Our story

ESL has shaped the history of esports and set itself on a journey, over the last 19 years, to build the best esports stages and competitions for gamers, creating more opportunities for participation and progression than any other sport. ESL has innovated the industry in terms of broadcast, production and event experience across the world’s most prestigious esports brands and products such as the Intel (R) Extreme Masters, ESL One, ESL Pro League and ESL National Championships, pioneering stadium events and consistently breaking industry records.

2019
  • ESL and Facebook announced an expansion to their partnership to bring coverage of all global ESL competitions non-exclusively to the Facebook platform
  • ESL evolves its master brand reinforcing founding values and an updated visual identity
2019
2018
  • ESL One Cologne sells out LANXESS Arena, Germanys biggest indoor sports arena for the third time in a row!
2018
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
2017
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
2016
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
2015
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
2014
2013
  • For the first time events on 6 different continents
  • IEM takes place in Katowice for the first time
2013
2012
  • 4 million members in the ESL
  • Further global distribution with offices in Australia and Baltics as well as the first IEM in Brazil
2012
2011
  • LoL is accepted into the IEM
  • IEM World Finals record 85,000 simultaneous spectators
2011
2010
  • 3 million members in the ESL
2010
2009
  • ESL celebrates 2,500,000 members and 207 Million page impressions (IVW)
  • ESL releases the Matchmaker
  • Turtle Entertainment (ESL) wins LARA award
2009
2008
  • 2 million members in the ESL
  • New branches in the USA, UK, Scandinavia and Poland
  • IEM to be held for the first time in the USA, Dubai and South Korea
2008
2007
  • First Intel Extreme Masters in Hannover on the Cebit
2007
2006
  • IFNG as largest event with 750 spectators in Oberhausen
2006
2005
  • Implementation of the anti-cheat system for all leagues
  • Almost 1 million members in the ESL
  • ESL runs on TV on GIGA
2005
2004
  • First booth at the Games Convention
2004
2003
  • Opening of the first branch in France
2003
2002
  • Start of the ESL Pro Series (Today ESL Championship)
  • First Intel Friday Night Games at Future Point Cologne
2002
2001
  • ESL celebrates the first 100.000 members
  • Electronic Sports League 2.0 Release
2001
2000
  • Foundation of Turtle Entertainment
  • Launch of the Electronic Sports League
2000
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