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Integrated media and content group Vivendi, Canal Group and ESL, the world leader in organising esports events, are forming what they describe as “a major strategic partnership”.
The partnership provides for the launch of the first official esports leagues in France based on the existing ESL Championnat National. Under the partnership, these competitions will reach a whole new level and be shown on the Canal Group channels, making the broadcaster a major esports player in France. Discussions are ongoing with top game publishers to select the games covered by those leagues.
The re-imagined national league will help French pro-gamers to stand out and compete against the best teams in international competitions held around the world by ESL and partnering game publishers.
ESL is the world’s largest esports company and a leader in organising tournaments and leagues across the most popular game franchises from 12.000+ online to 36+ stadium-filling events that can bring together tens of thousands of people on-site and tens of millions more online.
Canal Group and ESL are also joining forces for the development and promotion of esports in France by co-organising major international events as part of the leading global circuit. The objective is to strengthen the role of France as a key country in the international esports circuit and bring new excitement to the local eSports community in France.
Vivendi will provide important support to this initiative via Universal Music Group, Dailymotion and its activities in live events such as L’Olympia and Digitick.
The deal with the sector’s world leader marks a decisive step in the commitment of Canal Group in esports and helps ESL to further build its leading position in France locally. Canal Group is already a sponsor of Team Vitality, one of the best French professional teams regularly present in the most prestigious world competitions.
Canal Group has also announced the launch on its channel of the Canal esports Club, a new TV show entirely devoted to the esports phenomenon and its stars. A special documentary on esports, Game Fever, will be broadcast in prime time on the channel on October 26.
Canal Group will also be the first major national broadcaster present at the Paris Games Week from October 27-31.