ESL launches North America operations with purchase of ESS
The Electronic Sports League has announced the acquisition of the ESS Agency and launch of ESL North America.
With the announcement of the acquisition of ESS by ESL, some are asking what will happen to their main competitor ESEA considering both are co-founded by the former American progamer and nowadays manager of Team3D Craig Levine. However, one thing we can be sure of that the professional gaming arena has just gotten quite a bit bigger and is being met with optimism by the gaming community. We can only hope that the first LAN event to be a major press event of historic global proprotions.
Source from OnGamers: ESL has announced today that its parent company, Turtle Entertainment GmbH, has entered into an agreement to acquire the New York City-based ESS Agency, formerly the Esports Services Agency. With the announcement, ESL will be opening a full production studio and office in Los Angeles, California, making it ESL’s seventh global office location.
ESL says that the acquisition aligns with their plans for North America, where ESL’s North American operations will be conducted from two U.S. offices in New York and Los Angeles. ESS will continue to provide its existing portfolio of services to its global clients, which includes id Software/Bethesda's QuakeCon, and Ubisoft's TheNextLevel.
Last week ESL's Director of Progaming Michal 'Carmac' Blicharz told onGamers about his aspirations of holding future IEM and ESL One events inside North America.
ESS will launch ESL’s productions in North America and will also focus on producing high-quality live events, broadcasting and event technology.
“We’ve seen huge success and growth in Europe, and we’ve always wanted to bring that to the passionate communities of North America.” - said Sebastian Weishaar, VP International Business at ESL. “With the new U.S. team on our side and the new studio in place, we’ll be able to bring exciting live event experiences and broadcasted shows to the eSports communities of North America."
“We have known the ESS team for more than ten years, and are excited to have them as an integral part of our global organization", says Ralf Reichert and Heinrich Zetlmayer, Managing Directors of ESL. "Los Angeles is the ideal place to produce AAA content, and a natural choice for our new studio location. Having a permanent production team and brand new facilities at the heart of America’s entertainment industry is an incredible milestone on our journey to deliver what ESL is best at – an amazing gaming experience”
“We are excited to join the ESL family, launch ESL America and bring the suite of globally recognized ESL products to North America", said ESS President Han Park. "With the building of our full production broadcast studio in the U.S., ESL will quickly establish itself as the premier gaming content provider for publishers, sponsors, and eSports fans and players on a global scale.”
ESL and ESS say the studio created will be a state-of-the-art 7,000 square foot venue, equipped to "broadcast high-quality esports productions". It will accommodate room for both players and spectators.
The studio’s first production is set for April, with many more scheduled tournaments and shows to be announced over the coming weeks.
Update - 10:32 AM PST: CEO Ralf Reichert has answered a few questions to onGamers about the acquisition.
Until today we lacked a full Event & TV team in the US and were just focused on delivering online tournaments and only very limited event services. The new joined ESL North America team has the capability to offer the full eSport experience.
Our immediate focus is on our Studio operations and adjacent online leagues which we will announce shortly. Major offline events will be announced later this year. We like to take things step by step.
Why the decided to buyout ESS instead of continuing their own initiative:
Very simple the chance to work with the fantastic ESS team. I've known Craig for more than 10 years, Han for almost 10 years, Ed and Kevin for around 5 years and their experience and passion towards our beloved sport give us a head start which is priceless. They build up a almost perfect record as a service provider and they will enable ESL to to bring alot of exciting tournaments to the US market.
Plans for an IEM or ESL One event in the near future:
Historically our US events were exclusively focused on trade fairs. Now we have the ability to run massive online leagues with great studio finals much like many of our successful EU tournaments. At the same time an event like IEM Katowice or ESL One Frankfurt is something we would like to do more often.