Intel and esports company ESL are further cementing their partnership with a three-year $100 million deal, potentially a major step in the growing esports market.
The new deal announced Thursday will include funding for esports events in Asia and a 14th season of the Intel Extreme Masters, one of the world’s longest-running pro esports circuits. Intel will also provide computer processing for all ESL’s events with its Core i9 Processor and Xeon processor as well as trial technologies like 5G.
“ESL and Intel have worked side by side on growing eSports for nearly two decades,” Ralf Reichert, ESL founder, and co-CEO said in a statement. “The long-term extended partnership with Intel opens even more opportunities for us to take our efforts to a whole different level on a global scale.”
The esports phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down. The industry has a worldwide audience of about 400 million people and pulls in an annual revenue of more than $800 million, said esports investor Meg Whitman, the former head of eBay and Hewlett-Packard. Additionally, the esports economy is estimated to reach $1.4 billion by 2020, according to esports data tracker Newzoo.
Even the Olympics have considered including esports contests, although it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon.