2009 – The year ESL celebrated 2.5 million members. IEM continued to tour the world, making a splash in countries such as Chengdu, Dubai, and Canada. Intel Friday Night Games went out with a bang with their last and largest event in Munich, with almost 1,000 fans in attendance!
ESL released ESL Matchmaking which uses ESL's API to match competitors based on skill. Matchmaking in multiplayer games is a notoriously difficult thing to program, but is absolutely essential to an enjoyable and rewarding player experience. The toolkit itself is a platform-independent application programming interface (API) for games such as Counter-Strike.
This API was further developed in 2015 and released publicly for everyone. This meant that indie game titles could integrate a powerful matchmaking tool into their own games without dedicating years to tweaking their own system. It would help level the playing field for indies who wanted to enter the competitive gaming scene.
In the same year, Turtle Entertainment (ESL) won the LARA award (esports category), which was an annual award from Germany for computer and video games.