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.

Ukraine FaZe_UW0TM8 
2015-07-01 13:15
Giant TV-Company? Not sure if this is nice...
2015-07-01 13:57
Pretty nice, esport been shown on TV? Sounds good to me, it will get more people to the scene alot of people still don't know what counter-strike is and this will help alot, also equals more prize money, more teams etc etc
2015-07-01 14:14
And on the other side big companies like MTG tend to make absolutely everything just for the money. I dont want esport to go too commercial, it will lose its charm
2015-07-01 14:24
Ukraine FaZe_UW0TM8 
Tbh i dont see anything wrong in it, i mean every company would make everything just for the money. The main part is that the scene would grow.
2015-07-01 14:32
Ukraine FaZe_UW0TM8 
+bigger tournaments=>more motivation for the players
2015-07-01 14:35
Making money can be done in different ways and its not always benefitting us as spectators
2015-07-01 14:36
Ukraine FaZe_UW0TM8 
Well i must agree with you on that..
2015-07-01 14:42
those comments :D trie hards.
2015-07-01 18:14
What do you mean?
2015-07-01 20:19
The scene in a general should benefit not only spectators, no one complains about boxing/basket/NFL/NHL etc etc being pay to view or pay per view watch it online if you broke, isnt that what you are doing right anyways? But now let's not discuss this to much we don't know how this will work out yet i just want them to make a better income = more exciting matches and bigger cas prizes
2015-07-02 11:29
watch on stream or HLTV
2015-07-01 22:16
I'm not talking about where I watch it lol
2015-07-01 22:27
well then what is the problem with them making money, that's how it works if you don't wanna pay for some channel then watch in on stream easy as that
2015-07-02 01:47
The problem is not them making money, the problem is what they might be doing to the esport in order to make more money. When big corporations sweep in like this it could mean really bad news according to history in any sport pretty much.
2015-07-02 01:50
Since you seem to be swedish: Do you know MTG? What kind of TV do they do? I may be baised from german TV, because it is shit. If any "giant TV-Company" from Germany would have buyed the stacks I definelty said [*] hopes, [*] passion and $_$ for the owners
2015-07-02 16:37
They own many channels, not only in Sweden. Viasat channels, tv3, tv6 some movie channels and some sports channels.
2015-07-02 17:25
esport disappearing from twitch/hitbox/azubu/other free media and starting to be available on payTV only? Hell yeah. >.>
2015-07-01 15:25
that wont happen because 1st in a lot of countries i think MTG doesnt broadcast and 2nd most of the people isnt gonna pay to watch the tournaments and they know it
2015-07-01 15:31
That's what they said with football, too.
2015-07-01 16:39
dont even compare the fanbase of football and any e-sport. Not even LoL is remotaly comapared to football
2015-07-01 16:55
I'm not comparing the userbase, I'm comparing the process.
2015-07-01 17:56
Sweden Kasidro 
nope not gonna happen. They are aiming for more partnership with twitch and youtube
2015-07-01 15:55
Dude every time a huge corporation buys something that is indie it works out well for everyone involved. Especially the fans... [*] For hope
2015-07-01 16:25
Ukraine FaZe_UW0TM8 
2015-07-01 16:32
Korea yuh 
im gay
2015-07-01 17:27
Ukraine FaZe_UW0TM8 
2015-07-01 18:42
2015-07-01 13:15
What does this even mean to the scene?
2015-07-01 13:16
more $$$
2015-07-01 13:17
JW | 
Germany JETLECK 
Probably more money and more coverage. I hope it will not become some PayTV bullshit.
2015-07-01 13:21
World madman112 
That would kill the scene, holy crap didnt even realize its possible :l
2015-07-01 13:33
Australia glib 
It isn't possible because a multi-billion dollar company like MTG isn't that dumb
2015-07-01 13:42
JW | 
Germany JETLECK 
I guess that would backfire anyways. I think that they could run commercials in the livestreams like on regular TV ( which you cant block like twitch ads)
2015-07-01 13:42
Sweden Kasidro 
na they are aiming for more partnership with twitch/youtube and such services
2015-07-01 15:58
That they will show esl tournaments on tv6. Not just the web tv but on actual tv is my guess
2015-07-01 14:25
United Kingdom grund 
Well, time to start learning how to play Magic :/
2015-07-01 13:16
the gathering?
2015-07-01 13:26
Denmark AnchorCS 
Love that game... I play hearthstone but it's just not the same :/
2015-07-01 17:54
2015-07-01 13:16
Maybe they can afford to put in more EU teams now.
2015-07-01 13:17
Belgium -KvL- 
1Million dollar Major inc?
2015-07-01 13:19
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ owns the scene
2015-07-01 13:21
Its this good for scene or bad?
