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Esports Entertainment Group $GMBL – $50M esports arena coming to Philadelphia $TECHF $ATVI $TTWO $GAME $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:07 AM on Monday, March 25th, 2019
SPONSOR: Esports Entertainment $GMBL Esports audience is 350M, growing to 590M, Esports wagering is projected at $23 BILLION by 2020. The company has launched esports betting platform and has accelerated affiliate marketing agreements with 190 Esports teams. Click here for more information


$50M esports arena coming to Philadelphia

The Fusion Arena, to open in 2021, will be home to the Philadelphia Fusion team that competes in the Overwatch League. Photo: comcast spectacor

  • Comcast Spectacor and The Cordish Cos. are building a $50 million, 3,500-seat esports arena in Philadelphia
  • The Fusion Arena will be next to Wells Fargo Center, Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park and the mixed-use Xfinity Live development

By Mike Sunnucks

“We’re thrilled to introduce a venue like no other as we move forward with the next phase of development within the Philadelphia Sports Complex,” said Dave Scott, Comcast Spectacor’s chairman and CEO.

Xfinity Live is also a joint venture between Comcast Spectacor and Cordish, which specializes in real estate developments around stadiums and arenas. 

Architecture firm Populous designed the 60,000-square-foot venue, which will be home to the Philadelphia Fusion, an esports team owned by Comcast Spectacor that competes in the Overwatch League. The league wants its teams to play in their home markets next year. The Fusion are looking at playing at other venues in Philadelphia while the new esports venue is being built.

Construction will start this summer on a site currently used as a parking lot and the venue is scheduled to open in 2021. The Fusion facility will have a 10,000-square-foot esports training facility as well as two balcony bars, a broadcast studio and premium boxes and suites.

The venue will be rigged to also host small concerts, comedy shows and corporate events, said Joe Marsh, chief business officer for Comcast Spectacor’s gaming division and the Fusion.

Populous also designed the $10 million Esports Stadium Arlington, a 100,000-square-foot gaming space built at the Arlington Convention Center hear Dallas.

“We’ve reached a place now where there is a need for purpose-built esports venues,” said Brian Mirakian, a senior principal with Populous. “This project represents the prototype of the future.”

Cordish Principal Blake Cordish expects to see more esports projects like the one in Philadelphia. “This flagship esports venue will perfectly complement the surrounding anchors in the Philadelphia Sports Complex,” Cordish said. “The Cordish Cos. is extremely bullish about the future of esports, especially when integrated into mixed-use, sports-anchored developments.”


Esports Entertainment Group $GMBL – The biggest #Esports tournaments and leagues in 2019 $TECHF $ATVI $TTWO $GAME $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 2:00 PM on Thursday, March 21st, 2019
SPONSOR: Esports Entertainment $GMBL Esports audience is 350M, growing to 590M, Esports wagering is projected at $23 BILLION by 2020. The company has launched esports betting platform and has accelerated affiliate marketing agreements with 190 Esports teams. Click here for more information


The biggest esports tournaments and leagues in 2019

All around the world, esports are on the rise and they don’t look to be slowing down any time soon. Whether you want to tune in for a few hours of action-packed tournament gameplay between the top pros or follow your favorite team week after week in your favorite game’s league, we’ve got you covered.

Note that only standalone tournaments, not playoffs that take place at the end of a season, are included in the list of esports tournaments. Keep reading for the top esports tournaments and top esports leagues in 2019.

Top eSports tournaments

The International

Date: August 15-20, 2019

The International is the premier Dota 2 tournament that attracts teams from around the world. Starting in the third year of the tournament in 2013, Valve has sweetened the pot by adding 25% of the total sales of the in game Battle Pass to the prize pool. This instantly made it one of the best paid esports tournaments in the world, with the 2018 edition reaching more than $25 million in total prize money.

The International 2019 is set to take place from August 15-20 in Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena. Teams will vie for one of the 18 spots available by competing in a series of smaller tournaments known as the Dota Pro Circuit. If 2018 was any indication, the first place prize is likely to top $11 million.

