ESL and DreamHack Merge in Major Esports Tournament Organizing Deal

ESL and DreamHack announced their merger Wednesday.
ESL and DreamHack announced their merger Wednesday. / Photo by Helena Kristiansson/ESL

ESL and DreamHack, two of the largest event organizers in esports, announced their merger Wednesday under the name ESL Gaming. The company will be led by ESL Gaming co-CEOs Craig Levine and Ralf Reichert.

DreamHack co-CEO Marchus Lindmark expressed the newly merged company's ability to up the ante on previous event offerings.

"DreamHack has always brought communities together and created the ultimate gaming lifestyle experience for our fans all around the world," Lindmark said in a news release. "This will not change — but by combining our resources with ESL, we can continue to grow these events into something even more spectacular."

Modern Times Group had owned both DreamHack and ESL for the past five years, allowing the two companies to operate mostly independently. It will be a majority shareholder in ESL Gaming, which is now the largest esports tournament organizer in the world.

The slate of events previously organized by the two companies will continue as before the merger, retaining their names. Between the two companies, ESL Gaming will be running events in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, StarCraft 2, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros., Street Fighter, Rainbow Six: Siege, Dota 2 and more, across Europe and North America.

"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," Lindmark continued.

"The future of gaming is now, and we are excited to create the future together.”