Esports

Valorant Isn’t League of Legends, But Riot Games Has High Hopes

  • Riot continues to grow Valorant’s fandom by increasing accessibility to the game in partnership with third-party event organizers.
  • Several renowned esports teams, including T1 Sports and Entertainment, have begun to fill out competitive rosters.

Over the last decade, Riot Games has positioned itself as one of the leaders in the esports industry thanks to one game: League of Legends. Now, the Los Angeles-based game developer is hoping to find similar success with Valorant, its tactical first-person shooter released to the public on June 2. Riot Games is exploring all options when it comes to formalized Valorant esports down the road – from franchise play reminiscent of its flagship title to a similar tournament structure […]

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David Beckham

Game It Like Beckham

  • This article was first published in the FOS Daily Newsletter. Subscribe here.
  • David Beckham took a “significant minority stake” in U.K.-based Guild Esports.

David Beckham is the latest celebrity to invest in esports, taking a “significant minority stake” in London-based organization Guild Esports as it raises $31 million. The organization will field competitive teams in games like Rocket League, FIFA, and Fortnite.  Guild Esports will reportedly use Beckham as a way to help draw in sponsorships. Beckham’s investment comes as the industry continues to surge during the coronavirus pandemic. Even prior to the outbreak, PwC forecast that esports revenues would grow from $980 […]

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LCS

Esports Leagues See Increased Interest From Partners During Pandemic

  • In the last three months, NBA 2K League added partners including Gamestop, Jostens, SAP, and Tissot, while deepening existing partnerships with companies like HyperX. League of Legends Champions Series added deals with Verizon and Samsung.
  • Advertising and sponsorships already represent 69% of all esports industry revenue.

The start of the NBA 2K League’s 2020 season came to a halt during the coronavirus pandemic similar to its traditional sports counterpart, the NBA, which itself paused play on March 11. But rather than remain inactive, the 2K League launched multiple tournaments during the break as it looked to figure out ways to best host its regular season and events virtually, including the 2K League Three for All Showdown involving fans. The season eventually started in early May, but […]

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Hazard RM

Electronic Arts Extends LaLiga Partnership To Invest In Authenticity

  • EA views its exclusive partnership with LaLiga with importance, as the league’s teams are used in 25% of the game’s matches.
  • LaLiga remains an important piece to growing the EA Sports FIFA franchise, which grew its users 10% year-over-year.

As Electronic Arts continues to grow its FIFA franchise, the video game developer is extending its partnership with LaLiga, one of the most popular leagues in the game. The financial terms of the 10-year extension were not disclosed, but the partnership – EA Sports remains the official video games partner of LaLiga – is meant to continuously improve in-game authenticity.  “Maintaining authenticity is critical to us,” said Cam Weber, EA Sports executive vice president and group general manager. “When you […]

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Mixer

Nixing Mixer

  • This article was first published in the FOS Daily Newsletter. Subscribe here.
  • Popular streamers were Ninja and Shroud bought out of lucrative deals.

Microsoft is shutting down its streaming platform Mixer, with plans to move partners to Facebook Gaming. Mixer launched in 2016 to compete with the Amazon-owned Twitch, the Google-backed YouTube, and Facebook Gaming. However, the service never gained traction compared to its rivals, leading Microsoft to shut down Mixer as of July 22. Facebook will work with Microsoft to transition existing Mixer viewers and streamers over to Facebook Gaming in the coming weeks. “I think the Mixer community is really going […]

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EA Sports Madden’ and FIFA Games Benefit Widely From Pause in Play

  • EA is posting viewership numbers’ ahead of anything we’ve ever done before’ on television, executive says.
  • Viewership of the game developer’s esports-related content in April grew 250% year-over-year.

EA Sports, the maker of popular video game franchises Madden and FIFA, believes it has successfully capitalized on a significant opportunity to grow the appeal of its esports properties during the coronavirus pandemic. Without live games, television networks have brought more esports – including League of Legends, Rocket League, and NBA 2K – to television from Twitch and other digital platforms where competitions usually are streamed. EA Sports has similarly introduced Madden and FIFA to much larger audiences since March, […]

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Barstool flag

Barstool Launches Esports

  • This article was first published in the FOS Daily Newsletter. Subscribe here.
  • Barstool is launching its latest endeavor: an esports team.

Barstool Sports continued its diversification into new forms of content yesterday with the launch of the Barstool HooliganZ esports team. The new organization is an extension of its esports and video game vertical Barstool Gametime, which has more than a million followers on TikTok and 74,000 YouTube subscribers. Barstool has had recent streaming success on Twitch, as Pardon My Take co-host Big Cat has been drawing tens of thousands of viewers while playing NCAA Football 2014. During a recent stream […]

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Overwatch Bets on New Format to Navigate Challenging 2020 Season

  • Two additional online tournaments similar to the Overwatch League's May Melee will begin starting with “Summer Showdown” on June 13.
  • The esports league faces several headwinds in its third year, including sudden player retirements and reported drops in viewership.

The Overwatch League has revealed schedule plans for the remainder of 2020, offering some clarity to fans and its 20 franchises worldwide about how it will navigate the final months of its tumultuous third season.   OWL teams from the San Francisco Shock to the Seoul Dynasty have adjusted to playing competitive matches online by connecting to cloud servers in recent months. That is occurring as the league also copes with the sudden retirement of a handful of high-profile players during […]

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FaZe Clan

Beats Turns To Esports

  • This article was first published in the FOS Daily Newsletter. Subscribe here.
  • With the NBA on hiatus, Beats by Dr. Dre turned to esports to release its newest product offering.

Apple’s Beats by Dr. Dre have been a staple in the NBA community for years, but with the league sidelined, the headphone brand is making a new push into esports. Rather than using NBA stars to promote a new line of colors in its Powerbeats Pro line, Beats by Dr. Dre has turned to esports organization FaZe Clan. A drone delivered the headphones to FaZe Clan’s Los Angeles headquarters Monday in an event broadcast by the organization’s Instagram account to […]

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EA Sports Looks To ‘Evolve’ Madden With Renewed NFL Deal

  • Electronic Arts, the NFL, and NFLPA have signed a multiyear extension to their partnership, giving EA exclusive rights to the football simulation game category.
  • Unique players of Madden NFL 20 have grown by 30% year-over-year, while monthly average players have reached an all-time high.

Electronic Arts has signed a multiyear renewal with the NFL and the NFL Players Association that will see the game publisher not only continue the Madden NFL franchise but work more closely with the league and players to grow football fandom. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources said that EA Sports would hold the exclusive rights to make a football simulation game through at least the 2026 season. It could be worth more than $1 billion to […]

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