Connect with us

Esports

How NBA 2K is introducing the next generation of sports fans (and brands) to ESPN

Avatar

Published

on

In the absence of live sports, ESPN and other sports-focused networks are looking to fill the programming void by experimenting with a variety of different content formats.

One area they are doubling down on is nostalgia — opening up the vaults and rebroadcasting teams’ greatest moments. For example, die-hard Syracuse fans (raises hand) were able to relive the epic 2003 NCAA Championship run with Carmelo Anthony when CBS Sports reaired the game earlier in April.

ESPN also released The Last Dance, a documentary focusing on the final 1997–’98 Chicago Bulls season, and most important, Michael Jordan. The miniseries features footage from a crew that had an all-access pass to the Bulls throughout the final season of their dynasty, treating sports-starved fans to an immersive ’90s NBA experience, complete with the questionable neckties.

As ESPN is enabling these walks down memory lane via nostalgia, the network is also gearing up and conditioning viewers for the future. This convergence of digital and TV programming is seen in a variety of ways, including ideas like the NBA Horse Tournament. But perhaps the most groundbreaking programming was the 16-player NBA 2K Players Tournament.

VB Transform 2020 Online – July 15-17. Join leading AI executives: Register for the free livestream.

ESPN recently hosted a series of live-streamed NBA 2K matchups featuring NBA players like Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Montrezl Harrell, Deandre Ayton, and Patrick Beverley. It’s the network’s first major exploration into esports — a genre that’s expected to have more than 557 million worldwide viewers by 2021. And with most of the population at home due to COVID-19, hours-watched has spiked for esports platforms like Twitch by approximately 17% compared to the previous quarter.

It’s important to note that this A-list tournament is simply an adaptation of the existing NBA 2K League, which has caught some serious fire on the backs of emerging stars like MamaImDatMan, Drake Griffin, and ZDS, to name a few. According to the league itself, NBA 2K20 content has generated more than 276 million views on YouTube, and more than 8 million hours watched on Twitch across hundreds of channels.

The official NBA 2K League already has a dedicated, loyal following. But when the quarantine and stay-at-home advisories started to roll out earlier this year, it was exposed to the broader masses. It’s been growing exponentially across platforms in 2020, including adding nearly 750,000 YouTube subscribers in February alone, according to influencer marketing platform CreatorIQ.

The NBA2K League also brings a younger audience to the table, with more than 75% of the audience under 24, according to CreatorIQ. And the esports community, in general, could very well be considered the next generation of sports fans — which could help ESPN not only weather this storm, but position itself for the future. Additionally, the gaming community has a unique set of interests in fashion, technology, music, and art, opening up the programming and advertising opportunities to an entirely new school of brands when it comes to esports integrations with network TV.

“The NBA2K Tournament on ESPN proved that there is an appetite for and acceptance of esports content on the TV screen, but it really only scratched the surface of the possibilities,” said Ed Tomasi, the managing director of esports at culture and lifestyle platform Subnation. “Integrations like this will not only usher in the next wave of sports, but the next wave of forward-thinking brands wanting to connect with these cross-platform sports fans and consumers.”

Without any indication on when live sports return — and if they’ll even have fans in attendance when that occurs — esports creates the closest thing for audiences and brands looking to scratch a competitive itch with video content. As the quarantine continues, we’ll see how ESPN and other sports content creators look to embrace esports and this new dynamic in more interesting ways.

Source: https://venturebeat.com/2020/05/23/how-nba-2k-is-introducing-the-next-generation-of-sports-fans-and-brands-to-espn/

Esports

Dota 2: Virtus.pro Triumphant Under Lockdown

Avatar

Published

on

Virtus.pro and VP.Prodigy are taking the Europe and CIS leaderboards by storm.


Quarantine might have slowed some teams down, but not Virtus.pro’s Dota 2 rosters.

