Modern Times Group aquires ESL
Swedish digital entertainment company Modern Times Group (MTG) have acquired a majority stake in the Electronic Sports League (ESL), purchasing 74% of the organization from Turtle Entertainment.
ESL states that while they will still operate as an independant company, they will "[take] on the role of central driver of MTG’s digital strategy", claiming that the aquisition will help accelerate their global expansion through this strategic partnership.
The other 26% of the organization is said to be kept among ESL's management team and founders, which they have committed towards through long term contracts.
Ralf Reichert, founder and CEO of ESL and Turtle Entertainment had the following to say about the aquisition:
When we founded ESL 15 years ago, our goal was to bring esports to fans all around the world and establish it as a global sport. Today, esports enjoys worldwide recognition and now, together with MTG, it is time to take esports to the next level. We are excited to partner with MTG, who share our enthusiasm for the sport and bring an entrepreneurial commitment to help make this dream come true. MTG’s extensive operational network in over 100 countries will help us bring ESL and esports to many more places around the world, while allowing us to continue expanding on strong, strategic local partnerships. The ESL leadership team could not be more excited about accelerating the development of the entire esports industry together with MTG for years to come.
In addition, Jorgen Madsen Lindemann, President and CEO of MTG made the following statement:
At MTG, we love sports and we love sports fans. Our TV channels and platforms are home to the world’s leading sports brands, and are watched by typically young audiences. Esports is fast becoming one of the most watched and passionately followed global sports categories amongst younger audiences. There are now almost as many gamers in the world as traditional sports fans, and esports was almost as big as ice hockey in 2014 in terms of number of enthusiasts. However, the average revenue generated per esports enthusiast in 2014 was just over USD 2, compared to USD 56 for traditional sports fans, so this global phenomenon has tremendous potential. This investment is a key milestone in our digital development. We look forward to working with the talented Turtle team to grow the global esports community, and to make this exciting content even more broadly available online and on TV.
For more information regarding the aquisition, check out ESL's official statement here.