Belgian telco Proximus is to invest in eSports by promoting amateur and professional competitions and by setting up three official leagues in partnership with the likes of ESL and the Pro League.
The telco said that it wanted to play “a primary role” in developing eSports in Belgium, relying on its expertise in network infrastructure, including the rollout of fibre networks, and its digital platforms and services.
Proximus has started by striking exclusive agreements with Modern Times Group-backed ESL and the Belgian Pro League to create three official Belgian leagues.
Proximus and ESL have teamed up to launch the ESL Proximus Championships with tournaments featuring the League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive games. The championship will consiste of online qualifiers, a group phase and an offline tournament, and will give amateurs the chance to participate.
Proximus and the Belgian football Pro League have also signed an exclusive deal to hold an official eSports football-related competition starting from the 2018-19 season. This will also be structured around three phases, with amateurs given the chance to compete. Further details will be revealed in a few weeks.
“By partnering with ESL, Proximus wishes to bring to Belgium all the knowledge and expertise of this partner that has been active in the world of esports for years to the benefit of all Belgian amateurs by offering them top-class, world renowned championships. ESL is millions of players and matches played each year throughout thousands of tournaments around the world. Belgium will therefore henceforth be an integral part of this universe,” said Guillaume Boutin, chief consumer market officer at Proximus, of the ESL deal.
“Proximus is a loyal partner of the Pro League, as the holder of the rights of the Jupiler Pro League and as naming sponsor of our Proximus League competition, whereby all meetings are exclusively broadcasted by Proximus. The Pro League intends to participate actively, as early as next season, in the development of esports in Belgium and will announce the details of the project at the presentation in the coming weeks of the calendar of the season 2018-2019. We are pleased that this new initiative can be based on a complementary partnership with Proximus,” said Pierre François, CEO of the Belgian Pro League, of the football plan.