Alphabet’s YouTube is doubling down on the lucrative business of competitive gaming, where players square off on virtual games for big prize money in tournaments. The video site recently made its biggest investment in the business to date, signing a multi-year deal with e-sports platform FACEIT to stream its competitive gaming league, the Esports Championship Series (ECS).
E-sports has been touted as one of the next big things in live events, drawing millions of spectators online. Traditional media companies and big videogame publishers are all clamoring for a bigger part of the stakes. FACEIT, one of the largest e-sports platforms in the world, teamed up with Amazon.com’s Twitch last year to launch ECS. The gaming website had streamed the league’s first two seasons last year.
“Now that YouTube is definitely investing more on the live side, we felt that it was a great opportunity to come together” Michele Attisani, co-founder of FACEIT said.
The third season of the ECS, which features gamers squaring off on “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive,” will stream exclusively on YouTube starting March 25, London-based FACEIT said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.