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

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.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/11/15/game-digital-bets-esports-plans-100-gaming-arenas/

Are #Esports going to replace the beautiful game? $GMBL #ManUtd

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:47 AM on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

  • The best gamers have millions who follow their lives. Images of Faker, a 21-year-old bespectacled South Korean described as the Michael Jordan of League Of Legends (a multiplayer online battle arena)
  • They make millions through prizes, appearance fees or merchandise. They have fans and fan clubs who sing about and chant names of star players. There are transfers between teams.

I recently took the 256 bus from Urmston, via Stretford, to Old Trafford. I was on that bus frequently as a kid and it was packed with equally young, local Manchester United fans who paid to stand on the terraces which covered all four sides of Old Trafford. The bus trip was part of the day, a raucous experience, be it mixing with fellow fans, people from other schools or goading stray away fans from the safety of the upper deck.

As I got off the 256 outside the Bishop Blaize pub on my way to watch United beat Everton, the only other passengers disembarking were five stadium catering staff. There wasn’t a single United fan.

Old Trafford has been expanded, but it’s still full for every league game and going to games is not accessible like it was. The average age of the fan has increased steadily since the Taylor Report. You still see kids at games, but they’re not the unaccompanied gangs of yore, but shepherded by an adult into the family stand. The rest of the stadium is populated largely by the middle-aged onwards

United are hamstrung as they can’t turf fans out for being old, though the club do work hard to offer tickets for cup games where demand is lower. Having established that the average age of an MUTV viewer is 53, they’re also trying to attract younger fans to a new app.

It’s not just United. A friend who stood on the terraces at his beloved AFC Wimbledon last week was struck by the profile of those around him.

“They were all old men,” he stated. “The hardcore, the faithful. I’m a bit worried about our prospects at our new home if we don’t attract more young people.”

Wimbledon have been an incredible success, but they attract crowds of 4,000 in a division where Bradford average 20,000, Portsmouth 17,000, Charlton and Blackburn 11,000. Without a benefactor, Wimbledon are doing well to be where they are, even if there’s a lack of goals and great games. My friend suspected that younger people had more exciting pursuits to occupy their time.

There are alternatives. I grew up in a football city where if you were into football, you either played it or you went to support your team. Or you did both. If you didn’t go to games then you weren’t considered a proper football fan, and televised games were few and not a substitute for the real thing.

Now, most people who support Manchester United don’t go to games. There’s been a gigantic shift, with United’s global support watching every kick on screens of varying sizes. There’s no need to miss a game. While televised football was once considered a grievous threat to match-going attendances, now it barely matters.

PA Photos

Far more people are watching football, both in person and televised, than ever before. Compare the average attendances from 1986 to today’s. Manchester United’s was 46,321 (now 75,027), Manchester City’s 24,299 (52,268), Liverpool‘s 35,271 (53,191), Arsenal‘s 23,824 (59,290), Chelsea‘s 21,984 (41,501) and Tottenham‘s 20,859 (70,724).

English football is incredibly popular, stadiums continue to expand, thanks mainly to lucrative television deals. There are three fifth-tier teams with average crowds above 4,000 – it’s unheard of outside England. But are the kids attending? And, if not, what else are they doing?

I was recently asked to host an interview on eSports in Lisbon with Sam Mathews, the founder and chairman of something called Fnatic. A Melbourne-raised Shoreditch resident, Mathews’ Fnatic has been called the Manchester United of its genre with its Counter-Strike team former world champions. The team even has a coach.

I’d never heard of it, nor knew much of eSports or eGamers – a phrase Sam quickly corrected me as a no-no, suggesting that eAthletes was more appropriate.

Athletes? It was explained that while they might not be running around a field, they were showing skills in other ways, through co-ordination, daring moves against rivals, practice and dedication. They were bringing joy to millions, too.

I assumed that people who played a lot of computer games were pasty-faced geeks who struggled with real-life social interaction. I was in for a surprise, but the interview brief seemed ridiculous. “Can eSports franchises build a brand similar to that of Real Madrid and Manchester United?”

The interview was on a stage in front of 900 seats at the Lisbon Web Summit. All appeared taken. The crowd were asked if they’d heard of Manchester United. Almost all raised their hands. Then they were asked if they’d heard of Fnatic. A similar number raised their hands.

Sam explained how 60,000 had recently watched an eSports event at Beijing’s iconic Bird Nest stadium. I struggled to get my head around why anyone would travel to watch people play computer games, but I was the odd one out here.

