If you thought that the professional online gaming scene only consisted of Overwatch, Dota 2 and Rocket League – you’re sorely mistaken. In an announcement today it was revealed that Hi-Rez Studios’ Paladins has amassed a player base of over 15 million people. And now they have full support of the goliath that is Facebook.
Hi-Rez Studios and the World eSports Association are joining forces to launch the Paladins Premier League beginning this fall. And all of the league’s action will come your way solely through Facebook Live. Facebook appears all-in on the eSports scene, with similar deals having already been struck with Wargaming.net and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
And Leo Olebe, director of global gaming partnerships for Facebook, has said just that:
“We’re all in. We’re putting all of our cards, all of our chips on the table. We fundamentally believe that games are an incredible way to connect people to each other and videos are an incredible way to do that too. With our understanding of those two concepts, we’re going to invest and invest. Some things will work, some things won’t.”
It’s easy to see why Hi-Rez Studios teamed with Facebook. And it’s largely to do with the site’s 800 million connected Facebook gamers that Olebe touts:
“We have 800m connected Facebook gamers every month. The scale is there, so through great partnerships like this one we can help gamers find each other, create meaningful connections and provide a great experience for games like Paladins.
The volume is there, the passion is there, the people are the. Gamers are on Facebook, there’s a hell of a lot of gamers on Facebook and they’re having a good time. There are so many gamers active in groups that we don’t even know about… so it’s a real opportunity. If anything, the world just doesn’t know exactly how many core gamers are out there. We just know they’re all there. We just love to do great stuff for gamers. It’s great fun for us.”
We’ll see exactly how well Paladins and Facebook mesh beginning later this year.