In the video game world, there's no one bigger than Tyler "Ninja" Blevins.He shot to fame with record-breaking audiences watching him stream Fortnite on Twitch, including a run with Drake.In September, he became the first pro esports player to land on the cover of ESPN's magazine.And later this year you'll find him on store shelves taking the form of collectible figurines and plush dolls.The 27-year-old is one of the fastest-growing influencers on social media as a star in the professional gaming world.With 13 million Twitch followers and 21 million YouTube subscribers, fans watch him compete in tournaments and stream battle-royal games like Apex Legends.
斗鱼直播确定赴美IPO 此前融资额已达70亿元 – The Beijing NewsWhat happened: E-sports video-streaming platform Douyu has confirmed its plan to go public in the US, according to a person close to the company’s executives.The news came a day after a report from IFR Asia claimed that the Tencent-backed platform has filed confidentially for a $500 million US IPO, quoting people close to the deal.If the platform is listed, it will be the second Chinese e-sports video-streaming platform to have its IPO in the US, following Huya, which went public in May last year.Why it’s important: This is the latest of a series of confirmations from different sources about Douyu’s US IPO plan.Financial Times reported in 2018 that the company scrapped its plan to go public in Hong Kong and started planning a $600 million to $700 million US IPO.
One of my favorite parts of GamesBeat Summit is the connections attendees make, and the speakers we’re announcing today are some of the best people to know in the industry: Michael Pachter, Katie Hutcherson Madding, and Gregory Milken.Michael Pachter, oft-quoted and sometimes controversial video game, social media, digital media, and electronics analyst will be joining us to talk about the landscape of gaming.He’s a gaming research analyst for Wedbush Securities, Officially, his beat is the entertainment software publishing and retail sector, and his analysis sparks passionate debate on message boards.The popular host of the Q show Pachter Factor on SIFTD.net, he regularly fields questions on the business of video games, from the next generation of the console superstars to the big bada-boom of esports.Katie Hutcherson Madding is the global product director at Adjust, a mobile measurement platform designed to merge new technology with business strategy.She’s in charge of releasing cutting-edge mobile features at a global scale, allowing clients to track everything from marketing campaign performance, to app store insights, to in-app analytics.
Hyperice has teamed up with the San Francisco Shock Overwatch League team to help cyberathletes with health and wellness initiatives.The deal shows how Hyperice’s business of catering to traditional athletes can transfer to esports players as well.Esports athletes are known to play for more than 60 hours a week, resulting in muscle soreness and strains throughout the body (this comes from sitting for long stretches, tension from matches, bad ergonomics, and repetitive stress movements).These physical demands have led to injuries and ailments, often leaving esports folk to consider retirement as early as age 22.In an effort to enhance playing conditions, and to improve performance and career longevity for their athletes, the San Francisco Shock wants to do what it can to avoid those problems.“Our athletes are the lifeblood of this organization and we are relentless in our efforts to maintain and improve the health, wellness and career longevity for each and every athlete,” said Brett Lautenbach, president of San Francisco Shock owner NRG Esports in a statement.
The human attention span is now eight seconds, less than that of a fish.One category is rife with marketing potential and built for these short attention span: esports.For a while, many non-endemic brands—brands not tied any specific performance or functionality in gaming—have rolled their eyes at the notion that esports had longevity and is a worthwhile investment.If you have heard anything about esports in the past year, it’s “be authentic or they’ll sniff you out.” Authenticity actually avoids logo slapping and finds ways to contribute to the space.Similar to the Boy Scout code of honor, “leave a place better than you found it.” Brands should find a way to add value and make the experience better than if they hadn’t been a part of it.Twitch’s director of global sponsorship and sales, Nathan Lindberg, has traditionally pointed to ad as a badge of honor in esports and on Twitch.
Thailand-based virtual reality startup Infofed has received an undisclosed co-investment from Singapore venture capital fund KK Fund and Thai events marketing platform EventPop Shows.Infofed will use the funding to strengthen its esports business and be a regional esports organizer.It is currently preparing for the University E-Sports Championship (UEC) season 2 in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand.The event is following its first season launched in Thailand last month.The startup wants to expand across more Southeast Asian countries for UEC’s third installment.Infofed plans to develop eArena, an online esports competition platform that allows users to easily organize competitive games with players globally using a web application.
