Twitch and Faceit have teamed up for a new eSports initiative -- with a $3.5 million prize pool.
The Amazon-owned streaming company has partnered with the Italian eSports platform -- which recently captured $15 million in investment and opened a U.S. office -- likely due to its experience running leagues.
The new initaitive, called the Esports Championship Series, will kick off its first league with 20 Counter-Strike teams (10 each from the U.S. and Europe) today.
Notably, the ECS will offer teams co-ownership in the league. “Players and teams are the heart of the esports community and deserve the opportunity to reap the rewards of their hard work and dedication to grow esports into a mainstream phenomenon,” said Faceit co-founder Michele Attisani, in a statement.
The ECS has promised it will offer players seats on the organization's board; this comes in the wake of news that Riot Games recently formalized a new Pro Player Panel to take feedback from players on how it runs its own championship league.
The move is notable not just because of the co-ownership deal, but also because Twitch is taking a direct hand in this new eSports initiative.
"A major part of Twitch’s success is built around our relationship with the esports community... We’ve listened to what the teams and players are looking for, which is to have a bigger voice in the movement, and it inspired us to partner with FACEIT to launch the ECS," said Twitch's director of eSports strategy, Stuart Saw, in a statement.