Intel Extreme Masters

Date: February 13 – March 2, 2019

Intel Extreme Masters is one of the longest running series of esports tournaments around. It features a number of tournaments in different locations around the world, capped off with a World Championship. This final tournament typically takes place in Katowice, with separate prize pools and brackets for each game.

The most recent Intel Extreme Masters took place in from February 13 – March 2. It included CS:GO (the 14th Major tournament), Dota 2, Starcraft II, and for the first time ever, Fortnite: Battle Royale. Smaller IEM tournaments will still be held throughout the year, with an additional $1 million prize for the first time to win four eligible tournaments in a single year.

CS:GO Major Tournaments

Date: August 20 -September 8, 2019

Counter Strike: Global Offensive Major Tournaments, known simply as Majors, are biannual esports tournaments sponsored by the game’s developer, Valve Corporation. It’s widely considered the most prestigious CS:GO tournament, with players from around the globe competing. Although the prize money is supplied by Valve, the tournaments themselves are organized by other esports orgs, including ESL, Major League Gaming, and DreamHack.

The most recent Major took place at the Intel Extreme Masters XIII, with Danish squad Astralis winning first place and $500,000. The Fall edition is set to take place in Berlin, and will feature 24 teams from the four qualifying regions: Americas, Asia, CIS, and Europe.

Overwatch World Cup


Date: November 2-3, 2019

The Overwatch World Cup features many of the same players as the Overwatch League, but this time they are competing for their home countries rather than their esports organizations. in 2018, four countries hosted qualifying tournaments for six nations, with the top two teams moving on to the finals at BlizzCon.

So far, no nations have been able to match the South Korean players’ prowess, with all three first place trophies heading to the esports-friendly nation. It’s worth noting that players aren’t in it for the money, as all participating teams receive the same prize of $16,000. This can often lead to interesting strategies and wacky hijinks in-game.

Fortnite World Cup Finals

Date: July 26-28, 2019

The Fortnite World Cup Finals bring with them a prize pool worthy of the world’s most popular game: $40 million. That’s nearly half of the $100 million that Epic Games pledged for 2019 to make their hit game into an esports juggernaut. Although the game’s suitability for competitive play is questionable, the sheer size of the pool has drawn players and streamers from a variety of backgrounds to play.

Weekly qualifiers kick off April 13, with a prize pool of $1 million to be distributed among successful contestants. From there, the top 100 solo players and the top 50 duo players will be invited to New York City for the Fortnite World Cup Finals. Each qualifying player will earn at least $50,000, with the top solo player taking home $30 million.

Evolution Championship Series

Date: August 2-4, 2019

If you’re a fan of fighting games, odds are you’ve already heard of the Evolution Championship Series, or Evo for short. Evo is easily the biggest esports tournament in the genre, growing year after year since its start more than 20 years ago in 1996.

This year’s tournament is set to take place in Las Vegas from August 2-4. It will feature brackets for a variety of fighting games, including Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Tekken 7, Street Fighter V, Dragonball FighterZ, and others.

Top eSports Leagues

Overwatch League

Blizzard Entertainment

The Overwatch League, or OWL, has just entered its second season, with a total prize pool of $5 million. If you haven’t heard of it, OWL is Blizzard-Activision’s official esports league for their hit first-person hero shooter Overwatch. In 2018, it was the most watched esports league, mostly because of the sheer number of hours the league was broadcast.

The action is spread out across a 28-match schedule with four, five-week long stages. Each stage concludes with a playoff tournament for the honor of becoming the Stage Champions, but the real prize is after the end of the fourth stage. The OWL season 2 grand finals (not to be confused with the Overwatch World Cup above), will have the top teams vying to become the season 2 champions and take home the $1 million prize that comes with it.

League of Legends Championship Series

This year Riot Games’ official League of Legends esports league underwent a rebranding, with the NALCS changing to the LCS, and the EULCS switching to the League European Championship (LEC).  Other popular regions like China’s LPL and Korea’s LCK remain unchanged.

