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ESL awarded $2.5M in prizes in 2013, kicking off 2014 with Counter Strike event

The Electronic Sports League awarded $2.5 million in prize money to players from more than 190 countries during its 2013 events, group organizers announced today.

According to a press statement, ESL events were streamed in 25 languages worldwide during 2013, which the group is saying was the league's biggest year yet.

The organization has already announced some of its eSports plans for 2014; this year, the ESL will host the EMS One Katowice Counter Strike: Global Offensive Championship in Katowice, Poland during the IEM World Championships this March. The competition will include a $250,000 prize pool.

The organization also tweeted an infographic showing the group accomplishments for 2013. Organization members held events in 21 cities worldwide and viewers watched more than 44 million hours of streamed event footage on Twitch.

"The last 12 months have brought about enormous changes in the eSports landscape," ESL CEO Ralf Reichert said in a press statement. "With production quality reaching ever-high levels and viewership growing at immense rates, public discussion has shifted away from critical evaluation of eSports to the simple question of ‘how fast will it continue to grow?'

"Building on over a decade of hard work from our team, this year was simply explosive and when I look at the numbers it is mind blowing to see how far we have come and what we have achieved," he added.

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