ESL launching record label with Universal Music Group Europe

22 August 2018


ESL and Universal Music Group Europe have signed a deal that will see them work together for multiple years, promoting musicians to esports audiences.

In a report from The Esports Observer, the two parties will be launching a joint record label, as well as integrating music into ESL’s broadcasts and social media, and having life performers during events.

ESL Universal Music Group Europe

ESL and Universal Music Group Europe will sign music artists to the new music label, using ESL’s tournaments and events as a means of promotion. Halftime shows and pre-grand final displays will also be used for live performances.

It’s reported that artists and products will, in the future, be encouraged to send in demos to the label’s artist and repertoire (A&R) department, which will be located in Universal Music Group’s Berlin offices. The label will be managed by Dirk Baur, President of the label’s Marketing Labs division and Gustav Käll, Head of Esports for UMG.

In July of this year, Toronto-based esports organisation Luminosity Gaming entered an exclusive partnership deal with Universal Music Canada. As part of the deal, Universal Music was granted access to promote and share its artists’ music through Luminosity Gaming’s social and digital platforms. This always saw the label create the “Gaming Hip Hop playlist”, curated for gamers to listen to while playing.

Esports Insider says: ESL recently had a presence at Wacken Open Air – a heavy metal festival – so it already has some experience working in the realm of music, but definitely not to this extent. This is a unique partnership that’s never been seen before in esports so it’s hard to judge how it’ll go, but we’re intrigued. There’s a history of musical acts performing at esports events – DJ Khaled at the Overwatch League Grand Finals, for example – so there’s a foundation to build off of there.