USA-based studio Sperasoft and UK-based Electric Square studios owned by Keywords
earmarked for Malta expansion.
Keywords Studios an international technical services provider to the global video games industry
employing 11,000 people has now set firm plans to set up operations in Malta. Established in 1998,
and now with over 70 facilities in 24 countries, Keywords Studios is strategically located in Asia,
Australia, the Americas, and Europe.
The first earmarked studios will be USA-based Sperasoft followed by the UK-based Electric
Bertrand Bodson, CEO of Keywords Studios commented: “We have been impressed with the
government of Malta's investment in the video gaming sector over the last four years and
customer-centric approach spearheaded by the GamingMalta Foundation. We feel the island is a
natural fit for our strategic vision and welcoming home to our talented game development
teams. We are looking forward to continuing support in building a sustainable video game
ecosystem for the island.”
Minister Silvio Schembri - Minister of the Economy, European Funds and Lands for the
Government of Malta, welcomed this news: “Our vision to position Malta as Home of Gaming
Excellence across the multiple gaming verticals is bearing fruit. Our investment in education, a
start-up incubator space, and an international drive to promote the Malta jurisdiction as a video
game and esports hub spearheaded by the GamingMalta Foundation is resulting in blue-chip
organisations such as Keywords not only taking notice but also making firm plans in Malta'.
Ivan Filletti, CEO of the GamingMalta Foundation added “We have been steadfast and committed
to our strategic vision launched in 2019 in growing the video games and esports sector by also
launching educational initiatives and ecosystem support. Today we have a continued strong
pipeline of both local and international companies using Malta as a stage for their global
Group Stage of ESL Pro League Season 16 set to take place in LAN environment
on August 31-September 25, and live audience confirmed for the Playoffs
on September 17-October 2
Cologne/New York – ESL Gaming, a part of ESL FACEIT Group, and the Ministry for the Economy, EU Funds and Lands through the GamingMalta Foundation, today announced the extension of their partnership for the ESL Pro League until the end of Season 20. The expansion will see Malta be the host location of the biggest and longest-running Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) league featuring an $850,000 total prize pool per season, by bringing both Conference Stage and Group Stage teams to the Mediterranean island.
“We’ve been a proud partner of GamingMalta for the past two years of ESL Pro League and couldn’t be happier to finally be in Malta to host the upcoming seasons of our premier CS:GO league,” said Brian Krämer, General Manager, CS:GO at ESL Gaming. “Together with GamingMalta, we are not only offering the perfect environment for the best teams in the world, but we continue to underline our core principle of creating a world where everybody can become somebody through activations for aspiring CS:GO players in the region.”
The extension agreement runs until the end of 2024 and will focus on growing and fostering the local esports ecosystem via local tournaments and conferences, thereby setting up the development structures needed to offer aspiring players and teams from Malta the opportunity to go pro.
Silvio Schembri - Minister of the Economy, European Funds and Lands for the Government of Malta, welcomed this partnership: “Our vision to position Malta as an esports hub is bearing fruit and this continued partnership with ESL will continue to showcase Malta’s gaming ecosystem as the Home of Gaming Excellence, welcoming top esports athletes to our island for years to come.” Ivan Filletti, CEO of the GamingMalta Foundation added: “Growing the local esports ecosystem is a vital part of our strategic efforts to ensure that we build a strong esports structure. Our partnership with ESL ensures that not only do we host international ESL tournaments in Malta but builds on the zero to hero concept whereby local esports athletes participate in localised ESL events, thought leadership sessions and a sustainable esports business environment.”
ESL Gaming and GamingMalta first joined forces in 2020 to establish opportunities across all levels of the zero-to-hero path offered by ESL Gaming’s esports ecosystems. Moreover, the collaboration allowed Malta to establish itself as the home of esports while also helping ESL Gaming deliver exciting and top-quality content and transmissions of the ESL Pro League for fans worldwide, despite the challenges that the global pandemic presented.
”The partnership with GamingMalta has shaped the ESL Pro League experience for CS:GO fans over the last two years and I am proud that it will continue to do so,” said Alex Inglot, Commissioner of ESL Pro League. “It has grown to become an essential part of the League’s identity and we are looking forward to having the very best players in the world competing in the unique environment of this beautiful Mediterranean island.”
Commencing on August 31, the Group Stage of ESL Pro League Season 16 will see 15 Louvre partner teams plus nine teams qualified through either the ESL CS:GO World Ranking or the ESL Pro League Conference Stage hosted at DreamHack Summer in Jönköping, Sweden earlier this summer, gather in Malta to battle it out for one of the twelve spots in the Playoff Stage, which will take place on September 27-October 2.
The Playoff Stage of ESL Pro League Season 16 will take place in front of a live audience with open attendance but the availability is limited. Tickets will be released on September 5. Stay tuned as more information will be announced soon.
For more details about ESL Pro League Season 16, check out the official website, and follow ESL CS on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For more general information, head to about.eslgaming.com, or follow ESL Gaming on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
About ESL Gaming
ESL Gaming is the world's leading esports company. For more than two decades, we have been shaping the industry and leading esports and gaming innovation globally across the most popular video games, creating a comprehensive ecosystem with opportunities for players to go from zero to hero, and for fans to witness the best stories esports has to offer. Our portfolio consists of high-profile products such as the ESL Pro Tour, Intel® Extreme Masters, DreamHack Festivals, the Snapdragon® Pro Series, and many more, ranging from grassroots to global elite competitions. ESL Gaming is a part of the world's leading competitive gaming platform ESL FACEIT Group.
About ESL Pro League
The ESL Pro League is the world’s longest-running professional league for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, featuring the best teams from Europe, North America, South America and the Asia-Pacific region. Broadcast across various platforms and staged over the years in landmark venues across the globe, the event, split into two seasons a year, provides a unique challenge in the CS:GO calendar and is highly valued by teams, players and fans alike. Originally established in 2015, by 2019 it offered a total prize pool of $1,5 million US dollars. Following the signing of the Louvre Agreement in 2020, ESL Pro League brings 15 of the biggest brands in esports to compete alongside nine teams trying their best to capitalise on their recent successes (www.en.pro.eslgaming.com/csgo/proleague).
GamingMalta is an independent non-profit foundation set up by the Government of Malta and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). Tasked with the remit of promoting Malta as a centre of excellence in the digital and remote gaming sector globally, it also spearheads Malta’s strategic efforts across video gaming, immersive tech and esports. Additionally, it is also responsible for liaising with the local relevant authorities to improve Malta’s attractiveness as a jurisdiction and enhance the ecosystem surrounding the gaming industry.
For the gaming sector, this news continues to underline the Maltese jurisdiction efforts and credentials as a strategically placed ‘Home of Gaming Excellence’ within the EU, having unrivaled expertise in gaming and virtual industries.
Its established ecosystem, experienced talent, and proven good governance framework support will continue to spur global businesses, start-ups, and innovators who share a common language.