Award-winning production company Pilgrim Media Group (The Ultimate Fighter) and ESL, the world’s largest esports company, have partnered to create and distribute original esports entertainment content for television and digital platforms. The announcement was made today by Pilgrim Media Group CEO Craig Piligian and ESL Executive Chairman Steven Roberts.
ESL is the worldwide leader in the esports industry, and its events in the Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL Pro League series continuously attract millions of viewers online. Just last year alone, ESL competitions and tournaments drew over 100 million viewers who watched over nine and a half billion hours of programming. As leading games market research group Newzoo reported in January, the esports economy is projected to grow to $1.1 billion in revenue by 2019 and entertain an audience of 345 million esports enthusiasts.
Lionsgate President of Interactive Ventures and Games Peter Levin brought the opportunity to Pilgrim and helped orchestrate the new content partnership, reflecting the close creative collaboration between the two studios. Lionsgate made an equity investment in Pilgrim last year.
Said Craig Piligian, “Pilgrim has a long history of creating competition programming that taps into the passion of fans – whether the playing field is the Octagon, the wilderness, on a fishing boat or in an arena. We’re extremely excited to bring the power, scope and mental muscle of gaming to television in a way that helps these loyal fans experience esports as never before.”
“Esports is exploding. Combining the authenticity of ESL with the storytelling expertise of Pilgrim and Lionsgate to further expand the audience is exciting. While the core gaming fans have been enjoying our content for years, the opportunity to showcase esports through a different lens is an amazing opportunity,” Roberts stated.
Added Levin, “Our partnership with Craig Piligian and relationship with ESL created the perfect opportunity to bring together the biggest esports promoter in the world and one of the most established and prolific unscripted production companies. We see tremendous growth potential in esports as it becomes a major player in the gaming ecosystem, and we’re thrilled to bring esports to more fans on an expanding array of platforms.”