English Language Streaming Rights to be Broadcast Exclusively on YouTube
for Pro League Seasons 5 and 6
NEW YORK CITY (January 13, 2017) – Today WESA announced its new 2017 Pro League streaming partnership. The world’s largest professional league for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be primarily broadcast on YouTube.
YouTube will be the new streaming partner for Pro League Seasons 5 and 6 and will exclusively stream the English-language broadcast. Other languages will still be distributed on additional platforms. To celebrate this new relationship, Pro League will stream a re-run of one Pro League Final (Seasons 1-4) per weekend on YouTube starting Friday, January 13, to ease the waiting time until the start of Season 5 on February 7.
The Pro League for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has consistently broken viewership and fan engagement records, making it the world’s largest and most viewed competition for the popular FPS title. All previous seasons of the League combined delivered over 215 million of sessions and over 61 million hours were consumed by the fans on multiple online streaming platforms. Since its inception in 2015, the League has also attracted over 21,000 fans to its offline events in Europe, North and South America, with online viewership reaching tens of millions on multiple streaming platforms.
For 2017, the total Pro League prize pool has been increased to US$2 million (US$1 million per season). Season 5 starts on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 and will conclude with the Pro League finals in the United States at the Verizon Theatre in Dallas, Texas on June 3-4. The season finals broadcast will include all matches, pre-game analysis, interviews, live matches, and other unique ways to watch Pro League content in 360/VR video. Starting off with Season 6, content will be presented in 1080p @ 60fps, with DVR functionality. Audiences can follow the action live every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at www.youtube.com/ESLCS.
“YouTube has emerged as an innovative platform with an impressive track record for attracting high-quality content providers to its service and we look forward to making Pro League available to their ever-growing gaming audience,” said Ken Hershman, Commissioner of WESA. “This arrangement allows us to get more value for our content, which leads to more revenue for our teams and players, while offering the viewer a state-of-the-art experience in today’s evolving digital world.”
“YouTube is happy to announce our partnership with WESA to distribute the upcoming seasons of the ESL Pro League,” said Ryan Wyatt, Global Head of Gaming Content at YouTube. “Entering their fifth season, ESL’s ability to continue to produce the highest quality content at the pinnacle level of competitive play is unrivaled. Professional Counter-Strike fans and viewership has been growing at such an explosive rate and we are excited to continue sharing this passion with our gaming viewers.”
WESA was founded in May 2016 by eight of the world’s most popular esports teams (Fnatic, Natus Vincere, EnVyUS, Virtus.Pro, Gamers2, Faze, mousesports, Ninjas in Pyjamas) and ESL, the world’s largest esports company, who shared a collective vision to further professionalize the sport by introducing elements of player representation, standardized regulations and revenue sharing for teams. Based on traditional sports association models, WESA also aims to create predictable schedules for fans, players, organizers and broadcasters by engaging all appropriate stakeholders. The ESL Pro League for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the first professional esports competition that will be played under WESA regulations.
For more information about WESA, visit www.wesa.gg
Chief Executive Officer WESA