Fundamentals: Scott Warfield on NASCAR and iRacing

Thanks for watching!! Please sign up below to receive email reminders about future episodes of Fundamentals. Welcome to Episode 1 of Fundamentals with Ian Thomas, a new Front Office Sports digital show featuring the industry’s leading operators and voices. On Fundamentals, Thomas will interview business leaders and subject experts to break down the fundamental topics and trends driving the sports industry. On Tuesday, we welcome NASCAR Managing Director of Gaming, Scott Warfield. This episode goes LIVE on Tuesday at 12pm […]

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Esports Betting Doubles Down In Absence of Live Sports

  • NBA 2K could help bridge the gap between traditional sports and esports fans.
  • A $30 billion global esports betting market could be set to double with an increased focus on the industry.

As the NBA 2K Players Tournament kicks off April 3, BetMGM is offering up a free-to-play game to engage its users.  While the BetMGM app option for the tournament between NBA players is only available in New Jersey, betting on esports is a clear sign of the times during the coronavirus outbreak. With the absence of most live sports – except Belarusian soccer – sport betting operators are turning more to these virtual events.  The bracket game’s deadline is Sunday […]

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NASCAR Virtual Races Pave Way for Esports Expansion

  • With real drivers racing virtually, teams are still providing value to sponsors and partners.
  • The second week of racing drew 1.34 million to FOX and FS1, while nearly 13,000 played DraftKings’ free-to-play game for $10,000.

The lasting effects of the rise of virtual sports during the coronavirus outbreak will remain unknown for the time being. Still, NASCAR Managing Director of Gaming Scott Warfield has high hopes.  The eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series has drawn large audiences on TV and is helping build up a sports betting base and reach a new demographic that potentially could carry over once live races return, Warfield said.  FOS REPORT: 54.5% of industry executives believe that it would be at least […]

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Allied Esports Finds New Revenue Stream During Outbreak: Online Gaming

  • Rather than nightly live events in Las Vegas, the company now hosts two online daily tournaments.
  • Allied Esports CEO Jud Hannigan expects the now-growing ecosystem to help increase sponsorship values when life normalizes.

With the vast majority of the sports industry basing its business around live in-person events, many are now looking towards online events in the interim. Even for Allied Esports, the esports entertainment company that largely bases its U.S. business on live events, a similar pathway has emerged. FOS REPORT: 54.5% of industry executives believe that it would be at least 60 days before leagues resume play. Allied Esports, perhaps best known for its $20 million HyperX Esports Arena in Las […]

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USL Launching Rocket League Tournament Amid Season Pause

  • USL Championship and League One seasons are currently suspended until at least May 10 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • New esports effort aims to create something where "supporters and fans could come together again, compete, and share a few laughs."

The USL is launching a 32-team Rocket League tournament to engage fans and create a fun competition while on-field matches are postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic. It also represents the USL’s first league-level esports effort. The tournament, which will be called the USL eCup, will begin on March 31 and continue through April 24. It will be a World Cup-style event with a group stage and knock-out rounds featuring 32 USL Championship and USL League One clubs who will each […]

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NBA 2K League Turns to Fan Tournament While Season is Delayed

  • Competition will award $25,000 to fans, social influencers, and 2K franchises involved.
  • NBA is working with 2K on beginning its esport’s season online.

The NBA 2K League was set to tip off its third season on March 24, before delaying play over safety concerns relating to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Now, the esports organization is preparing to host a three-on-three online tournament involving fans, social media influencers, and top 2K gamers this weekend instead. A combined prize pool of $25,000 for Playstation 4 and Xbox One X brackets will be awarded to teams participating in the NBA 2KL Three for All Showdown.  FOS […]

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Major League Rugby Sends Players Home and Takes Tournament Online

  • With players from all over the globe, MLR felt it right to send players home- and turn to a video game format.
  • The tournament is also acting as a charity endeavor for the Feeding America COVID-19 Response Fund.

As the timeline for the coronavirus hiatus lengthened, Major League Rugby felt it was right to be among the first organizations to completely shut down its season. With more than half of the league’s players from overseas, the MLR decided to move the rest of the season to an online competition on the video game Rugby 20, with each team selecting a player to play in a makeshift tournament. “At the end of the day, it looked like it would […]

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NASCAR Leverages Star Racers In Digital Extension Of Season

  • Pro Invitational Series launches March 22 on FS1, using iRacing’s online simulator.
  • NASCAR esports league already reaping the benefits from the new fan initiative.

On March 22, NASCAR Cup Series drivers Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Clint Bowyer were all expected to be featured on FS1 as they raced at Homestead-Miami Speedway. But after the coronavirus pandemic postponed several events, those same drivers will instead be participating in a virtual version of the race broadcast on the cable network in an extension of NASCAR’s esports efforts. The Pro Invitational Series has been two weeks in the making, the product of about a dozen phone […]

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Riot Games Postpones Mid-Season Invitational Over Coronavirus

  • MSI welcomes League of Legends teams from 12 different leagues around the world each spring.
  • League of Legends summer splits will begin in May to accommodate schedule changes.

Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, is postponing its Mid-Season Invitational until July amid the global outbreak of COVID-19. The international tournament pits the winners of spring splits from all 12 League of Legends leagues around the world each year. The 2020 tournament will be played over two weeks, beginning on July 3. The location of the event has not been determined.  “We need to remain flexible given how much the COVID-19 situation has impacted international travel and […]

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League of Legends Borrows NFL Primetime Strategy Amid New Format

  • Two marque matches are featured on Monday nights for the first time this season.
  • LCS format changes meant to boost quality of teams entering the World Championships later this year.

The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) is weeks into its spring split of the 2020 season, following a restructuring of the North American league’s format that simplified the qualification process for the World Championships at the end of the year. The LCS also added a Monday night broadcast to feature marquee matchups in primetime. The strategy takes a page from more traditional sports leagues like the NFL, which aired its first Monday Night Football telecast in 1970. Other LCS […]

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