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The biggest companies sponsoring #Esports teams and tournaments $GMBL $KO $ATVI $TTWO $GAME $

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:17 AM on Friday, January 12th, 2018
  • Esports and competitive gaming are growing in popularity and gaining viewership each month
  • Current value of the eSports market is approximately $900 million, a figure that should continue to rise throughout the year
  • International 2017, the world championships for Dota 2, broke the record for the largest prize pool in eSports history at $24,787,916

By: Andrew Meola

eSports and competitive gaming are growing in popularity and gaining viewership each month. The current value of the eSports market is approximately $900 million, a figure that should continue to rise throughout the year.

Consider that the prize pools for the most popular eSports games (League of Legends, Dota 2, Call of Duty) get richer with each passing year. The International 2017, the world championships for Dota 2, broke the record for the largest prize pool in eSports history at $24,787,916. But more impressive is that every International since 2014 has accomplished that feat.

And as with any successful industry, a greater valuation means more money will follow. For competitive gaming, that has taken shape in the form of eSports sponsors and gaming sponsorships. These eSports sponsorship deals are helping push international competitions from a niche segment to full-fledged sporting events.

Below, we’ve compiled an eSports sponsors list that highlights some of the major companies that are attaching their names and dollars to competitive gaming.

Intel: Has sponsored Intel Extreme Masters along with ESL (Electronic Sports League) since 2006. This is the longest-running eSports tournament in existence.

Melia Robinson

Coca-Cola: The soda giant sponsors the League of Legends World Championship, one the largest eSports competitions on earth. But to take it a step further, Coca-Cola and Riot Games partnered with some cinemas to host more than 200 simultaneous viewing parties for the 2016 League of Legends World Championships throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Comcast Xfinity: The cable and internet provider sponsors both ESL and the eSports team Evil Geniuses, which competes at the highest levels in Dota 2, League of Legends, and more.

Red Bull: Energy drinks such as Red Bull are major proponents of eSports. The company began by sponsoring tournaments for Blizzard’s StarCraft 2 and then branched out into Dota 2. Red Bull sponsors competitions and teams, such as Tempo Storm.

Mountain Dew: The soft drink company sponsors several eSports teams, including Team Dignitas, Splyce, and Team SK Gaming. It also started the Mountain Dew League, which helps amateur teams try to make it to the pros.

T-Mobile: The wireless carrier sponsored eSports organizations TSM and Cloud9 starting in August 2017. T-Mobile also sponsored Twitch’s E3 fighting game tournament “Twitch Esports Arena” in June 2017 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Mobil 1: The synthetic motor oil brand sponsors the Rocket League Championship Series. It’s a natural fit, as Rocket League is a game in which two teams of three remote-controlled cars play soccer.

Audi: The German automaker began sponsoring Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team Astralis in January 2017.

Airbus: The aeronautics company announced a sponsorship with eSports team Out of the Blue in October 2017.

More to Learn

As the eSports market grows, more sponsors and investors will flow into the industry, which will create a booming opportunity for all the players involved. To see how it all fits together, BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has put together a comprehensive guide on the future of professional gaming called The eSports Ecosystem.


Check Out $GMBL eSports Predictions for 2017

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 10:46 AM on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Esports had a big year in 2016, and it’s aiming to have an even bigger year in 2017.

After examining how different esports progressed over the past year and looking at some of the recent rumblings and happenings in competitive gaming, Mashable compiled a list of things to expect in the world of esports in 2017. We aren’t predicting who’s going to win any upcoming tournaments, simply taking a look at some of biggest scenes and thinking about how they could change in the coming year.

In no particular order, here are seven things you can expect to see in esports in 2017.

1. More eyes on the fighting game community



Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma after winning the Evo 2016 ‘Super Smash Bros. Melee’ championship.


The FGC continues to grow more and more every year, with increasing prize pools and bigger audiences than ever before. Street Fighter V’s Capcom Cup featured a crowd-funded prize pool that pushed the first place earnings up to $230,000 for American Du “NuckleDu” Dang. Next year’s Street Fighter Pro Tour will probably be even bigger.

Super Smash Bros. Melee has been attracting more attention over the past few years and was the event to watch at the biggest fighting game tournament in the world, Evo. With the possibility of the Nintendo Switch having a re-release of Melee on the Virtual Console, the GameCube game could be receiving even more love in 2017. Plus, the release of Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite in late-2017 will undoubtedly send some sparks through its fanbase.

2. A push for Call of Duty

'Call of Duty' World League Championship tournament.


‘Call of Duty’ World League Championship tournament.


In the first few days of 2016, publishing giant Activision acquired esports giant MLG. With the full force of MLG on its side, Activision has been ramping up Call of Duty esports over the past year, already doubling the Call of Duty World League Championship prize pool to $2 million in September and gathering a combined 20 million viewers throughout the tournament.

