Vodafone is the latest European operator to attach its name to eSports after agreeing a sponsorship deal with ESL.

The partnership with the world’s largest eSports company sees the UK-based operator become a “Premier Partner” at a series of live events including ESL One, where teams play video games such as Counter-Strike in front of a live audience.

The deal also includes a new live broadcast segment titled ‘The Vodafone View’, content and advertising distribution, as well as branding at the events.

In a statement, Vodafone said eSports would also provide “a showcase for the development of new 5G technologies set to transform gaming”.

The deal, financial details of which were not disclosed, builds on Vodafone’s existing sponsorship of two eSports teams – the Giants in Spain and Mousesports in Germany.

Serpil Timuray, Chief Operations & Strategy Officer, Vodafone Group said: “We are delighted to launch this partnership with ESL and create one of the biggest international networks for eSports at a time when audiences are growing rapidly and new technologies are poised to deliver better experiences.

“I look forward to joining our customers across 25 countries in viewing ESL’s exciting eSports tournaments, both at home and on their mobile devices.”

According to data from analyst firm Newzoo, the global eSports market will grow 38 percent this year to $905 million, driven by sponsorship, advertising and the sale of media rights.

Telefónica, another operator that has jumped on the eSports bandwagon, told European Communications last month that it wanted to engage with a younger audience.

Read more: Telcos bet on eSports to get down with the kids

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