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ESL and DreamHack agree landmark exclusive multi-year Twitch deal

Esports organisations DreamHack and ESL have agreed a new three-year deal with Twitch, which will allow the Amazon-owned streaming platform to exclusively stream English-language coverage of ESL and DreamHack events from 2021.

The deal begins this year, with Twitch initially only having non-exclusive streaming rights to the events in 2020. In 2021 and 2022 these rights will be exclusive.

ESL and DreamHack said this afternoon: “As part of the deal, all tournaments streamed in English within ESL Pro Tour for CS:GO and StarCraft II & Warcraft III, including the ESL Pro League, ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters, DreamHack Masters, DreamHack Open, ESL National Championships, will be exclusively on Twitch in 2021 and 2022.”

There are some exceptions which include those countries in which ESL and DreamHack have agreed linear deals in which digital rights are included. In recent months, deals with linear broadcasters have been announced in China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, NorwayPoland and Russia.

ESL has previously agreed an exclusive deal with social media giant Facebook, covering 2018, to stream events on the platform. But exclusivity on this deal ended in 2019 when the events returned to Twitch and video-sharing platform YouTube.

This is a landmark deal for Twitch, which has been reluctant in the past to agree multi-year agreements.

More recently the streaming platform has also acquired more traditional sports rights, agreeing deals for the National Women’s Soccer League and the Formula One motor racing series.

Frank Uddo, senior vice-president, global media at ESL, said today (Tuesday): “Live-streaming esports has belonged to Twitch in recent years. As we continue to host some of the world’s largest esports tournaments, it feels only natural to work even closer with Twitch to provide the best gaming experience for fans, as well as safeguard the future of the esports industry.”

DreamHack co-CEO Roger Lodewick commented: “This partnership is a milestone for DreamHack, both as a company and community. Our cooperation with Twitch dates back to 2009 when it was still Justin.tv — this new collective media partnership is re-confirming our long-standing collaboration and highlights the importance and relevance Twitch has to our community, as well as the value the ESL/DreamHack esports content brings to the global Twitch audience.”

DreamHack last week secured a sponsorship extension with Corsair, the gaming and streaming products manufacturer. The new deal runs until the end of 2020 with Corsair continuing its support of DreamHack tournaments.

Through its subsidiary Elgato, Corsair will also be the official partner of DreamHack’s Stream Studio.

Corsair has been a sponsor of DreamHack events since 2018.