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What to expect from esport in 2019

George Miller

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Esports have grown to a massive industry in just the past few years, and 2019 is predicted to be even bigger. Many industry analysts predict global esport revenue to surpass $1.1 billion USD in 2019. Expected revenue breaks down as follows:

esports revenue 18

 

Obviously, this means huge tournament prizes and team earnings for competitors this year.

2019 Esport Games

We’re going to see game genres mixed up a bit more in 2019 esports. While RTS and MOBA games have traditionally been the most popular esport games, a handful of fighting and shooter titles are slated to be rising stars in 2019. Of particular interest are the rise of battle royale games, which we’ll touch on briefly.

The games anticipated to do most hotly in 2019 global esports are as follows:

Overwatch
Fortnite
Dota 2
League of Legends
CS: GO
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
PubG
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Clash Royale
Magic: The Gathering Arena

A dark horse also arose early in February, Apex Legends. Many of the 2019 esport predictions were made at the end of December 2018, or early January 2019. Apex Legends was released early February, with zero marketing behind it – Apex Legends literally came out of left field (American slang meaning “totally unexpected”, for you global readers).

The reason Apex Legends is worth mentioning is that the game hit 25 million players only a week after being released. It also became the #1 live-streamed game on Twitch, ending February with an average 217,997 viewers, or around 11% of Twitch’s total audience. This is no small feat for a game that was released completely unannounced into the wild west of the battle royale genre.

twitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Apex Legends continues the popularity trend, it could also become a hot item in 2019 esports.

Of course you see some old staples on the list of games. Dota 2 and League of Legends are certainly not going anywhere, being the most popular MOBAs on a global scale.

Also of growing interest are racing and sport games (oh, the irony of playing sports games in esports). There are a number of smaller esport leagues dedicated exclusively to racing games, such as the F1 eSports Series, and the GT Championships.

There is also potential for more indie and browser-based titles in smaller esport leagues. Mobile Esports, for example, partnered up with Blayze Games, the developers of the popular browser-based first-person shooter Bullet Force and offers tournament grand prizes of $500. Other popular browser games have good Twitch and Youtube stream followings – Slither.io for example has 17,307 followers on Twitch.

Indeed, this game could be a cool niche for the browser based esport racing scene. As for sports, games like NBA 2K and FIFA have serious dedicated leagues as well. Especially the latter, as many enjoy playing soccer games particularly in Europe.

2019 Esport Sponsors

A lot of global brands are getting into esport endorsement – in fact, just a few days ago Nike inked its first esport sponsorship deal, following the heels of Adidas and Puma (pun intended). This adds to the growing list of high-profile brands that are sponsoring esports. Esport sponsors fall into the categories ‘endemic’ and ‘non-endemic’. Endemic sponsors are companies that are related to esports in some way, such as selling PC hardware and other technology manufacturers. Non-endemic sponsors are companies that have pretty much nothing to do with esports, like Nike.

Many articles that list esport sponsors put food and drink companies in the “non-endemic” category, but I disagree. Brands like Chipotle, Mountain Dew, and Snickers are every bit as endemic to esports as Corsair, Intel, and MSI. Gamers gotta eat, and we’ve got a reputation for unhealthy diets, right? Other ‘non-endemic’ brands like Gillette, well… you know, some esports players really do badly need a shave. So it fits.

Here are the top non-endemic global sponsors for esports in 2018 / 2019:

  • Adidas
  • Gillette
  • Geico
  • Tinder
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Airbus
  • Nike

The top endemic global sponsors for esports in 2018 / 2019:

  • HyperX
  • Intel
  • Red Bull
  • Monster Energy
  • Mountain Dew
  • Alienware
  • Logitech
  • Corsair
  • Razer
  • iBuyPower
  • Twitch

Honestly I could continue, but it’s a pretty huge list and my editor will think I’m just filling word count. Check out Esports marketing blog, they cover this stuff more in-depth.

p and p

 

 

China Banhammers Like, Everybody
One thing of note is how China plays into the market – or doesn’t play in the market, to be more technical. While many analysts include China in their “global esport revenue” reports, China lately has been taking its ball and playing at home. The country has a massive esport scene that caters to native games, which are not seen on the international level.

China’s biggest esport game is Honor of Kings, also known as Arena of Valor on the international market. It’s pretty much been China’s biggest MOBA for awhile, and has expanded to the Asia-Pacific region. Honor of Kings was released internationally as Arena of Valor, but hasn’t seen the same success its enjoyed in China.