As massive cross-platform gaming titles become even larger time-sucks for a lot of people, it’s probably worth reflecting on how to savor your in-game accomplishments.Streaming of esports celebrities on sites like Twitch has taken off like no one imagined, but for the most part the toil-heavy editing process has left this attention largely focused on those with the ambitions of making gaming their full-time gig.Athenascope is a small startup aiming to tap computer vision intelligence to record, review and recap what more novice gamers were able to pull off in their latest battle royale with a short, shareable highlight reel.The team is led by Chris Kirmse, who previously founded Xfire, a game messaging client that Viacom bought in 2006 for north of $100 million.The company announced this week that they’ve closed a $2.5 million seed round led by First Round Capital to grow its tools and its team.They’re also rolling out their AI highlight reel tool for gamers.
Flashbreak has raised $2 million in funding for live mobile game competitions that reward gamers with real-money rewards.It’s sort of like HQ Trivia, in that everybody gathers at a particular time to compete in a show.Paris-based Flashbreak raised the money from French venture capital firm Alven and Kima Venture.It’s a kind of mash-up of esports meets mobile gaming.The app is a hybrid of both in-house games combined with a publishing platform for outside vendors to expose their own offerings to Flashbreak gamers.The host introduces a game and then kicks-off three rounds of competition of 90 seconds each.
New York Excelsior (NYXL), one of the founding esports franchises of the Overwatch League and the first professional esports team to represent the city of New York, said T-Mobile has signed up as its presenting sponsor for the 2019 season.It’s another sign of the growing maturity of the esports economy, which is expected to grow to $1.7 billion by 2021, according to market researcher Newzoo.“As our biggest partnership to date, this is a huge step forward for the NYXL organization and esports in New York as a whole,” said Kai Mathey, head of partnerships at NYXL, in a statement.“We’re excited to collaborate with a brand as creative and cutting-edge as T-Mobile, especially as we aim to connect with fans in new and unique ways this season.”In New York, NYXL is stoking its fan base with watch parties, gaming competitions, and player meet and greets.Now in collaboration, NYXL and T-Mobile will offer even more opportunities to connect local gamers and further expand esports popularity in New York.
Sports entertainment company Topgolf and Super League Gaming have announced a partnership to bring amateur competitive video game events to Topgolf venues across the country.Topgolf has built 52 venues where more than 17 million people a year use their driving ranges and other high-end entertainment.And in December, the company announced that it will create esports lounges at six of its outposts in partnership with TV brand TCL.It’s a big bet that such venues will be the next growth opportunity in the larger esports economy.The deal with Super League Gaming is part of a similar opporunity.The program kicks off in February in Las Vegas with the Super League Gaming event series, Super League Clash Nights, based on Clash Royale, the popular mobile game from mobile game publisher Supercell.
Overwatch League Season 2 is fast approaching as Blizzard Entertainment looks to cement the popular hero shooter’s place as one of the world’s biggest esports franchises.Here’s everything you need to know about Overwatch League Season 2!The teams are split into two divisions — Pacific and Atlantic — while also entering into an overall league table featuring all 20 teams.For Season 2, each team will face a 28-match schedule across four, five-week long stages.More: 10 best MOBAs for AndroidOnce all four stages are complete, the winners of each division, the four top ranked teams overall, and two additional teams (decided by a mini-tournament between the 7th-12th ranked teams) go on to the grand finals where the ultimate Overwatch League Season 2 winner will be crowned.
Apex Legends, a free-to-play, battle royale spinoff of the Titanfall series, is reportedly launching for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC very soon.Esports journalist Rod Breslau tweeted about Apex Legends, which is said to be rolling out tomorrow, February 4.Sources who have played and have knowledge of the game confirm to me that Respawn is set to announce and release Apex Legends on Monday Feb 4, a free to play Titanfall Hero Battle Royale game for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) February 2, 2019Apex Legends will feature heroes with unique abilities, with a maximum of 60 players per server in battle royale fashion.Similar to other games in the genre, there will also be an option to compete in teams, up to three players each.