The season is divided into two sections, the Spring and Summer splits, with a short split playoff game and mid-season Invitational tournament tucked between them. The real excitement is at the League of Legends World Championship, which brings together the top teams from all regions to compete for the cup. Last year’s tournament drew nearly 75 million viewers, making it the most watched esports event of the year.

Call of Duty World League

While most first-person shooter competitions take place at esports tournaments, Activision set up a league for the Call of Duty franchise. This year the league enters its fourth season, with all matches played on the PS4 versin of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

Unlike last season, this season the action is all 5v5 team modes, including Hardpoint, Search & Destroy, and Control game types. The finals are scheduled for some time in August of this year. Before you get excited, no, the recently added battle royale mode will not be played in the league.

Rocket League Championship Series

The esports League for Psyonix’s car-soccer hit Rocket League is back again in 2019 with $1 million in prizes. This year an additional region has been added as South America joins the existing American and European regions.

After a series of qualifiers, the action will kick off in early April. There is also a secondary Rival league for teams that fail to qualify for the main league with $100,000 in prize money.

PUBG Global Championship

Fortnite may have dethroned PUBG in the fight for battle royale supremacy, but PUBG is pushing back with the introduction of the PUBG Global Championship in 2019. The season is divided into three phases, each of which is followed by one or more international tournaments.

There are six regional Pro Leagues in the inaugural season: North America, Europe, Korea, Japan, China, and Chinese Taipei. There are also three smaller “Pro Circuit” regions for Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Oceana. Each will host its own regional events before sending the top teams to compete internationally. The PUBG Global Championship finals are set to take place some time in November.

Mobile esports on the rise

Mobile esports are still small in comparison with their PC and console peers, but here are a few mobile esport tournaments and leagues to check out.

  • Clash Royale League — Supercell’s official esports league for their hit arena strategy game, Clash Royale.
  • Valor Series — The premier esports league for Arena of Valor entered its third year in February.
  • Vainglory — The mobile MOBA is featured regularly at international tournaments and even has a pro league called the Vainglory Premier League.


#Dota 2 tournament showed me the future of #Esports $GMBL $ATVI $TTWO $GAME $ $TCEHF $ $

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 10:26 AM on Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

The three-day event laid out why competitive gaming is in the future of entertainment, though the contest wasn’t without its flaws.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Despite being a huge fan of esports, and Dota 2 in particular, I’ve never actually sat down at an esports competition from beginning to end. I’m a journalist. I usually have a job to do: Running about, doing interviews and meeting executives to hear them talk about the future of competitive gaming.

Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game that pits two teams of five against each other. The aim of the game is not to kill the other team’s heroes, of which there are 115 to pick from, all with different skill sets, but to destroy the enemy’s main building. And with each hero sporting their own unique abilities, the game can often be confusing and chaotic for a new viewer. But I digress. Where were we?

Oh yes. The future of esports. I’m always talking about the future of esports.

This time, however, I committed to the present. At this year’s first competitive Dota 2 Major tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I found myself sitting down. Enjoying the experience. Instead of, you know, doing work.

Casters and analysts of the Dota 2 Major were celebrities in their own right.

Aloysius Low/CNETAnd it was then that I realised what I’ve been missing out the entire time I’ve been covering esports: The event itself. The exhilarating atmosphere that you’d only experience by sitting with a massive crowd and cheering for your favorite team. The present.

I’ve watched Dota 2 tournaments from home on my comfortable couch, with my two cats beside me, whooping as my team kicked butt. I found myself wondering if I had wasted time and money flying up from Singapore, unable to go through with my planned interviews.

Fans gather around the Dota 2 logo outside the arena for a photo.

Aloysius Low/CNETBut it was a lower-bracket game, a battle between two hot favorites, Evil Geniuses and Ninjas in Pyjamas, that had the crowd unified in excitement. Regional Southeast Asia teams had been eliminated, so with no local team to root for the crowd took the initiative and cheered everything. Every single play, every kill. They drowned the Axiata Arena in wild hoots of excitement. Watch the clip to hear just how hyped up the crowd was.

