Yesterday, ESL and Dreamhack announced that they would be merging their esports organizations. The companies have been subsidiaries of Modern Times Group (MTG) since 2015 when the group bought both in separate transactions. ESL is the world’s largest esports company and the oldest that is still operational.
The newly formed company will be known as ESL Gaming and will be headed by ESL co-CEOs Craig Levine and Ralf Reichert. Meanwhile, Dreamhack co-CEO Marcus Lindmark will join the ESL Gaming executive team. Dreamhack is the world’s largest digital festival and hosts a series of global events that attract over 300.000 gaming and esports fans annually.
“Through maximum cooperation and collaboration, and the melding of some of the best creative and visionary gaming minds in the industry, we will, together, continue to advance the innovation that drives this space via the most exceptional products and events,” Levine said.
He added that their partners will have more opportunities to engage with the organization across all levels of esports, while fans will have access to one of the most comprehensive esports and gaming lifestyle portfolios in the industry. Lindmark has committed to expanding DreamHack’s by offering a more customized approach through a variety of gaming and esports opportunities intended to deliver “impactful and memorable experiences.”
Despite the good news, an ESL Gaming representative confirmed for GamesIndustry.biz that the organization will need to be restructured and a few layoffs are expected. He added that the global COVID-19 pandemic has also impacted their decision to downsize. Earlier this year, MTG told investors that the COVID-19 pandemic might decrease its esports revenues in the first half of the year by as much as 45%, though ultimately revenues were only down 18%.
In 2020, the global esports market was valued at just under one billion U.S. dollars. According to experts, the global esports market revenue will reach almost 1.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2023. Most of this comes from sponsorships and advertising, and the rest from media rights, publisher fees, merchandise and tickets, digital, and streaming.
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