fair and secure gaming environment in eSports by catching hundreds of cheaters, the match-making tool, ESL VERSUS, revolutionized the social gaming. With only two clicks and within five minutes equipollent players get together for a quick match.

All numbers at one glance – all platforms

Users: about 4 million

Teams: more than 790,000

Played matches per day: more than 10,000

Unique visitors: almost 2 million

Visits: 8,4 million

Year 2012

This year, Turtle Entertainment expects even more. With the Global Challenge Sao Paulo (Brazil) in February the Intel Extreme Masters league will visit South America for the first time ever exploring new grounds and opening itself to new possibilities. The next TV and spectator record, on the other hand, will probably be broken at the Intel Extreme Masters 2011/12 World Championship at CeBIT in Hanover, Germany, when the best 150 of the world's best gamers will compete in the finals of the league.

Another focus in 2012 is the continued development of ESL VERSUS. The match-making tool simplifies gaming and maximizes the fun with intelligent skill balancing measures. It is a perfect link between casual and hardcore gamers and is interesting for other social networks as well.

"ESL is one of the premier gaming leagues in the world, and we're proud to call them a partner," said Emmett Shear, CEO of TwitchTV. "The league consistently draws massive global audiences that come for the highest-quality competitive sports content in the world. We look forward to supporting their success for years to come."

“With the support of our partners from all over the world we’ve managed to break the records in the main fields such as the number of spectators at live events, number of viewers on our streams and number of players within the ESL. Not to mention, the revolution in social gaming,” says Ralf Reichert, the Managing Director at Turtle Entertainment. “The concurrent viewers record broken at the Intel Extreme Masters Global Challenge Kiev shows that we can raise the bar even higher. We are really looking forward to the finals at CeBIT in Hanover”, he continues.

Turtle Entertainment GmbH

The Intel® Extreme Turtle Entertainment was founded in 2000. The company quickly grew to be the European leader in the sector of electronic sports (eSports). The Electronic Sports League (ESL), operated by Turtle Entertainment, is active in 37 different countries worldwide. The league portal www.esl.eu reaches up to ten million visits a month generated by more than 3,300,000 registered users. Turtle Entertainment has more than 115 employees and is located in Cologne, Germany. Fifteen international license holders operate the ESL worldwide. Turtle Entertainment owns the majority of the Chinese eSports league PGL (Pro Gamer League) since 2007. Important business partners of Turtle Entertainment are global corporations and brands such as Intel, BenQ, Deutsche Post, Dell, Volkswagen, Sennheiser, ASUS, Microsoft, adidas, TrendMicro, SteelSeries, Supermicro, gamed.de and Blizzard Entertainment. Turtle Entertainment markets its products worldwide using these specific brands: Electronic Sports League (ESL), ESL Pro Series, Intel Extreme Masters, ESL Major Series, European Nations Championship (ENC), ESL TV, Consoles Sports League, eSport Schulmeisterschaft, eSports Award and ESL Female.

Further information is available at: www.turtle-entertainment.com

Intel Extreme Masters

The Intel® Extreme Masters is the global league of video game champions since 2006. The league arranges the hardest and most popular competitions in Counter-Strike 1.6, StarCraft II and League of Legends. eSports champions from Europe, Asia and America struggle for 643,000 US Dollar in prize money - the most lucrative prize purse globally. Live tournaments at the world's largest IT and Gaming conventions feature the top performers of the season - global stars in eSports. The 2011/12 season will have its exciting final, the World Championship, in March at CeBIT 2012, Germany, finding the top teams and players in the Intel® Extreme Masters World Championship. ESL TV, ESL's web-TV service, presents the best games of the season live and reports directly from the offline events.

Further information about the Intel Extreme Masters at www.intelextrememasters.com

About TwitchTV

TwitchTV is the world’s largest video game broadcasting and chat community. TwitchTV features the top gaming personalities, players, tournaments and commentary, in addition to the most active and interesting discussions around video games. TwitchTV provides publishers and advertisers a platform to create long term engagement and commitment from gamers. Learn more at http://twitch.tv


ESL TV is the major product of the Turtle Entertainment TV GmbH founded in November 2007 in Cologne, Germany. The TV production company produces IPTV content for the growing eSports community. ESL TV covers all important national and international leagues and tournaments of the Electronic Sports League (ESL). Further information is available at www.esl.tv


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