The story of ESL’s sonic identity

A brand. What is that, really? It can be so much. It can be a tiny, barely noticeable thing that you end up seeing on your box of pasta. It can also be something much bigger, like when you hear that very familiar tune when switching on the TV and you immediately know what it’s about. As the world’s leading esports company, ESL Gaming has a very well recognized visual brand – essentially borrowed by one of our major master brands, known by gamers and esports fans across the world. The three letters, ESL, accompanied by the circular icon are very distinguishable and make us stand apart. But what is the sound of ESL? That is the exact question we set out to answer when we started working with MassiveMusic to create the Sonic Identity of ESL. 

The objective was quite clear, we wanted sound to convey the DNA of the ESL brand. As such, our new Sonic Identity was created as a manifestation of the brand purpose, “to create a world where everybody can be somebody”. ESL branded competitions are the pinnacle of esports and serve as a platform where players can ascend from zero to hero. The new sonic brand identity has set a new standard for the industry. ESL’s sonic brand is industry-first; no other brand in the esports landscape has an ownable sonic identity. Let us introduce, “The Hero’s Journey”…

 “We are very excited to have introduced the ESL´s sonic brand identity to our fans. Over the last years, we told the world that our purpose is to create a world where everybody can be somebody through esports. We showed what we look like with our award-winning visual identity and now we are showing how we sound”, said ESL Gaming Chief Commercial Officer, Rodrigo Samwell.

ESL’s new sonic brand sits between the electronic and orchestral, breaking away from the generic rock or electronic genres which are usually used by esports brands. 

We created a 2 minute-long brand anthem, a short form 3 second sonic logo, and a 1 second sound stamp as part of the ESL sonic identity suite of assets.

The anthem is inspired by the idea that anyone can be a superstar, you don’t need to come from a privileged background to succeed; at ESL, everybody can truly be somebody. The sonic branding tracks “The Hero’s Journey” (or the player’s journey) start from The Lobby, The Grind, The Battle, and The Victory, with each part of the journey consisting of different sonic qualities:

  • The Lobby: Building, engaging, excitement
  • The Grind: Action, drive, rhythmic
  • The Battle: Passion, endurance, striving
  • The Victory: Celebratory, epic, rousing

All these stages are very common to any gamer when they play online competing in their favorite game.

The ESL master brand anthem has several adaptations to suit different moods, genres, and styles to fit with ESL’s varied events, content, and can be used by ESL across their various touchpoints.

The new sonic brand was conceptualized and produced by MassiveMusic and was first heard at the 10th anniversary of IEM Katowice 2022 – ESL Pro Tour, the first live event in front of esports fans since the start of the pandemic. The sonic brand will be rolled out at all live experiences going forward, as well as through content, linear TV, web, and mobile.

Samwell continued: “Since we produce thousands of hours of content a year and millions of social engagements, it is natural that we add a sonic identity to our brand system. This will build significant brand value creating a common thread across all our content. This is another testament to our leadership position in esports and we are very thankful for the passionate collaboration we had with MassiveMusic in delivering this iconic piece that is an homage to every player’s journey.”

Listen to ESL’s new Sonic Identity by watching the video or through the audio track over at Spotify.

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EFG owns a portfolio of brands in different categories. We are leading the industry with numerous online and offline competitions, digital platforms as well as gaming lifestyle festivals.