Market Overview

Gamers Around the World Compete for Eye-Watering Prizes in Top eSports Tournaments

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NEW YORK, July 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The attractive million-dollar prize pools for eSports tournaments have stunned audiences worldwide. Professional players have a chance to compete for potentially millions of dollars in winnings. Moreover, players can showcase their gameplay in front of millions of viewers live and through their desired broadcast channels. In particular, a substantial amount of the viewership stems from broadcast channels such as Twitch or YouTube. Specifically, Twitch is one of the most prominent eSports broadcasting channels and has gained a reputation among gamers as the main live streaming hub as organizations such as The Overwatch League and Epic Games have streamed their events live on Twitch's platform. Throughout the streaming period, broadcasts can draw in tens of millions of viewers. For instance, 2018 League of Legends World Championship peaked a total of 200 million viewers during the finals, surpassing the total viewership for major sporting events such as the Super Bowl. Furthermore, Epic Games is holding its Fortnite World Cup Finals tournament on July 26th, 2019 to July 28th, 2019 after players around the world competed in weeks of online qualifiers in order to grab a spot for the World Cup finals in New York City. Notably, Epic Games created one of the biggest eSports tournament payouts in history, flaunting an enormous USD 30 Million prize pool after already paying top contending players USD 10 Million during open qualifiers. During the open qualifiers, Epic Games witnessed tens of thousands of viewers each day and peaked at 500,000 during its Celebrity Pro-Am tournament, according to eSports Charts. However, an important note is that the number does not include personal streams, which may make the final total much higher. Players such as Turner "Tfue" Tenney and Tyler "Ninja" Blevins streamed their games of the tournament to their own audience, which typically ranged anywhere from 38,000 to 48,000 viewers per session. In general, the easy accessibility of these streams on mobile devices, laptops, and computers has appealed to millions of people around the world. Applications like Twitch allow viewers to simply watch their favorite games, players, or teams whenever and wherever. According to data compiled by Envision Intelligence, the global eSports market was valued at USD 700 Million in 2017. By 2025, the market is expected to reach USD 2.75 Billion while exhibiting a CAGR of 18.74% from 2019 to 2025. UMG Media Ltd. (TSXV:ESPT), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Enthusiast Gaming Holdings Inc (OTC:EGHIF) (TSXV:EGLX)

Media channels are notoriously known for their advertisements. And with the progression of eSports streaming platforms, corporations have taken notice in the explosive growth. Specifically, companies that are focused towards a young adult male demographic are spending copious amounts of money to broadcast their advertisements on these streaming services. Large companies such as Arby's, Audi, Coca-Cola, Gillette, AB InBev, Red Bull, and McDonald's have promoted their ads on broadcasts. Furthermore, some companies, including Red Bull, have even sponsored top players in their respective games. According to research firm Newzoo, sponsorship revenue is projected to increase by 14.8% in 2019, reaching USD 189.2 Million. However, each game has a different audience, meaning a company's advertisement may not appeal to those viewers. For instance, Audi has sponsored Danish professional Counter Strike team Astralis because of its European market appeal. On the other hand, Red Bull has sponsored American team Tempo Storm and a handful of American eSport players because of rising consumption of energy drinks in the U.S. among young adults. "Esports fans have unique characteristics that make them more elusive but potentially more lucrative for marketers," eMarketer Principal Analyst Paul Verna said. "They are typically young, TV-averse millennials who have higher-than-average disposable income. They are open to marketing messages that are embedded in the esports experience, whether those are sponsorships, branded videos, in-game integrations, influencer-driven endorsements or even traditional ads."

UMG Media Ltd. (TSXV:ESPT) announced yesterday that, "The summer of 2019 started off hot for UMG and Keemstar, as they have brought back the largest influencer series ever, Friday Fortnite. Millions of viewers each week tune in to watch the UMG casters cover the world's most popular streamers and pro players as they face off in teams of two to claim the top prize. Names like Ninja, DrDisRespect, TimTheTatMan, and more have shown support of the series by participating. The series has attracted sponsors like GFuel, HyperX, Pink City, and more bringing in over US$150,000 in sponsorship revenue over the course of six weeks. The series has had more than 30,000,000 live views when combining all the streams that are highlighted. UMG's own Twitch channel, www.twitch.tv/umgevents, has been averaging almost 20,000 concurrent viewers.  

With the success of Friday Fortnite, Keemstar and UMG have recently expanded to another one of the hottest games in the world, Minecraft. Like Friday Fortnite, influencers compete against one another each week for prizing, but this time there's a twist: Minecraft Monday features multiple game modes, requiring influencers to perform well in many different situations. Chaos ensues, and it makes for a great viewing experience. The Monday series has had more than 10,000,000 live views when combining all the streams that are highlighted. UMG's own Twitch channel, www.twitch.tv/umgevents, has been averaging approximately 3,000 concurrent viewers. Unlike UMG's other series, Minecraft Monday has not only a private server for these matches, but a public server where thousands can join in and play the same game modes and maps that they see in the series. UMG also has the advantage of being able to add sponsor branding inside the game itself, consequently, exposure for our sponsors not only goes to our stream viewers, but to the participant's streams as well.

