ESL, FACEIT merging in $1.5B deal

The Saudi Arabian-backed Savvy Gaming Group has purchased ESL Gaming and FACEIT for a combined $1.5 billion.

The merger is scheduled to be finalized in the second quarter of 2022 to form the ESL FACEIT Group.

Savvy Gaming Group was formed last year and said it plans a “significant long-term investment” in the ESL FACEIT Group to “deliver an end-to-end solution that supports game developers and publishers to build sustainable competitive gaming communities and esports ecosystems.”

ESL Gaming, owned by the Modern Times Group, was formed in 2020 when ESL merged with DreamHack and reportedly made up $1 billion of the total investment made by Savvy. ESL is well known for its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and the ESL Pro League along with Dota 2 tournaments.

FACEIT is also recognized as one of the biggest tournament organizers in esports. The privately-owned company operates CS:GO tournaments in addition to other games including Rainbow Six Siege.

“ESL and FACEIT have both been fundamental to the incredible growth of esports and competitive gaming globally, with over thirty years combined in the industry,” the newly-formed ESL FACEIT Group said in a press release. “Together, they will form a new driving force in the fast-growing but fragmented esports landscape at a critical time in the evolution of the industry.

“For the first time, gamers, publishers, and partners will have a consistent journey that could take them from casual competitions to arena events on one platform.”

FACEIT CEO Niccolo Maisto said: “In the past years, ESL and FACEIT had a significant positive impact for the growth of the esports industry, bringing a variety of propositions for players, teams, publishers, and developers. By uniting these complementary capabilities, and with the backing of SGG, we are taking a long-term approach to develop a more robust platform to better support the future of the whole competitive gaming ecosystem and generate more value for all its stakeholders in a sustainable way.”

--Field Level Media