The Washington Post reports that Paris is considering the inclusion of eSports in its 2024 Olympic program. The inclusion of video gaming is a sign of legitimacy for a sport that is growing more and more each year.
According to a report by Fortune, fans are expected to reach 145 million people in 2017. The Asian Games will debut eSports as an exhibition event in 2018 and add it officially in 2022. eSports is set to appear at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games next month. Four games will be featured next year: Dota 2, StarCraft II, Hearthstone and a sports game.
Last week, Dota 2, held its annual event at the KeyArena in Seattle. The tournament offered $25 million in prize money and fans flocked to watch on the big screens inside the Arena as well as those set up around the concourses.
Undeniably, eSports is a big business with massive opportunities for game developers, creators and, of course, players. It will be interesting to see how receptive eSports will be for an Olympic committee which has excluded baseball in the past.
A new Nevada law signed by the Governor late last month clarified the legality on esports betting. The new bill allows parimutuel esports betting within the state.
The new law amends language to ensure that “other events” are included in parimutuel wagering. The gaming laws and parimutuel laws are different in Nevada and thus the law sought to clarify the legality of betting on esports.
The move is another sign that Vegas wants to be the hub of esports. Some Vegas hotels are converting some of its space to host esports gaming tournaments. The lure is to bring in the younger demo with hopes of it spilling into their casinos. The new bill grants the chance for a broader opportunity to bet on esports.
A new bill seeking to repeal the current ban on sports gaming was introduced into Congress on Thursday.
The bill is a likely response to the U.S. Solicitor General’s recommendation that the U.S. Supreme Court not take the sports gambling cases litigated in New Jerseys.
The Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act or GAME Act was introduced on Thursday per an ESPN report. The GAME Act would repeal PAPSA, the much-litigated federal legislation which prohibits sports gambling.
The GAME Act defines a bet or wager as “the risking of something of value including virtual currency or virtual items, upon the outcome of a contest of others, a sporting event or a game of skill or a game of chance, on the expectation that the person will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.” This includes daily fantasy sports.
The Act, according to the drafter of the bill, is an opportunity to update the gambling laws.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook will pay eSports teams and others related to the industry to post videos on the social network platform.
The news comes at about the same time that Major League Baseball aired its first game on Facebook without regional blackouts. The move is a new strategy for Facbook as it is bringing live content to the platform.
The eSports and MLB deals join Facebook’s deal in March with Major League Soccer to air its games.
No financial terms were disclosed although terms revealed state that “esports partners must produce a minimum number of hours of video” for Facebook. But, most can publish to rival platform Twitch, which is owned by Amazon.com.
The new deal hopes to develop a new “ecosystem” Facebook. For esports teams, Facebook exposure should help teams with marketing and generating ad revenue.
The NBA announced that 17 of the 30 teams will participate in the forthcoming NBA 2K League coming in 2018.
The league is a joint project with the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software. The NBA teams that are participating have agreed to a three year deal where each team will pay on average $250,000 per year.
The upcoming eLeague will be the first time one of the major sports leagues have directly collaborated to establish an eLeague of its own.
The investment in eSports shows the growing reach of the gaming community as well as the recognition that the sport will attract a younger demographic.
With the NBA involvement, it is likely that we’ll see more leagues collaborating with video game makers.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas is turning a former nightclub at its Luxor Hotel and Casino into a permanent venue in hosting esports contests. The restructure should be done by next year according to the company.
The move is a nod to attract younger visitors to Vegas at a time with “subdued growth.”
Gambling on the Las Vegas Strip is down 7% since 2007.
With the average esports fan between 21 and 35 years old, the move to attract younger people to Vegas hopes to spur growth for the gambling industry. Certainly, younger adults have more disposable income due to a lack of a mortgage or children. Esports is a niche industry that is trending upwards.
The University of Utah announced that its forming a “Varsity ESports” team through its Entertainment Arts & Engineering (EAE) video game development program. It is starting with League of Legends as its first game with additional games in the offing. It’s the first eSports program in the Power Five conferences.
The EAE program has been ranked the No. 1 video game design program in the nation.
There are multiple eSports teams sponsored by college gaming clubs across the U.S. but this is the first of its kind where a university department is sponsoring a team.
According to Bloomberg, gamers on the Utah’s League of Legends team will receive partial scholarships at first with a long-term plan of expanding to more games and monetizing the effort through marketing and sponsorship deals that will lead to full scholarships.
This is a sign that eSports is being considered as more than a club sport on college campuses. Certainly the opportunity to monetize the endeavor is a reason for the push. With conferences seeking content for its cable networks and sponsors looking to market to a young demo, eSports is gaining traction.
The Wall Street Journal reports that video game companies are addressing cheaters that are taking advantages of glitches and after-market software in their titles.
With eSports being a lucrative part of a video game’s revenues, companies are searching for ways to curb cheaters that try to take advantage.
New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Pallone has issued a statement regarding unregulated online gambling and underage betting in which he specifically pointed out esports gambling and skin gambling.
“Gambling is taking new forms—from daily fantasy sports, to betting on e-sports, and even online casino games using virtual ‘skins’ instead of cash—that attempt to bypass the law,” the Senator went on to state in a press release, “Current federal gambling laws are hopelessly out of date, leaving the American public vulnerable to unscrupulous behavior. No matter the form of the games, we must ensure integrity, accountability, and basic consumer protections, including appropriate age limits, are in place.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told reporters that eSports players are a “different kind of athlete.”
Commissioner Silver’s comments came during NBA’s All-Star weekend. The league recently announced an eSports league to coincide with the NBA.
NBA players made a guest appearance at the 2K17 All-Star Tournament in New Orleans to face off against a five-man team named “Still Trill” that had just won the video game’s tournament championship.
Still Trill won a $250,000 prize for the championship as well as getting to meet the likes of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
H/t: Sports Techie