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#Goldenstate Warriors unveil Hunter Leigh as head of #Esports $GMBL $ATVI $TTWO $GAME $

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 10:19 AM on Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

  • Golden State Warriors esports arm has named Hunter Leigh as its head of esports.
  • Comes after the NBA Championship team were confirmed as an partner in Riot Games’ new North American League of Legends Championship Series franchise system.

In the role, Leigh will oversee esports activity related to the Warriors itself, who are set to compete in the NBA 2K League as well as the newly named “Golden State Guardians”, the brand that will enter the NA LCS for the new season.

Hunter Leigh is a man with an array of experience in esports. Prior to this role, he was head of esports operations for Yahoo Esports which shut back in June following Verizon’s acquisition of the Yahoo brand. He has also set up several esports events in the growing University and College space in the United States, including in League of Legends and FGC titles.

Leigh commented in a release: “The Warriors are such a well-respected sports franchise and organization, and I am fortunate that they selected me to help steward their entrance into esports. I’m eager to hit the ground running as it relates to player acquisitions and building competitive teams for both League of Legends and the NBA 2K League. The Warriors have a proven model for championship success, and I am looking to bring their player development and analytical approach to the esports space.”

Esports Insider says: The Warriors have in Leigh a man with a great understanding of the esports scene. With regards to folk that can oversee a successful entrance into esports and truly understand the demographic, there’s likely few candidates better suited to the role. We look forward to seeing who the Golden Guardians sign as they look to be competitive in what should be an intriguing first season of the new LCS.


What I learned visiting my first live #Esports tournament $GMBL $ATVI $TTWO $GAME $

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 9:36 AM on Monday, November 20th, 2017

  • The appeal of the live experience for most sports is obvious
  • For all the convenience of a televised game, it can’t compare to the sense of scale and 3D perspective you get actually seeing professional sports in person;
  • Watching plays develop and players perform nearly superhuman feats right in front of you.

Just watching on Twitch isn’t the same as being immersed in the crowd.

Kyle Orland – 11/19/2017, 10:00 AM

At this point, I don’t have much patience for the argument that eSports fans should stop watching other people play video games and just play those games themselves.

For one, it’s an argument that few people make about spectator sports like basketball and football, where the skill difference between a pro and a novice is roughly the same as in eSports. For another, the thrill of watching a competitor at the top of his or her game is entirely distinct (and better in some ways) from competing yourself.


Ars Live Episode 18: Gary Whitta explores geeky Hollywood

What I’ve never quite understood, though, is the concept of paying money for a ticket to watch a live eSports competition in-person.

The appeal of the live experience for most sports is obvious. For all the convenience of a televised game, it can’t compare to the sense of scale and 3D perspective you get actually seeing professional sports in person, watching plays develop and players perform nearly superhuman feats right in front of you.

None of that really applies in eSports, where you’re basically going to a large room to watch a big screen that has the exact same game content you could see at home on Twitch, down to the pixel. Watching the eSports competitors themselves as they sit like statues and become part of the machine during a match hardly seems worth the price of admission, either.

Yet plenty of people pay that admission. The League of Legends World Finals alone filled 80 to 90,000 seats in the Beijing National Stadium this year. What were these people seeing that I wasn’t?

To find out, I decided to check out the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) Season 4 world finals in nearby MGM National Harbor last weekend. What I quickly found out is that the point of being in a live eSports crowd is, to a large extent, just being part of the crowd.

Take a seat

Rocket League is by far my favorite eSport to watch as a spectator. While I can follow a high-level game of Hearthstone or Smash Bros. with the best of them, Rocket League‘s simple two-teams, two-goals format makes it incredibly simple for even a novice player to keep track of the action.

Watching a high-level Rocket League match, you get a real sense of the strategy and coordination necessary for the three-person teams to balance an offensive threat with the ability to rush back and knock a ball away on defense. And while pros make it look exceedingly simple to make precision passes and shots while rocketing at high speeds through the air, regular players know how hard it is to just make contact with a ball high above the arena.

I’ve only been a casual fan of the RLCS, checking out a few stray matches when my weekend schedule allows. Going into the finals weekend, I was at least peripherally aware of the stories surrounding competing teams like the robotically efficient Cloud 9 and the crowd-pleasing G2 eSports. I also knew that these hometown favorite North American teams were extreme underdogs to the European powerhouses like Method and Gale Force.

But it was something else to see a crowd of 3,000 react to those teams right in front of me, rather than just hearing their cheers through an ambient microphone via Twitch. In that National Harbor ballroom, the crowd itself practically became a participant in the competition, going crazy for the North American teams and icily silent for the European competition.

The competitors themselves almost faded into the background in this environment. Ghost Gaming player Zanejackey tried to get the crowd riled up at one point, standing and raising his arms above his head to get the noise pumping louder, but he received little to no notice for his efforts. While the crowd was treated to live webcam close-ups of the players at many points in the matches, the stony-faced videos may as well have been photographs.

