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ESL and DreamHack to Merge and Form ESL Gaming

Craig Robinson

Esports event organizers, ESL and DreamHack, are merging their organizations effective immediately. The two companies are merging to promote their joint ambition to create their collective vision for the future of esports.


ESL and DreamHack have announced their merger, forming ESL Gaming. (Photo courtesy Helena Kristiansson / ESL Gaming)

The two companies are now going by the name ESL Gaming with ESL’s Co-CEOs Craig Levine and Raif Reichart leading ESL Gaming. DreamHack’s CEO Marcus Lindmark is staying with the company the head the ESL Gaming festivals that DreamHack have operated since 2014. The Modern Times Group remains as the majority shareholder of the company. Before the merger, the Modern Times Group previously had shares in both ESL and DreamHack, but both companies remained independent of each other.

The merger aims to combine both the casual and lifestyle events of the DreamHack festivals with the professional and huge global events hosted by ESL. Both parts of the gaming audience are what the new ESL Gaming company wants to capture.

ESL Gaming state that esports and the gaming lifestyle, in general, serves more than 500 million esports enthusiasts, making it a multi-billion dollar industry, with 2.6 billion potential gamers to market to. With both DreamHack and ESL merging, ESL Gaming will be able to meet the magnitude of interests of the gaming community throughout the world.

ESL Gaming’s Co-Chief Executive Officer, Craig Levine said: “Through maximum cooperation and collaboration, and the melding of some of the best creative and visionary gaming minds in the industry, we will, together, continue to advance the innovation that drives this space via the most exceptional products and events. For our partners, there will be more opportunities to engage with us through a wider range of activations across all levels of esports, and all aspects of gaming. And for our fans, it means we will offer one of the most expansive esports and gaming lifestyle portfolios available.”

Both organizations have been evolving their events throughout 2020 with their online events. Heading into 2021, both companies had plans to reshape their events in 2021, such as ESL’s new scheduling over the CS:GO calendar. The merger is just yet another example of how both companies are taking the next step and evolving their business.