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Published: May 23, 2024

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • ESL FACEIT and Rolling Stone’s project aims to spotlight “all aspects of gaming”
  • Financial details about the collaboration have not been revealed
  • The deal might lead to some conflict of interest as ESL FACEIT Group already has a large influence in esports

Rolling Stone is venturing into the growing world of esports by announcing a vertical that will bring in-depth reporting, hands-on experiences, and profiles” in collaboration with ESL FACEIT Group.

Rolling Stone and ESL FACEIT Announce Collab

As esports become more popular, numerous parties are trying to get into the action by expanding their outreach into the field. Entertainment news publication Rolling Stone is one such entity as the company has recently announced the creation of a gaming vertical, in partnership with esports conglomerate ESL FACEIT Group.

Aptly named Rolling Stone Gaming, the new venture will be headed by Senior Gaming Editor Christopher Cruz who has previously worked as the new Executive Producer of the publication’s Content Studio. The new vertical aims to spotlight “all aspects of gaming” by producing “in-depth reporting, hands-on experiences, and profiles”.

“Gaming isn’t informed by pop culture; it is pop culture,” said Cruz in a press release. “As video games have evolved to meet movies, television, and literature on their own ground, it’s important for us to explore how everyone is experiencing gaming culture.”

Gus Wenner, CEO of Rolling Stone also commented on the deal saying that it is a thrill to expand to gaming. According to him, this will allow the news publication to “embrace a vibrant cultural frontier, reflecting our desire to celebrate diverse forms of entertainment and passionate communities.”

Despite the announcement of the deal between Rolling Stone and ESL FACEIT Group, not many details have been revealed yet. The nature of the partnership between Rolling Stone and ESL FACEIT Group is unclear and no one has talked about the financial side of it. Additionally, the deal might create a conflict of interest concerns given ESL FACEIT Group’s vast control over the tournament organizer space in esports. Under the ESL FACEIT Group’s various brands, the company currently operates notable esports leagues in Counter-Strike, Dota 2, Overwatch, and many others.

More About the Two Companies

Both entities have a strong position in the respective sub-fields of the entertainment industry. ESL FACEIT Group is actually a relatively new company although it’s composed of well-established companies. It was formed in 2022 after Saudi Arabian government-backed Savvy Games Group merged esports tournament goliaths FACEIT and ESL Gaming.

However, Savvy Games Group also owns a stake in Chinese tournament conglomerate VSPO, which further extends the company’s influence in the esports field. These big mergers and acquisitions have been possible thanks to the financial backing of SGG, as its apparent company is the Saudi Arabian government’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF). PIF has previously invested in major gaming companies including EA, Nintendo, Capcom, Nexon, Embracer Group, and Take-Two Interactive.

Meanwhile, Rolling Stone is a publication with a very long history and a big stake in the entertainment industry. It was established in 1967 but since then, it has transitioned from a magazine brand to a multi-media company. It covers a variety of online and video content including politics, music, and trending news and it is operated and published by Penske Media Corporation.

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