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Esports Watch: New Leagues & Expansions

Goldman Sachs reports that the esports market will see revenues hit $2.17 billion by 2023, with a compound annual growth rate of 18.6%, according to a Reuters report. The revenue total includes media rights, ticket sales, merchandise, sponsorship, publisher fees, and direct advertisement.

Talent agency UTA makes two acquisitions in the esports area: Press X, an esports talent and marketing agency, and its sister company Everyday Influencers, which furnishes management services for top gaming stars. UTA now represents an additional 90 esports athletes, including League Of Legends players Aphromoo, sOAZ, Imaqtpie, Pokimane, and Disguised Toast.

Top streamer Ninja locks in a deal with clothing company PSD Underwear to launch a line of boxer briefs inspired by the Twitch competitor. PSD is owned by NBA stars Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, and Chandler Parsons.

The IOC and the Global Association of Intl. Sports Federations will host an Esports Forum on July 21 at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne in order to “explore synergies, build joint understanding and set a platform for future engagement between the esports and gaming industries and the Olympic Movement.” Invited participants will include representatives from across the esports and gaming ecosystem: players, publishers, teams, media, sponsors and event organizers.

Twitch and YouTube will carry live streaming coverage of Universal Open Rocket League, NBC Sports Group and FACEIT’s annual esports tournament. The platforms will live stream nearly 100 hours of action through the weekend of Aug. 24-26.

Activision Blizzard will reportedly offer Overwatch League franchisees first crack at the upcoming franchise model for its Call of Duty World League. Activision Blizzard is reportedly assessing how to integrate the OWL ownership groups—10 of which do not hold teams in Call of Duty at this time—with existing Call of Duty participating teams, according to ESPN.

Bandai Namco Entertainment hosts the Dragon Ball FighterX World Tour, which launched at the CEO Fighting Game Championships in Daytona Beach. The tour is carried by Twitch, which acts as managing partner for league operations, circuit events, and content. The tour will make various “Saga Event” stops, including the Ultimate Fighting Arena (France), Thunderstruck (Mexico), Southeast Asia Major (Singapore), VS Fighting (United Kingdom), and CEO Fighting Game Championships (U.S.). Competitions will be held throughout 2018 and culminate at the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour Finals in January 2019.


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