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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.


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.


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, 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.

  • 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  (  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  (  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  (

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

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
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

Investor Relations Inquiries

How #Cryptocurrencies And #Blockchain Are Taking #Esports $GMBL To The Next Level #Blockstation #ThreeD $

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 9:40 AM on Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Alexander Kokhanovskyy

Alex is the CEO/ Founder of DreamTeam, an Esports and gaming recruitment platform using blockchain to help gamers monetize their teams.

Team Method: Triforce compete with Team Grmbl at World of WarCraft at BlizzCon 2017. BlizzCon is the site of the Overwatch World Cup 2017 eSports tournament. (Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

Revenue from eSports — or competitive video gaming — will grow to $700m in 2017, a 41.3% increase from 2016 , according to Newzoo research. The industry is forecast to reach $1.5 billion by 2020. Major investors, high-profile celebrities, big-brand sponsors and major tech companies are banking on eSports’ profitable trajectory.


Study shows the Esports market has tremendous untapped potential

Blockchain-powered solutions are the latest trend to shake up transactions and data for the entire sector. To gamers, blockchains and digital currencies are nothing new, and this attitude enables the industry to adopt new technologies faster than other industries like banking or logistics. Part of that has to do with age. According to Newzoo‘s 2017 Global Esports Market Report, electronic gaming entertains a young and marketable demographic: Millennials. More than half of eSports enthusiasts globally are aged between 21 and 35, and they are often early adopters of technology, including blockchain.


Blockchain applications across eSports

Startups are leveraging the benefits of blockchain to deploy smart contracts, fuel betting, host tournaments, and ease the purchase virtual assets, all of which help grow the eSports ecosystem. Much has been written about blockchain startups tackling eSports betting and the purchasing or trading of skins (cosmetic items), but another important application is how this technology can help amateur gamers on their pathway to going pro though both tournament and team building platforms.

Guests demo the new World of WarCraft game at BlizzCon 2017 at Anaheim California Convention Center (Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

Tournaments are a way of life for avid eSports gamers and online gaming platforms that have embraced blockchain are seeing the pay-off. FirstBlood, an eSports platform created on the Ethereum blockchain, decentralizes tournament setup and winnings distribution. It allows players to test their skills and to bet on games without being dependent on traditional money transfers, financial regulations and middleman corruption. With FirstBlood, players can game solo or with a team in order to improve their skill through games in a competitive environment. Other blockchain companies including and EloPlay have entered the tournament space as well.

From amateur gamers to going pro 

While fostering a tournament environment can help players sharpen their skills, we believe there is an opportunity to take this one step further, by lessening the barrier of entry when it comes to building and managing teams.


Majority of top competitive game titles are team-based

There are 1.4 billion registered gamers, and most of those players are concentrated around the most competitive eSports titles that include LoL, CS:GO, Dota2 and Overwatch.  One of the most loved esports titles, League of Legends, has 250 million players players who want to build, grow and manage their teams, but there are only 100 League of Legends clubs worldwide. Let’s compare that to football, a traditional sport, with more than 300 million players globally, with around 300,000 clubs. This discrepancy of players to clubs was the catalyst for our company, DreamTeam, to develop a dynamic platform to solve this problem.

Building teams to advance 

DreamTeam takes blockchain-powered tournaments one step further by creating a recruitment and management platform for amateur, novice, and pro teams. Blockchain-based smart contracts ensure contractual financial relations for all users without participation of third parties. One function of DreamTeam is to aid the development of small tournaments and secure payments. On the DreamTeam platform, when a team that participates in a tournament gets a winning place, the prize money automatically transfers to their account according to predefined rules (the data is taken from game API’s — application program interface and oracles, or a service that verifies the data independently). All players receive their share of the prize money without issues or delay. This is just one aspect; we envision the platform developing into a multi-billion dollar ecosystem built upon media right sales, sponsorships, players salaries, and prize money.

People watch the World Championships Final of League of Legends at the National Stadium ‘Bird’s Nest’ in Beijing, the national stadium built for the 2008 Olympic Games. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize a wide variety of industries, but with eSports’ audience made up of younger, tech savvy individuals, blockchain is more easily embraced. Every corner of eSports is ripe for rethinking. Aiding amateur gamers through team building and tournaments is only the beginning.


The Unbelievable #LeagueOfLegends World Championship 2017 Grand Final Stadium Crowd #Worlds2017 $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 12:57 PM on Monday, November 6th, 2017

The League of Legends World Championship 2017 was one of the biggest events in esports history.

  • League of Legends owes a significant part of its status as arguably the biggest esport in the world to China
  • Streams reportedly pull in millions of viewers for the biggest matches

While online viewership, production, and of course the games themselves, are always at the heart of what makes a great esports event, Riot’s World Championship has also produced some of the most epic live environments for matches in the industry. This year, the bar may well have been raised once again.

The 2017 League of Legends World Championship took a tour of China, playing its group stages in Wuhan, moving to Guangzhou for quarter-finals, Shanghai for the semi-finals before finally culminating in Beijing for the final showdown between SK Telecom T1 and Samsung Galaxy.