The best gamers have millions who follow their lives. Images of Faker, a 21-year-old bespectacled South Korean described as the Michael Jordan of League Of Legends (a multiplayer online battle arena), sobbing after an unexpected defeat last year brought an outpouring of emotion and sympathy from millions.

They make millions through prizes, appearance fees or merchandise. They have fans and fan clubs who sing about and chant names of star players. There are transfers between teams.

This phenomenon has largely escaped the mainstream – eAthletes don’t make the news or the covers of magazines, which tend to go for real-world stories. But the mainstream is now sitting up and taking notice. Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are among two of the clubs now employing professional eAthletes. There’s an alternate Dutch Eredivisie for gamers.

Thirty million watched the 2016 League Of Legends World Championship, where the winners took $2.68 million in prize money. Little wonder mainstream television channels want a piece. The people behind LA’s bid for the 2024 Olympics considered proposing eSports for inclusion.

Interview over, it was time to hear other views when I spoke to eSport fans. They wanted to know what was the big deal about paying £40 to sit in the cold and see one goal in 90 minutes at a conventional football game?

I imagined being a 10-year-old being taken to watch Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United. I’d probably have been back on Space Invaders as quickly as possible.

Other eSport advocates talked of their communities, their friendships with people around the world; technology has allowed that, though the virtual and real seem to blur. Isn’t that the same in other areas of life, when people are registered on forums under pseudonyms? United, along with several other top clubs, are trialling virtual reality in training sessions.

The eSport fans were also curious to know what was so great about travelling hundreds of miles to watch a game that had been switched for the benefit of television? And when I talked of how unhealthy it must be to spend ten franchises’ hours a day in front of a screen, they pointed out that football fans were hardly renowned for being paragons of health.

Where there’s mass interest, money will follow. The biggest Korean firms already sponsor teams of professional eAthletes. The last two championships have been staged in Los Angeles. It’s accessible, fast improving, attractive, well marketed and a threat to conventional, professional sport games such as football, cricket, baseball, boxing or rugby – sports conceived in England and exported via the British Empire. Who’s to say there shouldn’t be new mass appeal sports?

Anyway, for me – admittedly in my forties and fitting the demographic perfectly – the buzz is from anticipating everything that goes with Newcastle at home on Saturday. Should I get the bus or the tram? And those paper fanzines need protecting if it rains.

Source: http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/are-esports-going-to-replace-the-beautiful-game

Millennial #Esports Announces #Blockchain Advisory Board $GMBL #Blockstation

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 2:44 PM on Monday, November 13th, 2017
  • Leading experts, including William Mougayar, will guide implementation of blockchain-based game and digital content tokens

TORONTO, ONTARIO–Nov. 13, 2017) – Millennial Esports Corp. (TSX VENTURE:GAME) today announced it has established a Blockchain Advisory Board comprised of some of the world’s leading blockchain and funding innovation experts: William Mougayar, Miko Matsumura, and David Drake. The blockchain advisory board will be tasked with guiding the design and implementation of blockchain-based game and digital content tokens as part of the company’s integrated Esports strategy.

“The combined experience of the members of our advisory board provides Millennial with unmatched expertise in blockchain technology and innovative funding methods,” said Millennial Esports CEO, Alex Igelman. “The advisors will be a valuable resource in the development and implementation of our revolutionary blockchain tokenization strategy.”

Today’s announcement revealing the members of the Blockchain Advisory Board follows the formation of a new division of Millennial Esports focused on the creation and implementation of blockchain based ‘in game and cross platform’ game and digital content tokens. The company is currently exploring various synergies in implementing blockchain-based applications and protocols to enhance the community and user experience.

“I am very excited and looking forward to working with the Millennial management team to develop blockchain tokenization strategies for their Esports ecosystem,” said new advisory board member, William Mougayar. “Millennial is uniquely positioned in the Esports content space to take advantage of the innovative features of the blockchain, as the next logical step for their evolution.”

Blockchain Advisory Board, Members

William Mougayar is a Toronto-based investor, researcher, blogger, author of The Business Blockchain (Wiley, 2016), founder of The Token Summit, and manager of WMX, a cryptocurrency index fund. He is a known authority on, and a direct participant in, the crypto-technology market, and an advisor or board member to some of the world’s leading blockchain organizations, including Ethereum, OpenBazaar, Coin Center, Steem, Stratumn, Cofound.it and Bloq.

