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Gamers Build Careers With Help From the Emerging eSports Industry
[August 09, 2019]

Gamers Build Careers With Help From the Emerging eSports Industry


NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Many people have shunned the gaming industry because of its massive growth and popularity among younger consumers. Those who oppose the gaming industry argue that it's highly addictive and could cause negative behaviors. Specifically, many U.S. politicians have complained that video games encourage violence. Yet, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute and the University of Oxford, it was concluded that violent video games have no correlation with aggressive behaviors in teenagers and the amount of time spent playing violent games. The researchers used a combination of subjective and objective data to measure teen aggression and violence in games. Additionally, the contents of the video games were classified using the official Pan European Game Information and Entertainment Software Rating Board rating systems, rather than basing the ratings off player's perceptions. Oxford's study is just one of the many pieces of research conducted that have all concluded that video games do not promote violent behavior. Moreover, some studies have even suggested that video games actually decrease violent behavior and crime rates because players are avoiding mischief outside. Furthermore, a study by the Université de Genève, suggested that video games also improve cognitive functions, specifically among the subjects that played action games. Benoit Bediou, a researcher at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (FPSE), said that the results were beyond dispute and that the effects of action-based video games can pave the way for video games to expand people's cognitive abilities. While many people discourage others from entering into the gaming industry, many have successfully created sustainable and rewarding careers. And as the gaming industry continues to ramp up, more people will look to enter into the marketplace. By the end of the year, Newzoo predicts that the global game market will generate USD 152.1 Billion in revenue. By 2022, Newzoo expects the market to deliver revenues of USD 196.08 Billion, accelerating at a CAGR of 9% during the forecast period from 2018 to 2022. UMG Media Ltd. (TSX-V: ESPT), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA), HUYA Inc. (NYSE: HUYA)

Majority of the most popular global games are heavily action-based. According to Newzoo, the top core PC games are League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone, Fortnite, and Overwatch. The main reason why these games are highly popular is that they have all incorporate a ranked or competitive system. Furthermore, because competitive games are online, there will always be a social comparison among players. Naturally, the social comparison will create a competitive behavior, causing players to yearn for a better placement. Nowadays, most games, whether they are shooters, massive online multiplayers, strategy, or even open-world concepts, have introduced a competitive aspect to keep players engaged for hours each day. Generally, most ranked systems are based on tiers where players can progress from a lower bracket and work their way to the highest bracket. The major incentive for lower-ranked players is being able to progress throughout the game and become better, thus achieving a higher rank. However, once players reach the top bracket, typically, their goal is to become the number one player on the leaderboards. Whether players are in the lowest or highest tier system, the incentive to achieve a better placement is the major factor as to why competitive games are on top in the industry. Another widely popular game is Apex Legends, a shooter-based battle royale, which recently implemented a ranked mode. At its launch, Apex Legends gained tremendous popularity as millions of players signed up for the game. However, its popularity quickly faded due to the lack of content updates and a competitive scene. Now, with the integration of a tier system, players believe that the community will be more engaged by the different playing environment. In return, industry experts believe that Apex Legends will also see an increase in active players as well as the hours spent on the game per player. Whether people are playing or viewing video games, the competitive edge of the eSports industry is what will set it apart from other global industries. "The foundation of today's most popular esport titles such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike, and Overwatch is skill-based competition. These games are designed to reward those who master specific roles and acquire in-depth game knowledge," said Hendrik Mokrusch, Executive Assistant at Rogue Sports Europe. "Nowadays, a growing number of players commit intensely to develop these skills and abilities in order to outperform others and fulfil their gratification needs. For many, playing competitive video games is no longer just about having fun. Recent ecosystem developments in esports have proven that players from all skill-levels seek competitive environments and are looking for new ways to improve their game play."

UMG Media Ltd. (TSX-V: ESPT) announced breaking news earlier this week that, "it has entered into an agreement to acquire Activate Entertainment LLC ("Activate"). Activate is a creative management and production services company that specializes in esports events and activations.

  • In 2019, Activate has produced a number of major esports events, including the "Esports Experience" at the National Advertising Broadcaster (NAB) Show in Las Vegas, and the "Panasonic Esports Arena" at InfoComm in Orlando
  • Activate works with hospitality brands such as Marriott International and Caesars Entertainment on their esports initiatives
  • Activate helps corporate brands such as Panasonic and Roland develop points of entry into the esports industry
  • Activate has produced top-tier livestream productions for clients at major shows including E3, San Diego Comic Con, Dell Technologies World and The World Series of Poker
  • Activate has offices in both Las Vegas and Los Angeles and is led by Chris Iaquinta and Dirk Hagen, who have combined over 40 years experience in the event management and production industry, with a focus on turnkey, custom activations for a wide variety of entertainment industries, both gaming related and beyond.

