Two of the biggest event organizers in esports, ESL and DreamHack, have announced a merger.
According to an ESPN report, the merged company will be named ESL Gaming and Modern Times Group will act as its majority shareholder. DreamHack will continue to be the name of the festival series that spans across North America and Europe but will be operated now by the joint leadership group, led by ESL co-CEOs Ralf Reichert and Craig Levine, with Lindmark staying on for large-scale festival operation.
"DreamHack has always brought communities together and created the ultimate gaming lifestyle experience for our fans all around the world," Marcus Lindmark, chief executive officer, DreamHack told ESPN. "This will not change - but by combining our resources with ESL, we can continue to grow these events into something even more spectacular. Whether first-timers or long-term attendees, we have always offered something for everyone by featuring everything gaming under one roof. With ESL, we will be able to offer a more tailored approach for both our community and our partners across all regions through an array of gaming and esports opportunities, all while creating impactful and memorable experiences. The future of gaming is now and we are excited to create the future together."
Neither company owns exclusive IP rights to any titles, but ESL and DreamHack have hosted events that include “Super Smash Bros.,” “StarCraft II,” “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Street Fighter,” “Rainbow Six: Siege” and “Hearthstone.”
"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," says Levine. "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."