ESL and FACEIT sold to Savvy Gaming Group

ESL and FACEIT sold to Savvy Gaming Group

January 29, 2022

The Saudi firm purchases ESL and FACEIT for US$1.5 billion.


Swedish esports and gaming organisation Modern Times Group (MTG) has sold ESL to Saudi Arabia-backed firm Savvy Gaming Group for a reported US$1 billion, while the FACEIT platform has also been acquired by the Saudi firm for US$500 million. 

The acquisition of two of the main tournament organisers in CS:GO is one of the largest in esports history. Savvy Group will merge both the companies to form a global gaming platform.

The deal will see both companies retain their current leadership albeit under a new structure. The deal is expected to be finalised by the second quarter of 2022. 

Although the ownership of ESL and FACEIT will change, the brands (DreamHack, ESL, ESEA and Badlion) owned by the two companies will continue to function normally.


Craig Levine, ESL Gaming’s CEO, commented:

Our mission remains unchanged: to create a world where everybody can be somebody. Our merger with FACEIT, along with the backing of SGG, will give us more know-how, capabilities, and resources than ever before to deliver on this vision. Whether you are competing or watching, doing so socially or at a professional level, every stage of the pathway will be improved through this merger.


Niccolo Maisto, FACEIT’s CEO, added:

In the past years, ESL and FACEIT had a significant positive impact for the growth of the esports industry, bringing a variety of propositions for players, teams, publishers, and developers. 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.


Additionally, ESL has also announced that it will be making changes to ESEA and FACEIT to promote more stability for the North American CS:GO players by adding incentives for the professional teams and will also help and develop the grassroots system in the region. 

Savvy Gaming Group is funded by the Saudi Arabian government’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which recently also acquired English Premier League side Newcastle United in December 2021. 

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has previously had mixed relations with esports. BLAST and Riot Games had previously backed out of a partnership with NEOM, a Saudi Arabian futuristic city development group, in 2020 following backlash from the community over Saudi Arabia’s shocking human rights record.

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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