Miko Matsumura founded crypto exchange Evercoin, and is a limited partner with Pantera Capital ICO Fund. As chief evangelist for the Java Language and Platform, Matsumura participated in the first wave of the Internet, and is now fully engaged in the crypto-fuelled Internet of value. Matsumura leads the Crypto Underground meet-up in San Francisco and is a speaker at the upcoming Token Fest. His keynote speeches include ICOnference NYC, Blockchain Life in St. Petersburg Russia, Global Blockchain Summit, The Future of Money Summit, and Coin Agenda in Las Vegas. Currently advising crypto-currency start-ups, as a 25-year executive in Silicon Valley, Matsumura has raised more $50 million in capital for Open Source start-ups. He holds a Master’s degree in Neuroscience from Yale University where he worked on abstract computational neural networks.

David Drake is the Chairman of LDJ Capital, a multi-family office based in New York, with real estate, energy, tech, media, and telecom investments and assets. Drake represented the US Commerce Department at the EU Commission in Brussels and Rome in 2012, was invited to the White House Champions of Change ceremony, and was a speaker at the UK Parliament in 2013. He speaks as an equity expert at top universities such as Cambridge, NYU, Cornell, and Columbia, and writes regularly for major publications such as WSJ, Forbes, Huffington Post, and Thomson Reuters. Drake is the co-author of the book Planet Entrepreneur and Crowdfunding and Other Animals and is the author of the upcoming book The Crowdfunding Economy and LIFEE: Life Instructions for Entrepreneurs and Executives.

Guided by the knowledge and experience of the Blockchain Advisory Board, Millennial Esports is working towards implementing its token generation strategy in early 2018.

Millennial Esports Corp.:

Millennial Esports provides turnkey global solutions that cover gaming technology and studios, event management, research and analytics, content production, and broadcasting.

  • MillennialEsports.gg is the premier operator of tournaments and building communities by and for gamers.
  • IDEAS+CARS, based out of Motorsport Valley, UK, provides industry leading knowledge and intellectual property in the burgeoning and increasingly lucrative Esports racing genre.
  • Eden Games will soon become part of Millennial Esports’ offering in motor sports and racing.
  • O’Gaming TV, based in Paris and a part of Alt Tab Productions, is an Esports video content production and events company, and a major player in live French-language esports streaming.
  • thE Arena at Neonopolis is Las Vegas’s first permanent Esports venue. The 15,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility accommodates more than 1000 people in comfort and provides technical services including facilities, expertise, and manpower for clients such as EA, Amazon, and Microsoft.
  • Stream Hatchet, operating out of Barcelona, Spain, offers complete Esports data analytics solutions. The company focuses on providing actionable intelligence in a format that is easy to understand at a glance.

Contact Information

Esports Entertainment Group $GMBL Launches Beta Test Of #VIE #Esports Wagering Platform, With Global Esports Enthusiasts Competing For Over $USD100,000 In Prizes

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 8:05 AM on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Esports large

  • Announced the beta test launch of VIE  (https://vie.gg)  the world’s safest, most secure and transparent esports wagering platform
  • Beta test will take the form of a global competition for esports enthusiasts with cash prizes and incentives totaling more than $USD100,000.   

ST. MARY’S, ANTIGUA, Nov. 08, 2017  — Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. (OTCQB:GMBL) (or the “Company”), a licensed online gambling company with a specific focus on esports wagering and 18+ gaming, is pleased to announce the beta test launch of VIE  (https://vie.gg)  the world’s safest, most secure and transparent esports wagering platform. The beta test will take the form of a global competition for esports enthusiasts with cash prizes and incentives totalling more than $USD100,000.

Highlights Of The Beta Competition Are As Follows:

  • The Beta Competition Will Last at least 2 Weeks
  • The Beta Is Open Only To 18+ Participants From Compliant Jurisdictions
  • Up To 2,000 Participants Will Receive 50 Euros Each In Their Respective Accounts
  • Participants Must Place A Minimum Of 10 Bets During The Competition
  • Participants Must Answer 2 Surveys During The Competition
  • Additional Cash Prizes Will Be Awarded To The Top 3 Winners As Follows
    • 1st Place – 1,000 Euros
    • 2nd Place – 500 Euros
    • 3Rd Place – 250 Euros
  • The Beta Competition Will Feature Wagering On The Following  Esports Games:
    • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO)
    • Dota 2
    • Call of Duty
    • Hearthstone
    • StarCraft II
  • Full Terms and Conditions Are Available On VIE  (https://vie.gg)

Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group stated “As a result of affiliate marketing developments that far exceed our expectations since July, we took the prudent step of delaying the launch of VIE to be better prepared for our new anticipated client base.  The launch of this beta competition signifies we are on the cusp of launching the most secure, transparent and regulated esports wagering platform in the world. I urge all of our esports enthusiast shareholders to participate in this beta competition.”

