ELEAGUE, the new joint venture between Turner Sports and IMG that features 24 of the world’s most elite Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams , launched on Tuesday on Twitch.
While the competition is streaming online during the week, the league represents a big bet for Turner, which will broadcast the competition for 10 weeks on Fridays at 10 pm ET on TBS.
As Joost van Dreunen, SuperData Research CEO, told the New York Times: “E-sports doesn’t need TV. TV needs e-sports.”
Turner has also put significant investment into the infrastructure.
Sports Video Group describes Turner’s “sparkling new 10,000 square foot arena built from scratch just for the eSports property. Twenty-six cameras are deployed throughout the facility, including 12 locked on point-of-view perspectives of each player and a JitaCam, which is suspended from the ceiling and is capable of capturing 360-degree angles of the full event floor.”
“Turner has also invested in building a custom eSports office space which houses a full-service creative production organization with six studios and more than 75 post-production suites.”
Writes the Associated Press: “Turner has clearly gone all in at its headquarters near downtown Atlanta. On a gleaming, futuristic stage, the opposing teams are stationed on opposite sides, unable to see each other or the large video screen that provides the announcers and the studio audience — along with those at home or online — with a view of the game that the players themselves don’t have.”
Says Craig Barry, the executive vice president of Turner Sports: “The viewer can see where they are on the map. Therefore, you’re in the mind, in the psyche of the players. So you can tell when he’s going to come around the corner. You can go, ‘Wait, if he comes around that corner, he’s going to get blown away.'”