Top-level esports league featuring 10 WESA teams coming exclusively to Facebook in September
Hi-Rez taps into Facebook Groups for players to connect and compete in community-driven, open-bracket tournaments
September 7, 2017 – Alpharetta, Georgia – Hi-Rez Studios and the World Esports Association (WESA) announced today that they will stream Paladins Premier League esports content exclusively via Facebook Live and give amateur players a path to compete at a professional level through Facebook Groups.
The Paladins Premier League is the newly-established, official esports league of Hi-Rez Studios’ first-person shooter game Paladins, which has more than 15 million players worldwide. The Paladins Premier League consists of 10 member organizations from the WESA, an elite group that shares a collective vision to continue to professionalize esports. Professional players in the league will earn a minimum salary and teams will participate in revenue sharing of league profits.
“Hi-Rez Studios has a long history in esports, and we’re thrilled to work with Facebook on this next chapter of professional Paladins play,” said Todd Harris, COO and Co-Founder of Hi-Rez Studios. “We’ve seen a worldwide appetite to play Paladins competitively, and we’re excited to share our team shooter with millions of gamers on Facebook. With Facebook’s global reach and community building tools, we expect Paladins esports to continue its explosive growth on both a grassroots community level and at the highest tier of play in the Paladins Premier League.”
The Paladins community will enjoy top-tier gameplay, quality live coverage and community-based features that encourage interaction and bring players closer together. A weekly Paladins Esports Show on Watch, Facebook’s new platform for shows, will bring news, insights and analysis of the competitive scene.
“We are thrilled that Facebook has joined us as we work with Hi-Rez and the WESA teams to grow the Paladins Premier League into the world-class competition that the game deserves,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Chairman and Commissioner of WESA. “We look forward to working together with Facebook on new and exciting ways to grow and engage with this exciting community.”
In July, Hi-Rez announced the successful $350,000 Paladin’s Global Series (PGS), a community-focused, open-bracket tournament series held in seven regions around the world, where amateur players can recruit and form teams all within the official Paladins Facebook Group. In the first week alone, more than 300 teams consisting of more than 1,500 players signed up to play in the Global Series, with top matches streamed via Facebook Live. In under a month, more than 28,000 members of have joined the Paladins Global Series Group. Regional PGS champions earn a slot in the World Championships where they will compete against one another along with qualifying Premier League teams.
“Every day, through Paladins Global Series, fans around the world are connecting in meaningful ways through Facebook Groups,” said Leo Olebe, director of global games partnerships at Facebook. “The PGS is a great foundation for building the broader Paladins community, and we are excited to bring things full circle by making Facebook the home for professional Paladins Premier League esports content too. The passion and popularity surrounding Paladins is fueled from the ground up by its community of fans. Hi-Rez’s use of Facebook to discover new player talent and elevate players to a professional stage is a great fit for the community-driven platform we’re building for the gaming video ecosystem.”
Paladins Premier League livestreams will kick off in September on Facebook. For the latest information on Paladins visit www.paladins.com and follow the official Paladins Premier League on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/paladinsgame/.
About Hi-Rez Studios
Atlanta-based Hi-Rez Studios was established in 2005 to create exceptional online interactive entertainment, and is now one of the largest video game studios in the Southeast United States. Its latest games include SMITE: Battleground of the Gods, a mythological third-person multiplayer online battle arena; Paladins: Champions of the Realm, a highly-customizable fantasy team-based shooter; and Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics, a turn-based strategy collectible card game. More at www.hirezstudios.com.
WESA was founded in May 2016 and counts as its Members thirteen of the world’s most popular esports teams (EnVyUS, FaZe Clan, Fnatic, G2 Esports, mousesports, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, North, OpTic Gaming, Renegades, SK Gaming, Splyce and Virtus.pro) together with ESL, the world’s largest esports company. This elite group shares a collective vision to continue to professionalize esports 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. Pro League for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Paladins are the first two professional esports competition played under WESA regulations.