Twitch to Exclusively Stream Top ESL and DreamHack Competitions

  • Twitch has acquired English language livestreaming rights to major ESL and DreamHack competitions for 2021 and 2022.
  • The deal specifically covers Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), StarCraft II, and Warcraft III competitions, all under the ESL Pro Tour brand.. 
  • This marks the largest exclusive media deal between a livestreaming platform and a third-party esports tournament/league organizer. 

Twitch has signed a three-year media deal for ESL and DreamHack’s largest CS:GO, StarCraft II, and Warcraft III competitions. The Amazon-owned platform will broadcast all events on a non-exclusive basis in 2020, before gaining exclusive English language digital rights for 2021 and 2022. 

Financial terms were not disclosed.

These exclusive rights cover all tournaments under the ESL Pro Tour circuits for the three game titles. This includes the ESL Pro League, ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters, DreamHack Masters, DreamHack Open, and ESL National Championships. It was noted that some exceptions apply with regard to certain areas of the world and the digital platforms of linear television broadcast partners.

In addition, the company will work directly with ESL and DreamHack to “coordinate broadcast integrations and maximize sponsorships,” of these tournaments. In past exclusive content deals, such as with the Overwatch League, Twitch developed viewership reward programs and premium content for broadcast partners.

In a statement, DreamHack co-CEO Roger Lodewick described the partnership as a milestone for the digital events company. “Our cooperation with Twitch dates back to 2009 when it was still — this new collective media partnership is re-confirming our long-standing collaboration and highlights the importance and relevance Twitch has to our community, as well as the value the ESL/DreamHack esports content brings to the global Twitch audience.”

For ESL, this marks a return to exclusive broadcast destinations for several of its competition properties. In 2017, the ESL Pro League was only available to watch live on YouTube; then in 2018, Facebook acquired the English and Portuguese language rights to both EPL and ESL One events. In 2019, all events were available on multiple platforms.  

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