From its humble beginnings, competitive gaming or eSports for short has become a mainstream stay. Regardless of are you or watching TV in Germany, entering a Business Class lounge in Istanbul, Turkey – you’ll see League of Legends or a similar eSports title playing on one of the screens, and even two gaming systems plus the consoles. Move to the United States, and you’ll see eSports players even being betted on, with services such as UNIKRN. Draftkings and Fan Duel need no introduction. ESPN today has an eSports channel… and yet, all of this pales in comparison to the destination I am currently heading to.
While VR commands a lot of attention from up and coming experiences and franchises, there is no denying that the first really big shots in VR games are yet to come. On the other hand, impact and workflow of today’s 3D games are all established and known. For some franchises, one might say that they’ve been here from the beginning of gaming. Milestone for many young (not so young) lives. One such game is Valve’s Counter-Strike i.e. CS. Together with League of Legends (LoL) and Dota 2, this holy trinity of eSports reach over 140 million players and attract more viewers globally than numerous mainstream sports.
Valve Corporation is an organization responsible for not one, but two of the most popular and influential eSports franchises: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (aka CS:GO) and Dota 2. Given that Virtual Reality (VR) titles debuted strongly, and there are two VR titles in Steam’s Top 10 “Popular New Releases” category, it was a question of time before the potential of a tie-up between eSports and VR appears. Not surprisingly, VR has that potential to become the social tool like Nintendo Wii once was. In an article on Fortune, Chet Faliszek, game developer and Valve’s VR evangelist talked about the appeal of VR: “While we have The International and events where
Valve has just announced that ESPN networks will be carrying the DOTA 2 International Championships, which just recently broke a $10 million prize pool. The International DOTA 2 Championships will be held in Seattle, Washington from July 18th to the 21st and will culminate in a final where the winners will walk away with nearly $5 million thanks to so many people buying Compendiums. People wanting to watch the DOTA 2 International Championships on TV or online can do so using ESPN 3, and ESPN 2 for the final match. You can also access most of the matches and the final match on WatchESPN, ESPN’s
We’ve been covering the International DOTA 2 Championships since they announced the prize pool for the event. Initially, Valve, the makers of DOTA 2, put up $1.6 million of their own money for the event and gamers have contributed to the prize pool for the event through the purchasing of the Dota 2 International Championships Compendium. DOTA 2 is a MOBA game (Massively Online Battle Arena) much like League of Legends, which is one of the more popular of the two and is made by Riot Games. DOTA 2 has only officially been out for a year or so (but has been in beta since
Robert Morris University-Illinois, a small private university in Chicago, will offer eSports scholarships later this year. Beginning this fall, the scholarships will cover up to 50 percent of tuition and room and board; which is worth up to $19,000 per student. This is the first substantial scholarship of its kind in the U.S. The school plans on offering 45-50 athletic scholarships to competitive League of Legends gamers. League of Legends has 70 million players per month and in terms of hours played, it was the most popular video game in the U.S. and Europe in 2012. RMU is also looking into hiring a coach for
Some places are calling this new acquisition rumor of Twitch.tv to be one that has YouTube as a suitor and others are calling it a Google acquisition. Ultimately, Google is the parent company even though it would directly associate with YouTube in terms of media delivery and sharing. Whether you say YouTube is acquiring Twitch or Google, the end result is that Twitch is getting acquired for $1 billion in cash according to Variety, an interesting source of M&A news. While I would certainly allow this rumor to mature and ferment a bit in the rumormill, this may actually be the most reasonable acquisition (and acquisition price)
The DOTA 2 International competition has already begun in the regional competitions and the final will be in July from the 18th and 21st in Seattle’s KeyArena. However, in order to fund the competition, Valve has decided to encourage the community to purchase compendiums for $9.99 which will allow them to increase the prize pool by $2.50. The International Compendium is a digital booklet that allows gamers to interact with the DOTA 2 tournament. DOTA 2 players will also earn more rewards as they are able to level up their Compendium by watching games, collecting player cards and making tournament predictions The awesome thing about Valve’s