What the crowd did react to was the action on those big projection screens. In tense overtime situations, the entire room swooned in crescendo with each shot and cried out in pain or glee with every close miss or solid goal. In quiet moments between matches, audience members might pick up a cheer of “Let’s go G2!” or try to get a wave going through the stands.

If I had been watching from my living room, I wouldn’t have heard the guy sitting behind me exclaim “it’s getting lit now, man!” after a big overtime goal. I wouldn’t have witnessed a neighbor literally jump up and slap his knee after a close crossbar miss.

I’m still not sure these kinds of moments are in and of themselves worth the significant money it costs to attend one of these events live. That said, I can now say I at least understand the potential appeal of sharing a dramatic eSports competition with a few thousands strangers.

Listing image by Kyle Orland


Game Digital bets on #Esports with plans for up to 100 ‘gaming arenas’ $GMBL $ATVI $TTWO $GAME $

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 3:02 PM on Thursday, November 16th, 2017


  • Game Digital plans to open 35 Belong “gaming arenas” by the end of the financial year
  • The retailer’s chief executive Martyn Gibbs told The Daily Telegraph today: “Our focus on bringing grassroots eSports to the UK and Spain will remain a massive priority for us.

Jack Torrance

Game Digital is betting on eSports as it bids to restore profitability, with plans to open 35 of its Belong in-store “gaming arenas” by the end of next year and 100 or more in the longer term.

The retailer’s chief executive Martyn Gibbs told The Daily Telegraph today: “Our focus on bringing grassroots eSports to the UK and Spain will remain a massive priority for us.

“The growth in eSports viewership [and participation] is significant, and I think we’re really well-placed to capitalise on that.”

Britain’s biggest videogames retailer has struggled to maintain market share and profits since going into administration in 2012. It relisted on the stock exchange in 2014 but its shares slumped as low as 19.3p earlier this year, from highs of 335p in 2015.

eSports have become big business of late, with some top competitors filling arenas and taking home millions of dollars of prize money

Game has been heavily reliant on the so-called “console cycle”, with hardware sales peaking as the industry’s big players Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo release new iterations every six-to-eight years.

Mr Gibbs said the company’s emerging non-retail business could reduce that “cyclicality” in the future.

Game’s events, eSports and digital revenues more than doubled to £13.2m in the 52 weeks to July 29, it revealed today, though that still represents just 1.7pc of its total group sales.

The retailer’s Belong arenas are based on a similar concept in South Korea, where gamers can visit any of 10,000 “PC bangs” and pay by the hour to play on top-spec PCs and the latest consoles.

It has opened 18 so far since summer 2016, and customers racked up 89,000 hours of gaming in the first quarter of the company’s current financial year.

Mr Gibbs was speaking after Game revealed a pre-tax loss of £10m for last year, down from a £1.1m profit previously.

Group sales were down 3.6pc to £782.9m, despite booming sales of the new Nintendo Switch console, which boosted revenues towards the end of the year.

“We had a tough first half to 2016/17 but market dynamics improved significantly in the second half,” Mr Gibbs said.

Gross transaction values in its core retail division grew 5.4pc in the first 15 weeks of this financial year, he added.

Game Digital’s shares were down 5.3pc to 38p in afternoon trading.


The #Esports Industry Is Booming — Can #Blockchain Supercharge It? #Blockstation $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 10:11 AM on Wednesday, October 25th, 2017
  • Multi-player gaming is the king of esports and there is a belief that the blockchain can be a big benefit to its continued growth
  • video gaming industry is currently undergoing some major developments as big players are posting massive growth, with the likes of Activision BlizzardATVI +2.16%, Take-Two Interactive, and Electronic ArtsEA -0.15% (EA)

Darren Heitner , Contributor

I cover the intersection of sports and money. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Multi-player gaming is the king of esports and there is a belief that the blockchain can be a big benefit to its continued growth. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

The video gaming industry is currently undergoing some major developments as big players are posting massive growth, with the likes of Activision BlizzardATVI +2.16%, Take-Two Interactive, and Electronic ArtsEA -0.15% (EA) posting year-to-date gains as of Oct. 13 of 70%, 112% and 51% respectively. The growth has been partly driven by the recent and upcoming releases of AAA game franchises.

Aside from big budget titles, the esports scene can be credited for much of the traction driving the industry forward. The idea of creating professional leagues out of popular multiplayer titles is catching on. Just this month, the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors announced their entry into esports. They join the New York Yankees among the North American sports franchises that are buying into the growing esports scene.

Established professional sports franchises, especially soccer franchises in Europe, have been involved and invested in esports for a while now thanks to the popularity of EA Sports’ massive FIFA franchise. The emergence of other esports leagues catering to multiplayer games such as Valve’s Dota 2, Riot’s League of Legends and Blizzards’s Overwatch are also encouraging more franchises to participate.


This fusion of traditional sports and esports creates huge potential to usher in a new level of events, sponsorship, merchandise sales and betting into video games.

