eSports comes to BBC Three as Gfinity streams Elite Series tournament
James R | On 29, Jul 2017
BBC Three is diving into the world of eSports, with a new deal to stream Gfinity’s Elite Series tournament live over the coming weeks.
The BBC has broadcast eSports before, notably with the League of Legends World Championship in 2015, but this is the first partnership of its kind for the Beeb, with the competition streaming every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, accompanied by additional short-form content.
The deal marks a notable step into the mainstream for eSports, which have built up a big enough audience across the UK for Gfinity to have its own Esports Arena where the event takes place. Some of the best up-and-coming British and international professional gamers will be battling it out in the event for a total prize pot of £225,000 across three games: Street Fighter V, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Rocket League.
BBC Three began its coverage last night, with the first of its weekly Street Fighter streams at 8,45pm. Saturdays at 9pm will see Counter Strike matches stream live on the channel. On Sundays at 5pm, Rocket League battles will take place.
Alongside them, the shorter content will range from exclusive lifestyle segments to editorial coverage on BBC Three, focusing on the players and their storylines. Together, this weekly coverage will form the main part of a new, wider strand of eSports content on BBC Three, in collaboration with BBC Sport.
Neville Upton, CEO of Gfinity plc, says: “This is an incredible moment for the Gfinity Elite Series and for esports fans in the UK and internationally. Our partnership with BBC Three will bring Elite Series live and lifestyle content to millions of new viewers and showcase the incredible dedication and passion of professional gamers. We are extremely excited to announce to all of our fans, players and partners that for the next six consecutive weeks the Elite Series will be broadcast live on BBC Three. The BBC is one of the world’s most renowned and respected broadcasters and their commitment to the Gfinity Elite Series is a defining moment for esports and we are very proud to be a part of it”.
Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three, says: “Esports has become hugely popular in the last few years with young audiences so it’s great that BBC Three can bring this to a mainstream audience and create new habits with younger audiences as we stream three of the most popular games on BBC Three across the weekend”.
You can tune in to the eSports streams on BBC Three’s website or BBC iPlayer. For more on what’s coming soon to BBC Three, click here.