Vodafone and ESL announce international esports partnership

27 April 2018

Media release - Vodafone New Zealand is excited to announce that Vodafone globally has become a Premium Partner of ESL, the world’s largest esports company, and will sponsor ESL’s flagship event series: Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL Pro League.

Esports is one of the fastest-growing international sports, with ESL tournaments taking place in arenas around the globe as the world’s best players and teams battle it out in front of a live audience with millions of fans watching online.

The collaboration with ESL highlights how Vodafone’s international network brings together gamers and fans from 25 countries where Vodafone has more than 500 million mobile connections - including 104 million on high speed 4G - and 19 million fixed broadband connections. It will also provide a showcase for the development of new 5G technologies set to transform gaming.

Earlier this year, Vodafone New Zealand hosted the world’s first gaming tournament over a live 5G connection, showing the virtually-zero difference in latency compared to a fibre connection.

Vodafone NZ’s Consumer Director, Matt Williams, says, “The 5G gaming tournament showcased how evolving mobile technologies have the potential to grow esports events further here at home and around the world. We know New Zealand has over a million gamers so we look forward to the different ways we can leverage this partnership here.”

With an international tournament around the corner in Sydney, Vodafone New Zealand is excited to be able to reward a lucky customer by sending them and a friend over to experience it for themselves. As part of Vodafone’s popular Fantastic Fridays loyalty programme, customers can enter the competition on Vodafone New Zealand’s Facebook page.

Serpil Timuray, Chief Operations & Strategy Officer, Vodafone Group says, “We are delighted to launch this partnership with ESL and create one of the biggest international networks for esports at a time when audiences are growing rapidly and new technologies are poised to deliver better experiences.  I look forward to joining our customers across 25 countries in viewing ESL’s exciting esports tournaments, both at home and on their mobile devices.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Vodafone as our new telecommunication partner for various events,” said Ralf Reichert, CEO at ESL. “Together with Vodafone we are looking forward to connect even more people and create diversity in esports by ensuring better technological conditions for professional players, fans and ESL employees, fostering corporate responsibility projects and creating awareness around the esports industry to a broader audience. Vodafone is committed to support ESL with all their knowledge and strength and we could not be happier about that.”

Vodafone will be Premium Partner for the following live global events, with further dates to be announced in due course:

  • IEM Sydney – May 2018, Australia
  • ESL One Birmingham – May 2018, UK
  • ESL One Cologne – July 2018, Germany

Vodafone’s sponsorship agreement with ESL includes a new live broadcast segment titled ‘The Vodafone View’, content and advertising distribution, as well as branding and activation at the events.

More information can be found on the dedicated global content hub about esports and the partnership between Vodafone and ESL at playfaster.vodafone.com.

Vodafone and ESL announce international esports partnership