Despite the pandemic severely limiting participation in global LAN events, and the DPC taking a season off, the Dota scene has still seen plenty of tournament action in the form of online events. As a result Europe and CIS have temporarily joined up to form a single region for online events.

Since March 1, Virtus.pro have played in nine series, including charity events like the WeSave! Charity Play and the Gamers Without Borders Tournament. VP.Prodigy, the orgs second Dota 2 roster, have also played in five events since April 1. And they’ve been taking the wins home.

Top-3 on the leaderboards

So far, since March the main Virtus.Pro roster has taken home $280,000 USD in winnings. The second spot out of all CIS and European teams. This number includes their victory at ESL One Los Angeles 2020, which netted them a cool $60,000 USD.

A bar graph showing the prize money earned and win rates for VP since March.

As for VP.Prodigy, they’ve also been making bank. Their cumulative winnings from April have now reached $149,000 USD. Including their big payout for their first-place victory in the Epic Prime League. That win scored them $65,000 USD.

It’s not just the earnings where they’re dominating either. Their win rates are pretty impressive too. VP’s main roster played 145 games with a 62% win rate, while VP.Prodigy have a 69% win rate across 93 maps. The only team at the moment with a higher win rate across the European and CIS regions is Team Secret.

Fast and deadly

Another interesting thing to note about Virtus.Pro’s recent slew of victories is how quickly they’re stomping their opposition.  While VP’s main roster has always been known for their aggressive play style, this year it’s really been something else.

Final results of some of VP's under 20-minute stomps. Alongside the timestamps for each game, the heroes chosen is also shown

From March 1, Virtus.Pro played seven games that lasted 20-minutes or less. With some matches ending in as little as 15-minutes.

Virtus.pro’s General Manager, Sergey Glamazda, is certainly proud of everything the squads have achieved during what is an uncertain time in esports.

“The lockdown proved to be an interesting timeframe for the organization,” Glamazda explains. “We experienced changes inside one roster and simultaneously acquired another line-up where the players barely even met each other live”.

Despite the difficulties, Virtus.Pro’s rosters have performed more than admirably. Although Glamazda note, “knowing the inside chemistry of the team, I can safely say that guys expected more and practiced for other results”. While second and third places are nothing to scoff at, both of VP’s rosters are hungry to take the top spot.

Glamazda also made sure to mention the impact that support from fans at home has on their rosters. “I’m thankful to all the fans for supporting our teams. Your support brings us energy and certainty, and your constructive criticism gives another point of view on the things we do.”

You can catch Virtus.Pro’s main roster playing in the EU and CIS division of the OG Dota Pit: Season 2. The tournament kicks off July 27.

Source: https://estnn.com/dota-2-virtus-pro-triumphant-under-lockdown/

Continue Reading

Esports

Asia’s Top Esports Games Explored

Avatar

Published

on

The Asian esports market is one of the world’s most dynamic and exciting, although it is not necessarily aligned with other regions in terms of the titles that are most popular amongst the general playerbase or the top pros.


To bring you up to speed, here is a look at the games which are defining esports in Asia at the moment and what it is that makes them so successful.

League of Legends

Part of the reason that League of Legends is such a dominant esport in Asia is that it is especially favored by Chinese audiences, with 39 percent of players from this highly populous nation pegging this MOBA as their top competitive title to play and stream alike.

LoL is also a huge hit in South Korea, which is a particularly lucrative market for the esports industry given the prevalence of spectator events involving flagship games like this, supplementing the already booming streaming sector.

Interestingly enough Japan is less enamored by LoL, with other experiences taking precedent there; from beat ‘em ups to ライブカジノ (live casino) sites, the Japanese audience has its own preferences and trends that make MOBAs more of a minority interest.

Overwatch

While MOBAs might be the most popular individual titles in Asia, the actual player numbers bear out the evidence that shooters remain top of the heap overall, even if no one title is close to reigning supreme over the entire esports market.

