Intel and ESL announced a three-year $100 million brand partnership deal this week to create one of the largest partnerships in esports history.
The two companies will begin investing in esports events in 2019, starting with the Intel Extreme Masters 14th season. Money will also be dropped into live circuit events like the $1 million Intel Grand Slam, ESL One, and Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Pro League.
“This joint investment with ESL into the ecosystem means that the esports growth and innovation that we’ve led over the past two decades will continue. This partnership will advance the rapid evolution of esports, and Intel is committed to ushering in this new era with technology solutions that place the gaming community and fans first.” – John Bonini, Vice President and General Manager of VR, Gaming and Esports at Intel Corporation.
Intel was one of the first investors in esports. ESL and Intel started by launching small events throughout Germany. Once they both saw interest, Intel invested to create the Intel Extreme Masters series. Intel then went on to create the Intel Grand Slam, which would award a team $1 million if they were able to win four Intel or ESL tournaments in the span of 10. Astralis was able to win the first ever Intel Grand Slam this year, which awarded them $1 million.