From the 19th of February 2019, ESL ran a series of tournaments in the Spodek Arena in Katowice, Poland, where teams from around the world competed for a total prize pool of $2.5 million. The live events were attended by over 174,000 fans.
Katowice is bigger than most common examples of single sports. ESL ran six tournaments over 10 days, including its flagship events — The Intel® Extreme Masters and ESL One — with different requirements for linear and web distribution. Leveraging the rise in streaming platforms, ESL had to contend with diversified audiences and serving decentralized global teams.
The onsite production was produced with the highest broadcast standards and encoded with software encoders on custom built hardware. ESL ingested the broadcast source signals into LTN Live Video Cloud infrastructure, and then routed these signals to a variety of channels, platforms, CDNs and partners, as well as to local production houses for regional localization.
Katowice is the pinnacle of ESL’s production right now. Hundreds of hours of content from different stages, all delivered and distributed live to over 70 destinations including digital platforms, linear TV stations and other production studios around the world for localization reaching hundreds of millions of viewers. Our license holders demand high quality content with zero margin for error from all of our events. With the help of LTN and their highly scalable and flexible Live Video Cloud, we are able to easily deliver on that promise.
—Tobias Grieser, Vice President, Production & Broadcast Innovation, ESL
ESL One Katowice 2019 | Signal flow
Using Live Video Cloud, ESL was able to distribute the live content from a single location to 70 destinations including digital platforms like Twitch and YouTube and social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.
The local production houses around the globe localized broadcast content using the provided cleanfeeds for their regional audiences in 21 languages and managed ad breaks. The production was running on AWS.
Record-breaking global viewership
The combined tournaments achieved 157 million hours watched by 232 million viewers (accumulated daily unique viewers over the event’s duration), becoming the most watched ESL tournament series of all time. The largest number of unique viewers on a single day was 20 million.
The IEM Counter-Strike:Global Offensive (CS:GO) was the main highlight with more than 126 million hours watched and nearly 195 million viewers (accumulated daily unique viewers over the event’s duration). It became the most-watched ESL CS:GO tournament ever. The tournament drew an average audience per minute of 860,000 with a peak day of 1,330,000.
ESL is the world’s largest esports company. Founded in 2000, ESL has been shaping the industry across the most popular video games with numerous online and offline competitions. It operates high-profile, branded international leagues and tournaments such as ESL One, Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL Pro League and other top tier stadium-size events, as well as ESL National Championships, grassroots amateur cups and matchmaking systems, defining the path from zero to hero as short as possible. With offices all over the world, ESL is leading esports forward on a global scale. ESL is a part of MTG, the leading international digital entertainment group\