Overwatch is a great example of this; it may have seen dips from the height of its popularity immediately following its launch, but it has settled down to become a staple of this segment, with a solid player base in South Korea and China helping it to maintain momentum and remain viable as a competitive title in the face of competition.

There are a lot of reasons that Blizzard’s team shooter has succeeded where other similar titles have failed. From its personality-packed heroes and colorful visuals to its tight controls and surprisingly deep gameplay, it possesses all of the attributes that are enough to keep audiences hooked.

Fortnite

This is the upstart competitor which gave Overwatch a run for its money and eventually eclipsed it, finding favor with players not only across Asia but also globally.

Fortnite has enjoyed an explosive entry onto the esports scene due in part to its appeal to younger players, as well as its well optimized engine that allows it to run well on fairly basic PC hardware and even smartphones.

While PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds may be more popular in China, it is in Japan where Fortnite has become particularly impactful since it made its debut. Whether it will be able to maintain this meteoric rise indefinitely remains to be seen, but it certainly packs a lot of the elements which are needed to draw in Asian esports fans.

Dota 2

Because it is a MOBA, Dota 2 is often pitched as a rival to League of Legends, although in reality, this is something of a false dichotomy, since there is plenty of overlap between the fan bases for each game.

One thing that Dota 2 is certainly not lacking is sponsorship cash and prize money, with major tournaments still giving pros the opportunity to make themselves and their teams considerably richer, which in turn helps pull in more viewers when the stakes are this high.

Again it is the growth of the Dota 2 scene in China which has allowed it to gain traction in Asia, even if LoL is still the preferred format in South Korea.

Image Source: Pixabay

Source: https://estnn.com/asias-top-esports-games-explored/

Continue Reading

Esports

Call of Duty League Pros Reverse Recent GA Decision

Avatar

Published

on

Change your language by using these codes: EN, ES, ZH-CN, ZH-TW, DE, RU, KO, BN, DA, NL, TL, FI, FR, HI, ID, IT, JA, JW, NO, PL, PT, RO, SV, TA, TH, TR, VI

Please consider nominating ESTNN for the Esports Coverage Website of the Year at the Esports Awards: esportsawards.com/nominate

Source: https://estnn.com/call-of-duty-league-pros-reverse-recent-ga-decision/

Continue Reading
AR/VR2 hours ago

Educational Tool HistoryMaker VR Steps Onto Steam in August

AR/VR2 hours ago

PSVR Exclusive Iron Man VR Hangs Onto Top 10 In UK Sales Charts

Automotive3 hours ago

2021 Ford Bronco First Edition reservations sell out, Bronco website overwhelmed

venezuela-raises-petrol-prices-mandates-support-for-petro-at-gas-stations-3.jpg
Automotive3 hours ago

2021 Ford Bronco Sport vs Jeep Cherokee, Compass Trailhawks | How they compare on paper

AR/VR3 hours ago

Firmament’s 2020 Launch ‘Wildly Optimistic’, now Expected in 2022

Crowdfunding3 hours ago

Royal Bank of Scotland’s Tyl Contactless Payment Service Reports Solid Uptake

the-mother-korean-airs-infamous-nut-rage-executive-was-convicted-of-assaulting-her-chauffeur.jpg
Business Insider3 hours ago

The mother Korean Air’s infamous ‘nut rage’ executive was convicted of assaulting her chauffeur

Crowdfunding3 hours ago

Square Announces Acquisition of Operations Management Platform Stitch Labs

Business Insider3 hours ago

BANK OF AMERICA: Buy these 7 pharma stocks now as they race to develop COVID-19 treatments and vaccines

venezuela-raises-petrol-prices-mandates-support-for-petro-at-gas-stations-3.jpg
Automotive3 hours ago

2021 Ford Bronco trim breakdown | All seven trims and how they differ

the-canadian-biotech-medicago-is-betting-it-can-make-a-coronavirus-vaccine-out-of-plants-and-it-just-started-testing-it-in-humans.jpg
Business Insider3 hours ago

