The world-renowned esports company is dropping its exclusivity contract with Twitch
ESL has announced via Twitter that it is no longer tied down by exclusivity deals with any platforms, and will be available for CSGO fans on both Twitch and YouTube from now on. The earlier April 2020 partnership between organizers ESL and DreamHack and streaming site Twitch ended right before the IEM Katowice Play-In Stage.
In April 2020, ESL and DreamHack pinned live tournament streams to Twitch by signing a nearly-3-year exclusive contract. This made it so that all English-based esports content produced by these two organizations would stream solely on the platform within that timeframe. In the years before, ESL had partnered up with Facebook and YouTube on a similar exclusivity deal. This resulted in poor viewership due to a lack of functionality — mainly on Facebook — and the company faced major backlash from CSGO fans worldwide.
Facebook was the central hub where the community could access the ESL One and Pro League tournaments live, but its subpar streams were not well-received. Consequently, ESL had to renegotiate and drop the deal to seek opportunities elsewhere the following year in an effort to maximize viewership.
Going forward, ESL took its operations to Twitch, which is globally accepted as the go-to destination for esports viewers. Although there was still some criticism floating around, mainly from pockets of CSGO fans who prefer YouTube and Facebook, the company extended its contract with Twitch seeing that the update was facing relatively minimal pushback.
The recent changes come in light of the fact that the YouTube gaming community has grown, and would help expand ESL’s horizons. Tournaments such as PGL and BLAST are streamed frequently on Twitch and YouTube at the same time, and have high viewership on both platforms.
Fans using multiple streaming services will be happy to know that when the Play-In Stage sets off on February 1, they can tune into every ESL major tournament and even ESL National Championships on both Twitch and Youtube.