ESL sells majority stake to MTG
Turtle Entertainment has announced that it has sold a 74% stake in ESL to Swedish digital entertainment company MTG for €78 million.
MTG, which operates TV channels in several countries across the globe, had long expressed an interest in buying a controlling stake in ESL - the game branch of Turtle Entertainment -, but the deal was only recently inked by the two companies.
The investment will "open many synergies and opportunities which promise exciting times for the esports industry", according to a statement by ESL, which will continue to operate as an independent company.
MTG acquired a controlling stake in ESL
The management team behind ESL, including its founders, will retain a 26% stake of the company and have committed by signing long-term contracts.
"When we founded ESL 15 years ago, our goal was to bring esports to fans all around the world and establish it as a global sport," said Turtle Entertainment and ESL CEO and founder Ralf Reichert.
"Today, esports enjoys worldwide recognition and now, together with MTG, it is time to take esports to the next level.
"We are excited to partner with MTG, who share our enthusiasm for the sport and bring an entrepreneurial commitment to help make this dream come true.
"MTG’s extensive operational network in over 100 countries will help us bring ESL and esports to many more places around the world, while allowing us to continue expanding on strong, strategic local partnerships.
"The ESL leadership team could not be more excited about accelerating the development of the entire esports industry together with MTG for years to come."
MTG, whose operations cover four continents, are not new to esports as it controls Viagame, a platform dedicated to delivering video content about several games, including Counter-Strike.
The deal with the Swedish company comes just 24 hours before ESL hosts the offline finals of the first season of the ESL ESEA Pro League, which feature a $500,000 prize pool across both divisions.
Next month, ESL will host its next CS:GO major together with Valve, in Cologne, where 16 teams will battle it out for a piece of the $250,000 prize pool.