NEW YORK, Aug. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The rise of eSports is largely due to the vast extent of media platforms such as Twitch or YouTube. Previously, Twitch dominated the eSports media industry as many top players across various games live streamed on the platform. However, as the industry continues to ramp up, others want to get involved in the marketplace. Notably, Microsoft has its own platform called Mixer and while it is relatively small compared to Twitch or YouTube, the platform is growing. Recently, top eSports influencer, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins signed a deal with Mixer to exclusively stream on its platform, leaving Twitch behind. Ninja was one of the top streamers on Twitch, boasting over 14.7 million followers. Ninja attributes to his success to Twitch and Fortnite, which has led him to accumulate over a total of 270 million viewing hours since January 2018. To put it into perspective, Riot Games, owner of League of Legends, accumulated 165 million hours, while individual streamers such as Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek and Turner "Tfue" Tenney have reported 144 million and 105 million hours, respectively. Ninja, who is also an individual streamer, has more than 100 hours of viewership compared to Riot Games, which is multi-international gaming franchise corporation. While Twitch does dominate the eSports media scene, other platforms have also become increasingly popular such as Facebook Live, Smashcast, and Bigo. Aside from free online platforms, large corporations such as Disney and Comcast have also dove into the industry. And with the evolving eSports scene, competition among media companies could potentially grow even larger as they try to secure the media rights to livestreams and tournaments. According to data compiled by Infoholic Research, the global eSports market is expected to triple by 2025, reaching a value of USD 3 Billion. Additionally, the market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 20% during the forecast period from 2019 to 2025. UMG Media Ltd. (TSX-V: ESPT), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC), Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL).
At its inception, eSport just involved a group of friends creating a team and competing against others. Since the birth of games, there has always been a competitive aspect to the industry, whether in the original Pac-Mac or the latest edition of Call of Duty. A multitude of players has been attracted to the idea of winning and climbing the leaderboard, which is why the eSports industry grew at such a remarkable pace. Now, games such as Fortnite and League of Legends have pushed eSports into mainstream media, allowing organizers to create multi-million dollar tournaments. The attractive grand prize pools have prompted teams from around the world to strive to become the best of the best, which is why some teams have become more business oriented rather than just a group of friends. In particular, games with a large fan and player base generally offer the highest prize tournaments. And with the large sum of monetary prizes in combination with popular professional players, a large audience is expected to be drawn in. The larger the audience and the longer the viewing hours, the higher a company can monetize the broadcast. Similar to sports, many broadcasting and media companies are aggressively pushing to obtain the media rights for specific sports teams or tournaments. For instance, one of the largest sports networks, YES Network, broadcasts games for the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets and is a template others want to emulate. The network owns exclusive media rights to the teams, meaning that if other companies want to broadcast a Yankees or Nets game, they would need to negotiate a deal or pay the network. Steve Arhancet, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Owner of Team Liquid said in an interview last year with CNBC's "Fast Money," that media streaming providers are pursuing to own the exclusive rights to broadcast League of Legends. League of Legends is a prime target for many companies because of its large audience. In 2018, League of Legends World Finals had nearly 100 million viewers. The impressive number only means more monetization for media companies. "Media rights have to do with the exclusive right to broadcast the League, and there's plenty of interest in the space," he said. "You've got Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, kind of all vying for these rights."
UMG Media Ltd. (TSX-V: ESPT) announced earlier last week that, "Legends were made and champions were crowned this weekend in New York City at the Fortnite World Cup. With over $30,000,000USD awarded to players in the Solos, Duos, Creative and Pro/AM World Championships, countless lives were changed from a few flights on Fortnite's Battle Bus.
Out of the four world championship events, all four were won by players of UMG's Friday Fortnite. Bugha, a 16-year old reigning from Pennsylvania just won the most recent Friday Fortnite on July 19, 2019 and went on to win $3,000,000USD and claim the title of Fortnite World Champion. Aquaa took home $1,500,000USD in the duos championship. Friday Fortnite regulars, Cizzorz and Airwaks won the Creative World Championship and Pro/AM at the World Cup respectively. Countless other Friday Fortnite competitors finished top ten in the world taking home a combined $9,287,500.
UMG's CEO, Dave Antony had this to say regarding UMG series players performance at the World Cup:
'I want to congratulate everyone who participated in the Fortnite World Cup on their achievements and give a special shoutout to the four newly crowned world champions who participate in UMG's broadcast events, along with all other UMG players at the event. Everyone at UMG loves the game, the competitions and most importantly the players and community. We look forward to kicking off more Fortnite initiatives through the remainder of 2019 to give more players a platform to kickoff their competitive gaming careers.'
UMG has increased their Fortnite offerings in the recent months to meet the demand set forth by the competitive gaming community for their competitions. Since 2019 started, UMG has had over 110,000 Fortnite tournament signups. Between the gaming platform and their initiatives on the influencer side, UMG is in a unique situation to capture a large percent of the Fortnite market.
