Valve and ESL disappointed with Facebook over slump in viewership numbers

Aditya Singh Rawat

12th, Dec, 2018

As the year comes to an end so does the streaming deal between ESL and Facebook, well not entirely but a part of it and oh boy aren’t all the esport enthusiasts ecstatic to hear this news. 

The viewership deal which was struck on 18th January 2018 has turned out to be a bane for both ESL and Valve. ESL after stepping away from both Twitch and YouTube Gaming had signed a deal with Facebook, who had been exploring opportunities with the gaming community for quite a while.

Since then 12 months have passed and both, ESL and Valve are mighty upset over the horrifically low viewership figures attained through the Facebook broadcasts. Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau, a freelance journalist took to Twitter yesterday and has since been writing about the whole incidence.

One of his Tweets focusses on the viewership metrics before and after the streaming deal was signed. He went on to compare the ELEAGUE Boston Major that took place in January on Twitch to the recently concluded ESL Pro League Season 8 – Finals on YouTube. The results are depressing.

While both Dota 2 and CS:GO have suffered quite heavily throughout the year, there is a bit of rejoicing especially for the Dota 2 community as the streaming partnership for all ESL One events has reportedly come to an end but the ESL Pro League is still bonded to the streaming agreement until the end of next year. 

Given the lacklustre viewership on Facebook Slasher went on to say that "he wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the deal broken".

Facebook attracted ESL by offering them a Full-HD (1080p) broadcast at 60 fps (frames per second) along with an option to host an open or closed viewing party to enjoy the event with like-minded individuals or a bunch of close friends. This reportedly made Facebook a more attractive and lucrative platform for ESL's broadcast.

The deal was not well received by the community right after the Dota 2 event ESL One Genting 2018, which was the first ESL event to have been broadcasted on Facebook. A lot of problems arose after this tournament that had the whole Dota 2 community enraged and disappointed.

Leaving other aspects related to the situation aside, the common problems concerning the stream in itself were as follows: 

  • Late commencement of broadcast. 

  • Constantly stuttering (laggy) stream. 

  • Quality issues with the stream. 

  • Lack of broadcasts in any other language apart from English and Portuguese. 

As of now, nothing has been publicly announced by Valve or ESL and all information based within this article is based on Slashers tweet.

If the information by Slasher turns out to be true it could also explain why none of the DPC events that took place this year were hosted by ESL.


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