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Madison Square Garden Company Appoints Head of #Esports Division $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 9:48 AM on Friday, September 22nd, 2017

  • Esports are second only to movies in the 18 to 25 demographic
  • Nick Allen, who until recently was the vice president of esports for video streaming service Twitch, was named the head of Madison Square Gard Company’s “growing esports division,” effective October 2nd

Nick Allen, who until recently was the vice president of esports for video streaming service Twitch, was named the head of Madison Square Gard Company’s “growing esports division,” effective October 2nd, according to the company.

Allen will be responsible for driving the company’s efforts to expand its presence in the esports industry, with a primary focus on operating Counter Logic Gaming (CLG), MSG’s newly acquired esports franchise. In his new role, Allen will serve as CLG’s chief operating officer, working with CLG Founder and President George “HotshotGG” Georgallidis on advancing the company’s initiatives, including creating live, tickets events. He will also be in charge of creating esports events at MSG venues across the country.

The Madison Square Garden Company operated a number of high profile venues around the country including New York’s Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, CA; The Chicago Theatre; and the Wang Theatre in Boston. The company also owns the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers and the New York Liberty (WNBA).

This July, Madison Square Garden bought a controlling interest in Counter Logic Gaming, which was founded in 2010 as a League of Legends team. CLG now fields teams in a variety of esports including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Hearthstone, Call of Duty and Super Smash Bros.

“We couldn’t be happier with the addition of Nick to our team here at MSG as we start to take a leadership role in the growth of the esports industry,” Jordan Solomon, executive vice president, MSG Sports, Madison Square Garden Company, said in a prepared statement. “Nick brings with him an extensive knowledge of esports and a deep set of relationships developed through overseeing some of the industry’s most popular events, and he has created initiatives that have continued to grow the gaming community. His vision for the esports space will be an invaluable asset to The Madison Square Garden Company and to CLG.”

Prior to joining Twitch in 2015, Allen was the esports operations manager for Riot Games, establishing the organization’s first team dedicated to the operation of esports competitions, including League of Legends World Championships, Championship Series, and Challenger Series. Before Riot Games, he served as an esports division and operations manager for IGN Entertainment.

Source: http://www.rollingstone.com/glixel/news/madison-square-garden-company-appoints-esports-head-w504697

Here’s why professional #sports teams are buying #Esports teams $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 8:17 AM on Thursday, September 21st, 2017

WATCH VIDEO HERE

  • TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017 we sat down with three experts from the esports world to explain why you should start paying attention to the industry.
  • Heather Garozzo, a former competitive Counter Strike player and current Director of Fan Marketing for Team Dignitas, told us what a day in the life of a professional esports player is like.
  • And surprisingly, it’s not all that different from a traditional athlete.

Besides spending upwards of five hours a day practicing, players also work with coachs and study gameplay film, receive media and press training, and even attend mandatory workout sessions to make sure they keep in shape. Most professional teams also employ private chefs to make sure players are eating healthy meals.

The conversation then shifted to the difference between professional sports and esports, and why the sports industry is so focused on getting into the sports business. Stratton Sclavos, a partner at Vision Venture Partners and the former CEO of the San Jose Sharks, explained how traditional sports teams can help esports teams scale and benefit from the lessons that professional sports teams have learned in the past.

And Craig Barry, EVP and Chief Content Officer for Turner Sports, explained the differences between esports broadcasting and traditional sports broadcasting, and how advertisers are getting creative when it comes to targeting esports fans.

Watch the video above to see the full talk and hear more about the world of esports.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/20/heres-why-professional-sports-teams-are-buying-esports-teams/

Toronto Raptors, #NBA take ‘logical’ step into new frontier: Elite #Esports league $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:26 AM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Could the day come where more people watch the video-game avatars of average folks than superstar NBA athletes?

Don’t laugh. The growth of esports — defined as “a multiplayer video game played competitively for spectators, typically by professional gamers” — has been nothing short of staggering.

Millions of people love to watch these top-notch players show their stuff. Sometimes, they even fill up arenas, and it’s only getting bigger and bigger every year.

The NBA joined forces with Take-Two Interactive, publisher of the NBA 2K video game series, to create a new league that will begin play in 2018, with 17 NBA franchises, including the Toronto Raptors, taking part in the inaugural season.

