The BBC has begun broadcasting eSports in a major breakthrough for the rapidly growing industry in the UK.

The online-only BBC Three channel broadcast the fourth round of the Elite Series on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and will continue to screen subsequent rounds for the next five weeks.

The series is organised by London-based Gfinity and features competitions on Street Fighter V, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Rocket League, with £225,000 in prizes up for grabs.

gfinity

“Our partnership with BBC Three will bring Elite Series live and lifestyle content to millions of new viewers and showcase the incredible dedication and passion of professional gamers,” said Gfinity CEO Neville Upton.

“The BBC is one of the most world’s most renowned and respected broadcasters and their commitment to the Gfinity Elite Series is a defining moment for eSports – and we are very proud to be a part of it.”

BBC Three controller Damian Kavanagh said: “eSports has become hugely popular in the last few years with young audiences so it’s great that BBC Three can bring this to a mainstream audience and create new habits with younger audiences as we stream three of the most popular games on BBC Three across the weekend.”

Gfinity acquired US eSports software business CEVO for $2.7 million last week.