Intel and ESL, two big players in the esports arena, have announced a new partnership. Intel will become ESL’s Global Technical Partner and will support ESL’s pro, amateur, and grassroots esports operations.
What’s more, the partnership means a new $1,000,000 CS:GO tournament – the Intel Grand Slam.
A decade-long and successful cooperation
The two companies have worked together on numerous prior projects, including the Intel Extreme Masters. That event, which was launched in 2006, has seen massive success during the past two years.
By becoming ESL’s partner, Intel will provide the necessary hardware to run successful events. It will cover activities in amateur and professional gaming, including for online competition platforms and major events. These include the Intel Extreme Masters, the ESL One series, and the ESL Pro League.
Gregory Bryant, the senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Client Computing Group, commented:
“Intel’s involvement in esports and the gaming community has spanned more than 15 years, and we’re always looking for ways to take the player and fan experience to the next level.
In this next phase of our long-time partnership with ESL, we’re investing in the development of future esports stars, further expanding our global footprint with the Intel Extreme Masters circuit, and exploring fresh formats like the Intel Grand Slam that we announced today.”
ESL CEO Ralf Reichert noted that the partnership between Intel and ESL has already yielded a great deal of success:
“Intel has been a key partner for us since 2001, and the partnership was extended globally with the launch of the Intel Extreme Masters in 2006. We’ve been building the esports industry together with Intel for the last 15 years, and now look forward to building the future with Intel integrated into almost every ESL product globally.”
The $1 million Intel Grand Slam
Of more interest to esports fans than corporate cooperation is the $1 million tournament that will come out of it.
But there’s even more prize money on the table. The first team to win four of the last 10 $200,000 events held between DreamHack and ESL will be awarded an additional $1 million in prize money.
To make things more interesting, the team that puts an end to another team’s winning streak will claim $100,000. If a team is about to claim the Intel Grand Slam title but loses, that winner will be rewarded $100,000. The winning team gets the prize only if it’s not about to win the Intel Grand Slam title itself.
It’s clear both organizations are very excited about this new development. Bryant commented:
“ESL broadcasters work around the clock during competitions, creating thousands of pieces of content, with millions of frames per second rendered in real time. Working together, we want to ensure that fans get the most immersive experience possible and more importantly, that they never miss a single moment.
With 46 million online viewers, this year’s Intel Extreme Masters finals was already the most watched esports tournament in ESL history. Imagine what we will be able to do now.”
The first Intel Grand Slam will debut at this year’s ESL One Cologne, which will run in July.