Vodafone and ESL announce international esports partnership
Vodafone has become a Premium Partner of ESL, the world’s largest esports company, and will sponsor ESL's flagship event series: Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL Pro League.
Esports is one of the fastest-growing international sports, with ESL tournaments taking place in arenas around the globe as the world's best players and teams battle it out in front of a live audience and millions of fans watching online.
The collaboration with ESL capitalises on Vodafone's international network, which brings together gamers and fans from twenty-five countries where Vodafone has more than 500 million mobile connections - including 104 million on high speed 4G - and nineteen million fixed broadband connections. It will also provide a showcase for the development of new 5G technologies set to transform gaming.
Vodafone will also work with ESL to support a series of initiatives that promote diversity and female participation in historically male-dominated esports activities. Vodafone will become a Premium Partner of the female esports challenge held during the IEM Sydney event in May 2018, and will collaborate with the world's top female esports personalities to highlight the opportunities for women to participate professionally in esports or pursue a career in the esports industry.
Serpil Timuray, Chief Operations & Strategy Officer, Vodafone Group, said: "We are delighted to launch this partnership with ESL and create one of the biggest international networks for esports at a time when audiences are growing rapidly and new technologies are poised to deliver better experiences. I look forward to joining our customers across twenty-five countries in viewing ESL's exciting esports tournaments, both at home and on their mobile devices".
"We are thrilled to partner with Vodafone as our new telecommunication partner for various events", said Ralf Reichert, CEO at ESL. "Together with Vodafone we are looking forward to connect even more people and create diversity in esports by ensuring better technological conditions for professional players, fans and ESL employees, fostering corporate responsibility projects and creating awareness around the esports industry to a broader audience. Vodafone is committed to support ESL with all their knowledge and strength and we could not be happier about that".
Vodafone will be Premium Partner for the following live international events, with further dates to be announced in due course:
IEM Sydney – May 2018, Australia
ESL One Birmingham – May 2018, UK
ESL One Cologne – July 2018, Germany
Vodafone's sponsorship agreement with ESL includes a new live broadcast segment titled The Vodafone View, content and advertising distribution, as well as branding and activation at the events.
The ESL partnership builds on Vodafone's growing involvement in esports, including the recent sponsorship of Vodafone Giants in Spain and Mousesports, the most successful German professional esports team.