The ESL (Electronic Sports League)

Humza KhalidE-Sports/Companies0 Comments

Introduction

The Electronic Sports league or ESL is the main stage competition for pro-gamers. It is an E-sports company that organizes gaming contests worldwide. It is the oldest professional gaming company whose foundation was laid back in year 2000, having eleven offices globally, the ESL is also the largest e-sports company to broadcast on “Twitch” (live streaming platform).

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History

As told, back in 2000, ESL began with online gaming and even renting servers for game competitions. Since then the company has progressed over the years and from 2012-2014 the annual productions were more than doubled. Later on with the more advancement in the gaming technology and the demand of global competitions the ESL’s Intel Extreme Masters comp, became the most watched e-sports event of all time. The event recorded a stunning 1 million Twitch viewers and over 100,000 attendance during the contest.

Later in July, “MTG or Modern Times Group” bought more than 70% stake from the ESL parent company, “Turtle Entertainment”, and is now under their administration

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Games and Events

The ESL organizes different gaming contests which includes a variety of games such as “Dota 2”, “Counter-Strike: Global Offence”, “Mortal Kombat-X”, “Gears of War” and many others. Gamers from around the globe participate in these events. The ESL gaming website is also a major forum for gamers to be connected via internet. The “Open” and “Major” tournaments allow different members/gamers to join in the matches which are in progress worldwide or either schedule a match for their ease. Using different social sites such as “Steam”, the gamers can easily interact with different gamers and can schedule their matches with ease.

 

Although, the competitions are open to all, but not all are ready to qualify for the big games and events I haven’t yet). Each event has terms and conditions that are needed to qualify for the specific gaming battle. These include qualifying stages, pre-qualifiers, ratings and much more. Once you get into the process, you get to know more of it. These conditions are more followed by pro-gamers who are to compete in for bigger events. Beginners and semi-skilled gamers get to compete in smaller events, before they are to progress to big stages. Start small before you are ready to make your big impression.

Competitions

ESL features different tournaments including “Intel Extreme Masters”, “ESL Pro-Leagues” and “ESL National Championships” along with “ESL-Play” and “ESL-One”.

 

The “Intel Extreme Masters” is the World’s biggest and longest running global e-sports tournament series, competitors from around the globe participate in this epic event and win outstanding prizes as well as fame. Some of the famous e-sports competitors such as “CDEC Gaming”, “Evil Geniuses”, “LGD Gaming”, “Vici Gaming” and many other famous teams participate in this event and win great sums of money as well as fame in the gaming world.

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The “ESL Pro-League” is another golden slot and a one of the major platform for pro-gamers. The ESL hosts these leagues according to the selected events/games. Currently the ESL hosts 7 official Pro-Leagues which include gaming events “Counter-strike: Global Offensive”, “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege”, “Gears of War”, “Mortal Kombat X”, “Guild Wars 2”, “S.K.I.L.L” and “Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft”. This is another big event in the world of gaming and is organized with cross-continent competitions with finals in LA, Cologne and London. The cash-well it did go up to $1.5 million in this year’s CS: GO pro league.

 

The “ESL National Championships” is another major opportunity for pro gamers to cast their talents in. These championships are established in order to promote local e-sports competitions around the World. The oldest of all competitions in the history of e-sports, the ESL Meisterschaft, the German championship, began in 2002. Other competitions include the ESL UK Premiership, which has been the largest ESL regional tournament since 2010. The events for which these championships are held for include “Battlefield 4”, “Counter Strike”, “Dota 2”, “Halo”, “World of Tanks” and some other games as well taken into consideration.

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The “ESL ONE” tournaments are practically offline contest across variety of games. These tournaments are majorly organized and sponsored by the American video game developer and digital distribution company “Valve Corporation” or simply known as “Valve”. Its centered at Bellevue, Washington, US. The company has developed major video game series including “DOTA 2, CS, Half-Life, Portal, Left for Dead”. The ESL has hosted 4 out of 8 major valve tournaments.

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The “ESL Play” is a leading e-sports platform which provides tournaments and an all-skill participation over the ESL site. The Open and Major tournaments as discussed earlier are featured by ESL Play. The ESL Open is the first ladder which is open to everyone of any skill level whereas the ESL Major has competition entry requirements and winning on this level is required to earn a spot in the ESL Pro competitions.

Featuring Technology

The ESL participates in “e-sports in Cinema” which means that the games and the competitions will be broadcasted not only on the widescreens arranged in the arena but also in cinema. This would broadcast gaming events to over 1500 movie theatres across the globe. The gaming events included in this were DOTA, CS: GO.

ESL also worked with National Anti-Doping Agency to institute an anti-drug policy and to enforce anti-doping regulations when a player admitted the use of “Adderall” as a concentration enhancer in ESL ONE 2015. The punishments for the use performance enhancer drugs included reduced prize money, deduction of tournament points and even disqualification.

ESL has also created ESL Wire Anti Cheat software to combat online cheating in the increasingly competitive field. It also enhanced its software by integrating Wargaming.net’s “Battle API” into its tournaments, which makes the player and the game data available through the API application. Microsoft also worked with ESL to create an Xbox app to use ESL tournaments through Xbox live in 2016

ESL and Intel created another diversity initiative known as “AnyKey” which is used to include underrepresented members of the gaming community in competitions.

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