What makes all of this even more exciting is the introduction of blockchain into gaming. The technology that drives cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is now finding applications in the esports ecosystem.

There are several ways new blockchain ventures like (a decentralized, blockchain-based esports community) or Network Units (a blockchain-controlled multiplayer infrastructure and integration that can turn any game into an esport) are bringing blockchain and esports together.

Ending Gamer Community Toxicity

The growth of a multiplayer game and its viability for esports depends heavily on the community. A key problem for most gaming communities is toxicity. Toxic communities are filled with members who behave negatively often characterized by abusing other members, exploiting the system and cheating. For instance, the Overwatch development team announced that it is working on measures to come down hard on toxicity after receiving complaints from its community.

Managing a multiplayer game community has its challenges. For developers, sustaining a game requires a stable infrastructure that has enough capacity to handle all transactions. It also needs transparent and fair ways to handle player conduct and reputation. As a decentralized and transparent technology, blockchain offers plenty of potential for such use.

“Gamers expect a fair match and a good challenge,” says Network Units CEO Dan Shirazi. “Sadly, most of them aren’t getting it. Cheating or broken matchmaking mechanics ruin entire gaming communities. Gamers become demotivated, stop spending on content and the full economic potential of the game is missed.”

Network Units is an online gaming platform with a built-in player reputation management. It provides decentralized and scalable computing resources to augment developers’ infrastructure and mechanisms to mitigate cheating, downtime, and costly maintenance that developers often face when using traditional means.

Network Units is also creating its own NU token cryptocurrency that will drive the economy of its decentralized multiplayer infrastructure. Using the platform, game developers can avail of resources to host their multiplayer games. Other users may contribute to the platform as service providers by renting out spare hardware and bandwidth. Players may also serve as active clients who can participate in the verification process and, by doing so, earn tokens which they then are able to use for in-game purchases.

Community Involvement and Professional Development

Gaming communities also rely on continued buzz to sustain player interest. This mainly comes from community generated content. YouTube has since been filled with gaming footage and commentaries revolving around popular multiplayer games. Streaming platform Twitch continues to experience monumental growth. In order to develop its user base, Twitch recently announced that the company is working on new tools for gamers to monetize their streams. is also working on its own blockchain-based platform to meet the various needs of esports enthusiasts. The platform aims to offer merchandise, licensed betting and esports education to its users. Its education arm, dubbed Esports University, seeks to encourage gamers to become esports professionals. Users are encouraged to create guides and video tutorials to help other gamers improve their skills.

To manage the platform, will be using blockchain to power its Esports Reward Token (ERT). Contributors of high quality content will be rewarded with ERTs which may then be used to avail of the other services within the platform. Token holders will also be able to exchange their ERTs to fiat currencies of their choice.

“Blockchain and cryptocurrency allow the decentralization of the esports world. From content creation to participation we see many solutions emerging. One major factor behind this is that users can follow and see every transaction on the blockchain, which makes everything trustworthy and openly visible for anyone. This helps not only us, but the whole industry to become more professional and grow,” said co-founder Benjamin Föckersperger.

Indeed, blockchain’s transparency could also help in restricting access to the betting functionality to prevent underage users and those with gambling problems from accessing these services.

Evolving the Ecosystem

This growing draw of esports is prompting developers to give focus to multiplayer gaming. There is much potential in games that eventually become the focus of esports leagues. The substantial market of gamers worldwide offers lucrative opportunities for established sports franchises and brands, and encourages their increased participation in esports.

For esports to succeed; however, the state of gaming communities must improve. Issues such as toxicity and low community involvement must be addressed. Fortunately, developments in technologies such as blockchain could be offering the necessary solutions to improve game services, curb toxicity and encourage participation through rewards. These new mechanisms should help the continued growth of esports.

Darren Heitner is the Founder of South Florida-based HEITNER LEGAL, P.L.L.C. and Sports Agent Blog. He authored the book, How to Play the Game: What Every Sports Attorney Needs to Know.

Follow @DarrenHeitner


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.


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.


Interested in Activision Blizzard $ Check out Esports Entertainment Group $ #Esports #Egambling #Egaming

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:23 AM on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Esports large

Online Wagering Platform for the Future of Competitive Gaming

Why Esports Entertainment Group?

“There is no other way to say it … Esports Entertainment Group represents one of the best potential mega winners I’ve seen in years.” George Tsiolis, AGORACOM Founder

“The Business of eSports Is Set To Explode…. Billions of dollars will soon be wagered on eSports competitions. Brands, consultants and investors are always looking for the next great opportunity and eSports appears to be an able applicant for the role.” Forbes Magazine

Things You Need To Know:

1.  Financing closed
2.  Will be the safest and most secure online esports gambling site due to being fully licensed and regulated by the SEC

VIDEO: eSports Investing AGORACOM at League of Legends Finals

Who is Esports Entertainment Group?