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 with a specific focus on esports wagering and 18+ gaming. Initially, Esports Entertainment intends to offer bet exchange style wagering on esports events in a licensed, regulated and secured platform to the global esports audience, excluding the US and EU. In addition, Esports Entertainment intends to offer users from around the world the ability to participate in multi-player mobile and PC video game tournaments for cash prizes. Esports Entertainment is led by a team of industry professionals and technical experts from the online gambling and the video game industries, and esports. The Company holds licenses to conduct online gambling and 18+ gaming on a global basis, excluding the US and EU, in Curacao, Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Canada. The Company maintains offices in Antigua. Esports Entertainment common stock is listed on the OTCQB under the symbol GMBL.  For more information 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.

Contact:

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

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

As #Esports Continues to Grow Apace, its Athletes and Startups are Winning Big $GMBL #LOL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 10:05 AM on Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

  • G2’s players are rich young men (every member of the team is male: gaming still suffers a yawning gender gap and has no women in its top hundred earners).
  • Since its 2014 foundation in Madrid the brand has won a host of top-ranking tournaments

The headquarters of G2 Esports’ Berlin team, on first glance, looks every bit what you’d expect from the home of seven young gamers. Beds are unmade, towels hang on bedroom doors and kitschy posters cover several of its bare, magnolia walls.

But while average student digs might have the odd Playstation, here gaming is life. Each inhabitant is deeply involved in his training, stopping now and then to take notes from the team’s two-man coaching staff.

It might not seem like the vanguard of a billion-dollar industry. But G2’s players are rich young men (every member of the team is male: gaming still suffers a yawning gender gap and has no women in its top hundred earners). Since its 2014 foundation in Madrid the brand has won a host of top-ranking tournaments. It is currently one of the continent’s biggest brands.

As eSports’ following skyrockets alongside its revenue, and teams like G2 chip away at its massive revenue potential, the gamers themselves are professionalizing along the lines of fellow athletes in traditional sports.

Games like League of Legends and Counter Strike are already about to take their bow at traditional sporting events. That, alongside a coming revolution in online broadcasting, is opening up huge chances for eSports firms to win big before competitive gaming truly hits the mainstream.

One of them, also in Berlin, has realized there are many ways to achieve that potential.

Jens Hilgers is something of an eSports celebrity. The 41-year-old German admits he “sucked at playing games” despite loving them. But what Hilgers lacked in playing skill, he has more than made up for in entrepreneurship. This year marks 20 since he began working in the industry. In 2000 Hilgers co-founder the Electronic Sports League (ESL) that today is an integral part of the eSports circuit.

In 2010 Hilgers took a backseat at ESL, moving from CEO to chairman of the board. It was then that he began developing DOJO Madness, a Berlin-based firm harnessing Big Data to help players improve their game.

“I guess because of my lack of significant success or progress in the games, it became clear to me that there was a problem,” he tells Red Herring. “Because I found that frustration with myself: when I lost a game, how could I win more?”

DOJO Madness was founded in 2014. To date it has secured over $12m in funding, and offers solutions for professional players and amateurs. This April the company received $6m in Series A cash from investors led by The Raine Group.

BITKRAFT, the world’s first eSports-dedicated investment vehicle, launched a year later. Hilgers is a founding partner. It began with $18.5m to invest in seed-stage eSports companies. Today it has 15 firms in its portfolio: three from Asia, and six each from Europe and North America.

BITKRAFT’s Investments represent a cross-section of the industries that are booming around competitive gaming. Tier One is an advertising and media platform working in Southeast Asia. The Esports Observer is a widely-read eSports-dedicated web portal. Level99, based in London and Berlin, is a creative agency catering to the growing demand for teams to grow their brand and fanbase.

The stats behind eSports are enough to understand each venture. Competitive gaming has an audience of around 320m. The industry is set to grow by a compound rate of 30% until 2020 when, by some estimates, it could be worth $1.5bn.

Betting on eSports has flourished too. According to Nauroscope, an analyst, the lowest estimate for the total amount bet on eSports in 2016 is marked at $5.5bn. That figure will rise to $12.9bn by 2020. Esports betting volume already outpaces that of golf, tennis and rugby.

Twitch, the Amazon-owned streaming service for gamers, has over 1m daily streamers. Ticket merchandising revenues are expected to rise from $53m to $74m this year alone. That is enticing a new generation of web broadcasters keen to use eSports to increase their footprint.

