The Turner Broadcasting Station is ready to embrace esports.
TBS has revealed the 24 teams that will compete in the station’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament, which it calls the Eleague. Esports are a growing market and could generate $463 million this year, but most watch competitions on streaming sites like Twitch. Traditional television has been slower about broadcasting gaming tournaments, although you can find examples (like EPSN’s Heroes of the Dorm event).
The six-week regular season begins on May 24. A three-hour showcase will air on TBS every Friday night. The championship takes place on July 30. Competing teams include heavy-hitters like Team Liquid, Cloud 9, and Luminosity Gaming (which won the Major League Gaming Counter-Strike: GO Major Championship in Columbus, Ohio earlier this month).
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one of the most popular esports games, and it also leads the competitive field among first-person shooters. In 2015, Counter-Strike: GO tournaments gave out over $6 million (according to E-sports Earnings), which was only behind the online strategy games League of Legends and Dota 2.
“Our goal with Elegaue has always been to involve the best teams in the world and today we are proud to unveil a fantastic roster of franchises,” said Min-Sik Ko, commissioner of Eleague, in a press release sent to GamesBeat. “We are eagerly anticipating the debut of Eleague next month and look forward to showcasing 24 of the best CS:GO teams to a rapidly growing esports audience.”