“It all started last February, when (NBA commissioner Adam Silver) and Strauss Zelnick (CEO of Take-Two) announced we were going to be doing the league, but even before that, we had been exploring the esports space, trying to figure out where we could fit into it,” Brendan Donohue said Monday.

Donohue, the managing director of the NBA 2K esports league, was in town to shed some light on the venture, since many of a certain age don’t have much of a clue of what it is all about, or why esports is so popular.

“It’s 5-on-5. Oftentimes, people are used to seeing video games being played 1-on-1,” Donohue said. “This actually is going to be five human beings playing five other human beings, controlling every player on the virtual court. So there will be no artificial intelligence whatsoever.

“The good thing is, several of our owners previously had and still own other teams and other titles … So we’ve had our owners that have been passionate about esports in general, so it just made logical sense for us to make the next step. The NBA has been running a league for two-quarters of a century, and then you have 2K, which is the most popular sports game amongst the major leagues. It just seemed logical for us to take a run at this.”

In this Sept. 3 file photo, fans watch a League of Legends esports competition at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris. Christophe Simon / AFP / Getty Images

There is already a waiting list for Year 2, as other NBA teams look to join the party.

And why not? Last month, Palisade Research released an esports primer which read in part: “The Esports sector is forecasted to generate $1.13 billion (U.S.) in 2017, with 258 million viewers. By 2021, revenue is expected to grow to $2.70 billion, and to 438 million viewers. Some analysts peg revenues to reach as high as $3.31 billion, which would almost match the revenues of the established National Hockey League ($3.7 billion), and on the heels of the National Basketball Association ($4.8 billion).”

Donohue said he has heard those projections, but right now, the focus is on “just wanting to be the best possible.”

He is well aware of how the financial world feels about esports, though.

“For example, you look at something like Twitch, which has 10 million daily viewers,” Donohue said. “Goldman Sachs has looked at it and I’ve seen their reports — they predict it will be 20 million (daily viewers) by 2020. Everyone who is looking at this is predicting both viewership and revenues to continue to explode in the near future.”

Donohue knew Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment wouldn’t sit on the sidelines.

“I’ve known the folks at MLSE for a long period of time,” he said. “They are extremely innovative, they are very digitally savvy, they are a great organization and I know they are passionate about this space, so I assumed they were going to be in.”

Could the NHL follow in the NBA’s footsteps in getting into esports in a major way?

It could happen down the line considering the massive financial potential. Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis is already heavily involved, and MLSE, Madison Square Garden (New York Knicks and Rangers) and Joshua Harris (Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils), three of the 17 initial NBA participants, also own NHL franchises.

In this March 1 file photo, Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka (centre) drives to the hoop against the Washington Wizards. Chris Young / CP

MLSE declined to comment on Monday about a potential Maple Leafs esports franchise.

At a business summit back in March, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said, “We envision something that would augment a fan’s affinity to his team … because, ultimately, I could envision a league-wide competition where each club runs a competition to see who will be represented in the equivalent of our championship, but for our esport game.”

At the time, Bettman said the NHL had been discussing the idea for over a year, “and if (NHL video game maker Electronic Arts) can continue to get some traction in developing a game that would work like that, we’ll be in that business.”

Which would be no surprise at all to Donohue.

“I would expect other leagues to follow our lead and to get involved in this. I would expect that to happen. I think it’s great for esports,” he said.

“Other (professional league) games being successful just continues to grow the broader universe.”

ONLY THE BEST

The players for the new NBA 2K esports league will come from all over.

“Our goal, to make this the best league possible, is to find the best 85 players on the planet. They can be anywhere in the world, they can be male, they can be female — we just want the best 85 players,” league managing director Brendan Donohue told Postmedia on Monday.

Players will be paid by their respective teams. Tryouts will start around Feb. 1, 2018, with a draft to follow in mid-March. The season will run from May 1 and go for 15 weeks, before concluding with two weeks of playoffs ending the third week of August.

When most people think esports, if they know anything about the phenomenon in the first place, they picture teenagers and people in their early 20s playing video games. Donohue said NBA 2K players don’t really fit that description.

“We actually don’t skew that young. So, 58 per cent of our player are actually over 25, so we skew a little older,” he said. “I think there are some myths about our players in general. They’re actually more likely to be educated, more likely to have a higher income. There are some myths out there about esports.”