Activision and MLG won’t be backing off of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare in 2017. Expect even more presence for the annual shooter in the esports scene and even bigger prize pools.

3. Another esports prize pool record from the Dota 2 International

This one is pretty much a given. The Dota 2 International has popularized crowd-funded tournament prize pools, using the method to ramp up its eye-watering prize pools to record-breaking numbers every year. 2016’s $20 million prize pool broke 2015’s $18 million prize pool record, gathered from sales on in-game items and features. 2016’s first place prize of over $9 million made everyone on Wings Gaming overnight millionaires.

Don’t expect the Dota 2 International’s crowd-funded prize pool to get any smaller anytime soon. The International’s viewer numbers continue to increase over the years and fans have yet to slow down their monetary support of the pro scene. Some year the prize pool will stop growing, but 2017 is not that year.

4. Overwatch League trying something new



When Blizzard announced the Overwatch League at BlizzCon in November, the developer laid out a vision that has never been seen before in esports. Taking heavy inspiration from traditional sports leagues like the NFL and NBA, the Overwatch League plans to attach Overwatch teams to cities around the world, host combines and try-outs, guarantee player pay and benefits, and put on LAN matches in every participating city. These are ambitious plans and will require a lot of work from a lot of people, plus outside investors who are up to the task of backing teams in a league that barely has precedent.

The Overwatch League will begin its early stages in 2017, not likely kicking into full gear until 2018. At the very least, we’ll get to watch the Overwatch League rev up for its success — or failure.

5. Traditional sports furthering involvement with esports

The world of traditional sports started dipping its toes into esports in late 2015 with three-time NBA champion Rick Fox starting the Echo Fox franchise. Since then, several big names in basketball and soccer have invested in esports teams, including the Philadelphia 76ers acquiring Team Dignitas. Expect even more traditional sports involvement in 2016.

With the continued growth of the esports industry, it won’t be a surprise to see more traditional sports players, executives and teams getting into esports. The incoming money and experience pouring in will probably help esports mature as a whole, give teams more staying power and help stabilize the competitive gaming scene.

6. An over-saturated Counter-Strike schedule

Fernando 'Fer' Alverenga at the ELeague Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.


Fernando ‘Fer’ Alverenga at the ELeague Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.


Counter-Strike: Global Offensive hit the ground running when it came out in 2012 and reached its saturation point in 2016. More tournaments kept popping up around the world, each of them featuring pretty enticing prize pools for pro teams. But bouncing to a different corner of the earth every single week (or even twice a week) has a toll on players, and teams had to start being more selective over the past year.

So far, CS:GO isn’t looking any less cluttered in 2017. DreamHack alone has already scheduled 10 CS:GO tournaments with prize pools $100,000 or higher in five different countries. Throw in ESL’s tournaments and Pro Leagues, PEA’s new league, Intel Extreme Masters, StarSeries, ELeague and Esports Championship Series — none of which have given any indication of stopping — and 2017 is looking congested before it has even begun. So many tournaments could lead to burnout, not just for players but also for casters and analysts who have to fly all around to world every week to do their jobs.

The only thing that could stop the oversaturation is league exclusivity, which is something that has come up with the PEA, which won’t allow its seven-member teams to compete in ESL’s Pro League if they compete in the first season of PEA. While that may cut back on player burnout, teams are apprehensive to sign with one organization over the other, especially one that is so new.

7. Big changes in League of Legends

League of Legends had a tumultuous 2016.

Many problems around League of Legends and its developer Riot Games were brought to light thanks to a public spat between Riot co-founder and co-CEO Marc Merrill and Team SoloMid CEO Andy Dinh, which was followed by a letter outlining issues in the League of Legends pro scene sent by over a dozen teams in November. Teams’ problems include a lack of sustainable compensation, restrictions on sponsorships and outside revenue, lack of access to their own players at tournaments, and lack of job security and revenue security from relegation.

With so many grievances being aired in public, Riot Games has already started adapting. For 2016’s League of Legends Worlds, Riot attempted to solve problems with team revenue by introducing a crowd-funded prize pool via sales of in-game items (just like Dota 2 does) and sharing revenues with teams for sales of team-branded items. That’s a small improvement, and if Riot wants to keep teams competing in its own pro leagues, it will have to step up in 2017.

On another side of League, Riot has sold exclusive streaming rights of the game to BAMTech, which was created by the MLB and partially owned by Disney. This may mean an independent service for watching League matches in the near future, which could mean a premium (AKA not free) streaming experience outside of Twitch. Whether or not this will work for League of Legends is yet to be seen, but it will be an interesting new direction and test for esports as a whole. We will see if it inspires similar steps from other developers and publishers.