As prize pools for eSports tournaments continue to reach outrageous amounts, people are beginning to realize that eSports are here to stay. Following the conclusion of Epic Games’ Fortnite World Cup Tournament, where Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf took home the USD 3 Million grand prize, the eSports scene has completely reshaped people’s views towards the gaming industry. To put it into perspective, Bugha’s earnings were higher than Tiger Woods’ USD 2.07 Million payout at the 2019 Masters. While many strive to achieve high-paying occupations, some of the youth has now begun to seek careers in the eSports world. Typically, most emerging professional players are teenagers, however, many of the more refined professionals are nearing their late 20s. And as the industry continues to expand, investors are becoming curious about the vast eSports market. Last month, The Esports Observer tracked more than USD 556 Million in disclosed investments throughout the industry. For instance, the month of July was major for the eSports industry and was led by Chinese live-streaming company DouYu’s U.S. initial public offering, which raised USD 775 Million. Alongside DouYu’s IPO, 100Thieves’ raised USD 35 Million in its Series B funding round, while Simon Property Group’s invested USD 5 Million Allied Esports. Moreover, sports teams have also tried to close the gap between traditional athletic sports and eSports. For instance, teams such as the New York Mets, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Philadelphia 76ers have invested into professional gaming organizations. Notably, even Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones acquired a majority stake in eSports franchise team compLexity Gaming. Under the transaction, Jones created a training facility for compLexity and also provided the gamers with the same professional care that the football players receive. Many investors are beginning to see the potential growth of the eSports industry, which is leading to more investments down the road. And with more investments, organizations are able to expand their teams and recruit top tier players from around the world. According to data compiled by Envision Intelligence, the global eSports market was valued at USD 700 Million in 2017. By 2025, the market is expected to reach USD 2.75 Billionwhile exhibiting a CAGR of 18.74% from 2019 to 2025. UMG Media Ltd. (TSX-V: ESPT), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE: DELL)
After Epic Games’ wrapped up its first year of the Fortnite World Cup, the Company disclosed minimal details regarding its upcoming tournament. Following the recent launch of Fortnite’s 10th season, Epic Games announced that it will be holding the Champion Series starting on August 17th, according to The Verge. The tournament is expected to take place over five weeks with weekend tournaments featuring players from all around the world. While Epic Games did not disclose the exact dollar figure of the tournament, the Company hinted that each event will have its own individual cash prize pool and that it will add up to millions of dollars. Previously before the World Cup, Epic Games frequently held “pop-up” cup tournaments that allowed anyone to enter regardless of their rank. And if players performed well, they could nab a few thousand dollars from cash prizes. Since then, Epic Games has completely rebranded itself and is looking more towards holding live events similar to the World Cup. While it will cost a substantial amount of funds to hold future tournaments of that scale, eager investors are willing to deposit large sums of money for the emerging future of the eSports industry. “eSports has no barrier to entry. If you’re a gamer, you’re a gamer. If you want to step up your game and play in a competition you can do so. If you’re really great and you practice a lot you might be on a big stage winning a million dollars. And that’s open to everyone in the large part. It’s about making opportunities for anyone to do anything,” said James Dean, Chief Executive Officer of ESL UK.
UMG Media Ltd. (TSX-V: ESPT) announced breaking news earlier today that, ” that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Activate Entertainment LLC (“Activate”). Activate is a creative management and production services company that specializes in esports events and activations.
- In 2019, Activate has produced a number of major esports events, including the “Esports Experience” at the National Advertising Broadcaster (NAB) Show in Las Vegas, and the “Panasonic Esports Arena” at InfoComm in Orlando
- Activate works with hospitality brands such as Marriott International and Caesars Entertainment on their esports initiatives
- Activate helps corporate brands such as Panasonic and Roland develop points of entry into the esports industry
- Activate has produced top-tier livestream productions for clients at major shows including E3, San Diego Comic Con, Dell Technologies World and The World Series of Poker
Activate has offices in both Las Vegas and Los Angeles and is led by Chris Iaquinta and Dirk Hagen, who have combined over 40 years experience in the event management and production industry, with a focus on turnkey, custom activations for a wide variety of entertainment industries, both gaming related and beyond.
“Bringing Activate into UMG will greatly expand the services and expertise of UMG in the esports event management side of the industry, commented Dave Antony, CEO of UMG. “Being able to add the experience of Chris and Dirk will be invaluable as UMG expands.”
Activate was responsible for the broadcast, production and execution of over three dozen live premium esports and video game activations in the last calendar year, bringing their nearly four decades of professional execution and delivery to bear. Activate also serves as the Director of Gaming and Esports for various entities, including NAB Show and the Metarama Gaming Festival.
“UMG represents the perfect structural partner that will allow our newly unified businesses to further raise the standard for esports livestreams and event productions”, said Chris Iaquinta, President of Activate Entertainment. “Together, our ability to provide professional results and deliverables to clients, partners and customers will be greatly amplified”.
