Turner is deepening its commitment to airing e-sports by signing on with IMG and Warner Bros to show ELEAGUE’s “Injustice 2” tournament.
ELEAGUE’s tournament, based on NetherRealm Studios’ fighting game featuring a lineup of DC characters, will be the first-ever event using the game. The tournament will feature the top 16 “Injustice 2” players in the world competing for $250,000 in prize money. TBS will air live featured matches throughout the tournament, and live coverage of every match will be available on digital platforms. Tournament coverage will kick off with an open qualifier on Saturday, Oct. 21.
“Injustice 2” will be the fourth game ELEAGUE has featured since its 2016 launch, following tournaments for “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive,” “Overwatch,” and “Street Fighter V.”
For Turner, the announcement continues building on TBS’s reputation as a traditional TV home for e-sports.
In May, TBS announced it would in June air “Clash for Cash: The Rematch,” a $250,000 rematch between “Counter-strike: Global Offensive” teams Astralis and Virtus.pro. In March, TBS showed a 32-person “Street Fighter V” tournament.
While TBS is paving the way for traditional cable networks showing e-sports, digital platforms like Twitter are also getting in the e-sports livestreaming action. In March, Twitter announced it has new deals with e-sports companies ESL and DreamHack to livestream e-sports events and original content in 2017.
Programmers are flocking toward e-sports broadcast and livestreaming rights as the content market is set to grow exponentially over the next few years.
E-sports and streamed games content will amount to $3.5 billion in revenues by 2021, up from $1.8 billion this year, thanks to more ad spending, according to Juniper Research.