Streaming on the rise for CS:GO, Overwatch

Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain credited a maneuver he used in NASCAR 2005 for the Nintendo GameCube with his finish at Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race in Martinsville that propelled him into the last four for that championship race. weekend in Phoenix. According to The NPD Group, a much younger Chastain was one of less than 100,000 people who purchased a copy of this game for Nintendo’s platform. — Jason Wilson

ESL Faceit Group delivered on its promise to bring a major Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to Brazil, and Twitch viewership for the start of the event reflected pent-up demand in South America’s largest country.

The Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major 2022, which began Monday and ends on November 13, sold out, received a boost from Brazilian esports legend Alexandre “Gaules” Borba, who co-streamed the event on Twitch, with its broadcasts averaging around 100,000 viewers and peaking at over 350,000, according to data from Esports Charts. This has helped the event reach an average of 450,000 viewers so far, peaking around 752,000 on October 31. July’s IEM Cologne Major averaged 276,763 viewers during its broadcast, peaking at 1,249,426 viewers for FaZe Clan’s win over Natus Vincere.

Although it got off to a solid start, the CS:GO Major now faces fierce competition this weekend in the League of Legends World Championship (Twitch) and at the end of the Overwatch League Finals (YouTube).

The OWL Finals average is over 192,000 viewers and peaked at over 280,000 on Wednesday, compared to an average of 84,631 viewers and a peak of 134,320 in 2021.League of Legends Worlds is still performing well, averaging over 864,000 viewers (up from 1,298,219 in 2021) as the league prepares to crown its champion on Saturday. — Kevin Hitt

Fans pack the arena at IEM Rio, the first Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major in Brazil

Adela Sznajder/ESPAT

Receiving the release of new Overwatch and Call of Duty games is likely a good sign for Activision Blizzard’s franchise esports leagues.

There is already evidence of greater interest in the Overwatch League, as the Nov. 2 playoff game between the San Francisco Shock and the Shanghai Dragons peaked at just over 280,000 viewers, the highest number ever. since the league moved to YouTube in 2020. That’s also nearly 100,000 more than the Grand Finals in 2020. This OWL figure comes after Activision released the game’s latest iteration, Overwatch 2, to the public. October 4. OWL chief Sean Miller told SBJ that his outfit “couldn’t be happier.”

Activision will be looking to repeat that streaming success when Call of Duty League returns on December 15. any core Call of Duty game, topping 2011’s Modern Warfare II ($650 million). — Hunter Cooke

Driven by the launches of FIFA 23 and Madden 23 in the third quarter, Electronic Arts reported quarterly net income of $299 million for the three months ended September 30. The EA Player Network has grown to over 600 million active accounts, with over 200 million players engaged with EA Sports games.

This growth was fueled by the most successful launch in FIFA franchise history, which saw 10.3 million players play the new FIFA 23 in the first week. Additionally, engagement with the game is enhanced by people watching others play the game. EA CEO Andrew Wilson said that “we get 2 billion or 3 billion hours of gameplay in FIFA per year, and we get almost as much from watching FIFA gameplay.”

EA completes its content strategy for the FIFA franchise with a mobile and online version, which mainly targets overseas markets. Like the franchise’s main game, the two additional releases have contributed to EA’s growth with daily and monthly active users for FIFA Mobile (75% outside of North America and Europe) more than doubled compared to last year and FIFA Online recorded a record performance in Asia. .

But the launch of FIFA 23 marks the end of an era, as it will be the franchise’s last title under EA’s auspices, with FIFA ending its long-standing deal with EA. The publisher will continue to build a football title, looking to rebrand its franchise as EA Sports FC in 2023. — Tobias Seck

Jack Grealish is among the popular players in FIFA’s lucrative Ultimate Team mode

EA Sports

SBJ for its magazine cover story this week delved into the bottomless coffers of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, and a space that is already seeing massive disruption of such funds in esports.

Saudi Arabia has made significant investments in some companies – and outright acquired others. By “investing to elevate the Kingdom and elevate the world”, as it said in a recent statement, Saudi Arabia is trying to show that it can be the center of technological progress, including gaming and esports. .

Last month, the Saudi Esports Federation announced that it was joining the country’s Vision 2030, with the aim of investing $38 billion to become a global hub for esports and gaming. PIF, through Savvy Gaming Group, has already invested over $1 billion in esports and gaming and now has the largest tournament organization through its ESL Faceit group.

Savvy Gaming Group’s investments include:

  • ESL Faceit Group: This $1.5 billion acquisition brought together three of the largest esports tournament organizers under one roof, becoming the largest of its kind in the industry. ESL, Faceit and DreamHack (an ESL property) have regularly hosted the most prestigious tournaments and leagues in the world, including major tournaments for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2.
  • Embracer Group: Savvy invested $1 billion in the Swedish video game and media company in June, which itself has made a slew of acquisitions in recent years. Embracer has acquired companies such as Gearbox Entertainment (Borderlands series), Coffee Stain (Valheim, Goat Simulator) and THQ Nordic, and now owns over 100 game studios with over 200 games in development.
  • Nintendo: Savvy said it bought a 5% stake in the company (valued at $1 billion) “for investment purposes”.

Beyond Savvy, the PIF has its own investments, such as an estimated 5% stake in Capcom (Street Fighter series) and around 5% in Nexon (another video game publisher). Each of these investments is also said to be worth just over $1 billion. — Kevin Hitt

  • Neymar Jr. content is coming to PUBG with its next update, November 9 for PC and November 17 for consoles. This includes personalized billboards, soccer boards, and special care packages themed around the Brazilian soccer star.
  • 2K Games has added “Ballin” by rapper A Boogie wit da Hoodie (Julius Dubose) to NBA 2K23 from his upcoming album, Me vs. Myself. Musicians have coveted spots in games like NBA 2K and Madden NFL, which provide a new platform for people to experience their music.
  • Team Vitality has released a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive heavy metal song, Metality, featuring Matt “Kichi Chaos” Heafy and music label Nuclear Blast. It is the first song of a long-term collaboration between Nuclear Blast and Team Vitality.

  • Chris Ross is the new global head of event marketing at Riot Games, arriving after more than two years as director of experiential marketing at Activision.
  • Wyatt Chamlin has been named publisher and head of partnerships at Belong Gaming.
  • Mobile Global Esports, which runs a platform for college esports in India, has hired event producer Kim Meltzer as managing director.
  • Ninja in Pajamas has a new deal with FILA for game-themed sportswear.
  • Populous has officially introduced one of its latest college projects, the Butler Esports Park, which is a 7,500 square foot space at Indianapolis’ Big East School.
  • Riot Games is hosting 50 students and staff from the Bay Area nonprofit Gameheads at this weekend’s League of Legends World Championships at the Chase Center in San Francisco. Gameheads gives low-income youth laptops, tablets, and other software and technology to learn game development.

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