“It’s a development where big, online-first, video streaming portals are fighting for audience,” says Hilgers. “That’s the YouTubes, the Facebooks, the Netflixes. And for them eSports content is appealing as it commands a very attractive audience, as it’s still relatively unexplored.”

Part of the attraction, he adds, is that eSports is a global phenomenon: it is played the same way in Berlin, or New York, as it is in South Korea – which could be considered the “spiritual home” of eSports. Soccer might be considered a truly worldwide sport. But there are few others.

Alongside the surge in revenues, eSports’ best practitioners are starting to live more like traditional athletes. At the G2 house there is a dedicated chef, and two non-playing staff ready to kick their charges into shape. “Definitely there’s a lot more focus on players’ health and wellbeing,” says the team’s 27-year-old manager and head analyst Chris Duff. “Years ago it was generally up to the players.”

Duff holds Scrum sessions each day from 1pm to 4pm. The players start their day at 11am, and finish at 10pm. Most weeks comprise six active days. It’s a grueling schedule. But the rewards are rich. Three years ago a top Counter Strike player may have earned $2-3,000 per month. Today it’s $20-30,000 (the highest salary in soccer is Cristiano Ronaldo’s $4.8m monthly salary from Real Madrid).

“It must be much better now, much easier because you have people to take care of your stuff,” says Joey “Youngbuck” Steltenpool, 26, G2’s coach. Even a couple of years ago when Steltenpool was playing for the Copenhagen Wolves, salaries were late and it took a Herculean effort to persuade staff to buy a new sofa. “Everyone was really on their own,” he says. “It’s way more professional…disciplined.”

The Korean system, he adds, is “about a decade ahead in eSports. Professional gaming has been very normal there for around 10-15 years now because of (the 1998-developed, hugely popular game title) Starcraft: there’s a way bigger pool of people to choose from.”

But G2 is getting there. Players go to the gym and eat healthy diets. Intensive training means some pro gamers have careers as short as five years (that’s still not as short as the average NFL career, which is a staggering 2.66 years). But that is changing.

“I do think it’s interesting that careers are way longer now, because everything is structured and you have coaches, managers, cooks and everything,” says Steltenpool. “So usually years ago it was really easy to drop motivation if you were on your own, and not much was taken care of. And now, since there are so many support staff inside the house, and outside the house in the organizations which are much better structured, players have way longer careers.”

BITKRAFT has been trying to move early in finding companies to cater for eSports’ growing professionalism. Among its stable is H4X (pronounced “Hax”), a line of clothing stressing comfort and the ability to avoid muscle strain. Runtime is a special-made performance drink developed by Dr Lutz Graumann, a sports medicine expert who has worked with fighter pilots, among others.

“In the past two or three years it became very obvious to professional teams and players that their game is really their mental game,” says Hilgers. “And a mental game, in order to perform top mentally, you need to be fit physically. So your physical training regime, your diet, is now something people understand as making a real difference.

“Compared with 20 years ago people are putting far more effort into being a top player in the game,” he adds. “There’s more competition, which elevates the skill ceiling overall in these games. And naturally you see people using every possible avenue to improve their skill.”

The eSports merchandising arena is set to explode alongside the industry at-large. Steve Volpone, CEO of Big Block, recently wrote that “We need to begin collaborating on the lifestyle, fashion and other spinoffs that eSports’ huge audiences will want.”

Big traditional sports brands have begun wanting a slice of the action. Soccer teams like FC Schalke and Paris Saint Germaine have developed their own eSports teams. Others have tried to buy existing success.

Los Angeles-based Cloud9 recently secured a $25m Series A funding round from investors led by the Founders Fund, and including the World Wrestling Entertainment organization (WWE) and Major League Baseball player Hunter Pence.

Last year Team Liquid, another of the industry’s big brands, was bought by a consortium including Steve Case, Tony Robbins and Magic Johnson.

They are trying to jump on a bandwagon that is beginning to get recognized by the biggest organizations in traditional sports. Last weekend it was announced that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is exploring the possibility of including eSports in future Olympic Games. It will be included at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. The IOC are looking to include eSports two years later, at the Paris games.

Hilgers thinks the industry is at a point where those who can win success now, will consolidate power well into the future. “The costs of building top-level eSports teams have increased significantly in the last three years,” he says.

Teams don’t just need a good brand and content strategy to attract big players. They need huge sums of cash. The barrier to entry is soaring. “A few years ago (teams) would make $1-3m revenue perhaps,” he adds. “Now it is substantially more.

“I think that helps a lot in creating a way more stable ecosystem of teams that really matter,” says Hilgers. “The really interesting part is now how many of the teams will be teams who are around now?”