I sat up, fists pumping and screaming with the crowd as one team’s plays cancelled out the other team’s lead. Even though the in-game AI predicted a 97 percent win probability for NIP, things quickly turned around and EG took the lead.

Soon we were set for a third game. A toilet break and dinner beckoned, but no one wanted to give up their seats to the touch-and-go match. And go it went. NIP made yet another play, resetting the game. The crowd screamed as the tables were turned.

It ended in a loss for NIP in game three. The team was eliminated from the tournament but fans were satisfied, calling it the best series so far. And that was even before the grand finals were due to be played on the last day.

Malaysian player Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng (second from left) plays on Team Secret, which features an international lineup and is based in Europe.

Aloysius Low/CNETWith Russian team beating Evil Geniuses in the semifinals, the crowd picked Team Secret by default to root for in the grand finals, as it featured star Malaysian player Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng. But drew plenty of cheers for some amazing plays as well.

I was sitting next to a Malaysian blogger, who’d brought her husband along. She told me they had met through Dota, and that while she was rooting for, her husband was cheering for Secret.

She laughed at her husband as drew first blood, taking the first game. Her husband teased her as Secret took the lead, winning games two and three. With winning game four in style, I jokingly told her the losing supporter had to sleep on the couch tonight — she told me he’d be sleeping there anyway. fought off Secret in style, clinching the top spot in a nail-biting match, and my newfound friend couldn’t be happier. And it’s memories like this that I found myself taking away from the event.

Russian team Virtus Pro celebrates on winning the first Dota 2 Major in this new Dota Pro Circuit season.

Aloysius Low/CNETIt was exactly the same atmosphere as you’d find at any other sporting event: Some crowd members glowed with delight, others were disappointed. People discussed the players’ mistakes as we streamed out of the arena. There’s been so much buzz about how esports is shaping up to be a multibillion dollar industry in the near future, but in terms of passion and excitement the future is already here, and we’re on track to watch it all unfold.

Fans of League of Legends, Overwatch and CS:GO’s competitive leagues will know exactly what I’m talking about, we’re already passionately devouring the content produced, lining up to meet players and talent, who have become stars and idols in their own right. We’ve developed our own memes and jokes, laughed or cried when our teams won or lost.

There’s no need to wait until esports becomes an official Olympic sport, or for the rest of the world to realise what it’s missing out on. Sure, games could be made more accessible — Dota 2 is complicated and somewhat hard to pick up — but I’d argue the same thing about cricket or football’s offside rule.

So take the plunge, head to one of the big events coming up in your area, and discover a whole new world.

Victory means $350,000 for the winning team, and an almost secure spot for the $25 million International next year.

Aloysius Low/CNETSource:

‘It’s absolutely electric’: #Dota 2’s The International brings elite #Esports spectacle to Vancouver $GMBL $ATVI $TTWO $GAME $ $TCEHF $ $

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 9:42 AM on Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Tournament draws best pro Dota 2 teams from around the world for a $30M-plus esports event

Matthew Black · CBC News

Members of Team Liquid celebrate with the Aegis trophy after winning the 2017 edition of The International and more than $10 million US in prize money. (Valve / Flickr)

  • Rock stars, a struggling hockey club and plenty of entertainers have found out the hard way that filling Rogers Arena isn’t easy for one night, let alone six.
  • But on Monday, the Canucks’ home will open its doors and usher in thousands of raucous fans of the video game Dota 2, an event akin to the Super Bowl of esports.

They’ll be there for the main event of The International: a six-day, all-day professional esports event pitting 16 teams of the world’s best Dota 2 players against each other in a $30-plus million tournament that will draw thousands of viewers in person and millions more online.

It’s the pinnacle of competition for a video game with an estimated 10 million active players worldwide, drawn by the game’s blend of fantasy, strategy, and teamwork.

