Every professional sports needs top executives handling the business and development of the league, which is why Turner's new "ELeague" eSports circuit has hired a general manager and commissioner. Christina Alejandre will serve as vice president/GM and Min-Sik Ko will act as commissioner, the broadcaster announced Thursday.
The new league kicks off in May on TBS with "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" being the featured game.
Alejandre will focus on business development, content strategy and further expansion of eSports as the "ELeague" GM. Alejandre previously served as a consultant for Electronic Sports League as it expanded into North America. As commissioner, Ko will oversee the management and administration of the new league. Ko previously managed several professional teams and founded Global eSports Management.
— ELEAGUE (@EL) January 8, 2016
"As we launch 'ELEAGUE,' she will be an invaluable resource as we build an infrastructure that provides a high quality, authentic product for our fans, while also supporting the continued growth of the overall eSports ecosystem," said Craig Barry, EVP of Production and Chief Content Officer, Turner Sports, of Alejandre, in a statement.
"ELeague" is a new competitive sports league created by Turner Sports and talent agency WME/IMG. Each season consists of live tournaments over the course of 10 weeks. "CS:GO" will be the first game featured in "ELeague." For the first season, 15 teams will compete for a $1.2 million prize pool.
Beginning May 24, group play takes place throughout the week leading up to live competition airing each Friday on TBS from Turner Studios in Atlanta. From Tuesday through Thursday, group play will stream online. The live broadcast airs at 10 p.m. EDT.
After six week weeks of group, the playoffs begin with a last chance qualifier round beginning July 12. The global championship airs July 30 on TBS.
Turner plans on airing a second season of "ELeague" later in the year with a new game and set of teams. Partnering with Valve for "CS:GO," it's possible the second season could feature "Dota 2." In the free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena game, two teams of five compete to destroy the other's "Ancient" building located in their respective strongholds on opposite sides of the map.
"Dota 2" tournaments have some of the largest eSports prize pools, with the ongoing Shangai Major featuring a $3 million pool where the first place team earns $1.1 million. Last year's International, the largest "Dota 2" tournament, had a prize pool of $18 million with the top team earning $6.6 million.