Keemstar and UMG are continuing to pave new roads in the gaming and entertainment industries, and the future is looking bright with further expansion of the UMG Network. The UMG website is booming with 1,300,000 users, and over 14,0000,000 sessions in the last three months. Week after week, hundreds of thousands of viewers return to watch their favorite players, interact on the UMG site, participate in giveaways, and chat with their friends as they watch the action. UMG will continue to push forward and innovate in the space, and Keemstar' s popularity and following will only continue to grow. Together, we will continue to bring the very best content to our viewers and fans."

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=XPVbVPOc5vM

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., is a leading global producer and publisher of interactive entertainment. Recently, Activision Blizzard, Inc. and lead developer Beenox announced that for the first time ever, purchasers of the remastered game will be able to take part in free bonus seasonal content with its Grand Prix in-game offerings post launch. Giving gamers another reason to play, the first Grand Prix kicked off on July 3rd, 2019, and included a new track for all players, unlockable characters, karts and various customization items. In a first-look of CTR TV, hosts Chick and Stew revealed all the fun awaiting players in the Grand Prix. They also revealed that fans will get a brand-new track with each Grand Prix. The first track is called Twilight Tour, which takes players on an epic journey by day and night through the middle east. That's not all, Chick and Stew also spilled the news that Tawna will, in fact, be coming to the CTR universe, as an earnable character in the first Grand Prix. There will be new items and characters dropped into the game's Pit Stop rotation each Grand Prix, including members of the Nitro Squad in the first season (formerly known as the Trophy Girls). These racers come from regions around the world and are ready to represent their countries with speed and strength! Chick and Stew also let fans know about the content they can expect in the two following Grand Prix Seasons, including the most anticipated event of the century…Spyro's induction to CTR! "Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled was designed to deliver fun in unexpected and exciting ways. The Grand Prix does that by giving players a reason to fall in love with the game over and over again," said Thomas Wilson, Co-Studio Head at Beenox. "Crash Team Racing was an iconic game in the '90s that influenced how gamers played kart racer games, and we're thrilled to continue that tradition with Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled by introducing new content to players in ways they haven't imagined yet — the race definitely isn't over once you cross the finish line."

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) has driven innovation in high-performance computing, graphics and visualization technologies ― the building blocks for gaming, immersive platforms and the datacenter. Building on a close, long-term collaboration between the two companies, AMD recently announced that Google selected high-performance, custom AMD Radeon datacenter GPUs for its Vulkan® and Linux®-based Google Stadia. Google announced the platform at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, Calif. AMD also is supporting Google with its software development tools and Linux-based, open-source Vulkan driver to help game developers optimize future titles to run on the new GPU-powered platform. "By combining our gaming DNA and datacenter technology leadership with a long-standing commitment to open platforms, AMD provides unique technologies and expertise to enable world-class cloud gaming experiences," said Ogi Brkic, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Datacenter GPU Business Unit at AMD. "AMD is delighted to work with Google in its effort to bring amazing gaming experiences to legions of gamers around the world with the reliability and no-compromises performance they expect."

Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) creates incredible technology and entertainment that connects millions of people to the moments and experiences that matter most. Comcast Spectacor and The Cordish Companies recently announced plans for a USD 50 million, next-generation esports and entertainment venue in the heart of the Philadelphia Sports Complex. Adjacent to Xfinity Live!, the first-of-its-kind venue will seat up to 3,500 guests and stand as the largest new-construction, purpose-built esports arena in the Western Hemisphere. Its primary tenant, the Philadelphia Fusion esports franchise, is one of 20 international teams competing in the Overwatch League. In addition to serving as a premiere destination for competitive gaming events, Fusion Arena will also host a variety of live entertainment programming and experiences. Comcast Spectacor is a professional sports and live entertainment company that is part of Comcast Corporation, a global media and technology leader that operates Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal and Sky. "We're thrilled to introduce a venue like no other as we move forward with the next phase of development within the Philadelphia Sports Complex," said Dave Scott, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Spectacor. "Fusion Arena gives esports fans a best-in-class venue to call home and be proud of. Beyond competitive gaming, it's a stunning facility that will host a wide array of events."

Enthusiast Gaming Holdings Inc (OTCQB:EGHIF) (TSXV:EGLX), founded in 2014, is the largest vertically integrated video game company and has the fastest-growing online community of video gamers. Enthusiast Gaming Holdings Inc. recently announced that Luminosity Gaming has signed four celebrity esports influencers to its team and launched the "LG Fortnite House", a house and content hub for the Luminosity roster of gaming and esports professionals. The Luminosity team will be living and playing out of the house in Florida, and will continue to create rich content for the existing Luminosity Fanbase. Four celebrity gaming influencers, Formula, Kiwiz, Nicks, and Randumb have joined the Luminosity family, and bring a unique and diverse style to an already successful roster of Luminosity creators. The group joins Luminosity having achieved collective success, amassing over 900,000 Twitter followers, 7 million YouTube followers, and close to 1 Billion total video views.  They will be residents in the LG Fortnite House and will continue to provide innovative influencer content and an inside look into the house and players. "We are excited with the growth of Luminosity's team of talent and their ability to execute on the business model. Luminosity is a leader in discovering and developing gaming talent, content creators and influencers which will add almost 60 million followers to the combined network," commented Menashe Kestenbaum, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Enthusiast. "Welcoming four new influencers and the launch of the LG House in Florida, is an excellent growth step for Luminosity. Collectively, we are working on closing the announced merger, while we continue to operate and grow successful businesses within the gaming ecosystem."

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