TV producer Pilgrim Media Group and videogame competition outfit ESL have partnered to create and distribute original “esports” entertainment content for television and digital platforms. Lionsgate president of interactive ventures and games Peter Levin helped orchestrate the co-venture; Lionsgate made an equity investment in Pilgrim last year.
ESL is a leader in esports, with events such as Intel Extreme Masters and ESL One. It pegs the esports industry as growing to $1.1 billion in 2019, citing research group Newzoo.
“Pilgrim has a long history of creating competition programming that taps into the passion of fans–whether the playing field is the Octagon, the wilderness, on a fishing boat or in an arena,” said Craig Piligian, Pilgrim Media Group CEO. “We’re extremely excited to bring the power, scope and mental muscle of gaming to television in a way that helps these loyal fans experience esports as never before.”
Pilgrim TV properties include The Ultimate Fighter, Fast N’ Loud and Street Outlaws.
“Esports is exploding. Combining the authenticity of ESL with the storytelling expertise of Pilgrim and Lionsgate to further expand the audience is exciting,” said ESL executive chairman Steven Roberts. “While the core gaming fans have been enjoying our content for years, the opportunity to showcase esports through a different lens is an amazing opportunity.”