The Esports Battle League (EBL) and WHAM Network Inc.,have today announced a digital media partnership set to kick off in June ahead of the inaugural season of the EBL.
The joint venture marks the first media deal for EBL, and moreover, the first esports distribution deal for WHAM. The EBL is an interesting one, as the league, despite not having announced the titles involved, recently announced that it had sold three franchise slots for $1 million a piece. Backed and run by Rivalcade, the league willconsist of a number of geo-located franchised spots across North America.
If you know your US geography, you can check these out in full here. The confirmed franchise slots are Elevate in Denver, Circa in Miami and Simplicity in Las Vegas.
The WHAM Network is partnered with content distributor Cinedigm. According to the press release, WHAM’s distribution will ‘include participation on embedded, mobile, and connected device platforms across the world, with programming and content focusing on the lifestyle and culture of gaming on a global basis’.
Outside of just North America, WHAM will also be rolling out in East Asia as part of Cinedigm’s reciprocal distribution partnership with China.
The EBL was co-founded by Scott O’Leary, and has some considerable traditional sports involvement too with former National Lacrosse League Commissioner George Daniel, and former NBA Players Association Chief Counsel Bob Lanza making up the founding trio.
The EBL features head-to-head team matches in a best-of-three format. It’ll pit teams against each other in ‘a variety of popular genre-spanning titles’. The EBL expects to field eight to ten teams in the upcoming season, each competing in a traditional league format with the team that has the best two out of three scores advancing in the competition.
Scott O’Leary, EBL Co-founder and CEO commented: “The number of people involved in the lifestyle and culture of gaming is expanding at an exponential rate, with yearly revenue growth projecting it to be a 1.5 billion dollar business by 2020. As such, we are very excited to become a lasting part of this flourishing community with the launch of our initial season.
“We look forward to streaming intense esports matches paired with exclusive shoulder content that includes in-depth player interviews, gameplay analysis, and specials highlighting the road to the championship each widely distributed across the extensive WHAM Network, which is dedicated to creating and distributing quality content in this space.”
“We love the EBL vision,” noted Gary Kleinman, WHAM Founder. “Their integration of esports and lifestyle content is a perfect fit for WHAM. The EBL represents a truly fresh and different perspective on franchise esports competition.”
Esports Insider says: So we’re still none the wiser as to which games will form a part of the inaugural Esports Battle League. But even so the league has managed to secure an interesting sounding partnership with the WHAM Network. We’re certainly intrigued to find out which ‘popular genre spanning titles’ are chosen, and we assume we’ll be in the know sooner rather than later.