Saudi-backed group buys ESL and FACEIT for $1.5 billion

Savvy Gaming Group's massive $1.5 billion investment gives it ownership over three premiere tournament organizers in the esports industry.


ESL is one of the oldest esports companies in the world. The German esports organizer and production company can trace its roots to a time when the term "esports" did not even exist. From humble beginnings, ESL later established itself as the largest esports company in the industry. Now, ESL is primed to get a massive infusion of cash after the Savvy Gaming Group acquired the company as well as FACEIT for a combined total of $1.5 billion.

ESL and FACEIT are premiere tournament organizers in the esports space.

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According to the German news site Handelsblatt, the Saudi-backed Savvy Gaming Group has acquired ESL Gaming GmbH. Former Activision Senior Vice President Brian Ward is currently at the helm of the Savvy Gaming Group. However, the group's financial backer is the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund. On top of this, the Savvy Gaming Group has also acquired the London-based esports tournament organizer, FACEIT.

The Saudi PIF has made several big acquisitions in recent months. Case in point, the Saudi PIF acquired the Newcastle United Football Club last October. Not only that, but the Saudi PIF is reportedly looking to acquire Inter Milan and Marseille as well, among other soccer clubs. But, when it comes to the esports space, ESL and FACEIT are Saudi PIF's first investments.

According to Newzoo's Global Esports Market Report, the industry's global revenue hit almost $1 billion in 2019. Although the pandemic affected in-person events and made LAN tournaments difficult if not impossible, the global esports market continued to grow. The same forecast and analysis resource suggests that the industry will generate around $2 billion in revenue this year. If this happens, the Savvy Gaming Group will be one of the biggest beneficiaries.

By acquiring FACEIT and ESL, the Savvy Gaming Group now owns three of the largest esports companies in the world. Although both companies operate independently, ESL is the parent company of DreamHack. The Swedish company is the group behind the world's largest LAN party and computer festival, which is u usually held in Western Europe and North America.

As a growing multi-billion dollar market, Savvy Gaming Group's investment puts it in a good position to take advantage of the industry's uptrend.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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