Market Overview

Sponsors Capitalize on eSport's Vast Fanbase

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NEW YORK, July 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- More and more people are seeing video games as becoming more than a childhood hobby. eSports are generally defined as organized gaming competitions where players can compete for cash prizes. Typically, game genres such as fighting, first-person shooters, multiplayer online battle arenas, or massively multiplayer games have a large eSports background and following. Some of the most popular games include Counter Strike, League of Legends, Dota 2, and Overwatch. In 2018, these games held their largest tournaments ever and drew in 190.1 million total viewing hours. Market research firm Newzoo said that total viewership increased by 6.9% year-over-year and the firm noted that the growth was predominantly driven by the increase in viewers from ELeague Major: Boston for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, The International (Dota 2), and the Overwatch League Finals. On the other hand, League of Legends World Champion viewership declined from 86 million hours in 2017 to 81.1 million hours in 2018. Despite the decline, League of Legends' parent company, Riot Games, witnessed its Twitch channel viewership increase. The channel streamed for a duration of 304 hours to an average of 93,000 Twitch viewers. In total, Riot Games' Twitch channel generated 28.1 million hours of live viewership, increasing by 11.7% year-over-year, according to VentureBeat. Now, with the growth of the eSports industry, more viewers are tuning into live streaming channels to watch professional eSports players compete against one another. Many viewers get the exhilarating thrill of watching professionals play their favorite video game. And as a result, more average players are attempting to enter into the eSports scene as well. According to data compiled by Verified Market Research, the global eSports market was valued at USD 915.30 Million in 2018. By 2025, the market is projected to reach USD 2.97 Billion while registering a CAGR of 18.35% during the forecast period from 2018 to 2025. UMG Media Ltd. (TSXV:ESPT), NVIDIA Corporation's (NASDAQ:NVDA), Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD), Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE), Tencent Holding Ltd. (OTC:TCEHY)

The prolific growth of the eSports industry has attracted many sponsors and advertisers, similar to sports. For instance, the NBA is sponsored by many large corporations such as Adidas and Foot Locker. Similarly, the Premier League has attracted top sponsors including EA, Nike, and Barclays. Typically, companies like Nike and Adidas sponsor athletic sports organizations. However, the two completely reshaped the perspective of sports after signing sponsorships within the eSports industry. Last year, Adidas signed a deal with two FIFA online teams: Lyon EDG of Olympique Lyonnais and Edward Gaming. Similarly, Nike signed a deal with China's League of Legends Pro League earlier this year to supply all teams with clothing and footwear. Moreover, individual players have also received sponsorships due to their fame. Energy sports drink company Red Bull has even signed deals with prominent players within the industry such as popular Fortnite streamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins and dominant Street Fighter player Darryl "Snake Eyez" Lewis. Furthermore, investments into the industry are further pushing the eSports scene into mainstream media. In October 2018, eSports team Cloud9 became the most valuable team after raising USD 50 Million in a Series B funding round, pushing its valuation to USD 310 Million. Moreover, NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan joined the ownership group for Team Liquid after the team raised USD 26 Million in a Series C funding round. Likewise, popular rapper Drake invested into 100Thieves during a Series A funding round, making him and producer Scooter Braun co-owners with Chief Executive Officer and Founder Matthew "Nadeshot" Haag. "When I look at 2018, I feel like it was the year that esports really started cracking into the mainstream," Jack Etienne, owner of team Cloud9, told CNBC. "To me it feels like we've broken a barrier that we've never attained before in esports."

UMG Media Ltd. (TSXV:ESPT) provided earlier last week an update, on its operations. The Corporation announces that it will commence trading on the TSX Venture Exchange today, July 19, 2019, under the trading ‎symbol ESPT. UMG is also pleased to provide an update on its operations.

UMG continues to expand its esports original content business. Through its distribution channels UMG continues to expand its user base. UMG produces and distributes the following on going series at its studio in St Louis:

Minecraft Mondays

Emergence Days - Gears of Wars

Keemstar Fridays

Call of Duty Weekly Rumble

With notable streamers such as Ninja, NICKMERCS, PewDiePie,and DrLupo, UMG is proud to announce that they have generated in excess of20,000,000 live views on their platforms of its broadcasts.

UMG's user base continues to grow, in the second quarter of 2019 the registered user base has increased by 70,000 to over 2,200,000. The increased user base has added to the daily tournaments played through the UMG network. Over 18,000,000 matches have now been played through the UMG platform. The matches include daily tournaments, season ladders and individual cash matches. The majority of the matches played on the site are cash based. From these matches well over $3,000,000 in prizes have been paid out.

UMG is also excited about a number of the upcoming and recently completed live events. UMG has plans to broadcast a portion of the weekly Keemstar Friday Series live from various locations in the United States including Las Vegas.

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."

