The popularity of esports shows no signs of slowing down. The staying power of this fledgling industry is evidenced by an influx of investors, including venture capital firms and household names like Mark Cuban. Earnings for esports tournaments are now higher than some global professional sports.
Below is a collection of articles that covers everything from an “esports 101” lesson to the upcoming SMITE World Championship hosted by Hi-Rez Studios.
Esports: The world’s biggest spectacle you’ve never heard of
Never heard of esports? ESPN viewership for the 2014 League of Legends championship exceeded 27 million people. That’s more than game seven of last year’s baseball World Series (23.5 million viewers) and the deciding game of 2014’s NBA Finals (18 million). As prize money for video game tournaments continues to grow, professional gaming is becoming a viable way to make a living. Read the article here.
Esports: The Future of entertainment
Before you laugh at the notion that millions of people are sitting around watching others play video games, let’s take a look at the numbers. Esports earnings outrank the Super Bowl, Wimbledon and the UEFA Cup. In the near future, investment in this industry will increase from tens of millions to billions of dollars simply because of viewership. Twitch.tv, an online service that hosts live video broadcasts of people playing video games, was acquired by Amazon for $970 million. With over 12 billion minutes watched per month last year, Twitch has already eclipsed Fox Sports, NFL Network and even Amazon’s Instant Video Service. Read the article here.
Smite’s new plan to take its players pro
As Atlanta-based Hi-Rez Studios prepares for the 2016 SMITE World Championship, the popular gaming company has capped prize money at $1 million. Distributing the prize pool over several major events will create a more stable professional scene for the popular MOBA game, according to Todd Harris, COO of Hi-Rez Studios. This approach will also help new teams emerge onto the scene and give more gamers – not just top performers – the opportunity to earn a decent living doing what they love. Read article here.
Hi-Rez announces Smite Xbox One invitational alongside SWC 2016
The Smite World Championships 2016 marks the arrival of MOBA eSports on console. The event will include a PC and Xbox One tournament when it returns to Atlanta’s Cobb Performing Arts Centre on January 7-10, 2016. The championships, now renamed Smite World Championship Presented By Xbox One, will test players of the original PC title and the Xbox One version, which is currently in open beta. The Smite Xbox One Invitational will bring together four top teams from the game’s emerging Xbox One competitive scene, competing for a total prize pool of $150,000. Read the article here.