League of Legends owes a significant part of its status as arguably the biggest esport in the world to China, where streams reportedly pull in millions of viewers for the biggest matches. While some dispute the veracity of some of the numbers, which often come from sources that cannot be independently verified, the live crowds at the various stages certainly didn’t disappoint. Nothing quite compared, however, to the masses present for the grand final.

If there were concerns that the lack of a Chinese team in the finals might have impacted interest, there needn’t have been. The Beijing National Stadium was packed out, producing one of the most epic arenas for a showdown yet seen in esports.

The World Championship ultimately concluded with Samsung Galaxy dethroning Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok’s SK Telecom T1, sweeping them 3-0 to deny SKT a third consecutive win at the event.





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.


#FIFA and #EA will put on the first-ever #eWorld Cup next year #worldcup #Esports

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 9:51 AM on Monday, October 30th, 2017

FIFA and Electronic Arts are taking their partnership to the logical conclusion point: the pair will put on the first-ever eWorld Cup next August. Competition starts next month on November 3rd. From the press release:

“Competitors can qualify based on their FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) Champions Weekend League online performance and at blockbuster live qualifying events from November 2017 until July 2018.

Through the EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Global Series, EA and FIFA will identify the top 128 competitors (64 players representing PlayStation®4 and 64 players representing Xbox One) to continue to the EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs. The playoffs will lead to the final stop on the Global Series Tour – the FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final 18.”

The competitions will take place in a few different ways. There will be licensed qualifying rounds where independent organizers can set up official tournaments, for one. And then there will also be Official League Qualifying Competitions where established teams will hold tournaments.

Rounding it out are FIFA Ultimate Team Champions Cups, which sound like open competition for anyone who thinks they have what it takes to go head to head with the pros. “The top competitors will qualify for two major live tournaments to be held in January and April 2018,” the press release said.

FIFA has made a big push into the eSports world, partnering with BT in the UK to broadcast the games on TV, and the league itself has started signing eSports athletes teams to represent the traditional ones on the virtual pitch. It’s only natural that replicating one of the world’s biggest sporting events for competitive gaming would come next.


#NBA launches own #Esports league as competitive gaming explodes $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 1:18 PM on Thursday, October 26th, 2017


  • Gamers are practising for hours on end with hopes of being drafted into the NBA 2K League, which could catapult players into a lucrative career that comes with some of the same perks enjoyed by real-life basketball stars
16 minutes ago October 25, 2017

At home, in the basketball hotbed of Cleveland, Artreyo Boyd is grinding every day.

His focus is sharp. The game is all that matters. Each day, from morning through late night, he fine tunes his play making, boosts his reputation and dominates the competition, eagerly awaiting the draft in 2018.

He has lived modestly in his 23 years and said the game kept him off the streets. He’s a die-hard Cavaliers fan, but he’d love to live in any NBA city, walk the halls of its team’s facilities and sign autographs for fans. The wait is excruciating.

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As the NBA season gets under way, another group of players prepares for a different opportunity with the league. They hope to be among 85 “athletes” drafted into the new NBA 2K league to play a basketball video game professionally, paid by actual NBA teams and awarded some of the same perks enjoyed by stars such as LeBron James and DeMar DeRozan.

“I imagine we will have something like a professional athlete’s life – meeting fans, playing in front of crowds, working hard all day on our games, getting endorsement opportunities,” said Boyd, better known by his player name, “Dimez,” in NBA 2K and widely considered one of the world’s best. “I hear the NBA’s goal is to turn us into famous people. We have to be marketable and professional.”

Video games have been popular for decades, but competitive gaming is now a burgeoning spectator sport. The NBA will be the first North American professional sports league to operate its own eSports league, eager to stake out territory in this exploding industry.

The breakdown

Each franchise will draft five of the world’s best 2K gamers, move them to its city and house them. While the NBA says the salaries have yet to be finalized, MLSE projected the gamers would be paid between $50,000 and $70,000 (U.S.), plus benefits. The players will also have access to their NBA team’s facilities, all the muscle of its marketing department, and opportunities to make additional earnings through sponsorship or endorsements.

The season will run from May to August. NBA players’ likenesses won’t be used in the 2K League. Instead, the five gamers on each NBA 2K team will each create unique avatars in the remarkably life-like game, and play in pro-am mode against other clubs’ fivesomes. The 2K league will have one or two central locations – production studios – to which all teams will be flown to play the games.

There will be a regular-season schedule, followed by playoffs, culminating in a championship. Adam Silver, NBA commissioner, even joked that it would be cool to see his avatar award the trophy (the NBA says that may not be exactly how it happens though. So fans will have to wait and see.)

Signalling their long-term interest in eSports ventures, many of the 17 NBA teams that will have eLeague squads in the inaugural 2K season have recently hired experts from the gaming community as directors of eSports business.

“This is going to be another way to engage with our fans,” said Brendan Donohue, the NBA’s manager of the 2K league. “Two-thirds of our fans on social media are outside North America, and one-quarter of 2K games are sold outside the continent. We have an online version of the game being played on Tencent in China that has 34 million registered users. It’s difficult for those fans to attend an NBA game, so this is another way to reach them. It definitely has a global appetite.”