Microsoft stores to host League of Legends tournaments

Late last month Microsoft announced that it will turn its physical stores into esports gaming arenas.  The move intends to bring players into its stores and will likely help enhance retail.

Partnering with ASUS Republic of Gamers and HyperX, it will host weekly League of Legends events across the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and Australia.

Via Microsoft

Touted as ROG Arena, players of all levels will get a chance to play League Unlocked, a premium experience for official League of Legends partners and live events.

The move acknowledges the popularity of esports and hopes to capitalize on bringing together a community of players.  Obviously, having these tournaments in the Microsoft store provides retail opportunities for the company.  An interesting idea that will likely foster a relationship between the company and the burgeoning rise of esports across the world.

Twitch announces plan for users to earn money

Live video gaming site Twitch revealed new ways for its users to monetize through the use of its site.

On Wednesday, it announced 20 new extensions to help content creators increase engagement and interaction.  “Twitch Extensions” allows users to customize their channel pages with interactive features, including polls, leaderboards, tickers, interactive game information, virtual pets among other things.  While the extensions will facilitate engagement, it will also help streamers generate additional revenue.

An extension called “Gear on Amazon” lets Twitch creators show off their favorite Amazon products.  Similar to clicking through an Amazon Associates web site, if a viewer makes a purchase through the site, the creator will earn a commission. Even though owns Twitch, it’s the first time that the site users have been invited to join the program.

In addition, Twitch is opening up the extension platform broadly to third-party developers.

The move is another sign of the continued monetization of esports.  While Twitch is expanding into to other areas, gaming is at its core and utilizing the popularity to incentivize its most popular users to help the company sell product makes sense.  We will see how many Twitch users hop aboard.