2015-07-01 13:22
JW | 
Sweden Hasklon 
Bigger tournaments than Dota inc MASSIVE KAPPA
2015-07-01 13:22
2015-07-01 13:23
this prolly means ull have to pay to watch events. for a average viewer i dont take this as good news.
2015-07-01 13:24
if they do that we will never see 1 milion wievers again on Major RIP
2015-07-01 13:24
JW | 
Germany JETLECK 
I'm afraid that could happen :( I hope it backfires if that happens.
2015-07-01 13:27
If it does happen they fuck themselves and they spent 76 mil for nothing.
2015-07-01 15:17
winter is coming :S
2015-07-01 13:28
Sellout. Next we will see more clueless female casters to promote equality.
2015-07-01 13:23
chrisJ | 
United Kingdom Harribo 
Oh no, not more Pansy's :|
2015-07-01 13:37
They might be more attractive though. If Rachel Riley cast CS...
2015-07-01 13:58
chrisJ | 
United Kingdom Harribo 
Keep this dream alive
2015-07-01 14:07
Urgh don't... The mere mention of her name just makes my balls swell
2015-07-01 14:25
Finland Jiksu 
We will see clueless female casters on mainscreen with a minimized game window on upper corner. Most likely wearing just a thin top with a lot of cleavage. And if that was the case, 98% of the people afraid of CS majors going payTV will forget what they said and pay to watch the grills.
2015-07-01 18:00
Norway kakkopp 
rip it was fun as long it lasted
2015-07-01 13:28
Dont be so negative about it
2015-07-01 13:35
CS on tv!?!
2015-07-01 13:29
2015-07-01 13:36
There was some big LAN finals on TV in Poland :)
2015-07-01 14:36
Can imagine this going into pay to watch, obtain exclusive skins by watching system by Valve and them...
2015-07-01 13:32
flusha | 
Lithuania jiffoe 
2015-07-01 13:33
How it works for the current licence holders (NH) from different regions ? They are under this new contract ?
2015-07-01 13:33
Sweden Trojka03 
Their contracts should still be in place. There will be no changes in the immediate future cuz of licenses and contracts like the one you mentioned. But when those run out, MTG are free to do what they want with them.
2015-07-01 13:38
esl tv channel maybe
2015-07-01 13:36
Sweden Trojka03 
More CS on TV6 Play. Yaaaaaay, said no one ever. Swedish TV6 which is owned by MTG has hosted E-Sports earlier. Last time around was E-sports SM (Swedish championship) in several games including CSGO. However most of it was not televised and instead shown exclusively on TV6's horrible TV6Play service. Where believe me the only good thing about it was that it wasn't GEO blocked. I hope MTG steps up now and improves, and continues on with what ESL has done on Twitch. And for the love of god, please MTG I beg you, please retire Deman and Pansy.
2015-07-01 13:37
Greece hekzy 
GUYS, it'll just be coverage on Twitch AND TV. Nothing will change except of the fact that normal people that don't really watch eSports will get more informated about them. Maybe less viewers in Twitch but a lot more viewers overall.
2015-07-01 13:37
2015-07-01 13:40
Swedes taking over
2015-07-01 13:42
pls no pay2watch or riot
2015-07-01 13:42
This means even more ads, less gameplay, ads again and more ads.
2015-07-01 13:44
This is why I have adblock
2015-07-02 07:13
Denmark ORD 
Well maybe this means they are gonna start starting on time and not haveing 1 hour delays...
2015-07-01 13:48
all future esl events to be shown exclusive on viagame for only 20 bucks per event or some shit.
2015-07-01 13:49
This is going the way of boxing matches.
2015-07-01 13:55
Please remember that Valve still owns the game, and that they can stop any company from taking advantage of CS by simply refusing to give them broadcasting and licensing rights or suing them for using their IP without authorization.
2015-07-01 13:54
JW | 
Germany JETLECK 
GabeN to save the day
2015-07-01 14:07
2015-07-01 14:18
oh yes pls
2015-07-01 15:21
Well that was cheap kappa
2015-07-01 14:08
if CSGO leaves Twitch - R.I.P Twitch brings so many opportunities for growing games like CSGO.
2015-07-01 14:10
2015-07-01 14:20
It's just ESL calm down, Even Ipkane has claws into this shit.
2015-07-01 14:28
ESL is the only league interested in exclusivity, so basically anything they do is cause for alarm. ESL sells majority share? panic. ESL wants to make exclusive league with ESEA? panic. ESL hosts the next major, panic.
2015-07-01 18:04
Xyp9x | 
Denmark DFTBA 
Rip cs
2015-07-01 14:17
Does this mean they'll make an anti-cheat that is actually reliable?!?!?!
2015-07-01 14:21
why it mean that xD?
2015-07-01 14:29
2015-07-01 14:34
Why would it mean that? No, it doesn't.
