BBC Three has doubled-tapped into the eSports scene by signing a broadcasting deal with UK organiser Gfinity that will see it air its Elite Series tournaments.
The tournaments, which are shot at the Gfinity eSports arena in London, will be packaged as live shows and short-form behind-the-scenes content showcasing the lifestyle of players, being delivered by the channel in conjunction with BBC Sport.
Getting a broadcaster on board will open the events to a significantly larger audience and help authenticate the UK eSports scene, taking it to a new level.
Neville Upton, chief executive of Gfinity, said: “This is an incredible moment for the Gfinity Elite Series and for eSports fans in the UK and internationally. Our partnership with BBC Three will bring Elite Series live and lifestyle content to millions of new viewers and showcase the incredible dedication and passion of professional gamers. We are extremely excited to announce to all of our fans, players and partners that for the next six consecutive weeks the Elite Series will be broadcast live on BBC Three. The BBC is one of the world’s most renowned and respected broadcasters and their commitment to the Gfinity Elite Series is a defining moment for eSports and we are very proud to be a part of it”.
Damian Kavanagh, controller of BBC Three, added: “ESports has become hugely popular in the last few years with young audiences so it’s great that BBC Three can bring this to a mainstream audience and create new habits with younger audiences as we stream three of the most popular games on BBC Three across the weekend”.
The company recently took on board Matt Brittain, previously of Syco, to help attract advertisers and brands to the eSports scene. The Elite Series includes competitive bouts of Street Fighter V, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Rocket League – with an overall prize pot of £225,000.
Check out recent highlights from the tournament below.