For the first season, the 17 teams will play “in a central studio, or maybe two, somewhere in North America,” Donohue said.

Games won’t be played in sold-out arenas just yet, but that could happen down the line.

“We’re excited to be in Toronto (long-term),” Donohue said. “When they’ve had esports events (at the Air Canada Centre) before they’ve been very successful. We see this as a great market.”

Source: http://nationalpost.com/sports/basketball/nba/toronto-raptors-nba-take-logical-step-into-new-frontier-elite-esports-league

INTERVIEW: Michael Heina, Nielsen Sports – #Esports Will Become One of the Top Five #Sports in Germany” $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 9:55 AM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
  • Global market research company Nielsen opened up its own esports division
  • Goal is to assess the space  and provide reliable, and independent data, while meeting the constant need for sponsorship valuation

In August, the global market research company Nielsen opened up its own esports division. Like its other verticals, Nielsen Esports’ goal is to assess the space  and provide reliable, and independent data, while meeting the constant need for sponsorship valuation.

While the company will approach esports in several global regions, one of its first published reports looked specifically at the German market. Some key findings of the nation-wide study noted that 23 percent of those asked consider themselves interested in esports, while a high 62 percent said they wanted to visit esports events in the future (with many opportunities to do so, with ESL One Cologne, ESL One Hamburg and Riot Game’s EU LCS games).

At the SPOBIS Gaming and Media summit, The Esports Observer spoke to Michael Heina, the head of esports Europe for Nielsen Sport.

In the discussion, Michael evaluates the community’s reaction to Nielsen’s esports debut, the reasons behind Germany’s large esports audience, and why more in the country are becoming accustomed to sponsors at events.

Nevada will soon allow #Esports betting on ‘multiple events’ $GMBL #Egambling

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 3:58 PM on Monday, September 11th, 2017

  • Casino Esports conference took place in Las Vegas last week and one of the most key takeaways from the speakers was confirmation that Nevada will soon allow betting on esports across ‘multiple events’.
  • City is embracing esports in a multi-faceted approach

As reported by Casino News Daily, this came from Karl Bennison, the man in charge of running the Enforcement Division of the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Whilst no time frame was given for the delivery of the rule change, Nevada sportsbooks will be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of this.

The city is embracing esports in a multi-faceted approach, with the likes of the Luxor transforming a 30,000 sq foot space into an esports venue, the Downtown Grand continuing to host tournaments, and Millennial Esports, which boasts a dedicated venue and studio in downtown Vegas, investing across the esports spectrum.

As it stands, esports falls under a category in Nevada (gaming regulation 22.120) in which operators have had to apply to allow betting on single events at a time making it a tiresome and time consuming procedure with each event. This has been given the go ahead twice thus far with IEM Oakland and Dreamhack Masters Las Vegas. Momentum has been growing though, and news of the Nevada State Bill 420 signed by Nevada State Governor Brian Sandoval back in May, signalled that change was on its way.

This statement from Bennison reconfirms that change is coming, and is part of a wider push by the city and state at large to make Las Vegas a known destination for all things esports.

For those interested in the convergence of betting, esports and casinos they should look to attend Betting on Esports Conference this week. Part of the wider Betting on Sports show which will see over 1,200 in attendance, there’ll be six esports focused panels with one titled ‘Saving Las Vegas’ and focused on the opportunities that esports offers casinos, and indeed, vice versa.

Speaking on this one will be Millennial Esports CEO Alex Igelman, GameCo CEO Blaine Graboyes, Downtown Grand Chairman Seth Schorr, with iGaming Capital Director Melissa Blau moderating.

You can read more about this here, and secure tickets here.