2015-07-01 14:44
MTG showed Swedish masters and dreamhack on TV6 Sweden already and it went really good hope to see more majors and events on tv so i dont need to use stream on TV ;)
2015-07-01 14:25
Im not quite sure, but i think we have the same thing over here in Norway... Would be cool to watch it on TV here
2015-07-01 14:27
you have that norwegian channel forgot the name i used to use it too when norwegian events was on like ESWC qualifier and such ..
2015-07-01 14:31
JW | 
Germany JETLECK 
Sorry mate, but adblock doesn't work on TV
2015-07-01 14:34
Broadcasting e sports on TV literally makes no sense. People who are interested in esports are PC gamers 95%> , so that means that generally these people will be sat at their PCs more than they are watching the TV, so by broadcasting games on TV, you are likely to get less viewers than through streams like twitch etc. such a facepalm
2015-07-01 14:30
dude i usally hook my pc and tv up together so i can chillax in my sofa with a beer watching majors. Like having couple pals over is good too .. its like watchign football rugby or cricket or w/e u knobheads in engeland do
2015-07-01 14:33
If you sit in the sofa with your IRL mates, drinking beer and watching CS, then II'll have to break it to you, get a life..
2015-07-01 14:36
And how old are you, 13?
2015-07-01 14:53
2015-07-01 19:02
2015-07-01 14:57
whats wrong with that?
2015-07-01 15:24
says the guy who is nick is named after a soccer player.....maybe you should watch less soccer and become like a rocket scientist or something.....
2015-07-01 15:57
Oh god.... Swedish Virgin detected. Even I don't watch football, but you must be one sad fuck if you get your buddies over to huddle on the sofa watching cs bahah
2015-07-01 16:00
Majors = always watching with friends. I dont think you relize how big cs is in sweden
2015-10-15 16:29
World fns1 
tv broadcast over 100 countries > more sponsors > more viewers > more attendance > more prize pot > more money
2015-07-01 14:33
> more players and teams (Remember ESWC 42 teams?)
2015-07-01 14:35
World fns1 
2015-07-01 14:40
Norway kakkopp 
I dont think it Will have any more teams
2015-07-01 14:41
Finland Wozzw 
GG TWITCH No more free viewing on twtich since MTG owns some of the biggest pay to view TV companies
2015-07-01 15:04
well then esl will fail and faceit will become more popular than them. if they do this then they wasted 78M
2015-07-01 15:58
finally, have always hated the way esl is. Hopefully changes will be positive (let's face it couldn't be any worse!)
2015-07-01 15:15
2015-07-01 15:19
surprised me, why didnt motar2k buy it
2015-07-01 15:22
2015-07-01 15:25
This rapidly turning into an F1 type situation.
2015-07-01 15:32
It's ok as long as they don't lock players.
2015-07-01 15:33
ESL going Pay per view. Oh man its gonna be like Blizzcon now. You either own a ticket or you just watch bits and bops of the event.. I guess i'm done with ESL :( .
2015-07-01 15:34
United States Tryx[M] 
you might as well wait until you see it happen before you just boycott it calm down
2015-07-01 21:04
Spain fd` 
2015-07-01 15:35
rip prolly pay per view political correctness gender equality
2015-07-01 15:43
omg no. Now you will say "i watch some ads" instead of "i watch some CS". After every MAtch there will be long ass commercials. A lot of events will only be on MGT and probably pay to watch. RIP Scene
2015-07-01 15:50
Well, it is this way already. Every tournament after every match they show commercials. There's nothing to be done about it. That is how money is made in esports. It is either commercials or pay per view. I choose commercials.
2015-07-01 15:56
nah at the moment its 3 ads and then 3 minutes of twitch ads after that it continues. But have you watched tv commercials? they are atleast 7-8 minutes.
2015-07-01 16:05
PayPerView inc
2015-07-01 15:54
swedish masterrace
2015-07-01 15:59
I have watched several times some Swedish tournaments and all was 144p quality. What wrong with this guys?
2015-07-01 16:15
fucking Sellouts Man... :S
2015-07-01 16:20
CS is growing very fast. IMO they got lowballed lol
2015-07-01 17:02
what's that have to do with CS lol
2015-07-01 17:22
If they sold in ~3 years and CS keeps growing at it's current state, they would have sold for a lot higher as there are more "customers".
2015-07-04 17:51
This has CGS written all over it.
2015-07-01 17:08
MTV should have bought it :/
2015-07-01 17:11
"ESL WILL CONTINUE TO OPERATE INDEPENDENTLY" Cmon guys read before freaking out and making wild theories, this wont kill cs scene.
2015-07-01 17:19
2015-07-01 17:53
France cedd 
relax nerds you wont have to pay to watch cs anytime soon they should know their targent audience and what business platform already works
2015-07-01 19:17
More info about the plans, please.
2015-07-01 19:49
2015-07-01 20:33
Poland MJP 
Nice growing big ;] Photo from Katowice , can forget the atmosphere :]
2015-07-02 01:39
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