Intel and ESL have announced the "biggest brand and technology partnership in esports history" to invest more than $100 million into accelerating esports growth, "shaping the future landscape through innovative technology, tournaments and events".
Initially, Intel and ESL partnered up for ESL’s early events in Germany, but in 2006, Intel became the official title sponsor of the Intel Extreme Masters. Ten years later, Intel became ESL’s Global Technical Partner, "creating some of the world’s most prestigious and successful esports tournaments and pioneer stadium events worldwide".
The deal - hoping to "accelerate esports growth" from now until 2021 - sees Intel's longstanding partnerships with ESL in esports expand its investments, supporting esports with initiatives such as the $1 million Intel Grand Slam prize recently awarded to Astralis. Over the next three years, Intel and ESL will invest $100 million "to shape the future landscape of esports through innovative technology, tournaments, and events", marking the biggest brand and technology esports partnership in history.
"As esports continues its rise toward a billion-dollar industry, Intel and ESL will work together to create amazing esports experiences for players and fans all over the world," states the press release. "In addition to kicking off Season 14 of the Intel Extreme Masters, the longest running pro esports circuit in the world, in 2019, the partnership also encompasses support of ESL’s premier live esports circuits, including ESL One powered by Intel and the CS:GO Pro League, in addition to the $1,000,000 Intel Grand Slam. The investment will also introduce esports to new regions of the globe, including the hosting and introduction of large scale esports events in certain countries within the APAC region."
"ESL and Intel have worked side by side on growing esports for nearly two decades," said Ralf Reichert, founder and co-CEO at ESL. "We built a number of cornerstones of this industry together and helped many gamers in becoming legends of the sport. The long-term extended partnership with Intel opens even more opportunities for us to take our efforts to a whole different level on a global scale."
"This joint investment with ESL into the ecosystem means that the esports growth and innovation that we’ve led over the past two decades will continue," added John Bonini, vice president and general manager of VR, Gaming and Esports at Intel Corporation. "This partnership will advance the rapid evolution of esports, and Intel is committed to ushering in this new era with technology solutions that place the gaming community and fans first."