Esports Insider says: Another step on the path to Nevada fully embracing esports betting. The sportsbooks will be delighted at the news, but will be keen to know, just as we are, the time frame for this to be actioned.

http://www.esportsinsider.com/2017/09/nevada-will-soon-allow-esports-betting-multiple-events/

Invested in Millennial Esports $GAME.ca ? Esports Entertainment $GMBL signed +60 affiliate streamers, with>250M online views, last 30 days

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 4:55 PM on Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Esports large

  • Signed over 60 affiliate Esports streamers at gamescom 2017
  • Collectively had over 250 million online video views in the last 30 days
  • Company will be the safest and most secure online Esports gambling site due to being fully licensed and regulated by the SEC
  • Received its Curaçao Egaming License

    VIDEO: eSports Investing AGORACOM at League of Legends Finals

#Esports Entertainment Group $GMBL Signs Over 60 Affiliate Streamers At #gamescom 2017

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 8:11 AM on Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Esports large

  • Signed over 60 affiliate Esports streamers representing an audience of Esports viewers
  • Collectively had over 250 million online video views in the last 30 days

ST. MARY’S, ANTIGUA–(Sep 6, 2017) – Esports Entertainment Group Inc., (OTCQB: GMBL) (or the “Company”), a licensed online gambling company with a specific focus on Esports wagering, is pleased to announce that at gamescom 2017, it signed over 60 affiliate Esports streamers representing an audience of Esports viewers which collectively had over 250 million online video views in the last 30 days. gamescom 2017, is the world’s largest event for computer and video games.

As affiliates of the Company, Esports streamers will be able to monetize their respective audiences by earning commissions on all Esports gambling customers registering and playing with Esports Entertainment Group.

Esports Entertainment Group exhibited in a premium 10×20 booth with 8 full-time and part-time employees. The Company demonstrated its Esports betting platform for Esports streamers, which played a significant role in their signings. gamescom 2017, the biggest consumer gaming conference in the world, had approximately 900 exhibitors, 350,000 visitors and 650 journalists from 106 countries attending this year. For the digital gaming world is it considered the meeting point for global companies from the entertainment industry and the international gaming community.

Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group stated “gamescom 2017 far surpassed our expectations. The overwhelming response from Esports streamers has served as further confirmation that our position as the safest, most secure and transparent Esports betting platform on the planet will be very well accepted. We are excited as we are set to launch with all of our new affiliate partners.”

This press release is available on our Online Investor Relations Community for shareholders and potential shareholders to ask questions, receive answers and collaborate with management in a fully moderated forum at https://agoracom.com/ir/EsportsEntertainmentGroup.

About Esports Entertainment Group

Esports Entertainment Group Inc. is a licensed online gambling company specifically focused on eSports wagering. Esports Entertainment intends to offer wagering on eSports events in a fully licensed, regulated and secured platform to the global eSports audience, excluding the United States. In addition, Esports Entertainment intends to offer users from around the world the ability to participate in multi-player video games tournaments online for cash prizes. Esports Entertainment is led by a team of industry and technical experts from the online gambling and video game industries, eSports, marketing, legal and financial professionals. The Company maintains offices in St. Mary’s, Antigua and Barbuda. Esports Entertainment common stock is listed on the OTCQB under the symbol GMBL. For more information please visit www.esportsentertainmentgroup.com.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
The information contained herein includes forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events or to our future financial performance, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond our control and which could, and likely will, materially affect actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Any forward-looking statement reflects our current views with respect to future events and is subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to our operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity. We assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. The safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 protects companies from liability for their forward-looking statements if they comply with the requirements of the Act.

Corporate Finance Inquiries
Stephen Cotugno
Vice President, Corporate Development
steve@esportsentertainmentgroup.com
201-220-5745

All Investor Relations Inquiries
AGORACOM
ESPO@agoracom.com
https://agoracom.com/ir/eSportsEntertainmentGroup

Once a novelty, coaching a growing necessity in competitive #Esports $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 9:24 AM on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017
  • Rising popularity of the sport has also created a demand for coaches.
  • “I saw how eSports is similar to traditional sports. I saw an opportunity. There wasn’t really anyone who was doing data publicly on League of Legends,” he said referring to the popular multiplayer battle arena game.

By Matthew Black, CBC News Posted: Sep 03, 2017 9:00 AM PTLast Updated: Sep 03, 2017 1:34 PM PT

Live eSports events like this 2013 competition in Los Angeles have also packed the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum.

Live eSports events like this 2013 competition in Los Angeles have also packed the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum. (The Associated Press/Mark J. Terrill)

When Denis Beausoleil first began breaking down data, he thought it would help his fledgling basketball coaching career.

Beausoleil, 36, learned data analysis skills while completing an undergraduate degree, and did well enough to earn a spot at the University of Victoria’s coaching institute.

“I did it to help myself be a better basketball coach but it opened up opportunities,” he said.

