Following expansion into television last month, YouTube is now aiming to capture the eSports market after partnering with FACEIT. YouTube will exclusively stream the Esports Championship Series (ECS) competitive gaming league, as well as work with players to build audiences on the video platform.
This multi-year agreement will see YouTube streaming the third season, featuring Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, on March 25th. Additionally, the Google company also plans to help players build audiences on their YouTube channels, while the league will offer advertisers sponsorship packages.
YouTube Gaming is the service’s Twitch competitor. Notably, the now Amazon-owned company previously streamed the first two seasons of ECS last year.
The two companies did not disclose the exact terms of the deal, but YouTube’s head of global gaming, content, and partnerships Ryan Wyatt did note that, “This is definitely our biggest investment in this space overall.”
eSports is an immensely profitable industry that has seen tremendous growth in live spectators. The global audience was at 200 million people in 2015 and expected to increase to 385 million this year, with revenue forecasted at $696 million.