'Bringing Activate into UMG will greatly expand the services and expertise of UMG in the esports event management side of the industry,' commented Dave Antony, CEO of UMG. 'Being able to add the experience of Chris and Dirk will be invaluable as UMG expands.'

Activate was responsible for the broadcast, production and execution of over three dozen live premium esports and video game activations in the last calendar year, bringing their nearly four decades of professionalexecution and delivery to bear. Activate also serves as the Director of Gaming and Esports for various entities, including NAB Show and the Metarama Gaming Festival. 



'UMG represents the perfect structural partner that will allow our newly unified businesses to further raise the standard for esports livestreams and event productions', said Chris Iaquinta, President of Activate Entertainment. 'Together, our ability to provide professional results and deliverables to clients, partners and customers will be greatly amplified.'

In consideration for the acquisition of Activate (the "Transaction"), UMG will issue 2,333,333 Common Shares at a price of $0.30 per share. The shareholders of Activate have the ability to receive $3,000,000 in additional common shares ("Performance Shares") of UMG. The Performance Shares will be earned over the 18 month period following the closing of the transaction. The number of Performance Shares to be issued will be based directly on the gross revenue of Activate and will be issued at the 10 day weighted average price of UMG shares at the time of issue. The Transaction is subject to due diligence and regulatory approval, including the acceptance of the TSX Venture Exchange. The Transaction is an arm's length transaction.


Closing is expected to occur in the next 30 days.

About UMG: UMG Media Ltd. ("UMG") is a premier esports company in North America, offering live gaming entertainment events and online play. UMG provides online and live tournaments as well as the creation and distribution of original esports content. For more information about UMG visit www.umggaming.com."

For our latest "Buzz on the Street" Show featuring UMG Media Ltd, recent corporate news, please head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgvUGw85sMo

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. Recently, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Microsoft Corp. recently announced a new collaboration to enhance opportunities for education, recreation and therapy for Veterans with mobility limitations by introducing the Xbox Adaptive Controller a video game controller designed for people with limited mobility in select VA rehabilitation centers around the country. The partnership, which was formalized April 18th, will provide controllers and services to Veterans as part of therapeutic and rehabilitative activities aimed at challenging muscle activation and hand-eye coordination, and greater participation in social and recreational activities. Together, VA and Microsoft identified an opportunity to introduce or reintroduce gaming to Veterans with spinal cord injuries, amputations, and neurological or other injuries at 22 VA medical centers across the United States. Microsoft is donating its Xbox Adaptive Controller, game consoles, games and other adaptive gaming equipment as part of the collaboration. "We owe so much to the service and sacrifice of our Veterans, and as a company, we are committed to supporting them," said Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft. "Our Xbox Adaptive Controller was designed to make gaming more accessible to millions of people worldwide, and we're partnering with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to bring the device to Veterans with limited mobility, connecting them to the games they love and the people they want to play with."

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 recently announced its next-generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor family (codename Cooper Lake) will offer customers up to 56 processor cores per socket and built-in AI training acceleration in standard socketed Intel Xeon Scalable processor offerings with availability starting in the first half of 2020. The breakthrough platform performance delivered within the high-core-count Cooper Lake processors will leverage the capabilities built into the Intel® Xeon® Platinum 9200 series, which today is gaining momentum among the world's most demanding HPC and AI customers, including HLRN, Advania,  and others. "We are excited about the early customer deployments of the Intel Xeon Platinum 9200 series that we introduced as part of our 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor family. Bringing a 56-core processor into our mainline Intel Xeon Scalable processor family in the next generation will further expand our ability to address customer needs for the highest levels of performance in artificial intelligence, high performance computing and high density infrastructure." Lisa Spelman, Vice President and General Manager of Data Center Marketing, Intel Corporation.

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 premier 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."

HUYA Inc. (NYSE: HUYA) is a leading game live streaming platform in China with a large and active game live streaming community. HUYA Inc. recently announced that it will operate a newly-established e-sports team and join the Overwatch LeagueTM, the first major global professional e-sports league with city-based teams across Asia, Europe, and North America. This Chengdu-based new team joined the Overwatch League at the start of its 2019 season. This business collaboration between Huya and the Overwatch League reaffirms Huya's strategic focus on e-sports. "We're delighted to establish a deep partnership with the Overwatch League," said Mr. Henry Sha, Chief Financial Officer of Huya. "We're excited by the growth potential of e-sports, and we're looking forward to leveraging our gaming expertise and capabilities. As a leader in China's game live streaming industry, we think we can help grow the popularity of the Overwatch League by providing unique resources and a large viewer base. We believe our team in Chengdu will demonstrate Huya's focus on the global e-sports industry and will further expand e-sports awareness and participation of Chinese gaming enthusiasts."

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