Intel and esports company ESL have extended a long-standing partnership, signing a three-year, $100 million deal designed to boost the profile of electronic sports worldwide, the companies announced Thursday.
Under the deal, Intel will provide multiple layers of technology — including its high-powered “Core” computer processors and 5G — for some of the biggest esports events through 2021. The semiconductor giant will also work alongside ESL to create new events seen around the globe. ESL runs multiple esports leagues and tournaments worldwide.
The Intel Extreme Masters, an ESL-run league sponsored by Intel, is set to enter its 14th season as the longest-running global professional gaming circuit. As part of the deal, another tournament will be added to the roster with the IEM event in China set to be converted into a stand-alone event.
The $100 million investment marks an even deeper foray into esports for Intel, at a time when many big brands are entering the industry. The company has sponsored ESL events for 18 years — making Intel one of the first major companies to dive into the now-exploding esports space, which is expected to surge to $1.4 billion in 2020, according to estimates from research firm Newzoo…