Esports

Industry Shorts: Ninja, British and Irish Lions, London Youth Games

Tyler Blevins, the popular esports star more commonly known as Ninja, has left streaming service Twitch to join Mixer, a rival service owned by Microsoft.

Ninja, who mainly plays Fortnite, leaves behind 14.7 million followers on Twitch, which is owned by Amazon. Ninja will now exclusively stream on Mixer and represent the platform at events as part of the deal. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

INDUSTRY SHORTS: Arsenal, Suning, IMG

Camden Town Brewery has been unveiled as Arsenal’s new beer partner in the UK and Ireland.

Under the three-year deal, Arsenal will rename its Champions Bar as the Camden Town Brewery Tavern, while the beer brand will have the right to use the club’s imagery in marketing campaigns.

Camden Town Brewery branding will also appear throughout the club’s Emirates Stadium.

The local brewery was established in 2010 before being acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2015.

National Student Esports secures long-term Intel deal

National Student Esports (NSE) has signed a strategic long-term partnership with Intel for the second season of the British University Esports Championship.

The two companies will work together on a range of initiatives throughout the season, with more details of the partnership to be announced later in the year. A particular focus will be placed on investment in grassroots esports.

FIFA’s eWorld Cup returns to The O2

FIFA has confirmed that its eWorld Cup will return to London this year, with the season’s pinnacle event to again take place at The O2 from 2nd to 4th August.

Having already played host to last year’s final, which saw Mosaad Aldossary crowned world champion, 32 of the world’s best EA Sports FIFA 19 players will compete once more at The O2. The FIFA eWorld Cup champion will win $250,000 in prize money, along with a trip to The Best FIFA Football Awards.

FIFA 19 Global Series breaks viewing records

Video game producer Electronic Arts (EA) and FIFA have announced that the EA Sports FIFA 19 Global Series esports competition generated more than 680 million minutes watched, a 60% annual increase and 61 million total views, a 25% year-on-year increase.

EA and FIFA said the significant viewership growth was anchored by many key factor. The FIFA 19 Global Series featured 17 official league partners versus eight last season, the launch of the first-ever eChampions League in collaboration with UEFA and the introduction of the FIFA eNations Cup.

ESL makes new Facebook deal non-exclusive

Esports giant ESL has expanded its streaming agreement with Facebook to include all of its global competitions in 2019.

However, in a significant change to the terms of the original agreement, Facebook will no longer benefit from non-exclusive rights.

It means that events such as Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One, and ESL Pro League for CS:GO will also be available on Twitch and other platforms, and follows criticism from some esports fans unhappy with the video quality of the Facebook coverage.

Shell and Lagardere on board for LEC

Shell has agreed its first esports partnership with Riot Games’ new League of Legends professional European series, LEC.

The global oil and gas firm will come on board for the inaugural season of the new franchise-based championship, which will get underway this month.

The Shell brand will be integrated into broadcasts through a replay segment to be called “Baron Power Play with Shell V-Power.” 

IOC rows back on esports inclusion

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has released a statement describing discussion about the inclusion of esports as a medal event on the Olympic programme as "premature." 

It cites "uncertainties" in the development of the sector, noting specifically that "the [esports] industry is fragmented in nature, with tough competition between commercial operators."

The statement continues: "The [esports] industry is commercially driven, while on the other hand the sports movement is values-based.

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