Esports and gaming company ESL FACEIT Group and Counter-Strike-focused editorial site HLTV announced this week that they have partnered to bring data from the FACEIT competitive gaming platform to HLTV users.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Through several integrations with the editorial website, HLTV community members will have access to enhanced Counter-Strike 2 player profiles with integrated FACEIT links, “all-time stats,” and FACEIT Pro League achievements; a FPL trophy bar and a top-five players ranking featuring the current FACEIT Pro League season; the ability to link HLTV and FACEIT accounts (which in turn allows users to display ranks, and badges for “FACEIT Plus and FACEIT Verified” users) and earn new badges; and many other planned features, bells, and whistles.
HLTV was founded in 2002, with a focus on collecting match data and news related to competitive Counter-Strike 1.6. In February of 2020, the publication was acquired by Danish sports betting media group Better Collective for approximately €34.5M, or roughly $3.76M USD (at an exchange rate of €1 = $1.0886 USD in February of 2020). The acquisition included HLTV.org and Danish CS:GO community platform dust2.dk.
Better Collective owns a number of sports, gambling, and esports platforms and publications including “esoccer” brand FUTBIN, Action Network, Playmaker HQ, Betarades, Wettbasis, Soccernews, Vegas Insider, SvenskaFans, and Tipsbnladet.
FACEIT is the competitive gaming platform of the ESL FACEIT Group, which also owns Esports Engine, Vindex, ESL, DreamHack, and more. EFG is in turn owned by the Savvy Games Group, which is a gaming and esports company wholly-owned by the Saudi Arabian government’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, and is chaired by the country’s leader, HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (commonly referred to as HRH Crown Prince MBS, or just MBS) .
While HLTV is one of the first editorial sites to partner with a company that it covers directly (ESL FACEIT Group is a major player in the global Counter-Strike 2 scene, after all), it is by no means alone in promoting or producing sponsored content for other PIF-backed ventures including Qiddiya, NEOM, the Esports World Cup Foundation, and the Saudi Esports Federation, among others.