ESL extends $100m deal with Intel

29 Apr 2021

By: Sport Industry Group

Esports organisation ESL Gaming has renewed its long-standing partnership with Intel which will see the technology brand invest over $100 million (£72 million) in esports over a three-year period.

In what the ESL says is the biggest brand partnership deal in esports history, the partnership extension will kick in from 2022 and run up to the end of the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice 2025 tournament, It will also mark 20 years of collaboration between the pair, making it the longest-running partnership in esports history.

The renewal is a continuation of the pair’s last agreement in 2016, which saw Intel become ESL’s Global Technical Partner. The extension will see the two brands deliver technology solutions to power pro-level tournaments and events, and will also see the partnership expand to include DreamHack Open and DreamHack Festivals for the first time.

ESL and Intel started their partnership with events in Germany before signing a global arrangement in 2006 when Intel became the official title sponsor of the IEM series. 

Since then, the pair have staged live events across the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia, executed 82 IEM events throughout the last 15 seasons.

ESL says the $100 million investment will bring ‘further product innovations and improvements for fans and players alike’, and will see all non-league ESL Pro Tour circuit CS:GO tournaments unified under the Intel Extreme Masters brand.

“After 20 years of building something hand in hand it's hard to consider Intel as merely a partner,” said Ralf Reichert, Co-CEO, ESL Gaming.

“The two-decade journey has forged a bond that has no parallel in the world of esports and we are excited to be extending it with a commitment of this magnitude; the next three years will be the greatest esports fans have seen yet.”

Marcus Kennedy, General Manager, Intel’s Gaming and Esports Segment, said: “When we joined forces with ESL two decades ago, we never imagined just how powerful this partnership could be. We've shaped the esports landscape together, collaborated on some of the most spectacular events in the world, and brought the very best esports experiences to millions of fans around the globe. As a leader in PC gaming, we at Intel are excited about this next step in our successful history together and to elevate esports to an even higher level.”