NEW YORK, July 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- This past weekend, 16-year old teenager Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf dominated the Fortnite World Cup Solo Finals and took home the USD 3 Million grand prize. The Fortnite World Cup took place at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York over a three-day period. The first day was the Creative Finals and the Celebrity Pro-Am. The second day hosted the World Cup Duos final, where Norway's Emil "Nyhrox" Bergquist Pedersen and Austria's David "aqua" Wang won the USD 3 Million prize pool. However, many gamers focused on the World Cup Solo Finals where popular names like Turner "Tfue" Tenney, Noah "Vivid' Wright, Danny "Dubs" Walsh, and Harrison "Psalm" Chang competed for the championship. Despite their efforts, Bugha prevailed and came out on top by a large margin. For the entirety of the tournament, Bugha kept a lead ahead of his competitors and dominated until the end, showcasing his aggressive and unique gamestyle. Throughout the weekend, an overall prize pool of USD 30 Million was split among over a hundred players, making it one of the largest payouts in eSports history. A decade ago, South Korea's Lee "Jaedong" Jae-Dong was the highest earner in eSports prize money, collecting USD 86,265 from StarCraft: Brood War over the entirety of the year, according to ESPN. Now, Bugha completely reshaped the eSports scene after winning USD 3 Million in just one day from the most competitive tournament. Times have drastically changed throughout the recent years, when back then most players would compete for a couple of thousands of dollars. Today, becoming a professional eSports player has become a viable career option and many teenagers and young adults are actively pursuing a career. Many chasing after an eSports career undergo tedious regiments in order to become top players in the industry. And as the eSports industry continues to develop, more and more people could potentially pursue a career for tournaments that could pay even more than the Fortnite World Cup years later. According to data compiled by Technavio, the global eSports market is projected to increase by USD 1.2 Billion between the forecast period from 2018 to 2022. Additionally, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 28% during the forecast period. UMG Media Ltd. (TSX-V: ESPT), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE: DELL), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE)
Bugha's winnings place him at the Top 10 of the all-time highest overall earnings lists, according to esports earnings. The teenager was able to surpass hundreds of other professional players from Dota 2, Counter Strike, and League of Legends. To date, Bugha has accumulated USD 3.02 Million in earnings from tournaments. According to a Goldman Sachs eSports report, it is estimated that total prize pools will grow to USD 256 Million in 2019, increasing by 50% year-over-year. Although prize pool growth is expected to slow down in the shortcoming years, Goldman Sachs still estimates that 2022 will boast a massive overall prize pool of USD 413 Million. The majority of tournament prize pools stems from crowdfunding, which is typically from players purchasing in-game products, which are more commonly known as microtransactions. Henceforth, the larger the player base, the larger the prize pool is expected to be. Specifically, Fortnite owner Epic Games was able to hold the largest tournament because of its 125 million global player base, making it one of the largest monetized games in the world. According to the Wall Street Journal, Epic Games currently a valuation of approximately USD 15 Billion as of late 2018, thanking a large portion of its success to Fortnite. As audiences and player bases continue to grow each year, tournaments are starting payout more than sports such as football, baseball, or basketball. In some instances, industry experts believe that eSports will threaten the livelihood of traditional sports. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach says that eSports can become a competitive threat to sports, but he also believes that eSports can complement it. "We don't have trending data so far back we can say there is a significant shift, but we have asked respondents that when you started watching eSports, has this dug in to traditional sports — and, yes, they watch less traditional sports, especially in the future because traditional sports are behind paywalls, so it's easier for younger kids browsing YouTube or Twitch to get in touch with eSports," Per Pieter van den Heuvel, head of eSports at Newzoo said. "It's definitely a threat for traditional sports – it takes time from those who watch sports and younger people have lower barrier of entry."
UMG Media Ltd. (TSX-V: ESPT) announced yesterday that, "Legends were made and champions were crowned this weekend in New York City at the Fortnite World Cup. With over $30,000,000USD awarded to players in the Solos, Duos, Creative and Pro/AM World Championships, countless lives were changed from a few flights on Fortnite's Battle Bus.
