Turner announced today that it has formed a strategic partnership with WME | IMG to create a brand-new eSports league, making Turner Studios in Atlanta the East Coast epicenter for eSports competitive gaming. (eSports, for those not familiar with the term, refers to organized, multiplayer video gaming competitions.)
Through the venture, Turner and WME | IMG will deliver competitive gaming events for all platforms including premium live fan experiences, televised coverage airing exclusively on TBS and extensive, high quality live digital event coverage and content extensions.
“eSports is one of the fastest growing entertainment genres among young adults around the world,” said Lenny Daniels, president of Turner Sports, in the announcement. “We’re looking forward to creating a tremendous live event atmosphere, leveraging the infrastructure and expertise within Turner Studios, and presenting the competitions in an innovative way throughout our portfolio of leading brands.”
“We are proud to establish a leadership position in this rapidly growing arena, which I see as a tent pole for the next chapter of TBS,” added Kevin Reilly, president of TBS and TNT, chief creative officer for Turner. “The level of rabid fandom and engagement that we see in this world is extraordinary and we aim to up the experience for both the players and fans alike and provide a cutting-edge live experience on both linear and digital TBS platforms.”
Beginning in 2016, eSports tournaments will be televised twice per year with each 10-week period including a regular season, playoffs and championship. Both tournaments will include eSports teams facing off in competition while playing Valve Corporation's popular Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Airing Friday nights on TBS and including a ton of digital coverage, it's the most extensive commitment to televised eSports programming to date.
Look for more details – including the schedule of competitive events, along with locations and programming information – later this year.