Swedish media giant MTG av acquired a 74 percent share of ESL along side parent company Turtle Entertainment. ESL:s CEO, Ralf Reichert, now says to Aftonbladet Esport that the road ahead and the overall strategy for the company will remain the same, namely to keep on expanding esports.
– We will add two more events this year that still are not announced, the CEO says.
On Wednesday morning, MTG made it public that the Swedish media company had bought a 74 percent share in Turtle Entertainment. The cost for the majority of shares in the, according to the press release, biggest company in i esports landed on 78 million euros.
The move gathered the attention of some of the most renowned banks as the likes of Carnegie and JP Morgan asked questions during a conference call after news broke.
”Continuously trying to improve”
ESL and Turtle Entertainment will remain an independent entity in the MTG family. However, the CEO of ESL Ralf Reichert is certain that the new partnership will lead to bigger investments in upcoming events.
– It is important to remember that we are still an independent company and that we still own 26 percent of the shares. We are going to still execute our existing strategies as before, but now we have a partner with a lot more resources than we had prior to this deal. They have an various production facilities around the world, insane equipment pool and manpower who are excellent in sports broadcasting. What we will do is to tap in to these resources and make events better, Ralf Reichter says to Aftonbladet Esports and continues:
– Prize money is one part of an event and I think that we have consistently shown that we stand a lite above our competition in terms of prize pools. But it is not a company goal to have the largest prize pools in esports. That is not a priority. If you look at ESL One Frankfurt specifically our priorities have been to make sure that the players have a great experience, that they earn a significant amount of money, at the same time making sure that the people attending this event have the time of their life and that the viewers at home think ‘I haven’t been this entertained in a long time’. We are continuously trying to improve, but raising the prize money is the totally wrong method on accomplishing what we are trying to achieve.
”I would say in the next 18 months”
In March, Aftonbladet Esports uncovered that ESL was looking into organizing an ESL One event in Stockholm.
– If everything goes according to plans and nothing weird happens we will have an ESL One tournament in Stockholm next year, Andreas Gillberg, the CEO of ESL:s Nordic partner Clutch Entertainment, said to Aftonbladet Esport at the time of publishing.
Now Ralf Reichert says that ESL will be hosting two more, yet to be announced, events this year with two more being organized next year.
– We are aggressively trying to expand globally and that includes European countries, American cities and in Southeast Asia. But I can not comment on that further.
– I think we are going to see one or two more events this year. And we are certainly going to add two more events next year, Reichert confirms.
So basically there will be four new ESL events in the upcoming months?
– Yes. I would say in the next 18 months.
Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, the CEO of MTG, also confirms that it is vital to MTG that the people who built up ESL also remain in the company and still control the everyday operations.
– It is super important that they we be the guys to keep improving the company. The whole idea of all of this is to make it even bigger, and that will require investments. We want esports to become stronger everyday, Lindemann says to Aftonbladet Esport.