Out of the four world championship events, all four were won by players of UMG's Friday Fortnite. Bugha, a 16-year old reigning from Pennsylvania just won the most recent Friday Fortnite on July 19, 2019 and went on to win $3,000,000USD and claim the title of Fortnite World Champion. Aquaa took home $1,500,000USD in the duos championship. Friday Fortnite regulars, Cizzorz and Airwaks won the Creative World Championship and Pro/AM at the World Cup respectively. Countless other Friday Fortnite competitors finished top ten in the world taking home a combined $9,287,500.
UMG's CEO, Dave Antony had this to say regarding UMG series players performance at the World Cup:
'I want to congratulate everyone who participated in the Fortnite World Cup on their achievements and give a special shoutout to the four newly crowned world champions who participate in UMG's broadcast events, along with all other UMG players at the event. Everyone at UMG loves the game, the competitions and most importantly the players and community. We look forward to kicking off more Fortnite initiatives through the remainder of 2019 to give more players a platform to kickoff their competitive gaming careers.'
UMG has increased their Fortnite offerings in the recent months to meet the demand set forth by the competitive gaming community for their competitions. Since 2019 started, UMG has had over 110,000 Fortnite tournament signups. Between the gaming platform and their initiatives on the influencer side, UMG is in a unique situation to capture a large percent of the Fortnite market.
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."
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Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), a leader in the semiconductor industry, is shaping the data-centric future with computing and communications technology that is the foundation of the world's innovations. Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) Sydney, Australia's biggest esports tournament, is now in the history books, with Team Liquid winning the tournament and taking home the lion's share of USD 250,000 in front of a packed Qudos Bank Arena. In an intense final lasting five maps, Team Liquid took the win over Fnatic to secure themselves a spot in esports history as champions at the tournament's third stop in Sydney, and 75th stop globally since its inception in 2006. This year's event, held across May 3-5, surpassed all previous viewership records for an esports tournament held in Australia, with over 20 million viewers tuning in across the duration of the event. Counter-Strike fans across the world watched almost 10 million hours of content over the course of the event, up 16% vs. 2018. On social media, users made over 36,000 tweets related to IEM Sydney 2019, while content surrounding the tournament was viewed over 55 million times across all platforms. "We owe the continued success of Intel Extreme Masters Sydney to the esports community in Australia and around the world, which continues to grow at an incredible pace," said John Bonini, Vice President and General Manager of VR, Gaming and Esports at Intel. "This community is why Intel keeps fueling this growth with more esports, more great content for PC gamers and more innovation when it comes to performance and power."
Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE: DELL), with award-winning desktops, laptops, 2-in-1s and thin clients, powerful workstations and rugged devices made for specialized environments, monitors, endpoint security solutions and services, gives today's workforce what they need to securely connect, produce, and collaborate from anywhere at any time. Recently, at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Dell and Alienware brought innovation front and center to satisfy the growing PC gaming market – high-end, thin and light and affordable machines for amateur and professional gamers, high-profile partnerships with esports brands like Team Liquid and Riot Games – to make the gaming experience more competitive, personalized and accessible. "We're excited to come to this year's CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry," said Frank Azor, Vice President and General Manager, Alienware, G Series and XPS. "The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate."
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. Recently, Electronic Arts Inc. and the National Football League (NFL) announced the launch of the EA SPORTS Madden NFL 20 Championship Series (MCS). This year's MCS enhances the connection to the sport as all four Madden NFLMajor tournaments occur during key NFL moments – the NFL Kickoff, the NFL playoffs push, the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft. Additionally, official NFL partners Pizza Hut and SNICKERS© will serve as official MCS sponsors, heightening the connection to the League. The Madden NFL 20 Classic occurs just days before the NFL season kickoff from August 30-September 1st and is an open registration format featuring the largest competitor pool in the history of this event. Held at Esports Stadium Arlington, the largest esports-dedicated facility in North America, the Madden NFL 20 Classic will air on the Madden NFL Twitch and YouTube channels. "Last season was a monumental year for the Madden NFL Championship Series as millions competed and we achieved record viewership," said Matt Marcou, Madden NFL Competitive Gaming Commissioner. "In continued partnership with the NFL and its 32 clubs, we intend to accelerate player and spectator growth by aligning closely with the NFL calendar. Football fandom and Madden NFL engagement feed off each other and we're confident this connection will further inspire our players and spectators."
Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE) is to fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology. Sony Interactive Entertainment recently announced a new sales milestone for PlayStation®4 (PS4™). 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. "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."
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