For our latest "Behind the Buzz" Corporate Snapshot Show featuring UMG Media Ltd., please head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bt9TQICMuTo

NVIDIA Corporation's (NASDAQ:NVDA) invention of the GPU in 1999 sparked the growth of the PC gaming market, redefined modern computer graphics and revolutionized parallel computing. NVIDIA recently supercharged its lineup of gaming GPUs by introducing GeForce® RTX 2060 SUPER™, GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER and GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER -- delivering best-in-class gaming performance and real time ray tracing for today's and next-generation games. The result of nearly a year of architectural and process optimizations, the new GeForce RTX SUPER GPUs deliver the fastest gaming performance, and the best power efficiency of any gaming GPU in their class. They also offer gamers an uncompromised combination of leading performance and cutting-edge features. "The ecosystem driving real-time ray tracing is immense -- tens of millions of GPUs, industry standard APIs, leading game engines and an all-star roster of game franchises," said Jeff Fisher, Senior Vice President of the PC business at NVIDIA. "This killer lineup of SUPER GPUs delivers even more performance for demanding PC gamers and ensures that they're prepared for the coming wave of real-time ray tracing blockbusters."

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD), for 50 years, has driven innovation in high-performance computing, graphics and visualization technologies ― the building blocks for gaming, immersive platforms and the datacenter. Recently, AMD announced the global availability of its new leadership PC gaming platform based on AMD Radeon™ RX 5700 series graphics cards and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ Desktop Processors, as well as AMD Ryzen™ 3000 Series Processors with Radeon™ Graphics (APUs). Together, these offerings take gaming performance, immersive experiences, and visual fidelity to new heights. AMD Radeon RX 5700 series graphics cards redefine what is possible in 1440p gaming. Built on the ground-breaking all-new AMD RDNA gaming architecture and 7nm process technology, the new graphics cards deliver superior visual fidelity, lightning-fast performance and advanced features to power the latest AAA and eSports titles. AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 graphics cards are available on AMD.com and from leading retailers and retailers for USD 399 and USD 349 SEP1, respectively, and the 50th Anniversary Edition Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card is available while supplies last for USD 449 SEP1 from AMD.com and JD.com. "We are proud to deliver our newest AMD Radeon graphics cards and AMD Ryzen processor products to create the ultimate PC gaming platform with leadership performance at every price point," said Dr. Lisa Su, President and Chief Executive Officer, AMD. "AMD is committed to driving innovation and competition across the computing and graphics markets to give PC enthusiasts, gamers and creators incredible experiences and unmatched value."

Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) purpose and value is to fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology. Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) recently announced new sales milestone for PlayStation®4 (PS4™). Recognized as a global leader in interactive and digital entertainment, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) is responsible for the PlayStation® brand and family of products and services. Sony highlighted that: PS4 has now cumulatively sold through more than 91.6 million units globally as of December 31st, 2018; Within the above number, PS4 has sold through more than 5.6 million units globally during the 2018 holiday season; More than 50.7 million PS4 games were sold through globally during the 2018 holiday season, which sums up to 876 million PS4 games cumulatively sold through worldwide as of December 31st, 2018; Marvel's Spider-Man, launched in September 2018, has cumulatively sold through more than 9 million copies worldwide as of November 25th, 2018. "Thanks to the continued support from our fans during the holiday season, we are pleased to announce that PS4 has reached 91.6 million units globally. We are also happy to announce that the monthly active users of PlayStation Network continues to show strong growth, and has surpassed 90 million as of end of November 2018," said John Kodera, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Interactive Entertainment. "I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our passionate community around the globe, and our partners, for helping us achieve these milestones. This year, we will bring more enhanced experiences to our fans along with a highly anticipated lineup of games that are only possible on PS4. As we look toward the next PS4 milestone, SIE will continue to evolve, and we will further expand the platform to deliver the best interactive entertainment experiences to the world."

Tencent Holding Ltd. (OTC:TCEHY) uses technology to enrich the lives of Internet users. Tencent Holdings Limited recently announced the unaudited consolidated results for the first quarter of 2019. Total revenues were RMB 85,465 Million (USD 12,693 Million), an increase of 16% over the first quarter of 2018 ("YoY"). Operating profit was RMB 36,742 Million (USD 5,457 Million), an increase of 20% YoY. Operating margin increased to 43% from 42% last year. Revenues from VAS increased by 4% to RMB 48,974 Million for the first quarter of 2019 on a year-on-year basis. Online games revenues were RMB 28,513 Million, broadly stable compared to the first quarter of 2018. Social networks revenues grew by 13% to RMB 20,461 Million. The increase primarily reflected digital content revenue growth from our live broadcast services and video streaming subscriptions. Mr. Ma Huateng, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tencent, said, "In the first quarter of 2019, we sustained healthy user engagement across our key platforms, with notable growth in the number of short videos uploaded and shared by users on QQ and Weixin. We are invigorating our game business with popular releases such as Perfect World Mobile in China, while PUBG MOBILE is growing internationally. Our payment, other FinTech services and cloud business, while still at an early stage of expansion, are now generating substantial revenues, and we are consequently disclosing their results in our new FinTech and Business Services segment, demonstrating our success in organically incubating services with long-term growth potential. We believe that we are building solid foundations for future growth in both the Consumer and Industrial Internet domains." 

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