The game has a rabid fanbase that invests hours of time and millions of dollars, crowdfunding almost all of the big money prize pool. ​​

Vancouver’s Kurtis ‘Aui_2000’ Ling is former winner of The International, capturing the 2015 title and with it, a cut of the $6.6 million US first place prize money.

Fans filled Seattle’s Key Arena for the 2015 edition of The International. This week’s event is expected to draw six days worth of similar crowds to Vancouver’s Rogers Arena. (Jason Redmond / Reuters)

Dota is an incredibly hard game to get into. But once you get down to understanding it, the strategical depth of the game is so high, and it’s incredibly exciting to watch,” he said.

“But at the same time, if I was a new spectator I wouldn’t have any idea what was going on either.”

If you’re one of those new fans, here’s some of what you need to know about The International and Dota 2.

Announcers, referred to as casters, provide commentary and analysis during game play. (Jason Redmond / Reuters)

What is Dota 2?

Here come the acronyms.

Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena game, or MOBA. In the game, two teams of five players each select characters and battle across a virtual landscape in an effort to destroy each other’s base, referred to as an ancient.

Characters from the video game Dota 2 developed by Valve Corporation. Vancouver will play host to the game’s top tournament, The International, for the first time this month. (Valve Corporation)

Dota itself is an acronym for Defense of the Ancients, and as the name implies, Dota 2 was launched as a sequel to the original Dota.

One more: The International is the event’s formal name, but most there will call simply call it TI. Vancouver is hosting the eighth edition of the tournament, so this one is known informally as TI8.

“It’s absolutely electric,” said Ling of The International. “There’s so many people from all over the world who are just there to watch you play video games. It’s insane.”

Fans holding the flag of the People’s Republic of China cheer for CDEC Gaming during the 2015 grand finals at The International. (Jason Redmond / Reuters)

Isn’t it boring watching other people play video games?

In your living room, it probably is. But, at a tournament setting inside a NHL arena, it’s a true sporting spectacle.

“The crowd is really nice. Everyone in that arena wants to see good Dota so if you display good Dota, people are going to be happy about it,”  said Artour ‘Arteezy’ Babaev, a Vancouver-raised TI veteran at just 22 years old.

Matches play out with teams each sheltered in transparent soundproof booths positioned roughly where centre ice would be at a hockey game.

Fans watch and react as the action unfolds live on the view screens above.

“The only thing you can really hear is the vibration of the crowd,” said Babaev of playing amid the pressure-packed TI atmosphere.

“It’s muffled a bit, but you hear the vibration.”

“The audience’s energy actually shakes the booth. It’s crazy,” said Kurtis ‘Aui_2000’ Ling of competing at TI. (Jason Redmond / Reuters)

Most matches at TI’s main event will be best of three games, with Saturday’s grand finals between the final two teams contested as a best of five.

No one has won The International twice, meaning a TI victory carries with it a singular prestige in the gaming world.

Cosplayers dressed as Dota 2 characters are part of the spectacle at The International. (Valve / Flickr)

Who will local fans be cheering for in this?

Some teams are made up of players solely from one country or region, so national flags are a common sight in the stands.

Some players have massive social media followings and are the rock stars of the tournament.

For hometown fans, there will be five Canadians at TI’s main event this week — two players and three coaches — including B.C.’s Ling and Babaev.

  • Artour ‘Arteezy’ Babaev — raised in Vancouver’s West End, Babaev will be competing in his fifth TI, this time with Evil Geniuses.
  • Kurtis ‘Aui_2000’ Ling — winner of TI5, he’s at this year’s tournament as a coach for Fnatic.
  • Jacky ‘EternaLEnVy’ Mao — an Ontario player competing for Fnatic who’s playing in his fifth trip TI.
  • Aaron ​’Clairvoyance’ Kim — a Korean-born, Toronto-raised coach who will be at his second TI, this time working for VGJ.Storm.
  • Sivatheeban “1437” Sivanathapillai  — a Toronto-based gamer who’s a veteran of five TIs as player and will be coaching TNC Predator