With season 5 of the ESL Pro League slated to take off in less than one month, ESL has announced that they have partnered with YouTube for exclusive streaming rights for the English broadcast.

The partnership will last throughout the entirety of seasons five and six, where the organizations will consider renewing their contracts. ESL explains that the broadcast will, for all intents and purposes, be left unchanged. The English livestream will still include all matches, the pregame analysis panels, interviews, etc. However, it will feature a snazzy 360/VR video, with season 6 boasting 1080p 60FPS broadcasts with DVR.

“Entering their 5th Season, ESL’s ability to continue to produce the highest quality content at the pinnacle level of competitive play is unrivaled,” wrote Global Head of Gaming Content at YouTube, Ryan Watt, in a statement posted to the ESL website, “Professional Counter-Strike fans and viewership has been growing at such an explosive rate and we are excited to continue sharing this passion with our gaming viewers.”

To celebrate the partnership, the finals of seasons 1 – 4 will be streams to ESL’s official Counter-Strike YouTube channel. The broadcast will feature one final per weekend, starting today.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of recent allegations that WESA, the World Esports Association, would demand that participating casters and teams remain exclusive to WESA’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive leagues in 2018. The organization vehemently denied the accusations regarding team participation, but did not confirm the possibility for exclusivity in the further future.

Season five of the ESL Pro League will begin February 7th, with the finals taking place at the Verizon Theatre in Dallas, Texas, on June 3rd and 4th. 28 teams from across the globe will compete for the lion’s share of the $1 million-per-season prize pool. Non-English language broadcasts, including Russian and Portuguese, will continue to be streamed to their usual platforms, such as Twitch.

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Connor
Sr. Esports Writer

Connor is a self-proclaimed Star Wars historian, Fatal Frame enthusiast and crazy cat lady that's fascinated by the Kpop mashups on YouTube. Professional gaming is something that's fascinated him ever since he was a wee lad, especially when it came to fighting games, so now he rambles on about it in the form of articles that use way too many commas.