ESL co-founder says the company wants to find the Michael Jordan of esports

On its 20th birthday, Ralf Reichert set out his vision for ESL for the next two decades

ESL One Cologne

One of ESL’s co-founders says that the tournament organiser’s goal over the next two decades is to find more star players in the world of esports and to find the game that “revolutionises” how we watch competitive gaming.

Speaking at a press conference celebrating the 20 year anniversary of the formation of ESL, Ralf Reichert laid out his plans for what he wants to achieve in the next 20 years. In response to a question from Florian Krebl, Reichert outlines that finding esports’ next stars is important, but that finding a game-changing competitive title will also be a main focus.

“[I want to] find the Michael Jordan of esports, because we need stars to make this [industry] better,” Reichert says in reference to the NBA legend. “And [I want to] be involved in finding the game that revolutionises watching esports, because we’re still in its infancy. Everything we’re doing and playing with were originally invented to just play and not necessarily compete in.

“Nowadays there are obviously a lot [of games] being developed to be solely competed in but I think there are very few to none being developed to be watched. I’m a big believer that there’s gonna be a game in the next X years – and I don’t have a time frame for that – which is just gonna be the esport to watch. Like, the football of esports. The best to watch right now in the world is quite clearly Counter-Strike, but that next one will just be much better. “

Reichert goes on to say another goal for ESL to aim for in the future is to continue expanding its reach to every corner of the globe and to improve accessibility.


“We started this company to build these stages to make these players stars. To bring that into the remotest places in the world, to the Africas of the world, as cheesy as that might sound, and enable everyone to compete.

“It’s a big advantage of esports that independent of gender, age, race, even some disabilities, you can compete on the highest level. That’s what ESL has always been innovating for: going to the more remote places and offering the people there to come in and be part of our world and become stars.”

While you could certainly argue that someone like Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok could well be described as having “Michael Jordan” levels of popularity and success, Reichert clearly thinks there is a higher ceiling to aim for in terms of finding a star player.

His remarks on finding a revolutionary game also show just how much growing room there is for ESL to provide the ultimate viewership experience that esports can offer.