esports

China’s frenzy over League of Legends championship sheds light on esports growth

When China’s Invictus Gaming defeated European squad Fnatic in the League of Legends 2018 finals this past Saturday, China’s social media platforms became awash in ecstasy and pride. “It’s like winning an Olympic gold, a teenage dream come true,” writes one thirty-something audience of the competition on his WeChat feed. Many others share that sentiment. So far, the hashtag #IG冠军, which means “IG the champion,” has generated over one million threads on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter with over four million monthly active users. This is a critical moment for China’s first-generation of players who grew up under parents and teachers who too easily dismissed all kinds of video games. IG’s victory marks the first time a Chinese team has won the world championship for LoL – fondly called s...

Twitch updates security for its TwitchCon event following the Jacksonville esports shooting

Twitch is today announcing changes to its security procedures for its TwitchCon event taking place in San Jose, California on Saturday, October 27th. The update follows news of the tragic shooting at an esports event in Jacksonville, Florida last month where three people died, including the shooter, and 11 were injured. Twitch said it would review its procedures as a result, and would soon have more information about what it’s doing to keep attendees safe. Today, the company shared those plans. Our highest priority at TwitchCon is attendee safety and security. We want to assure you that we are adding additional security measures on top of past event measures. We will have more detailed information on TwitchCon security in the coming days so stay tuned! — TwitchCon 2018 (@TwitchCon) Septemb...

What should competitive Fortnite look like?

Last weekend, Epic Games put forth its first true effort at official competitive Fortnite Battle Royale. It was a disaster. The private hosts used for the tournament were about as laggy as could be, with pro players getting eliminated simply because they couldn’t move. This tournament was for a total prize of $250K. That’s big money, and big frustration for pro players who were essentially eliminated by the whims of the server gods. But on top of the lag, the whole thing was, well, boring. A cardinal sin in any sport. The fact is that when you put 100 pro players in a lobby together and tell them that the last man standing wins, most of them will simply sit in a fort and stay safe as long as possible. This does not generate a whole lot of action. And when there is action on the map, there ...

Overwatch League strikes a milestone deal with Disney and ESPN

If you’re sick of hearing about esports, you need to get over it. The space continues to grow, inching its way into the traditional media landscape. Today, in fact, Activision Blizzard announced that the Overwatch League playoffs will be aired on ESPN and Disney XD. The Overwatch League in itself is a huge step for esports, as it’s the first true city-based league for a competitive video game. While most esports leagues consist of privately owned teams with little or nothing to do with geography, Overwatch League is a pro league made up of city-based teams such as the Dallas Fuel or the San Francisco Shock. Many of these teams are owned by big names in the traditional sports world, such as Robert Kraft (CEO and owner of New England Patriots, who owns the Boston Uprising) and Jeff Wilpon (C...

Drake and Ninja are playing Fortnite live on Twitch

What do Drake, Ninja the professional esports player, Kim Dotcom, Travis Scott and NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster have in common? They’re all playing Fortnite together right now and live-streaming it on Twitch . Yes, seriously. You can tune in to Ninja’s channel here to check out the action. Right now the amount of live viewers is hovering around 600,000 which smashes Twitch’s previous record of 388,000 live concurrent viewers. Drake and Ninja started playing together a few hours ago on Ninja’s channel, and were soon joined by the other members as word spread of the livestream. Ninja is playing on a PC while Drake is on a PS4, but the two can play together thanks to Fortnite’s cross-platform support for those two systems. The group had their fair share of technical difficulties – especiall...

People are digging the new 3D replay tech in PUBG

In December, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds partnered with Seoul-based Minkonet to introduce a new 3D replay feature. For those unfamiliar with PUBG, it follows a similar structure to H1Z1 or Fortnite Battle Royale, with a hundred players dropped into a large map with nothing but their own ability to loot gear and ultimately survive. The game is a hit, with a reported 3 million concurrent players in December. While the launch of 3D replay might sound minute, it’s picked up a lot of traction. The feature lets players capture video after they’ve died, changing the speed of the video as well as the camera angle. Since launching Minkonet’s tech, the feature has been used more than nine million times each day, with an average of five minutes of replay viewing per game session. PlayerUnknown says...

Madden NFL 18 esports are coming to Disney XD and ESPN

With the Superbowl just a few weeks away, the world of football has some relatively unexpected news. Madden NFL, one of the most popular gaming titles in the world, is going even more mainstream. ESPN2 and Disney XD will broadcast Madden e-sports tournaments thanks to a new deal inked by EA, Disney, and the NFL. Madden NFL 18 is one of the top ten best selling games in the last 12 months, and the franchise has sold well over 100 million copies since its inception in 1988. Thanks to a deal with the NFL, the game is one of the most realistic representations of an actual NFL game, complete with the broadcast commentary. The top sixteen Madden NFL 18 players in the world will participate in the tournament, which will run from February 2 through April 28. The winner will compete in the Madden B...

Protecting intellectual property rights in the billion-dollar world of virtual gaming

Brianna Howard Contributor Brianna Ricque Howard is a Los Angeles-based associate at global law firm Nixon Peabody LLP. She primarily practices complex commercial litigation and intellectual property litigation and is a member of the firm’s esports task force. Virtual reality may have found a game-changing partner: esports. Recently it was announced that Justice League VR: The Complete Experience is making its way from IMAX VR locations to PlayStation VR headsets, enabling video game users to step into the shoes of their favorite superheroes, such as Batman and Wonder Woman. The news comes on the heels of announcements that the publisher of the wildly popular video game Halo will team up with Microsoft to incorporate mixed reality headsets into the game and that Intel will cre...

Every Overwatch League game will be streamed on Twitch for the next two years

The first match of the inaugural season of Overwatch is set for 4:00 pm PST to catch the kids on the West Coast as they get out of school, kids on the East Coast as they finish dinner and kids in Asia as they get up in the morning. The two-year deal, which will include every. single. game. of the league’s first two seasons, includes every geography but China (no word about who the streaming partner will be there). Twitch will be the third-party provider for everything from the regular season, through the playoffs and championship games and will broadcast in English, Korean and French. The two partners are also working on finding ways to part fans from their money with different features and rewards that will give perks to fans, like in-game items and exclusives, the company said. Fans also...

Twitch announces reality show for up-and-coming streamers

Twitch is planning to highlight some if its most promising users in a reality show called Stream On. The Amazon-owned video game streaming service says the show is for participants who are “right on the cusp of making streaming full-time a possibility.” More concretely, it’s holding auditions for users who have already achieved Partner status — the FAQ discourages applicants who are so inexperienced that they “might not benefit much from participating,” but also those who might be so well-known that they don’t need the exposure: Any partner can audition, but be advised that the selection committee will be more likely to choose smaller partners who they feel can benefit most from the additional exposure that Stream On can offer. LIRIK, if you’re reading this, please don’t apply. The selecte...