Twitch opened the doors to its success in 2017 courtesy of a digital comic, noting that the year saw Twitch viewers consume 355 billion minutes of content on the platform, along with the creation of 124 million clips. That marks a rise of 63 billion minutes over 2016, notching over 15 million unique daily viewers. The most popular games last year: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite, Destiny 2, FIFA 18, For Honor, Call of Duty: WW2, Friday the 13th, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Resident Evil: Biohazard, and Gwent: The Witcher Card Game.
Meanwhile, Twitch confirmed that that return of Dr DisRespect to the streaming platform scored a peak concurrent viewership record for an individual streamer, courtesy of the more than 388,000 who tuned in to watch. That breaks the previous best set by the return of Tyler1 to the platform in January.
After converting from a news site to a tournament platform, PvP Live announced that it would be shutting down, ending operations earlier this week. Users with money remaining in their accounts now have 180 days to withdraw their funds.
Reuters is launching a new wire service devoted to coverage of esports, available now to Reuters News Agency customers. The Reuters Esports Wire features global coverage of the competitive gaming industry, including breaking news, player acquisitions, sponsorship deals and coverage of the key esports tournaments with content provided through a partnership with sports text provider Field Level Media. ”Esports has grown increasingly popular around the world and demand for coverage of the sport has never been stronger,” said Josh Duboff, Reuters Senior Product Manager, Sports & Entertainment Verticals. “This offers us a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of offering coverage of the sport to global media customers as they see a rising interest in the competitive gaming industry from their audiences.”
Mobile esports player Skillz announced its 2017 champions, with the top 10 rankings anchored by women who accounted for 70% of the list. The top mobile athlete claimed tournament prizes equating to over $420,000 in 2017, placing her in the top 25 highest-earning eSports athletes in the world.
FOX Sports is diving into esports in Australia, inking a deal to carry live coverage of Football Federation Australia’s new esports league, according to multiple local reports. Focused on EA Sports FIFA 18, the FFA’s e-League (their term, not mine) will feature a total of 20 competitors representing all 10 A-League clubs.
The victory by rising star Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn at IEM PyeongChang over Kim “sOs” Yoo Jin, made history on multiple levels, including her very first win at a premier off-line StarCraft II tournament and the first time a female player has won a premier StarCraft II championship. In addition, the win was the first final to see sOs lose a non-Korean player and Scarlett become only the second foreigner in StarCraft II history to win a premier tournament on Korean soil. sOs currently tops the highest earnings chart for the sport at $523,519, with Scarlett now clocking in with $251,943 in career winnings with the IEM prize, per esportsearnings.com.
Speaking of firsts, ESPN reports that Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon will be joining Overwatch League as a member of the Shanghai Dragons along with Lee “Fearless” Eui-Seok, and Cheon “Ado” Ki-hyun. The move and addition of Se-yeon would mark the first female player to join the league.
French esports organization Team Vitality reeled in more than $3 million in a round of investment with an eye to broaden its reach into other competitive games. “Vitality’s ambition is to become an undisputed European leader whose teams participate in all the major professional esports leagues,” said team CEO, Nicolas Maurer, with funding from investment companies like Korelya Capital, Kima Ventures, and H26.
Team Dignitas is bringing a new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive squad aboard, with new players that include Matthew “mCe” Elmore, Team Captain Logan “Voltage” Long, Jack “xCeeD” Holiman, Michael “Grim” Wince and Mitch “mitch” Semago. The team will make its first appearance under the Team Dignitas banner on Feb. 13, coinciding with the start of the ESL Pro League Season 7.
European esports heavyweight Fnatic named Nick Fry, former CEO of the Mercedes AMG Formula One Team, as the team’s Head of Commercial Strategy. He will now help the brand hit its next stage of growth and expand its global footprint where Fnatic will look to “innovate its partnership proposition for brands”
E3 is tweaking its formula for an industry/player balance, announcing that this year’s event – running June 12-14 at the Los Angeles Convention Center – will feature extended show hours to accommodate all attendees, “providing industry and media exclusive time on the show floor without cutting short gamers’ opportunities to play the most anticipated games of the year.” Additionally, E3 Coliseum will return to LA Live with producer Geoff Keighley. Hours will see industry and media able to attend from 11a-7p on June 12, 9a-7p on June 13 and 9a-6p on June 14. Gamers, meanwhile, will be allowed in a 2p on the first day, noon on the second and 9a on the third.
Google is reportedly eyeballing the Holy Grail of on-demand game streaming. The Information reports that the company is working on a subscription-based game streaming service developed under the codename Yeti.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment unveiled the first ever gameplay trailer for the newest, addition to the Injustice 2 roster in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with all four characters set to be offered on Feb. 13.
Psyonix and Zag Toys are teaming up for a new toy line, Rocket League ‘Light-Up Clip-Ons.’ Based on in-game Battle Cars, the new produce feature illuminating, colored boosts and a detachable clip to hang them on a bag, priced at $5.99 MSRP. Select cars will include a code that can be redeemed in-game for a new Customization Item, the ‘Z-Plate’ Wheel.
GameStop named a new CEO, t announcing the appointment for company executive vice president and president of international business Michael K. Mauler to the role, where he will also join GameStop’s board of directors. “On behalf of GameStop’s Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce Mike Mauler as our new CEO,” said GameStop executive chairman Dan DeMatteo. “Mike has been part of the GameStop senior leadership team for many years, where he has played an integral role in creating and driving the blueprint of our diversification strategy, successfully managing our international operations, and growing our core business segments. We are fortunate to have such an accomplished leader, who has a thorough understanding of our operations, business strategy and our stakeholders, and is committed to strengthening our results and driving our company forward.”
ESL UK announced the appointment of Heather “Naysayerz” Dower to marketing and communications manager for the company. Dower will oversee the promotion for ESL tournaments and initiatives in the UK, including the ESL Premiership, and support UK talent at international events such as IEM Katowice.