About UMG: UMG is a premier esports company in North America. UMG has operations involved in live tournaments, online esports contests, casino esports operations, creation and distribution of original content and esports tournament operations through its proprietary tournament management app. Readers can learn more about UMG and its esports offerings at www.umggaming.com."
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Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), a leader in the semiconductor industry, is shaping the data-centric future with computing and communications technology that is the foundation of the world's innovations. Recently at COMPUTEX 2019, Intel made a sweeping set of product and technology announcements, spanning the hottest segments of the PC industry. From new 10th Gen Intel Core processors and new details on Intel's innovation program (code-named "Project Athena") that will take mobile computing to an entirely new level, to the first-ever gaming processor with an all-core turbo of 5 GHz, Intel again raised the bar for PC experiences. "No one wants to compromise; people want it all: battery life, performance, responsiveness, connectivity and slick form factors. Our job is to come together as an industry and deliver incredible and differentiated PCs, purpose built to what real people want. 10th Gen Intel Core processors – our most integrated CPU – and Project Athena are great examples of how our deep investments at a platform level will help fuel innovation across the industry," said Gregory Bryant, Intel Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Client Computing Group.
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), headquartered in New York City, is a leading developer, publisher and marketer of interactive entertainment for consumers around the globe. 2K recently announced that Zion Williamson, the first overall selection in the 2019 NBA Draft, has officially signed a multiyear partnership with NBA 2K. The agreement will include Williamson's integration into various game initiatives, consumer events, brand creative, and social activations. Williamson, who is the highest-rated rookie in NBA 2K since 2011, will make his video game debut in NBA® 2K20 when it launches on September 6th, 2019. Williamson joins an elite group of NBA athletes that have represented NBA 2K over the past two decades alongside Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Shaquille O'Neal, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and NBA 2K20 cover stars Anthony Davis and Dwyane Wade. "Zion represents the best of the NBA's up and coming talent and we are excited to welcome him to Team 2K," said Jason Argent, Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations at NBA 2K. "For more than 20 years, NBA 2K has identified and worked with the best basketball talent in the world. It's been incredible to witness what Zion can do on the court and we're excited to grow with him throughout his career."
Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) creates environments for data to thrive. Western Digital Corp. recently introduced its second-generation, high-performance WD Black® SN750 NVMe™ SSD with up to 2TB capacity on a single-sided M.2 form factor, and will be showcasing a version for desktop systems or custom-built gaming rigs, which has an integrated heatsink that helps maintain speed and temperature. This enhanced drive enables gamers and hardware enthusiasts to snag a tangible, next-level competitive boost during intense PC gameplay. Advancements in PC and graphics technologies are taking PC gaming to new heights. To take advantage of the increasingly immersive and responsive in-game experiences, gamers must navigate several challenges, including higher performance demands and large file sizes, with some games approaching file sizes exceeding 100GB. Top-level transfer speeds give users near-instant access to their games and files, getting them back into game action more quickly and boosting the system's overall responsiveness. "VR, immersive features and larger game file sizes mean longer load times for levels, maps and other in-game actions. All of these require faster storage and higher capacity," said Eyal Bek, Vice President Marketing, Data Center and Client Computing, Western Digital. "More intense, longer game play also requires well-managed thermal performance, particularly for high-performance NVMe SSDs. The new WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD delivers unrivaled performance with an architecture designed for gaming, built-in passive cooling and gaming-mode features with heatsink options to be incorporated. We have pushed the boundaries of storage to give hardcore gamers the competitive edge they desire."
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL) first revolutionized the digital storage industry by moving information at speeds never thought possible. Marvell recently released the industry's lowest power PCIe® Gen4 NVMe™ solid-state drive (SSD) controller portfolio. Marvell's newest SSD controllers are designed to meet the need for lower power and higher performance in next-generation data centers and edge devices as artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G gain momentum. This breakthrough technology delivers unparalleled performance in an ultra-compact footprint, leveraging the company's complex system-on-chip (SoC) design expertise and groundbreaking storage IP to help data center, notebook, tablet, gaming and edge computing platform architects advance their solutions for the highly distributed data era. The Marvell SSD controller portfolio of devices, including the 88SS1321, 88SS1322 and 88SS1323, represent the industry's first PCIe Gen4 DRAM and DRAM-less SSD controllers to be fabricated on a 12nm process. With support covering all existing and emerging m.2 (22110 to 2230), BGA, EDSFF and U.2 SSD form factors, the controller family is ideal for cloud data center server compute storage, enterprise boot drives, PC client storage and gaming storage as well as emerging industrial and edge device applications. "Marvell's latest family of storage controllers has been architected to optimally address edge computing and data center pain points of power-performance and capacity-performance," said Nigel Alvares, Vice President of Marketing for the Flash Business Unit at Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. "With today's launch, we're once again demonstrating Marvell's leadership in storage, delivering the industry's first 4-Channel PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD controllers with the industry's lowest power consumption that will help revolutionize SSD solutions for the data economy."
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