ESL and DHL extend successful esports partnership

Cologne/Bonn, March 4th, 2020: ESL and DHL have extended their successful partnership pertaining to ESL One. As part of this, DHL will continue to be involved in one of the most engaging esports series in the world as sponsor and logistics partner in 2020. In the 2020 season, ESL One is featuring several top-class tournaments on four continents that will thrill millions of esports fans all around the world. In addition, this year, the “ESL Academy – delivered by DHL” is again offering talented Dota 2 amateurs the chance to get into professional esports.

Through its involvement in esports, DHL is active in an important market that is particularly popular with young people, 78% of whom are aged between 10 and 35. “With this partnership, we are very successfully addressing a young target group that can hardly be reached through traditional marketing channels,” says Arjan Sissing, Head of Brand Marketing at Deutsche Post DHL Group. “As digital natives, esports fans naturally have a strong affinity for e-commerce, and for us as a logistics operator, e-commerce is a mainstay of our business. However, they are attractive to us not only as customers, but also as potential employees,” Sissing adds.

Bootcamps for budding esports pros

An additional component of the partnership is the “ESL Academy – delivered by DHL”, which was established jointly by DHL, ESL and Dotabuff Reach in 2019. The ESL Academy’s goal is to develop, promote and elevate young Dota 2 talent on the verge of going pro. In a live draft at the ESL One tournament in Los Angeles, being held from March 20 through 22, the coaches – former pros – will select the Academy talent for the first season of 2020 from competitors who previously qualified online. The players selected in the draft are then put into teams for the DHL bootcamps, which are run as part of the ESL One tournaments – with logistics support again provided by DHL.“The top athletes in esports have long been able to compete with athletes in traditional sports in terms of commitment, performance and popularity,” says Arjan Sissing. “We are proud to be able to help support up-and-coming esports talents on their ambitious journey with the ESL Academy and DHL bootcamp.”

The partnership between ESL and DHL has been in place since 2018. ESL, headquarterd in Cologne, is the world’s largest esports company. In the ESL One Series, top teams compete against each other in high-level esports disciplines. In 2020, ESL One will be holding tournaments taking in several stops around the world, including Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Birmingham and Cologne. DHL is responsible for logistics at all competitions. On-site, in the stadiums and arenas, often well over 10,000 spectators share the excitement each day throughout the entire weekend, with more than 90 million fans also following the action at each tournament via streaming platforms such as Twitch. “We host competitions across the globe and deliver first-class entertainment to millions of esports fans, both at the tournaments on-site and via our live broadcasts,” says Ralf Reichert, CEO at ESL. “Organizing these tournaments is a major undertaking and very challenging, so we’re happy to have DHL on our team. They bring the logistics expertise we need and share our passion for esports.”

As official logistics partner, DHL is responsible for the event logistics at all ESL One competitions. This includes the transport of around 660 tons of stage equipment, 900 ergonomic gaming chairs and around 3,840 square meters of monitors. For competitions in 2020, a total distance of over 31,000 kilometers has to be covered – and, as with all of its logistics solutions, DHL takes care to ensure that its services are rendered as sustainably as possible.

In addition to the partnership with ESL, DHL has a number of other top-class partners in the areas of sports, lifestyle and culture. These include Formula 1 and Formula E, soccer clubs such as Manchester United, several fashion weeks and Leipzig’s Gewandhausorchester. DHL has also been official partner of the F1 Esports Series since 2018.


About ESL

ESL is the world’s largest esports company. Founded in 2000, ESL has been shaping the industry across the most popular video games with numerous online and offline esports competitions. The company operates high profile, branded international leagues and tournaments under the ESL Pro Tour including ESL One, Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL Pro League, and other premier stadium-size tournaments, to more clearly define the path from zero to hero. ESL also produces the ESL National Championships, grassroots amateur cups, and matchmaking systems, creating a world where everybody can be somebody. With offices all over the world, ESL is leading esports innovation on a global scale through the combination of global ESL competitions, amateur leagues, publisher activations, and more. ESL is a part of MTG, the leading international digital entertainment group.

DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry. Our DHL family of divisions offer an unrivalled portfolio of logistics services ranging from national and international parcel delivery, e-commerce shipping and fulfillment solutions, international express, road, air and ocean transport to industrial supply chain management. With about 380,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, DHL connects people and businesses securely and reliably, enabling global trade flows. With specialized solutions for growth markets and industries including technology, life sciences and healthcare, energy, automotive and retail, a proven commitment to corporate responsibility and an unrivalled presence in developing markets, DHL is decisively positioned as “The logistics company for the world”. DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group. The Group generated revenues of more than 61 billion euros in 2018.

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