The recently announced Paladins Premier League is the latest signing by Facebook, after news broke that the social platform giant has secured exclusive access to the streaming rights.
As reported by Forbes, matches from the league, which is set to get underway this autumn, will only be able to be viewed on Facebook Live. Further features of the arrangement is that amateur players will ‘have a path to become professional gamers’ through Facebook Groups, and there’ll be a weekly Paladins Esports Show which promises ‘analysis, news and insight’.
The league is a joint venture by Hi-Rez Studios and WESA, and you can read more about it here. The inaugural competition will see participation by the ten WESA team members, but, notably, it will not be exclusive to WESA members.
Patrick Chapman, Gaming and Esports Partnerships at Facebook said of the news: “What we’re trying to accomplish is build the world’s community to play, watch and share games. There’s 800 million people connecting to games on Facebook, and we’re constantly thinking of what we can do to engage that community and deliver more meaningful interactions.”
Hi-Rez Studios’ Co-Founder and COO Todd Harris added: “Our attitude is to meet our community where they are. One of the things that attracted us to Facebook is how global they are as a platform combined with the size of their audience.”
Harris also revealed that players will be able to link their Paladins player accounts on Facebook within the next month, and that the user-base and interaction amongst the Paladins community was a sizable factor in their decision.
He detailed: “Specifically, we found a Facebook group that our community formed without us, and was twice the size of our Reddit community that we were paying a lot of attention to. We then created a group that we moderate and participate in and grew it from 0-to-30,000 players in just one month.”
Esports Insider says: This is another exclusive signing by Facebook and follows deals which’ll see esports content from PUBG, Wargaming and more on the platform. Facebook’s user-base and Groups evidently give it a +1 where some developers and league organisers are concerned, but it still has considerable ground to make up on rivals Twitch and Youtube.