To add to this, mainland China also recently banned a number of highly popular esport games, while putting others on a “watch list”. It’s an effort from their Online Ethics Committee to crack down on ‘vulgarity’ and explicit violence in video games. The most popular esport games banned games in mainland China are:

  • PubG
  • Fortnite
  • H1Z1
  • Alliance of Valiant Arms

Here’s a full list of games that were either banned or put on a watch / review list in mainland China – you’ll notice a few Chinese games are also on the list, including Arena of Valor, the game I just said was China’s biggest esport draw. Tencent, the developers of Arena of Valor, actually skipped off to Hong Kong for laxer laws, tweeting “after everything we did for you 🙁 @XiJingpingreal”. Actually I’m making that up, they didn’t tweet anything. But they did skip off to Hong Kong.

game-reason-action

 

In any case, when you take into considering mainland China’s clamping down on mobile games for their “corruption of youth” potential, then it’s not hard to believe North America will once again be the largest esports market in 2019. America boasted esport revenues of $409.1 million in 2018, and I’m pretty sure we won the most esport trophies. What’s that? South Korea, you say? They don’t count. Their public education was replaced with MOBA training campuses years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m 99% positive these photos are from South Korean elementary schools. Prove me wrong.

 

Author: Katie Green

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Esports Entertainment Group Appoints John Brackens, Former Activision Blizzard Manager of Network Operations, As Chief Information Officer

George Miller

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Esports Entertainment Group Appoints John Brackens, Former Activision Blizzard Manager of Network Operations, As Chief Information Officer
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Esports Entertainment Group, Inc., a licensed online gambling company with a specific focus on esports wagering and 18+ gaming, is pleased to announce the appointment of John Brackens as Chief Information Officer.  Mr. Brackens is a senior level professional with extensive experience in startups, high-tech companies and the gaming industry, holding positions that have included CIO, COO and CTO.

During his time at Activision Blizzard, Mr. Brackens served as Manager of Network Operations, where he directed IT service management and hardware support for 4,500+ servers and 50+ million monthly active players. In addition to reducing server maintenance costs by 35%, he also improved system uptime from 97.81% to 99.99%.  Moreover, he managed technology projects including the automated detection and repair of online services and infrastructure using artificial intelligence.

Other key achievements by Mr. Brackens include the creation, execution, and monetization of the League of Gods Asia eSports series, as well as, managing a licensing application for Malta Gaming Authority and Curacao eGaming License.

Mr. Brackens stated, “I joined Esports Entertainment Group because of Grant Johnson’s commitment to providing a best in class betting experience to esports fans. Esports is going to be the leading source of entertainment in the next few years eclipsing many major traditional sports. I want to be a part of this movement. I look forward to helping drive the growth of VIE.gg through cost-effective technologies that deliver value and innovation to players and fans alike, so that everyone can enjoy all of our services as intended.”

Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group stated, “We are very pleased with the addition of John to our senior management team. His experience at the highest levels of information technology and network operations, especially within different licensing regimes, will be invaluable as the Company embarks on its aggressive growth plans within the global esports industry.”

 

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Lenovo™ Announces North America Partnership with esports club Team SoloMid

George Miller

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Lenovo™ Announces North America Partnership with esports club Team SoloMid
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Lenovo North America announced a local partnership with Team SoloMid (TSM), the premier digital gaming platform that includes gaming strategy sites, world class influencers and championship esports teams. The partnership is Lenovo North America’s first official esports sponsorship, and the investment will further enhance the company’s focus on the gaming industry.

As the exclusive PC partner of TSM’s teams and organization, Lenovo will outfit a revolutionary, state-of-the-art, gaming lounge for players inside TSM’s new 25,000 square foot training facility, currently under construction in Los Angeles. With Lenovo’s support, TSM’s players will not only be able to train and work toward competing at the highest level possible, the organization’s content team will have access to the technological tools necessary to produce world-class content. The Lenovo Legion™ Lounge will feature sleek, high-performance Lenovo gaming PCs, complete with immersive visuals and audio. The company will also host exclusive TSM events and giveaways throughout the year.

“With the esports audience projected to surpass NFL viewership and reach 276 million by 2022, Lenovo is excited to partner with a veteran team that helped to elevate the popularity of esports in the U.S.,” said Matt Zielinski, Lenovo’s President of North America, “We understand the tremendous growth potential of this market, and this partnership is a great complement to our investments in bringing professional-grade gaming experiences to avid players around the world.”

For more than a decade, TSM has fielded some of the most talented and successful professional esports teams in North America, competing across multiple titles such as League of Legends™, Fortnite™, Smash Brothers™ and Rocket League®. In addition to its elite players, TSM has one of the largest, most engaged fan bases in esports with nearly 80 million followers across multiple platforms, and a network of gaming sites that boasts over 180 million page views a month.

“For TSM, partnering with Lenovo was simple,” says Andy Dinh, Founder and CEO of TSM. “Lenovo Legion is best in class when it comes to PCs that are optimized for gameplay. It’s important that we believe in the brand and products we partner with, and I want to make sure our players, and our audience, are using the best hardware possible. TSM focuses on excellence, and we only partner with the best. Lenovo’s history of a commitment to high performance and quality aligns with TSM’s vision for the future—not only for our teams, but our entire organization.”

