Montpellier, France - 27 June, 2019 - The ESL Pro League Season 9 and its Finals in Occitanie at the Sud de France Arena broke its all-time viewership records. By doubling video views to 66.6 million compared to Season 8 and reaching over 16.1 million hours watched, this was the most watched Season of Pro League in its history. It was fueled by an all-new competition format and a new visual look and feel improving both player and fan experience. ESL Pro League is designed to be esports at its purest where the competition is built for fans that love CS:GO and teams need to constantly show their skills week after week until the final victory. We improved Pro League in all aspects which resulted in an exciting competition and team performances leading to a record viewership. ESL continues to successfully build products and communities with esports that deliver true value to players, fans and partners.
Fans watching on 40 platforms and in 18 languages saw Team Liquid defeat the French heroes G2 Esports 3:1 in a breathtaking Grand Final, not only taking home the majority share of the US$750,000 prize pool but also achieving the third win counting towards the Intel® Grand Slam to win an additional $1 million prize. Team Liquid is now only one win away from the required four Counter-Strike: Global Offensive trophies inside a period of ten consecutive ESL and DreamHack Masters competitions. The next opportunity will be at ESL One Cologne from July 5-7.
With a passionate community in the arena and online, watching on multiple non-exclusive broadcast channels, the Pro League Finals delivered esports at its purest to the Region of Occitanie/ Pyrénées-Méditerranée. This great engagement is being reflected in its numbers as the CS:GO tournament reached new peak concurrent viewership records of more than 420,000 fans (excl. China), which represents a total growth of 8% in comparison to former records at Season 6 with 388,000 fans engaging.
In terms of hours watched, Pro League S9 recorded an outstanding growth of 147% with over 16.1M hours of content consumed by fans via online broadcast channels in total. The tournament also set a new record in terms of video views with 66.6 million, which is a rise of more than 100% compared to Season 8. These peak numbers do not only reflect the great improvement the product has experienced in comparison to previous seasons, but also for the Region of Occitanie, which partnered up with ESL in order to make this tournament possible. Denis Masséglia, French Deputy in charge of Economic Affairs and Marie-Thérèse Mercier, Regional Counselor for the Occitanie Region, joined thousands of pro gamers at the Sud de France arena and shared their experience on how esports brings together family, players and amateurs on Twitter.
“Watching the French crowd live and cheering their team to the finals was phenomenal,'' said Ulrich Schulze, Senior Vice President of Product at ESL. “Following our latest improvements of the ESL Pro League, we are extremely proud to receive such positive feedback from the fans and players, encouraging us once again to continue working on our products and building inclusive ecosystems for everybody to compete. With an updated format focusing on pure competition of 16 teams to qualify in LAN tournaments and a brand new design to better display the clashing moments between teams competing, ESL Pro League is ready for the next season culminating in Odense.”
Carole Delga, President of Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée Region said: “The success of this 2nd edition of Occitanie Esports, which hosted the finals of the ESL Pro League demonstrates once more the fervour for electronic sports in Occitanie and beyond, coupled with outstanding audience numbers and attendance figures. I’m delighted and want to highlight the organiser’s amazing work and unstinting efforts which, after just two editions, have managed to establish Occitanie Esports as a headline event, not just for gaming fans but for the general public too, that can catch up with the latest innovations, meet professional gamers or find out about existing business sectors and training courses in our region. Occitanie’s truly innovative and decidedly sporty qualities have put the region firmly on the Esports map!”