Category: Leagues

NHL Looking To Get More Involved In Esports Space

SBJ: “Later this year the NHL expects to hold its fifth annual World Gaming Championship, which brings together the world’s best EA Sports NHL players to compete for a six-figure prize pool.”

“In November 2019, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, parent organization for the Washington Capitals, signed the NHL’s first pro esports player, John “JohnWayne” Casagranda. The San Jose Sharks saw immediate success with a tournament they launched last year. And earlier this month, the New York Islanders became the league’s first franchise to sign six pro gamers to the newly launched Isles Gaming Team.”

“This is a great way to reach a younger demographic and tap into this new audience, especially coinciding with the opening of UBS Arena,” said Jeff Fischer, the vice president of partnership sales for the Islanders and UBS Arena and one of two executives who spearheads the franchise’s gaming efforts.

“Among the reasons teams are devoting resources to the still nascent space: exposing a club’s brand to new fans and audiences; increased engagement with the local community; and the ability to use gaming and esports as a marketing platform.”


South Korean Esports Team Wins League of Legends World Championship; Millions Watching Online

Tech Xplore: “More than 6,000 mostly young spectators watched at a Shanghai stadium and millions tuned in online to see Damwon Gaming win the League of Legends world championship on Saturday.”

“The South Korean team beat Suning, the surprise finalists from China, 3-1 to claim one of the most prestigious titles in eSports.”

“Spectators were limited to 6,300 because of social distancing and those lucky enough to secure a seat had to wear a face mask to prevent coronavirus infections.”

“League of Legends’ developer Riot Games had estimated that 100 million would watch across the globe. Inside the stadium, spectators—many favouring China’s Suning—saw the action unfold on two giant screens.”

Mid-Atlantic Conference Announces New League For Esports

ESPN: “Aiming to recruit and engage more competitive video gamers, a dozen schools in the Mid-American Conference are creating a stand-alone esports conference to offer structured competition without the extensive rules that govern intercollegiate athletics.”

“That means the teams can enlist not just amateur players but a type prohibited in traditional college sports: competitors who already turned pro or made money from gaming, sometimes as teenagers years before college.”

“There’s boatloads of kids out there that want to do this — well, they’re doing it already,” MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said. “And so to have some level of organization that provides for regular competitive opportunities that are well-run, on a regular basis, we think will give our schools a leg up in terms of attracting these students to their campuses.”

Three Esports Leagues Move to YouTube, Continuing the Livestream Wars

Wired: “Today, YouTube announced that it will exclusively stream three behemoth esports leagues—the Call of Duty League, the Overwatch League, and Hearthstone Esports, all controlled by Activision Blizzard—that had lived primarily on the game streaming platform Twitch. News of the defections rattled the esports world, especially as it came mere hours before the Call of Duty League’s inaugural match.”

“Twitch had held exclusive Overwatch League streaming rights since 2018, when it signed a reported $90 million deal. YouTube’s partnership spans several years as well; Google Cloud will also host Activision Blizzard’s entire library of games.”

“It’s the latest in a series of high-profile YouTube gaming poaches. Over the past several months, YouTube has plucked Twitch mainstays like Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, who boasted an average of more than 9,000 live viewers per stream. Just last week, YouTube announced exclusive deals with three gaming giants, Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter, Elliott “Muselk” Watkins, and Lannan “LazarBeam” Eacott. Nabbing Activision’s esports as well will be an enormous boon for the growing YouTube live gaming platform, which currently accounts for about 28 percent of livestreamed hours, to Twitch’s 61 percent, according to stream platform analytics firm StreamElements.”

Dota 2’s T19 Prize Pool Makes History

Luckbox announces Dota 2’s The International 19 has passed $30 million in prize pool which makes it “the largest for any single tournament in esports history… It’s anyone’s guess but the next milestone is $35m and it would be no great surprise to see it reached.”

Dota 2 and their battle pass beat out Fortnite’s World Cup huge prize pool of $30 million. Luckbox claims Dota 2 couldn’t have done this without their great fan base who buys the battle pass and in return earn cosmetics and new game modes. 

James McMath, Media Manager at Luckbox, said, “Publishers Valve donating 25% of (battle pass) sales to the tournament prize pool.”

mobile esports

Tencent Boosts Mobile eSports with $500K Purse

Engadget: “Mobile eSports are becoming a big deal. Last year, mobile MOBA Vainglory’s big eSports tournament was backed by Amazon. Supercell put on a Clash Royale $1 million tournament last summer, too. Now China’s Tencent Games is getting in on the action with plans for a series of eSport tournaments, beginning with the Arena of Valor World Cup in July of this year. The contest will take place in Los Angeles and offer a prize pool of more than $500,000, according to the press release.”