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BBC Three to broadcast live eSports

Programming, which begins tonight, is the start of a new, wider strand of eSports content on BBC Three

The BBC will broadcast live eSports coverage via BBC Three and iPlayer for the next six weekends.

Four hours of live action will be broadcast every weekend, following the Corporation signing a deal to cover the Gfinity Elite League Series One, which sees pro gamers duelling it out on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Street Fighter and Rocket League.

Programming will begin tonight from 8.45pm with coverage continuing on Saturday and Sunday.

The league involves 160 professional gamers (drawn from eight eSports franchises) who will compete live in London, with prize money of £225,000 up for grabs.

The league has already been underway for four weeks. The BBC will cover the final six weeks, until the league’s climax when three individual game champions will be declared, as well as the overall winning eSports franchise.

The BBC said the coverage will form the main part of a new, wider strand of eSports content on BBC Three, in collaboration with BBC Sport.

Damian Kavanagh, controller, BBC Three said: “eSports has become hugely popular in the last few years with young audiences so it’s great that BBC Three can bring this to a mainstream audience and create new habits with younger audiences as we stream three of the most popular games on BBC Three across the weekend.”

Sky began covering eSports last year when it broadcast highlights of the prestigious Intel Extreme Masters tournament on Sky 2. NBC’s Syfy UK will launch its eSports deciated programming next month.