 

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Esports Tournaments Look to Digital Payments to Fix Delayed Prize Money Payouts

George Miller

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Esports Tournaments Look to Digital Payments to Fix Delayed Prize Money Payouts
Photo Source: medium.com
Reading Time: 7 minutes

 

FN Media Group Presents Microsmallcap.com Market Commentary

 

The Esports industry is growing exponentially, but there’s one catch. With prize pools for Esports tournaments hitting the tens of millions, players of games such as Fortnite run by Tencent Holdings Ltd. backed Epic Games, are not getting paid on time. Esports payments present an enormous opportunity with a lack of fast and cost-effective payment options being available. Platforms such as PayPal are angling to be the preferred payments solution for global gaming events, recently announcing a partnership with Ubisoft for the 2019 Pro League Sessions of Rainbow Six Siege. E-gaming streaming also accounts for a big chunk of that business, including mini-donations made to Twitch users via Amazon payments. Having recently entered a strategic partnership with online Esports media giant Enthusiast Gaming Holdings Inc. , LiteLink Technologies Inc.’s wholly-owned subsidiary uBUCK Technologies SEZC is on the verge of disrupting the payment sector of the Esports industry by offering a truly fast payment option that also allows saving on payment fees.

Payment Delays Plague Esports

Industry watchers agree that Esports is about to be the greatest opportunity for investors this side of cannabis. Estimates from Newzoo have projected the global Esports market to easily top $1-billion by this year, and then go on to speed past $1.6 billion by 2021. Meanwhile, the global Esports audience is projected to grow to 453.8 million worldwide this year, a 15% year-on-year growth figure.

Sponsorships and prize pools have swelled as a result. The first Fortnite World Cup held by Tencent Holdings’ Epic Games on June 26-28, 2019, will be putting up a whopping $30 million dollar prize pool to 200 qualifying players — each of whom will walk away with at least $50,000. These phenomenal prize pools have drawn world-class competitors from all over the world. Yet with all that money flying around to far-flung bank accounts, transaction and wiring fees have also escalated dramatically, and so has delays.

These problems can now be avoided with Streambucks, developed by LiteLink Technologies Inc.’s subsidiary uBUCK Technologies SEZC – a globally accessible decentralized digital wallet and P2P online payments platform that offers a stable token with a pin voucher solution, that serves as an attractive payments alternative for Esports tournaments and Egaming streamers.

Payment services such as Paypal have taken notice of the increased business in the Esports sector, partnering with game developers such as Ubisoft to get in on the action. As the official payment platform partner for Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Pro League and Majors, Paypal is acknowledging the reality that gaming now accounts for more than $12 billion in Paypal’s total global payment volume. Yet Paypal has its drawbacks which include high fees, payment delays, and potential account suspensions – not to mention the prerequisite requirement of having a bank account to use the platform.

Secure cross-border payments have also become a persistent pain point in the world of Esports, with some organizers reported to be struggling with the exorbitant global wire fees charged by banks, PayPal and other money transfer services. This has led to inexcusable delays. Players from this January’s Fortnite Australian Open Summer Smash event, for instance, still haven’t received their prize money from Tencent Holdings Ltd. backed Epic Games, and according to Reddit, 25 players are still short of AUD$187,000 out of a combined AUD$500,000 prize pool.

This is far from an isolated incident. Many Esports players have complained all over Reddit boards and Twitter about their payments being delayed, even from known organizations. At times, entire tournaments, such as the Electronics and Games Expo in Cape Town held last year, have been skipping over winnings. In a majority of these cases, organizers have blamed administrative problems for payment issues.

Secure, Fast And Free Worldwide Transfers

LiteLink Technologies Inc.’s (LLT-LLNKF) deal with Enthusiast should put Streambucks squarely in the Esports firmament, and shake up a nascent sector. Under the terms of the letter of intent, uBUCK Technologies SEZC will serve as an official sponsor for Enthusiast’s EGLX tournament events, with uBUCK’s “Streambucks” digital payment solution acting as its payment remittance and funds transfer partner for Canada’s largest video game expo, an event that drew in 55,000 attendees last year. uBUCK will also facilitate the transfer of the prize funds to the winners of the tournament.

Under this arrangement, Enthusiast will now be able to transfer Streambuck cash to vendors, tournament winners, and business associates from around the world without having to pay a single cent in transfer fees. With a reputation for fast, near-instantaneous payments, the top players should flock to the EGLX event from all over the world, bolstering this prestigious event even further.

Overseas payments have always been a sore spot for businesses and gamers, which is why the Streambucks platform will completely rewrite the rules. Unlike blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, Streambucks is truly democratized and accessible to mainstream users. Eliminating these costly fees and long processing times should go a long way to ensuring that tournament winners and participants are paid fast and without hassle.

