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ESL Sold to Savvy Gaming Group for Reported $1 Billion

ESL One Katowice 2018
ESL One Katowice 2018 / PressFocus/MB Media/GettyImages

The Modern Times Group has sold ESL for a reported $1 billion to the Savvy Gaming Group, as was first reported by Sports Business Journal. The esports tournament organization is one of the largest in the business and has holds of the most prestigious events in esports.

"Savvy Gaming Group is led by CEO Brian Ward, a former Activision Senior VP. He works alongside Jerry Gamez, CEO for Savvy’s infrastructure company, and Kadri Harma, CEO for Savvy’s ecosystem company," according to the Sports Business Journal report.

What makes this story unique is the fact that the Savvy Gaming Group is financially backed by the Saudi Arabian government's Public Investment Fund.

ESL Sold to Savvy Gaming Group for Reported $1 Billion

In 2020, BLAST and the LEC announced deals with Neom, a controversy-laden Saudi Arabian planned city. Less than a month later, both BLAST and the LEC canceled their individual partnerships after public pressure and a plethora of esports personalities speaking out against the partnerships.

ESL is known for its massive CS:GO and Dota 2 tournaments as well as its self-run CS:GO league. It's not known whether the Savvy Gaming Group plans to change the role and identity of ESL or to let the operation continue as it has in the past.