It certainly appears that G2 Esports will be there. This August the team won an undisclosed funding round from a consortium including Everblue Management and Andre Gomes, a midfield player for soccer giant FC Barcelona. This week it beat Danish side Astralis to take third place, and $60,000, at the EPICENTER Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

G2 is now the tenth-ranked League of Legends team worldwide (South Korean giant SK Telecom 1, which won in Saint Petersburg, heads the list: the top ten includes four Korean, and four Chinese, brands). It places second at CS:GO.

Whatever the rankings say, however, the biggest winner is eSports itself. And, as it grows like few other industries on earth, a burgeoning collection of startups are placed to pounce on its imminent tech and merchandising riches.

Source: http://www.redherring.com/top-story/esports-continues-grow-apace-athletes-startups-winning-big/

Esports Entertainment Group $GMBL Files Annual Report And Reviews Highlights

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 8:07 AM on Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Esports large

Highlights Of The Annual Report Are As Follows:

  • Raised $1.2M via an oversubscribed PIPE financing
  • Changed our name to Esports Entertainment Group, Inc.
  • Launched fully staffed Head Office in Antigua
  • Hired Social Media and Affiliate Marketing staff in Europe
  • Signed Agreement With Income Access award-winning affiliate management provider
  • Our shares became DTC Approved and DWAC/FAST Eligible
  • The appointment of David Watt, FCCA as Director

ST. MARY’S, Antigua, Oct. 24, 2017 – Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. (OTCQB:GMBL) (or the “Company”), a licensed online gambling company with a specific focus on esports wagering and 18+ gaming, has recently filed its 10K Annual Report for the year ending June 30, 2017 with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Highlights Of The Annual Report Are As Follows:

  • Raised $1.2M via an oversubscribed PIPE financing
  • Changed our name to Esports Entertainment Group, Inc.
  • Launched fully staffed Head Office in Antigua
  • Hired Social Media and Affiliate Marketing staff in Europe
  • Signed Agreement With Income Access award-winning affiliate management provider
  • Our shares became DTC Approved and DWAC/FAST Eligible
  • The appointment of David Watt, FCCA as Director

Important Developments Following The Year End Are As Follows:

  • Signed over 60 affiliates at Gamescom 2017
  • Received Curacao eGaming License
  • Announced Letter Of Intent to acquire our Bet Exchange Software Developer

Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group, stated, “This was a milestone year for the Company.  We secured major funding to complete our esports wagering platform, launch and fully staff our Antigua headquarters, hire social media & esports marketing experts and exhibit at industry leading conferences that have already yielded results far beyond our expectations.  All that remains is our launch of the most secure, transparent and regulated esports wagering platform in the world, news of which we expect to release shortly.”

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 with a specific focus on esports wagering and 18+ gaming. Initially, Esports Entertainment intends to offer bet exchange style wagering on esports events in a licensed, regulated and secured platform to the global esports audience, excluding the US and EU. In addition, Esports Entertainment intends to offer users from around the world the ability to participate in multi-player mobile and PC video game tournaments for cash prizes. Esports Entertainment is led by a team of industry professionals and technical experts from the online gambling and the video game industries, and esports. The Company holds licenses to conduct online gambling and 18+ gaming on a global basis, excluding the US and EU, in Curacao, Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Canada. The Company maintains offices in Antigua. Esports Entertainment common stock is listed on the OTCQB under the symbol GMBL.  For more information 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.

Contact:

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

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

#NBA #Esports investment ‘a long-term play’ that will be ‘around for decades’ $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:20 AM on Monday, October 16th, 2017

“This is a massive industry, and we think we have a place in it.

  • Next year, the National Basketball Association will officially enter the world of esports by way of its NBA 2K League
  • Managing director Brendan Donohue has now billed the association’s esports involvement as “a long-term play” that he reckons will span multiple decades.

By Joe Donnelly 4 hours ago

Next year, the National Basketball Association will officially enter the world of esports by way of its NBA 2K League. Managing director Brendan Donohue has now billed the association’s esports involvement as “a long-term play” that he reckons will span multiple decades.

In conversation with Gamesindustry.biz, Donohue suggests the NBA is confident of its place in esports and that the success of the NBA 2K series makes the jump a “logical” step.

“We have great data on NBA fans, and that’s a massive audience,” says Donohue. “We see that NBA fans are more likely to play video games, and actually more likely to engage in esports than fans of other sports. We think there’s a pretty nice marriage here.