Streambucks is also built on the decentralized, distributed ledger platform of Waves blockchain, known for its record-breaking speeds, while enjoying the same security as cryptocurrencies but with none of the volatility of crypto. That’s because Streambuck cash is a U.S. dollar-backed stable token, unlike popular cryptocurrency coins and tokens which can fluctuate wildly as they’re traded primarily by speculators on digital currency exchanges. Streambuck cash, on the other hand, is neither mineable nor tradeable, and its value is backed by the U.S. dollar through pin voucher sales.

The Disruptive Fintech Of Streambucks

The growth potential for Streambucks within Esports is limitless. uBUCK’s deal with Enthusiast goes far beyond just payments for events, covering streaming and other online gaming activities. The company has agreed to integrate uBUCK’s Streambucks solution on its colossal publisher network, which is currently frequented by 75 million monthly visitors. Enthusiast will receive a percentage of the profits from the uBUCK’s Streambucks user activity.

Enthusiast Gaming Holdings Inc. (TSX-V:EGLX) (OTCQB:EGHIF) has been on the lookout for different ways to monetize its large and enthusiastic base of followers and engage with them across multiple touch points. Streaming services and broadcast is the latest expansion in its services portfolio—and it’s where much of the Esports money is at, with Twitch raking in $1.6-billion in revenue in 2015, the year that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) took over. Much of Twitch’s revenue was generated through mini-donations made through Amazon Pay.

Specifically developed for Esports, Streambucks offers gamers and gaming fans with a seamless and secure way to make online payments, offering a solution that’s designed to beat all potential payment competitors in terms of ease of use, speed, security, and cost.

Streambucks should help to accelerate this growth in Enthusiast Gaming’s streaming revenue, as visitors to its network of sites can now use the Streambucks app to purchase products with Streambuck cash, with a debit card and make transfer payments and donations to streamers and Egamers.

Enthusiast will give Streambucks unprecedented exposure to their large community, helping to advertise the product in areas where there is unsold inventory, as part of its preferred partner pricing strategy. With the largest online gaming network in North America and a sprawling community dedicated and passionate about gaming, Enthusiast Gaming’s tens of millions of gaming visitors is set to help Litelink Technologies Inc.’s (LLT) (LLNKF) uBUCK-developed Streambucks platform become a leading payments contender in the Esports sector, while revolutionizing digital payments as a whole.

Disclaimer:  Microsmallcap.com (MSC) is the source of the Article and content set forth above. References to any issuer other than the profiled issuer are intended solely to identify industry participants and do not constitute an endorsement of any issuer and do not constitute a comparison to the profiled issuer. FN Media Group (FNM) is a third-party publisher and news dissemination service provider, which disseminates electronic information through multiple online media channels. FNM is NOT affiliated with MSC or any company mentioned herein. The commentary, views and opinions expressed in this release by MSC are solely those of MSC and are not shared by and do not reflect in any manner the views or opinions of FNM. Readers of this Article and content agree that they cannot and will not seek to hold liable MSC and FNM for any investment decisions by their readers or subscribers. MSC and FNM and their respective affiliated companies are a news dissemination and financial marketing solutions provider and are NOT registered broker-dealers/analysts/investment advisers, hold no investment licenses and may NOT sell, offer to sell or offer to buy any security.

The Article and content related to the profiled company represent the personal and subjective views of the Author (MSC), and are subject to change at any time without notice. The information provided in the Article and the content has been obtained from sources which the Author believes to be reliable. However, the Author (MSC) has not independently verified or otherwise investigated all such information. None of the Author, MSC, FNM, or any of their respective affiliates, guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any such information. This Article and content are not, and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular security or course of action; readers are strongly urged to speak with their own investment advisor and review all of the profiled issuer’s filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission before making any investment decisions and should understand the risks associated with an investment in the profiled issuer’s securities, including, but not limited to, the complete loss of your investment. FNM was not compensated by any public company mentioned herein to disseminate this press release but was compensated twenty five hundred dollars by MSC, a non-affiliated third party to distribute this release on behalf of LiteLink Technologies Inc.

FNM HOLDS NO SHARES OF ANY COMPANY NAMED IN THIS RELEASE.

This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. “Forward-looking statements” describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as “may”, “future”, “plan” or “planned”, “will” or “should”, “expected,” “anticipates”, “draft”, “eventually” or “projected”. You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, and other risks identified in a company’s annual report on Form 10-K or 10-KSB and other filings made by such company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements included herein, and not place undue reliance on such statements. The forward-looking statements in this release are made as of the date hereof and MSC and FNM undertake no obligation to update such statements.

Source: Microsmallcap.com

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