It’s finally the end of January, which means GamesBeat Summit 2019 is closer than ever.This time we’d like to introduce to you the amazing Peter Levin, Eric Goldberg, and Rami Ismail.And don’t forget — this year GamesBeat takes place in Los Angeles at Two Bit Circus, a “micro-amusement park” that’s like an arcade meets Ready Player One in the LA Arts District.And now, we’re ready to name our next four speakers for the event taking place April 23 and April 24.He’s president of interactive ventures at Lionsgate and co-chairman of the Immortals, the Los Angeles esports team, which recently created a new team, LA Valiant, to participate in the Overwatch League, as well as an investor in the Premiere League football club, Swansea City.Levin is the founder of Course of the Force, an annual Olympic torch-style lightsaber relay, in partnership with Lucasfilm, which leads up to San Diego Comic Con International and benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Mobile esports provider Skillz said that the top 10 mobile esports players earned more than $8 million in 2018, with seven of the 10 rankings claimed by women.The prizes earned by this year’s winners were three times larger than that earned by 2017’s top players, which is a good sign of the growth of esports in the $70 billion mobile game market.“When I first started competing on the Skillz platform, I never realized this was something I could do professionally,” says Jennifer Park (jpark87), a college engineering student from Westland, Michigan.“The prizes I’ve earned from playing Skillz games have helped put me through college.”As the industry’s revenue has increased, competitive gaming prize pools have also grown.Prizes from esports tournaments such as Dota 2’s The International topped $25 million last year, now exceeding those of prestigious offline sports events such as racing’s Indianapolis 500 and pro golf’s The Masters.
We Are Social and Hootsuite’s latest collection of Global Digital reports reveals that internet users are growing by an average of more than one million new users every day, with all of the original ‘Next Billion Users’ now online.There are 4.39 billion internet users in 2019, an increase of 366 million (9 percent) versus January 2018.3.26 billion people use social media on mobile devices in January 2019, with growth of 297 million new users representing a year-on-year increase of more than 10 percentWith thousands of charts across more than 200 global and local reports, this year’s Global Digital series is one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date studies of today’s connected world.It’s worth noting that some of this growth may be attributable to more up-to-date reporting of user numbers, but that doesn’t detract from the implications of this growth.Internet penetration in the South Asian country now stands at roughly 41 percent – a considerable improvement over the 31 percent that we reported this time last year.
In 2018, it’s estimated that esports audiences will reach a global monthly total of 167 million people, larger than that of Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League.Gamers are active in a set of channels that are often unfamiliar terrain for many brands, such as Twitch, Reddit and Discord.Not to forget all the different gaming genres—shooters, MOBAs, sports—each with its own games, leagues, competitions, influencers and teams.This can all be incredibly confusing for brands, and there isn’t a definitive toolkit out there that helps brands navigate this space.Slowly build your credibility and focus on the long-termIt’s easier for some brands to enter the market than it is for others.
FanAI, an audience analysis platform for eSports and streaming, is buying New York-based Waypoint Media to improve its analytics tools for eSports players and streamers.The deal means that Waypoint’s Twitch Middleware API and the “Raven” tracking and URL shortener will be added to FanAI’s product portfolio.The middleware tech has the ability to track every unique registered Twitch viewer so streamers can monitor average watch time, median watch time, and channel engagement.Financial terms were not disclosed, but a person with knowledge of the deal called the acquisition a significant all-cash transaction.That likely means a nice outcome for Waypoint’s backers, the New York-based investment firm Grand Central Tech.FanAI Founder and CEO Johannes Waldstein said of the acquisition, “The way they are able to turn billions of data points into workable information is like nothing else available on the market.
FanAI, an esports audience analytics company, announced it has acquired esports data startup, Waypoint Media.It’s one more sign that esports is heating up, as market researcher Newzoo forecasts esports will become a $1.7 billion market by 2021.FanAI will integrate Waypoint’s tools into its existing platform to provide additional granular audience data points that give clients unique actionable insights in order to guide marketing, sponsorship, and fan activation decisions.The deal includes Waypoint’s Twitch Middleware applications programming interface (API), URL shortener and tracking platform Raven, and an engineering team with over five years of experience in esports data.The Twitch Middleware API will add a deeper level of understanding to the audience profile and measuring return on investment (ROI).The API has the ability to track every unique registered Twitch viewer so the company can look at the distribution of data points such as: average watch time, median watch time, and channel engagement.
Indonesian conglomerate Salim Group has entered into a joint venture with esports organizer ESL.The partnership is a move by the multi-industry company to increase its presence in the digital sphere and cater to a younger audience.The deal was signed in September, allowing ESL to host esport championships in Indonesia.
State Farm announced today that it has entered a sponsorship agreement with Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo, one of the biggest Fortnite streamers in the world.DrLupo often plays with Richard Tyler Blevins, the Fortnite player better known as Ninja, who is the most popular streamer in the world with over 13 million followers on Twitch.DrLupo has just shy of 3 million subscribers.He is also captain of esports group Rogue’s Fortnite team.DrLupo raised $1.3 million for St. Jude’s Research Hospital in 2018, and he was nominated for a Game Award last year for Content Creator of the Year, a category that Ninja won.This is the insurance company’s first sponsorship of an esports star, although State Farm has been evolved with esports before.