years of esports 

founding date countdown

Hours
Minutes

We love Esports

since 2000

20 years ago on Tuesday, November 21, a few kids were told to stop playing and to grow up. But they had a vision and believed that their hobby would one day change their world. They kept on going, kept on believing, and most importantly, kept on playing. More came to join them and now, 20 years later, we have traded our dusty basements for sold-out stadiums.

This is for all the kids growing up right now: Never stop playing!

ESL Wallpapers

Each artwork fragment containing memories from the past 20 years can now be immortalized as wallpapers on your device! Feel free to download directly from our gallery here, or pick your preferred resolution from our drive.

how everything started
things were different back then
we've come a long way
remember when it was called cybersports?
a lot of things have changed since then

our journey

2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2000
  • Foundation of Turtle Entertainment
  • Launch of the Electronic Sports League
2001
  • The ESL celebrates its first 100.000 members
  • Electronic Sports League 2.0 Release
2002
  • Start of the ESL Pro Series
  • First Intel Friday Night Games at Future Point
2003
  • Opening of the first branch in France
2004
  • First booth at the Games Convention
2005
  • Implementation of the anti-cheat system
  • Almost 1 million members in the ESL
  • ESL runs on TV on GIGA
2006
  • IFNG attracts 750 spectators in Oberhausen
2007
  • First Intel Extreme Masters at Cebit, Hannover
2008
  • 2 million members in the ESL
  • New branches in the US, UK, Scandinavia & Poland
  • IEM to be held for the first time in the US, Dubai and South Korea
2009
  • ESL celebrates 2,500,000 members and 207 Million page impressions (IVW)
  • ESL releases the Matchmaker
  • Turtle Entertainment (ESL) wins LARA award
2010
  • ESL reaches 3 million members
2011
  • LoL is accepted into the IEM
  • IEM World Finals record 85,000 simultaneous spectators
2012
  • 4 million members in the ESL
  • Further global distribution with offices in Australia and Baltics as well as the first IEM in Brazil
2013
  • For the first time events on 6 different continents
  • IEM takes place in Katowice for the first time
2014
  • First mega event on German soil (ESL One Frankfurt) in a football stadium
  • Nearly 650,000 simultaneous spectators at the IEM Katowice
  • Electronic Sports League now only called ESL after rebranding
2015
  • ESL One Cologne has over 27 million viewers with a high of 1.3 million concurrent viewers online
  • ESL Pro League with 1 million US dollars prize money announced
2016
  • ESL One Cologne is sold out with 14,000 visitors per day
  • The World Esport Association (WESA) is founded
  • ESL Pro League records 74 million impressions on Facebook and Twitter
2017
  • ESL introducing PUBG to esports community with the rise of the battle royal genre
  • ESL’s German Dota 2 competition finds new home in Hamburg
2018
  • ESL One Cologne sells out LANXESS Arena, Germany's biggest indoor sports arena for the third time in a row!
2019
  • ESL evolves its master brand with a rebranding
2020
  • DreamHack and ESL join forces!