ESL was founded in 2000 and is the world’s largest esports company. It has shaped the history of esports and created more new opportunities for participation than any other esports company. It operates high profile, branded international leagues and tournaments such as ESL One, Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL Pro League and other top tier stadium-size events. ESL also arranges ESL National Championships, grassroots amateur cups and matchmaking systems, making the path from zero to hero as short as possible.
In 2019 ESL launched the ESL Pro Tour together with fellow MTG esports portfolio company DreamHack. Through the development and launch of the ESL Pro Tour, two of the world’s leading esport companies consolidated their esports event calendars and created the largest and most influential tournament structure globally. And it paved the way for what was to come.
In September 2020, MTG announced a combination of ESL and it’s other esports portfolio company DreamHack. By aligning combined resources and expertise built over two decades of global esport and gaming leadership, the unified company – which goes under the brand name ESL Gaming – has expanded flexibility and skills to continue meeting the ever-changing desires, demands and needs of its fans, community, players and partners while reaching a broader audience. Following the combination MTG holds 91.46 % ownership in ESL Gaming and ESL Gaming in turn holds 100% of DreamHack, which will however continue to operate as a separate brand.
ESL Gaming’s headquarter is located in Cologne, Germany, where the bulk of its highly talented team works – and DreamHack, while continuing to work more closely with ESL, leads it’s business from Stockholm, Sweden, where the brand has its roots.
With more than 500 employees around the globe, ESL Gaming’s passionate employees always strive to turn niche games into global sensations, to create a world where everybody can be somebody. In ESL’s esports universe, moments of brilliance can result in everlasting legacy – for anyone.
Ralf Reichert, Co-CEO ESL
German, born 1974
Ralf founded Turtle Entertainment in 2000. He is also a Board member of WESA. Ralf was previously a Member of the Board of GIGA Television GmbH (2006-2007), Managing Director of SK Gaming (1997-2001) and Assistant to the Managing Director of BMW Zwirner (1991-2000). Ralf holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Duisburg-Essen.
Craig Levine, Co-CEO ESL
American, born 1983
Craig Levine is co-CEO at ESL, the world’s largest esports company. In his current role, Levine leads the global business strategy and operations. Previously, Levine served as CEO of North America and Global Chief Strategy Officer, focusing on strategic partnerships and strengthening ESL’s digital platforms and technology to engage fans and players worldwide.
Levine has helped pioneer the esports industry for over 20 years. As a longtime gamer, Levine founded Team 3D, the first truly professional and successful video game team in North America, in April 2002. In addition, Levine also co-founded ESS Agency, an event marketing and technology company specializing in video game entertainment. ESS Agency was acquired by ESL in 2014 to expand ESL’s global footprint to North America. Levine holds a B.S. in Information Systems and Management and Organizational Behavior from the Stern Business School at New York University.