One of those opportunities materialized away from the hardwood and in the virtual world of competitive video gaming, better known as eSports. It’s an industry that has ballooned in popularity in recent years, drawing millions of dollars in corporate sponsorships as well as drawing thousands of fans to packed arenas, including in Toronto and Vancouver.

The rising popularity of the sport has also created a demand for coaches.

So, when Beausoleil found himself at an anime convention nearly three years ago and spotted a UBC eSports booth, he introduced himself and made the team an offer:  take the coaching and analytical skills he’d use with a basketball team and apply it to the world of competitive gaming.

“I saw how eSports is similar to traditional sports. I saw an opportunity. There wasn’t really anyone who was doing data publicly on League of Legends,” he said referring to the popular multiplayer battle arena game.

UBC eSports

UBC’s eSports team won back-to-back collegiate League of Legends titles in 2015 and 2016. (UBC eSports Association/Facebook)

Last year, Beausoleil helped the UBC squad beat 31 other collegiate teams to win its second straight LOL Campus Series title in 2016 as the top college team in North America.

He’s turned that experience into data analyst jobs for both professional eSports and basketball organizations.

“I coached basketball for 10 years before I got paid anything … I was happy to volunteer my time. I wanted the experience and to learn about the game.”

He’s one of a growing number of eSports coaches who rely on experience, data, and management skills to help amateur and professional players improve their play.

“You don’t have to be the greatest statistician. It’s a piece of the argument and I try to make it convincing.”

Big league coaches

Brandon “Mash” Phan is just 22, but has already been playing professionally for almost 5 years.

Phan picked up League of Legends for the first time on Christmas Day 2009, and by the next summer grew confident that he could play for more than just fun.

Brandon Phan

Brandon Phan, seen here competing for Echo Fox in July of 2017, says the best coaches help eSports players with both their physical and mental games. (Riot Games/Flickr)

“I realized that this could be a thing for me,” he said.

Since then, the Toronto resident has played for several pro teams and has seen coaching evolve from a novelty to a necessity.

“It was funny to see a coach. People thought ‘this guy is just here for show.’ Now, we have almost a minimum of two coaches per team.”

Phan now plays for Echo Fox’s League of Legends squad — a team owned by Canadian-born former NBA player Rick Fox — where Beausoleil provides data-based scouting reports on opponents.

His typical in-season work day starts with an hour-long players meeting with coaches to talk strategy and gameplan.

“We talk about anything we want to try. Anything we’ve seen from other regions.”

A three-hour practice session follows that meeting, then an hour break for lunch before the team ends the day with another three-hour practice.

“Most coaches are former players so there’s a lot of respect for those in the coaching role.”

Phan says good coaches go beyond gameplay, and work to improve teamwork and maintain a calm, healthy environment.

“Coaching facilitates a healthy discussion and positive feedback and making sure each player owns up to their own play if they misplayed it or played well.”

Working up the ranks

Coaching isn’t just for members of elite teams, it’s also for those players looking to replace them.

Hearthstone player and UBC eSports alum Benton “ItzBolt” Chan has made coaching amateur players into a steady sideline business.

Benton Chan

Benton Chan, seen here while playing for UBC eSports Association, now coaches players as a part-time job. (Vivian Chung/UBC eSports Association)

Chan charges clients $15 US an hour for an individual online coaching session lasting up to four hours long where he works on strategy and gameplay.

“For a while I was thinking I don’t need a part time job because I can do this on the side.”

Chan, 23, uses social media to promote his service and typically draws players from as far away as Asia and the United States who are looking to advance to the elite level.

He says it’s a competitive industry, with other coaches charging anywhere between $5 and $150 US per hour for one-on-one sessions.

“I have to convince my clients that I’m the better coach.”

He helps players prepare for tournament play, and advises them ahead of tournaments on how to beat elite level talent. He says that while coaching is important, just like in real sports, it’s up to the players to apply the lessons in future competitions.

“If you want to be better in the long term you want a coach who can get you thinking.”

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/coaching-competitive-esports-1.4269619

The Future Of #Gaming: Activision Blizzard $ATVI , The Future Of #Egambling: #Esports Entertainment $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 3:33 PM on Friday, September 1st, 2017
  • The gaming industry is growing rapidly, though mobile gaming is set to displace older consoles.
  • Activision Blizzard has made key investments in eSports and will look to capitalise on its march to the mainstream.

