SteelSeries Celebrates 20 Years Of Innovation In Gaming And Esports

Founded twenty years ago, SteelSeries today marks an unparalleled legacy in gaming and esports. Pros have won more prize money with SteelSeries than with any other brand.

CHICAGO – February 1, 2021 SteelSeries today kicks off a year-long celebration of its 20th anniversary as a company and leader in gaming and esports peripherals.

For two decades, SteelSeries has been a driving force of esports and professional gaming. From sponsoring the first pro teams, to creating products specifically for pros, to turning exceptional players into global superstars, SteelSeries has been growing the industry and helping gamers find glory by developing the products that make gaming more competitive and more fun.

Changing the game since 2001

SteelSeries  was  originally  formed  in  Denmark  in  2001  to  meet  the  surface  needs  of hardcore gamers by introducing an innovative new anti-dust glass mousepad; the Icemat.

At the time, company founder Jacob Wolff-Petersen was just another Counter-Strike player in Copenhagen at the time, using the standard dust-magnet mousepad that made it impossible to aim. But unlike other players, he introduced the world’s first glass mousepad built for FPS gamers, a flawless anti-dust surface that rewarded precision.

Since that original innovation, SteelSeries has created the first mechanical gaming keyboard, the first over-the-ear gaming headsets, retractable headset microphones, the first World of Warcraft MMO mouse, and endless other innovations.

2001: First gaming mousepad

2002: First brand to collaborate with esports players

2002: First brand to sponsor an esports event

2004: First gaming headset

2006: First mechanical gaming keyboard

2008: First online software solution for gaming peripherals

2018: First Hi-res audio system in gaming

2019: First magnetically adjustable keyboard

Said SteelSeries CEO Ehtisham Rabbani, “The first twenty years of SteelSeries have been marked by innovation, countless firsts, and true collaboration with pros. Together, we’ve built a global esports scene and fueled its meteoric rise. And we are hard at work forging the next frontier of gaming greatness with product and software innovations that will continue to be industry-defining in the years to come. At SteelSeries, we know that every gamer can feel like a star and push gaming further than anyone dreamed.”

With over 40 patents in their first twenty years, SteelSeries balances professional-grade quality and durability with an unyielding pursuit of simple, modern design.  “The mission of the company has been the same since its inception – to create gear that caters to the most demanding consumer group in the world – gamers. That mission was articulated in an early campaign slogan: ‘Winning Is Everything’ which is, and always has been a core value of the company.” said Jacob Wolff-Petersen.

The original esports brand

Whether it’s the SteelSeries-backed team OG being the  first  to  win  back-to-back Dota 2 International Championships, or giving every gamer the tools to step up their game, esports is at the heart of everything at the company.

SteelSeries’ pro team relationships are more than sponsorships, they are partnerships. From ideation and design, to testing and validation, esports professionals are not only stakeholders of SteelSeries, they are collaborators and co-creators, together creating the world’s best gaming peripheral products.

By 2006, SteelSeries gear was used by seven of the top ten FPS esports teams in the world.

Today, pros have won more money with SteelSeries than any other brand.

Axcel fuels future growth

In July, 2019, Nordic private equity firm Axcel purchased a majority stake in SteelSeries. In the short 18 months since, SteelSeries has become the #1 premium gaming audio brand in the world and has surpassed an important milestone, achieving over 2B DKK ($330M) in revenue. The firm also guided SteelSeries in its acquisition of U.S.-based KontrolFreek, a leader in premium console accessories, and French-based 3D audio gaming pioneer A-Volute whose Nahimic audio engineering technology can be found in some of the biggest names in gaming products including MSI and Lenovo.

Celebrating 20 years of glory

In celebration of their 20th anniversary, SteelSeries has released six short animated films produced by their in-house creative team about the development of their technology and commitment to pushing the boundaries in gaming. Watch the films at

Join SteelSeries at on February 4 at 2PM ET for an AMA with Chief Technical Officer Tino Soelberg where he’ll examine the technology of early gaming peripherals (and attempt to stream like its 2001) while demonstrating the evolution of SteelSeries’ innovative products.

Finally, to commemorate their esports legacy, SteelSeries will host their inaugural online tournament, the Apex Masters from February 13-28. This new Valorant invitational series pits professional teams from around the world against each other in a battle for glory. Details at

About SteelSeries

SteelSeries is a leader in gaming peripherals focused on quality, innovation, and functionality, and the fastest growing major PC gaming headset brand in the US. Founded in 2001, SteelSeries improves performance through first-to-market innovations and technologies that enable gamers to play harder, train longer, and rise to the challenge. SteelSeries is a pioneer supporter of competitive gaming tournaments and esports and connects gamers to each other, fostering a sense of community and purpose. SteelSeries’ team of professional and gaming enthusiasts help design and craft every single accessory and are the driving force behind the company.

To learn more about SteelSeries’ products and esports partnerships, visit or follow @SteelSeries for the latest updates.

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