ESL and DreamHack announced today that the two esports organizations have joined in a merger. Both were already subsidiaries under the Modern Times Group (MTG). They are now one organization, with the rebranding of ESL Gaming. ESL co-CEOs Craig Levine and Ralf Reichert are keeping the helm. Meanwhile, DreamHack co-CEO Marcus Lindmark remains part of the executive team.
“Through maximum cooperation and collaboration, and the melding of some of the best creative and visionary gaming minds in the industry, we will, together, continue to advance the innovation that drives this space via the most exceptional products and events,” Levine said in a statement.
“For our partners, there will be more opportunities to engage with us through a wider range of activations across all levels of esports, and all aspects of gaming,” Levine added. “And for our fans, it means we will offer one of the most expansive esports and gaming lifestyle portfolios available.”
Lindmark also said in a statement that the intent of the ESL and DreamHack merger is to continue to grow DreamHack’s events.
“With ESL, we will be able to offer a more tailored approach for both our community and our partners across all regions through an array of gaming and esports opportunities, all while creating impactful and memorable experiences. The future of gaming is now, and we are excited to create the future together,” he said.
Merger and Layoffs
However, this merger doesn’t entirely bring happy news along with it. According to GamesIndustry.biz, the merger includes a few “personnel changes,” which is fancy phrasing for “layoffs.” A representative told GI that the changes are not due to the ESL and DreamHack merger. Instead, they’re calling it an “organizational restructuring following an optimized operating model.” They also claim it’s partially the result of the global pandemic, which, like many other organizations, has cut down revenue. While the revenue wasn’t cut as much as MTG anticipated, it was still low enough to require layoffs.