Esports tournament organizer ESL was sold for $1 billion to the Savvy Gaming Group, funded by the Saudi Arabian government’s Public Investment Fund. The deal also included the sale of tournament platform FACEIT, valued at $500 million.

The gaming community is still discussing the purchase of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft’s gaming division, but today there was some unexpected news in cybersports. ESL and FACEIT announced the merger into one company, ESL FACEIT Group.

ESL hosts ESL One Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 tournaments, ESL Pro Tour, and Intel Extreme Masters. FACEIT is a private company that runs tournaments for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege.

Craig Levine and Niccolo Maisto will become co-CEOs, and ESL co-founder Ralph Reichert will become executive chairman to support the leadership team.

By uniting these complementary capabilities, and with the backing of SGG, we are taking a long-term approach to develop a more robust platform to better support the future of the whole competitive gaming ecosystem and generate more value for all its stakeholders in a sustainable way.

Niccolo Maisto, Founder and CEO of FACEIT

The Savvy Gaming Group is a group of long-term investors led by Brian Ward, former head of international studios at Activision Blizzard.

SGG consists of five operating companies: Savvy Esports Company, Savvy Fund, Savvy Ecosystem Company, Savvy Games Studio, and Savvy Infrastructure Company.

Our brands (FACEIT, DreamHack, ESL, ESEA, and Badlion) will continue operating as before. Each in its own style. You can still grind on FACEIT and FPL, rank up on ESEA Leagues, watch great matches play out at IEM Katowice, and be part of the gaming community at DreamHack festivals.

By working together within the same group, we are in a better position to make long term investments and create strong synergies across multiple products to support the development of competitive gaming.

From the official statement of ESL and FACEIT