Deep Strategic Partnership to Develop Esports in Malta, Grow the Maltese Digital Ecosystem, and Host both ESL Pro League Seasons in 2021
Pro League Season 12 to be played out online due to global health and travel situation
Cologne – 20th of August -ESL, the world’s largest esports company and GamingMalta, an independent non-profit foundation set-up by the Government of Malta and by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), are proud to announce a deep strategic partnership to foster and develop the Maltese esports community. After successfully partnering for ESL Pro League Season 11 earlier this year, the partnership aims to strengthen the industry in Malta across all levels of the zero to hero pyramid of ESL. Malta will be the host location for all of ESL Pro League in 2021 as well as continued integrations for the upcoming Season 12, which will be played out online due to the ongoing health and travel situation around the globe.
“The agreement with GamingMalta enables us to offer an amazing setting to the worldwide esports community. Malta is a progressive country with its finger on the digital pulse combined with a beautiful Mediterranean ambient which partnered with us for a phenomenal 11th season of the world’s largest professional esports league in CS:GO”, said Ralf Reichert, CEO at ESL. “We couldn't be more excited for this partnership to bring the growth of esports and beauty even more together.”
“Coming off a record season, Pro League continues to prove it’s value to the teams, fans, viewers and other stakeholders”, said Anders Horsholt, Co-CEO of Astralis. “Pro League is the longest-running Counter-Strike tournament for a reason and as part owners, the teams and ESL are in the process of developing the tournament and media products even further. We are very satisfied with this agreement which will enable us to move ahead and improve the viewing experience further to the benefit of all involved. We look forward to the continued relationship with GamingMalta and to many more great Pro League tournaments!”
Season 11 of the world’s longest-running professional league for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has officially been announced as the most successful season in the competition’s history, achieving a new record concurrent viewership peak of 489,120 across all digital platforms. Further stats underline this trend: Hours watched were up 113.2% at 48.2 million compared to last year’s record season and average minute audience (AMA) reached 164,494, surpassing Season 10 figures by 215.5%.
In forming this agreement, ESL and GamingMalta will establish Malta as the new home for esports businesses and professionals from all around the globe. For the upcoming Season 12 of ESL Pro League, GamingMalta will continue to be an official partner helping us to deliver the best quality and most exciting broadcasts for fans at home. All regions of Season 12, which include Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Oceania, will be fully played out online due to the current travel restrictions.
In 2021, Malta will host the full global competition with its original format, which has been announced in January this year. Fans from mainland Europe and countries around the world will be able to experience the action live on site through special travel and ticket packages, including flights, accommodation, and a ticket for the show. By working closely with the Louvre partner teams, fans will also be able to attend meet and greets, get their idols’ signatures, and experience more exciting activities on site. Furthermore, teams will be able to utilize the GamingMalta partnership for bootcamp opportunities, which will be particularly interesting for teams from outside of Europe in case they have several events back to back in the European area and don’t want to travel back and forth.
“Our collaboration with ESL is a milestone in Malta’s esports journey since hosting the ESL Pro League immediately positions Malta as a premier esports destination. The mutual goal is to further establish professional structures in Malta and enhance educational initiatives aimed at fostering sustainable growth of the local esports ecosystem” said Ivan Filletti, Chief Operations Officer at GamingMalta.
The Junior Minister for Financial Services and Digital Economy Hon Clayton Bartolo welcomed this collaboration in line with the Government of Malta’s vision to further enhance the digital ecosystem “By collaborating with companies of ESL’s stature, we are showcasing Malta’s dynamism and commitment in fostering new digital economic niches. Similar collaborations are key and synonymous with sustainable growth. I am equally proud and keen to see this collaboration in action”
ESL is the world’s largest esports company. Founded in 2000, ESL has been shaping the industry across the most popular video games with numerous online and offline esports competitions. The company operates high profile, branded international leagues and tournaments under the ESL Pro Tour including ESL One, Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL Pro League, and other premier stadium-size tournaments, to more clearly define the path from zero to hero. ESL also produces the ESL National Championships, grassroots amateur cups, and matchmaking systems, creating a world where everybody can be somebody. With offices all over the world, ESL is leading esports innovation on a global scale through the combination of global ESL competitions, amateur leagues, publisher activations, and more. ESL is a part of MTG, the leading international digital entertainment group. about.eslgaming.com
ESL Pro League - ESL Pro League is the world’s largest professional league for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, featuring the best teams from Europe, North America, South America and the Asia-Pacific region. Broadcasted on various platforms and staged in major venues across the globe, Pro League hosts the most widely-watched CS:GO competitions. Pro League was established in 2015 and had a total prize pool of $1.5 million US dollars for 2019. (www.en.pro.eslgaming.com/csgo/proleague).
GamingMalta - GamingMalta is an independent non-profit foundation set up by the Government of Malta and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). Tasked with the remit of promoting Malta as a centre of excellence in the digital and remote gaming sector globally, it is also responsible for liaising with the local relevant authorities to improve Malta’s attractiveness as a jurisdiction and enhance the ecosystem surrounding the gaming industry.