Already the world's largest and most influential eSports company, Cologne-based ESL has entered into a new partnership with PUBG Mobile (a game, sadly, where we've never got beyond the pre-plane-boarding parking lot without being viciously thrashed).
The German production company and all-round umbrella organization and guiding force for the eSports world will be helping move PUBG Mobile's eSports program forward, including facilitating a new dedicated studio for offline gameplay in Katowice, Poland. Once the current COVID-19 pandemic is over, that facility will become a ground zero for offline matches.
The collaboration will also give PUBG players across the planet the opportunity to take home a piece of a US$5 million pot of game money on the global eSports circuit.
ESL spokesman Fabian Scheuermann addressed the new partnership in a release with: “We are very excited to support PUBG MOBILE in growing as a truly global esports title, sharing our expertise on how to successfully create an open competition on all levels. In the current climate it is important that all involved in the esports community act in a way that protects both our long-term future and our immediate concerns for the safety of our competitors. PUBG MOBILE and ESL together can achieve this, culminating in a high-class esports ecosystem.”
Originally known as the Electronic Sports League when it was founded as an online gaming league way back in 2000, ESL has positioned itself as perhaps the most important player in eSports today, overseeing everything from offline ESL One tournaments to multiple major eSports leagues (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) where the prize money is in the millions. Major ESL initiatives and accomplishments have included hosting six of the 14 Valve Major tournaments, developing anti-cheating software for competitive play, and instituting an anti-drug policy for competitive gamers with the National Anti-Doping Agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Last December PUBG Mobile became the first mobile game to bring in more than US$1 billion in revenue, which led the game's Shenzhen-based publisher, Tencent to announce that pro leagues in North and South America would be part of a group that includes the Southeast Asia Pro League.