The Canadian biotech Medicago is betting it can make a coronavirus vaccine out of plants, and it just started testing it in humans

6-in-10-us-workers-support-going-back-to-in-person-learning-in-the-fall-but-a-lot-of-people-are-worried-schools-arent-ready.png
Business Insider3 hours ago

6 in 10 US workers support going back to in-person learning in the fall, but a lot of people are worried schools aren’t ready

Business Insider3 hours ago

Under Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud is announcing some heavyweight enterprise customers and it’s a good sign for his ultimate ambitions (GOOG, GOOGL)

Crowdfunding3 hours ago

Update: Snowball Money Hits $600,000 Maximum Funding Goal Reached on Republic

Crowdfunding4 hours ago

Fintech in Need of Finance? Report States COVID-19 May Necessitate £825 Million in New Financing

CNBC4 hours ago

Delta posts second-quarter net loss of $5.7 billion, biggest in more than a decade, driven by coronavirus

CNBC4 hours ago

Coronavirus updates: Hong Kong grapples with new cluster; U.K. study says immunity may wane after two months

CNBC4 hours ago

Citigroup is set to report second-quarter earnings. Here’s what Wall Street expects

Publications4 hours ago

JPMorgan shares jump after record trading revenue drives stronger-than-expected second quarter profit

CNBC4 hours ago

Amazon is rolling out grocery carts that let shoppers skip checkout lines, bag their groceries and walk out

AI4 hours ago

VC Funding – Outlook Bumpy, But Some Optimism

Publications4 hours ago

Pricefx raises $65M Series C for its cloud-based pricing software

AR/VR4 hours ago

UofL and Penn State bring immersion to education

Publications4 hours ago

Liteboxer, the Peloton for boxing, enters the ring

Private Equity4 hours ago

Valor Equity Partners passes $1bn in fifth flagship fundraise

Ecommerce4 hours ago

India’s Flipkart secures $1.2 billion from Walmart and other shareholders

venezuela-raises-petrol-prices-mandates-support-for-petro-at-gas-stations-3.jpg
Publications4 hours ago

Here’s a breakdown of Delta’s Q2 earnings results

venezuela-raises-petrol-prices-mandates-support-for-petro-at-gas-stations-3.jpg
Publications4 hours ago

Here’s a breakdown JPMorgan’s Q2 earnings results

Crowdfunding4 hours ago

UK Fintech Lanistar Secures £15 Million in Additional Capital to Support Upcoming Launch this Year

Private Equity4 hours ago

Align Capital follows $450m Fund II close with deal for PE-backed-business advisory firm WilliamsMarston

Cyber Security4 hours ago

Expert Reaction On Millions of LiveAuctioneers Passwords for Sale

BBC4 hours ago

News outlets will digitally watermark content to limit misinformation

Publications5 hours ago

Stock futures rise ahead of big bank earnings

Publications5 hours ago

Verizon partners with Airtel to launch BlueJeans in India

Blockchain5 hours ago

MAS completes multi-currency blockchain testing

venezuela-raises-petrol-prices-mandates-support-for-petro-at-gas-stations-3.jpg
Publications5 hours ago

Sterling headed to parity with euro if no Brexit deal is agreed, strategist says

Private Equity5 hours ago

EQT sells Fund VII investment to EQT VIII, IX and TA Associates in €3bn-plus deal

Automotive5 hours ago

BYD Enviro400EV bus for National Express West Midlands

venezuela-raises-petrol-prices-mandates-support-for-petro-at-gas-stations-3.jpg
Publications5 hours ago

Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated trends like lack of inclusion, WEF founder says

venezuela-raises-petrol-prices-mandates-support-for-petro-at-gas-stations-3.jpg
Publications5 hours ago

WEF founder: Must prepare for an angrier world

Trending