US telco AT&T has signed as a founding partner of the ESL Mobile Open, the world’s first mobile-only esports league.
The ESL Mobile Open is owned by German company ESL, the world’s largest esports event organiser, and has an annual prize pool of $330,000 (€293,000).
The year-round league is played on smartphones and is open to all amateur games. The season starts on March 18, and will see gamers compete across three mobile gaming titles: PUBG Mobile, Clash of Clans and Asphalt 9.
Yvette Martinez-Rea, chief executive at ESL Gaming North America, said: “We believe that mobile will provide the opportunity to bring the next generation of esports enthusiasts into the fold.
“A first in the industry, ESL Mobile Open was developed to provide anyone with a phone access to compete at the highest levels with both established and emerging mobile esports titles.”
Most of the competition will take place online via the ESL Play tournament platform, but the inaugural finals will be hosted at the DreamHack gaming festival in Dallas on May 31.
The finals will also be live-streamed on Twitch and YouTube, and top players in each title will also have the chance to compete professionally at select ESL events during the season.
Shiz Suzuki, assistant vice-president of sponsorships and experiential marketing for AT&T Communications, said: “Our sponsorship investments help us grow customer relationships by connecting with their passion for esports, and we’re looking forward to working with ESL to bring online mobile gameplay to our customers.”
AT&T signed as the Official Telecommunications and Mobile Gaming Partner of ESL North America last June.