July 22, 2016
ELEAGUE and FACEIT Partner to Present Overwatch® Open
Open Tournaments Begin on FACEIT Starting July 23
European & North American Regional Finals Streamed Live on Twitch; Grand Final Televised Live on TBS with Twitch Live Streaming Coverage
ELEAGUE, the professional eSports organization established in partnership between Turner and WME | IMG, and FACEIT, the world’s leading independent competitive gaming platform, are teaming up to produce The Overwatch® Open tournament for Blizzard Entertainment’s blockbuster new first-person shooter, Overwatch®. Featuring a colorful cast of 22 unique heroes, each with their own powerful weapons and abilities, Overwatch encourages creativity and teamwork as players clash for control of key locations on a vibrant near-future earth.
The Overwatch Open will comprise an online phase run by FACEIT for European and North American teams, as well as Regional and Grand Finals, which will take place at Turner Studios’ ELEAGUE arena in Atlanta. The Grand Final will be presented live on TBS, with simultaneous coverage available via Twitch. Competitors in the Overwatch Open will be vying for their share of a US$300,000 prize pool, making it the largest Overwatch competition to date.
The action will begin with the European and North American online phase, on the FACEIT platform, beginning Saturday, July 23. Online rounds will culminate with a playoff round to be played Friday through Sunday, August 26-28. The top eight teams from each of these regional playoffs will advance to the Finals. For more information, including a link to sign up for the tournament, players can visit www.overwatchopen.com.
“This opportunity to feature Blizzard’s popular Overwatch further expands our eSports offerings and aligns ELEAGUE with a game that is widely embraced by the community,” said Craig Barry, EVP and Chief Content Officer, Turner Sports. “We look forward to bringing the same level of production and storytelling capabilities we’ve demonstrated throughout the first season of ELEAGUE to this championship event.”
“Overwatch is an exciting new game with thrilling and expertly-balanced action that makes it perfect for competitive play,” said Michelle Attisani, Chief Business Officer, FACEIT. “We are confident that our capabilities as a platform and knowledge as a media partner will make this an exciting tournament for fans.”
Live European & North American Regional Finals on Twitch
The Overwatch Open European and North American Regional Finals are organized through the FACEIT competitive platform and will be presented live from the ELEAGUE arena at Turner Studios in Atlanta with live event coverage available via Twitch. The North American Regional Finals will be held Sunday and Monday, Sept. 25-26, ahead of the European Regional Finals played on Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 28-29. The winning team from each Regional Final will earn a place in the Grand Finals and a chance to win the US$100,000 grand prize. Regional Finals Prizes will also include US$24,000 for the second place team, US$18,000 for the third and fourth place teams, and US$6,000 for the fifth through eighth place teams.
Live Grand Final on TBS and Twitch
The Overwatch Open Grand Final, also held at the ELEAGUE arena in Atlanta, will be presented live on TBS, along with simultaneous coverage via Twitch, on Friday, Sept. 30. The winning team of the Overwatch Open Grand Finals will receive $100,000, with the runners-up taking home US$32,000.
“ELEAGUE serves as the perfect stage for the evolution of the eSports industry and we are thrilled to expand our platform with Blizzard’s Overwatch,” said Karen Brodkin, President of Business Affairs, WME | IMG. “We look forward to capitalizing on the momentum from season one of ELEAGUE with another compelling event featuring one of the most exciting new games in eSports.”
IMG will be handling international distribution on behalf of ELEAGUE and FACEIT.
TBS, TNT and truTV are part of Turner, a Time Warner company. Turner creates and programs branded news; entertainment; kids and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
Founded in London in 2012, FACEIT is the leading independent competitive gaming platform for online multiplayer games, with more than 4 million users logging in a total of over 12 million online game sessions each month. FACEIT allows players to easily play in tournaments and leagues for virtual and real-world prizes through automated tournament management and matchmaking technology. For developers, FACEIT’s advanced software development kit (SDK) allows game creators to easily integrate user-friendly matchmaking and tournaments into their titles to allow gamers to take part in competitive online games at all skill levels. eSports organizers, players and communities use FACEIT to create and manage online competitions. For more information on FACEIT, please visit www.faceit.com.
About WME | IMG
WME | IMG is the global leader in entertainment, sports, events, media and fashion. Operating in more than 25 countries, the company specializes in talent representation and management; brand strategy, activation and licensing; media production and distribution; and event management.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo®, franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes twenty #1-selling games* and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.
*Based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners.
Nate Smeltz, Turner Sports, at (404) 827-4786 or email@example.com
Mike Scanlan, WME | IMG, at (386) 843-0188 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hiro Ito, fortyseven communications for FACEIT, at (323) 658-1200 or email@example.com