In consideration for the acquisition of Activate (the “Transaction”), UMG will issue 2,333,333 Common Shares at a price of $0.30 per share. The shareholders of Activate have the ability to receive $3,000,000 in additional common shares (“Performance Shares”) of UMG. The Performance Shares will be earned over the 18 month period following the closing of the transaction. The number of Performance Shares to be issued will be based directly on the gross revenue of Activate and will be issued at the 10 day weighted average price of UMG shares at the time of issue. The Transaction is subject to due diligence and regulatory approval, including the acceptance of the TSX Venture Exchange. The Transaction is an arm’s length transaction.
Closing is expected to occur in the next 30 days…
About UMG – UMG Media Ltd. (“UMG”) is a premier esports company in North America, offering live gaming entertainment events and online play. UMG provides online and live tournaments as well as the creation and distribution of original esports content.
For more information about UMG visit www.umggaming.com.
About Activate – Activate Entertainment is one of the leading esports and gaming activation and production specialists in the industry. Activate owns and operates a number of unique esports Ips, including Esports Gaming World (EGW) and The Elite Esports Academy.
To learn about Activate visit www.actentgroup.com”
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Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. Electronic Arts Inc. recently announced its preliminary financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended June 30th, 2019. Digital net bookings for the trailing twelve months was USD 3.730 Billion, up 5% year-over-year and represents 76% of total net bookings. During the quarter, FIFA Ultimate TeamTM had more than three million players logging in daily during the Team of the Season in-game event. During the quarter, The Sims 4TM expansion packs and game pack downloads increased 55% year-over-year. At quarter end, Star Wars TM: Galaxy of Heroes had nearly 80 million players life-to-date. “We had a strong start to FY20, bringing rich new experiences to our growing communities for Apex Legends, EA SPORTS, The Sims and more,” said Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson. “From great new games to live services with longevity, subscriptions on more platforms and competitive gaming for more franchises, we’re pushing to lead with innovation, quality and choice for our players.”
Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) has embedded innovative technologies in every aspect of our cloud, enabling companies to reimagine their businesses, processes, and experiences. Recently, Betinvest LTD, an international gaming solutions provider, has bet on Oracle to monetize its innovative i-gaming digital services. With the ability to handle high transaction volumes common in the gaming industry, Oracle Monetization Cloudwill enable Betinvest to offer partners a single, agile system for handling their complex business needs while helping ensure compliance with international financial system standards. Betinvest provides a software platform that enables betting on more than 80 sports around the world. With 20 years of industry experience, the award-winning solution is developed and supported by hundreds of IT specialists, trading analysts and statisticians. Innovating in high-growth areas such as eSports, virtual gaming, mobile gaming and data feeds, Betinvest requires its technology tools to easily scale so the business can quickly launch new services using a variety of data formats. Operating with the promise of no downtime, the company delivers real-time data and accurate statistics to clients across Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. “As businesses innovate into the growing digital services arena, they require powerful monetization capabilities to handle high volume, real-time, complex transactions and integrate with third party solutions,” said Doug Suriano, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Oracle Communications. “The gaming industry is one of many facing these challenges today. Betinvest and Oracle Monetization Cloud make a winning combination, and Betinvest can now deliver these flexible capabilities to its partners and players.”
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) helps family, friends and neighbors connect in meaningful ways every day. Continuing to evolve its corporate sponsorships portfolio, AT&T Communications recently reached a new agreement with Cloud9 that will help AT&T grow its relationships with new and existing customers as it plays an increasingly involved role in the esports community. One of the most prominent esports organizations in the world, Cloud9 has 12 teams across a variety of platforms and titles, including League of Legends, Fortnite, CS:GO, Apex Legends, and others. They’ve competed in more than 600 tournaments and built one of the largest and most engaged fanbases with 17.4 million social media followers. “We’re thrilled that Cloud9 has chosen to work with us to connect its fans to more of the moments they love, whether that’s at an event, at home, or on the go,” said Shiz Suzuki, Assistant Vice President, AT&T Sponsorships & Experiential Marketing. “Our sponsorship investments put our brand at the convergence of entertainment, technology and lifestyles. Cloud9 is thriving at that intersection, and we look forward to learning and growing with them.”
Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE: DELL) is a unique family of businesses that helps organizations and individuals build their digital future and transform how they work and live. Recently, Alienware and Dell announced they are tapped into what the community wants – gaming solutions with more performance, portability, display technologies, and community benefits. This year at Computex 2019, Alienware and Dell will deliver on this and more. The new Alienware m15 and m17, as well as the Dell G3 15, are among Dell’s first gaming laptops to showcase a brand-new design and processors that supercharge the PC gaming experience. Two Alienware branded headsets, several new display technologies, a new esports investment in education, blue light reduction, and custom home installation round out the offerings.”Gamers across the globe have high expectations from Alienware and Dell when it comes to our gaming products and without a doubt our latest announcements will exceed even the highest of expectations out there,” said Frank Azor, Vice-President, and General Manager of Alienware, G Series, and XPS at Dell. “To get to this point it has taken over two decades of uncompromising commitment to gamers, the collaboration of an incredibly talented and devoted team, and an ever-expanding group of top-tier partners.”
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