“I don’t think you have to be a fan of 2K to enjoy watching. That’s one of our advantages: the NBA 2K game, and basketball more broadly, are globally recognisable. You can watch having never played the 2K game before and understand what’s going on. That gives an advantage with that more casual audience. [Games like League of Legends] are awesome games, but they can be intimidating [to watch] of you’ve never played them.”

Donohue points to the fact League of Legends finals have pulled bigger audiences than the Oscars, and that awareness isn’t something he or his team consider an issue. That said, Donohue also describes revenues as “a secondary goal right now”, and that building scale is their current focus.

He continues: “There’s a significant appetite for the game in the US, but more importantly globally. We have a free version of the game in China that has 34 million registered users. That suggests there’s a global appetite for the game; in fact, I don’t think people understand how big the 2K game is globally.

“This is a long-term play for us. We expect this to be around for decades, so the primary goal is building an audience, doing that in the right way, and creating an environment where our players can be successful. We’re confident the revenues will follow if we do that right.”

The NBA 2K League is set to kick off next year. Gamesindustry.biz’s interview with Donohue in full can be read in this direction.

Source: http://www.pcgamer.com/nba-esports-investment-a-long-term-play-that-will-be-around-for-decades/

#Blockchain Technology Could Be A Game Changer In #Esports $GMBL #Blockstation

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 10:31 AM on Thursday, October 12th, 2017
Darren Heitner , Contributor
Eloplay

A diagram that seeks to explain the process of participating in an Eloplay Smart Tournament.

The esports industry is rapidly evolving, going from content consumed largely through streaming platforms such as Twitch to network-backed streaming service Hulu picking up four new esports series, gradually making the watching of esports even more mainstream. Meanwhile, the players themselves are gaining more options with regard to the currency that surrounds the competitions.

For instance, esports platform Eloplay, which has been in existence for more than eighteen months and provides a service that allows players to organize and participate in esports tournaments, is testing out a new form of currency for its users. It is an example of an esports-related entity involving itself in the blockchain and leveraging smart contracts technology to allow players and brands to organize esports tournaments of any scale, using Eloplay Tokens as the prize pool.

And much like other companies testing the blockchain waters, Eloplay is involving itself in what is called an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), allowing users to buy-in so that they can use the coins to organize tournaments, place advertisements or even sell tokens through its exchange. This all takes place on a decentralized platform that remains largely unregulated, for the time being. Although even that appears to be changing.

The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) recently stated that ICOs will begin to be regulated as securities and that unregistered offerings may be subject to criminal punishment.

“Whether a particular investment transaction involves the offer or sale of a security – regardless of the terminology or technology used – will depend on the facts and circumstances, including the economic realities of the transaction,” stated the SEC in its press release on the matter.

“We seek to foster innovative and beneficial ways to raise capital, while ensuring – first and foremost – that investors and our markets are protected,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.

Thus far, 90,000 individuals are registered to participate on the Eloplay esports platform and they have completed a total of roughly 3,500 tournaments. Eloplay’s desire is to convert existing participants into Eloplay Token purchasers through the ICO and to use that to generate further interest in using the platform.

Eloplay’s Token Sale begins October 16 and is scheduled to close November 15. Bonuses are offered to individuals who participate early in the process. The currency accepted is Ethereum, which is a widely utilized cryptocurrency.

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

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/darrenheitner/2017/10/11/blockchain-technology-could-be-a-game-changer-in-esports/#741e81b944c6

Lambton College opens gaming arena, offers cutting-edge #Esports diploma $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 2:23 PM on Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

  • It started with a suggestion from the IT department.
  • Now it is part of the curriculum
  • Lambton College is becoming a Canadian leader in the burgeoning world of esports

The college, whose main campus is in Sarnia, Ont., has added esports to its varsity sports lineup — alongside men’s and women’s basketball and soccer — and next year will begin offering a cutting-edge two-year diploma in esports entrepreneurship and administration.

Lambton already has a dedicated gaming space — called the esports arena — with 20 high-end computers up and running. It’s in a prime piece of real estate, right in the middle of campus.

“The feedback’s been excellent, just in terms of the uniqueness of this,” says Rob Kardas, vice-president of student success and campus service at Lambton College.

Lambton believes the course is a door into the largely untapped academic world of esports and a way to differentiate itself from other schools.

Goldman Sachs valued the world of esports at US$500 million in 2016, with expected market growth of 22 per cent annually compounded over the next three years into a more than $1-billion business.

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment got a first-hand look at the draw of esports when the North American “League of Legends” championship sold out the Air Canada Centre in two days in August 2016.

MLSE, owner of the NBA Raptors, subsequently signed up for the NBA 2K esports league, slated to debut in 2018.

