Premium esports shows are heading to Hulu

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Esports are coming to Hulu for the first time this fall with four new series developed by the largest esports company in the world, ESL.

Hulu and ESL announced a new partnership Monday shepherding four new esports series coming exclusively to Hulu, which marks the first time esports-related shows will be on premium streaming services.

The four new series —Player V. Player, Bootcamp, Defining Moments, and ESL Replay — focus on different aspects of esports and esports culture as described in the announcement:

Player V. Player 

A gamified debate show with casters and esports influencers facing off over the hottest topics in esports. Panelists accrue points while debating both newsy and big picture topics for ultimate bragging rights, with a final challenge over a classic video game. The result is an urgent, passionate conversation amongst signature esports personalities, connecting communities while also pitting them against one another.

Bootcamp

A weekly docu-series following The Immortals, a top [Counter-Strike: Global Offensive] team, as they rebuild their roster leading up to IEM Oakland, one of the premiere esports events in North America that takes place on Nov.18 and 19 at Oracle Arena. With the tournament just weeks away, and currently three players short of a full team, The Immortals must find new talent and quickly build a cohesive team. Bootcamp will follow The Immortals through the extensive process of player evaluation, testing, and trials until they finally find the perfect players and then race to get ready for IEM Oakland. The series will also give unprecedented access to the inner workings of a professional esports team, with scrimmages and practice sessions at the team house as they formulate a new strategy and build team chemistry.

Defining Moments

Dive deep into the most impactful moments in esports history with passionate casters and analysts explaining what made these moments so monumental. Defining Moments will cover many of the top games and fan the flames of ongoing debates about these plays. Each episode is centered on a specific theme for the week, whether trick-shots and insane reflex skills, controversial moves and their impact on gaming history, or long-lasting rivalries and how they came to be. The series will feature in-depth interviews with game designers, teammates, fans, rivals, even sports scientists assessing reaction speed — anyone who can add to the story of defining moments in esports.

ESL Replay

A fast-paced, condensed, documentary-style recap of the most memorable moments from four of the biggest multi-day esports tournaments in the world, including in-depth analyses and behind-the-scenes footage not part of the tournament live stream. A never-before-seen view of the tournament that will entertain those who watched the full tournament and those who missed the action and want to see what they missed. Each episode of Replay will be edited and aired within a week of the live event.

Details about number of episodes, length of episodes, or length of the series were not announced, though we do know that the ESL Replay episode will air the week after four specific, yet unnamed tournaments.

ESL is one of the biggest tournament organizers in esports and its shows will likely focus mostly on its own tournaments and competitions, made evident by the show Bootcamp, which revolves around one of its upcoming IEM (Intel Extreme Masters) tournaments. ESL Replay will also likely only focus on ESL-run events.

Up until this announcement, esports shows have primarily lived within the live streaming space on platforms like Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, and have occasionally aired on television. Whether these series will be a success on Hulu may determine if more premium esports content like this could continue to make its way into mainstream entertainment.

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