This week in esports: BLAST, Sportradar, ELEAGUE and SK Gaming

It’s been another hectic week in the world of esports, not least from a business to business perspective. In case you’ve missed anything, we’ve got you covered with a brief roundup of some of the biggest stories in esports this week. Most notably, BLAST Pro Series has announced a second event – and this time it’s off to Turkey. Additionally, Sportradar and eFootball.Pro have announced an agreement that will see the former distribute the media rights to the tournament. ELEAGUE broke its own concurrent Twitch record with the ELEAGUE Major last weekend, and SK Gaming and 1. FC Köln have revealed an intriguing partnership.

BLAST Pro Series heads to Istanbul

BLAST Pro Series will head to Istanbul this summer for the second iteration of the tournament.

The inaugural tournament took place in Copenhagen in 2017 and will now move on to Istanbul for 2018. It will be the first time that Istanbul has hosted a major esports tournament, and as a result the first time the world’s best Counter-Strike teams will head to Turkey. 

The first event in Copenhagen broke records for Danish national TV, DR3, and surpassed the Olympics, the X Games and the Eurovision in the channel’s viewership. With more than 2.5 million unique viewers on Twitch, another 2.5 million online viewers reported in China alone, TV broadcast to more than 180 million households worldwide and a social media reach of more than 60 million, the BLAST Pro Series had an exceptionally strong debut that it will look to build on. 

Read the full article here.

Sportradar awarded eFootball.Pro’s media rights

eFootball.Pro and Sportradar have entered a partnership which will see Sportradar as “Official International Media Rights Distribution Partner”. 

eFootball.Pro will see a new esports competition launch together with KONAMI and is spearheaded by F.C. Barcelona’s Gerard Piqué. 

The multi-year deal between Sportradar and eFootball.Pro will see the former be the exclusive agency commercialising the live media rights for the new league’s matches, as well as distributing matchday previews and analysis, highlights, news, interviews, reports and other audiovisual content to provide the public with everything they need to know and understand about the new league. 

In addition, Sportradar will be in charge of production across all the content, including all the LAN matches. The details of the league and teams involved are yet to be announced but the release teases that offline matches will be played by “top-notch teams”. 

It’s the latest addition in a growing portfolio of esports deals for Sportradar, who add this to deals with PvPRO, Fortuna and ESL. The company will also be responsible for the distribution of “other esports events” that Esports Media Rights (“EMR”), the owner of eFootball.Pro organise. The release teases that EMR competitions will go beyond football esports, and details will be revealed soon.

Read the full article here.

ELEAGUE smashes its own concurrent viewer record on Twitch

est Trophy Raise Photo OR Winner Graphic from Falkiewicz

ELEAGUE Major: Boston broke its own record to set a new all-time figure for concurrent viewers on a single Twitch channel. The stream generated more than 1,130,000 concurrent to break a similar record set last year.

The culmination of a three week event saw eight of the world’s best teams grace the Agganis Arena over the weekend to battle it out for their share of the $1,000,000 prize money. Whilst surprise package Quantum Bellator Fire were pushed out by a dominant Natus Vincere in the quarter-finals, FaZe breezed past mous and SK edged past Fnatic. G2 Esports yet again managed to choke heavily as they were annihilated by North American hope Cloud9 in the last eight.

Read the full article here.

SK Gaming announces partnership with 1.FC Köln

SK Gaming and 1. FC Köln

It has been revealed that esports giants SK Gaming, based in Cologne, have partnered with local German football club 1. FC Köln, allowing the esports organisation access to the infrastructure that the Bundesliga team provides for its athletes.

The statement cites that both teams will benefit from the partnership, explaining that SK Gaming will now be able to provide more professional conditioning for its players; especially in terms of fitness, nutrition, and practice.

1. FC Köln will be using SK Gaming’s experience and resources to make its first stride into esports, namely with Mirza Jahic and Timo ‘Praii’ Gruneisen looking to compete on behalf of the club in the Virtual Bundesliga.

Read the full article here.