Introduction

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) is a primarily a video game developer founded less than a decade ago through the merger of Vivendi Games and Activision. It operates through five business units: Activision, Blizzard Entertainment, Major League Gaming (a professional eSports organisation), Activision Blizzard Studios, and King Digital Entertainment (a social games development company).

The company owns and operates record breaking franchises, including the beloved Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Destiny and King’s social behemoth Candy Crush Saga. With a market cap of $47 billion, it is one of two dedicated gaming companies on the S&P 500, along with EA (NASDAQ:EA) at $36 billion. The gaming development industry is highly competitive, with a number of players, including Konami (NYSE:KNM), Ubisoft (OTCPK:OTCPK:UBSFY), Capcom, and Sony (NYSE:SNE).

Gaming Continues Breakneck Growth

Overall sales, including hardware, software, and accessories, rose 19% Y/Y to $588M, according to NPD Group, while PC and console software were up 14% and 17%, respectively. A large portion of that increase across the board belonged to ATVI’s Crash Bandicoot renaissance, with the game’s sales in its second month since release edged out only by Nintendo’s new release Splatoon 2 in July sales.

Looking forward, Newzoo predicts that the global video game industry will grow at a CAGR of 6.2% from $101.1 billion in 2016 to $128.6 billion in 2020. The interesting segment, though, is mobile gaming, with its revenue set to grow 68% from $38.6 billion in 2016 to $64.9 billion in 2020, with its share of the total market increasing from 29% to a full 50% over that time frame.

Source: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4103698-future-gaming-activision-blizzard

Opinion: Why #Esports is in a league of its own $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:22 AM on Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Esports is the biggest growth area in gaming and is creating countless opportunities in the market, says George Brasher, MD of HP, UK and Ireland.

They’re champion athletes with the reaction times of a fighter pilot. They’re elite performers that fill stadiums the world over. And they’re creating a buzz that’s unprecedented for any form of competition. These aren’t sportsmen and women who are used to rackets, bats and balls – at least not physical ones, anyway. These are eSports professionals and their tools of the trade are electronic hardware. Their growth is creating a market boom that everyone must pay attention to.

Remember when PC gaming was a niche pursuit that few people took seriously – even those who worked in technology? Those days are far behind us. That’s because eSports is now progressing at a rate that exceeds regular sports. More people watched the League of Legends World Championship than the Masters, the Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA Finals. As such, many companies have to rethink what they know about esports and look at the exciting prospect it now presents.

Take a look at the emerging eSports celebrities who resonate with a global audience. They’re the target of countless sponsorship deals and they’re also the ones helping to garner huge amounts of investment into this burgeoning industry. In fact, HP is one of those sponsors. We’re a big supporter of eSports and we partner with the athletes, leagues and major events in the eSports calendar.

This August, HP attended Gamescom, welcoming pro-gamers, esports journalists, and industry experts to discuss the future of the industry in the UK and compete in the OMEN Challenge where some of the world’s best CS:GO players skills are tested in a number of team battles. We also unveiled HP’s most powerful gaming laptop yet, the OMEN X. Studying how gamers compete at the highest levels, HP is channeling innovation towards performance, design and customisability, delivering desktop power in a laptop for gaming enthusiasts at Gamescom and beyond.

It’s not far out of the realms of possibility that esports could become a mainstream interest. It’s already being screened on UK TV with its own dedicated channel and revenues for the gaming industry stand at $4 billion per year in Britain. And from a personal standpoint, the thrill I see from my two boys transporting them from gaming event to gaming event at weekends is infectious.

But at the heart of all this is great technology. It’s hard not to be excited by the hardware already in the hands of today’s champions and what they will be using in the future. I firmly believe that VR will shape eSports and its future. Both players and spectators want to be immersed in the virtual worlds of video games. That’s why we’re working with the leading VR headset manufacturers including HTC and Microsoft to make sure VR works in harmony with the hardware powering it. Combine that with 4K UHD technology and there’s a lot to look forward to.

But before we get to this future vision, the gaming revolution continues. And it shows no sign of slowing down.

Source: http://www.pcr-online.biz/news/read/opinion-why-esports-is-in-a-league-of-its-own/039641