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Through an arrangement with the World Esports Association, the upcoming CS:GO ESL Pro League (EPL) Season 5 will be available for official streaming only on YouTube Gaming. The primary broadcast will be on ESL YouTube.
This is a large victory for YouTube in their campaign capture more of the international esports audience away from Twitch.tv, It is also not the first of such moves by YouTube – MLG Las Vegas last year was also YouTube-exclusive. YouTube has always been one of the top sources of gaming-related content online but this move into competitive gaming has been aggressive in the past months.
Also relevant is the large schism that developed in North America's CS:GO scene when pro-player dissatisfaction with the newly-formed Professional Esports Association (PEA) saw a near-unanimous exodus of teams towards rival league, the EPL. This forecasts a large portion of both NA and international CS:GO audiences bolstering YouTube Gaming's viewership count at the start of this year.
With Riot Games planning it's own League-of-legends-specific video app, and Facebook also integrating esports tournaments into their sports trackers on top of pushing Facebook Live as an esports channel, this year looks like a difficult one for the current king of esports content, Twitch.tv,
The ESL Pro League Season 5 begins on Feb. 7, with the grand finals in June.