In taking the esports course, Lambton students will study communications, sports marketing, finance, ethical leadership, teamwork, social media, health promotion, entrepreneurship and business development.

Courses will also cover the history of esports, industry hardware/software, game design and computer networking. A practical project course will ask students to use that knowledge to plan, develop and execute real-world esports projects.

The first class is expected to number some 40 students.

Graduates of the course will also have the option of continuing on to the college’s three-year sports and recreation management program.

The Lambton Lions esports teams, meanwhile, will compete against other North American schools in the Collegiate Starleague. Teams were chosen after open tryouts in “Overwatch,” “League of Legends” and “Counter Strike: Global Offensive.”

Dave Mastrobuono, a Sarnia native and Lambton graduate, has been named head coach. A former pro gamer himself, Mastrobuono is a certified service technician at the school.

College officials believe the gaming arena, which cost $140,000 to $150,000 to set up, will add to the social side of student life. It will also be open to the community.

Lambton officials visited Chicago’s Robert Morris University, a leader in the collegiate esports field and the first school to offer gaming scholarships, while putting together their program.

Robert Morris associate athletic director Kurt Melcher, Collegiate Starleague vice-president Neil Duffy, SetToDestroyX gaming team owner Charlie Watson and officials from Twitch, a popular live streaming video gaming platform, were among the industry experts who helped Lambton develop its course.

Rick Brown, a mobile device specialist in the Lambton IT department, was also a key mover in the expansion into esports.

Duffy says Lambton is the first Canadian school to make esports a varsity program, joining more than 40 schools in the U.S.

But other Canadian schools also compete in gaming tournaments. The University of British Columbia, which also has its own gaming lounge, has had great success gaming.

Lambton is using esports researcher James Kozachuk of the University of Central Florida as its “subject matter expert” in the area.

The course itself has met the necessary approval of Lambton’s board of governors, a program advisory committee of industry experts, Ontario’s Credential Validation Service and Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

It was a learning experience for the college.

Donna Church, vice-president, academic, at Lambton, says she like many parents had thought of esports as “that little troll in the basement.”

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” she said. “It’s actually a highly social sport.”

Lambton has 3,500 full-time and some 6,500 part-time students plus some 800 international students. The college is ranked No. 1 in Ontario and No. 3 in Canada in applied research, according to Research Infosource Inc.

Source: http://nationalpost.com/pmn/entertainment-pmn/lambton-college-opens-gaming-arena-offers-cutting-edge-esports-diploma

Microsoft $MSFT could become the #Ticketmaster of #Esports analyst says $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 3:17 PM on Thursday, October 5th, 2017
  • Microsoft is headed for a “sustained period of accelerating growth” driven by its cloud computing, office productivity software and potential esports cash cows, according to Canaccord Genuity.
  • “Perhaps Microsoft could become the Ticketmaster of eSports, maybe they could run leagues,” the firm’s analyst writes.

Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft

Getty Images
Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft

Microsoft’s growth could get a boost from its latest Xbox launch as well as its exploration of the growing esports industry, according to one Wall Street analyst.

Canaccord Genuity upgraded Microsoft shares to buy from hold Wednesday, noting that the Xbox maker could give more credibility to the budding world of esports, which is centered on video game tournaments and already attracts thousands of participants and viewers.

“In our view, this is both an area of future internal development and prospective M&A,” wrote analyst Richard Davis. “With regard to M&A, perhaps Microsoft could become the Ticketmaster of eSports, maybe they could run leagues.”

Microsoft is set to release its latest generation of Xbox, called the Xbox One X, in November. Davis added that Microsoft‘s office productivity programs and its cloud computing platform, Azure, could also accelerate growth.

Shares of Microsoft rose 0.5 percent shortly after Thursday’s market open. The company’s stock is up 20 percent year to date through Wednesday.

The analyst raised his price target for Microsoft shares to $86, which is 15 percent higher than Wednesday’s closing price. His old target was $76.

Esports are turning a lot of heads lately. Industry revenue is expected to hit $1.1 billion in 2019, and roughly 76 percent of esports fans claim the virtual tournaments are overtaking their time spent watching traditional sporting events, according to research firm Newzoo.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft recently made headlines by purchasing one of seven teams for the Overwatch League, a popular online game produced by Activision Blizzard.

“For brands, media, and entertainment companies, esports provides a chance to capitalize on the favorite pastime of digital natives and Millennials: playing games and watching game content,” Newzoo’s analysts wrote in the firm’s annual esports market report.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/05/microsoft-could-become-the-ticketmaster-of-esports-analyst-says.html