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How the NBA is Making Waves in eSports

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The National Basketball Association has just turned 73 years old and is one of the four major leagues for professional level sports in North America. Thanks to this age and prominence, it is often considered the world’s leading basketball league, with good reason. Whilst comprising of teams only from the United States and Canada, the NBA attracts many international players who join from every continent. In addition, the average NBA team is worth $1.9 billion, considerably more than teams in other leagues.

Expanding the Empire

The NBA is currently enacting a strategy to leverage its brand around the world, developing audiences in regions outside of the United States including the UK, Africa and China. As part of this it recently announced the launch of a NBA YouTube channel to stream games to sub-Saharan audiences.

The eSports Expansion

In 2017, the NBA and games developer Take-Two Interactive announced that 17 of the 30 NBA teams would be taking part in the inaugural NBA 2K eSports League. This list included big names like the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors. The first of these eSports games took place in 2018, using the NBA 2K video games. Like real life games, NBA 2K eSports League games are contested between two teams of 5 players, making use of the “Pro-Am” mode found in the consumer version of NBA 2K 2018.

Just like in real life basketball, the eSports teams are generally made up of the following types of player:

  • Point guard: generally taking the on court leadership role for the team, typically having the best ball handling and passing skills to assist in creating shots
  • Shooting guard: typically the best shooter on the team, tasked with exploiting these skills, particularly when shooting from behind the three-point line
  • Small forward: often considered the most versatile position of the five, the small forward often takes on the role of the shooting guard, but is more likely to score baskets from lay-ups or slam dunks in contrast to the shooting guard’s three-point shooting abilities
  • Power forward: a versatile role, similar to the centre, which requires shooting and defence skills against all types of players
  • Centre: typically the tallest players, defending against shots and collecting rebounds.

The “eSeason”

In the real world, the NBA Championship will be decided between the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors in mid June. Currently, odds comparison site Oddschecker is ranking the Raptors as favourites to take the crown. However, the NBA 2K eSports season begins in spring and finishes in summer. This timing allows the NBA to have its brand utilised for a larger portion of the year, beyond the end of the traditional basketball season.

eSports has become a multi million dollar industry.  Photo by Anthony Brolin, License

 

First Mover Advantage

The NBA’s announcement in 2017 that it would be launching the NBA 2K eSports League meant that it was the first major sports brand in the United States to enter the world of eSports. In contrast, most other eSports leagues are organised by tech companies like Intel – or games companies like Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite. Therefore, if the NBA is successful it will have several years of development to build a loyal eSports fan base, before rivals such as the National Football League or Major League Baseball join the party.

Growing Already

After a successful first year, four additional real life NBA teams will be joining the NBA 2K eSports League lineup, bringing the total number to 21. These new teams are: the Atlanta Hawks, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Brooklyn Nets and the Minnesota Timberwolves.The growth provides mutual benefits, since the teams will bring with them their own existing supporters who are more likely to follow their team’s eSports team, than an unknown entrant. In addition, the fans of eSports are likely to also gain a stronger interest in the real life team, buying merchandise and visiting games.

Live Streaming

Just as traditional sports leagues like the NBA have sold rights to air games on TV, the NBA 2K eSports League has signed a deal to have its games streamed live over the internet. The deal with streaming platform Twitch sees all games shown live, available to its audience of 15 million daily active users. The multi year streaming deal also includes commentary and analysis, just like you would expect from traditional TV coverage of any other sport.

The NBA 2K eSports deal is not Twitch’s first with the NBA. In December 2017, the two companies signed a deal that enabled Twitch to live stream games from the NBA G League, the official minor league, with up to 6 matches each week being distributed on the platform.

Sponsorship

Just like traditional sports leagues, the NBA 2K eSports League has signed a number of major sponsorship deals with large companies. Games are played on computers provided by gaming PC brand Alienware, using powerful processing chipsets supplied by Intel. Players use HyperX sponsored headsets and Scuf Gaming branded controllers. Teams also have their own sponsors, with their logos displayed on the teams’ in-game uniforms, just like in real life.

Conclusion

The growth in eSports has been massive, with large sums of money now being invested in creating leagues with all of the hallmarks of a traditional sport. In its quest to become a global sports brand, the NBA has been able to leverage its existing assets to create a large following in eSports, almost overnight. By launching the league in 2018 with 17 existing NBA teams, the NBA 2K eSports League already had loyal fans of 17 established sports clubs who would want to support them. Thus, it has a pre-made fanbase, huge financial assets and an established brand to leverage sponsorship deals and to use in negotiations when selling streaming rights.

In addition, the NBA’s venture into eSports is a significant opportunity to expand the reach of its brand into new geographic regions, as well as to new demographics that had not previously been interested in basketball. Even if a player does not become an avid watcher of NBA games, sales of the NBA 2K video game titles are also likely to benefit from the exposure of the NBA 2K eSports League.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: How the NBA is Making Waves in eSports

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Week 29 slot games releases

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Introducing Sherlock of London™, the latest online slot from award-winning entertainment provider Microgaming. Developed exclusively by Rabcat, the creators of Castle Builder II™ and Crystal Rift™, Sherlock of London™ brings the excitement and intriguing adventures to life in the form of a thrilling five-by-three reel, 25-payline online slot. Through the sinister smog of old London, a legendary sleuth and his trusty companion are hot on the trail of big wins.

Sherlock of London - Microgaming

Twin Casino is proud to announce the release of their first online slot game, Banana Odyssey, created in partnership with Slingshot Studios exclusively for Microgaming. For the next 7 weeks you will be able to play Banana Odyssey exclusively at twin.com. Staring two Astro-chimps, Chip and Buck, this intergalactic adventure will take you to the Banana Planet, a faraway place packed with enormous riches and big wins.

Twin Casino - first video slot

 

The highly anticipated new game title from Wazdan, Larry the Leprechaun, has officially been released – just in time for iGB Live! – offering players a little Irish luck as they journey through an enchanted forest in search of a pot full of gold. Larry the Leprechaun transports players into the enchanted forest where they can spin the reels in their search for the ancient Irish legend, the ultimate pot of gold. Full of exciting twists and turns, Larry the Leprechaun offers players a wide variety of special features that charm each spin. The game has 16 reels and no paylines, meaning that symbols pay on any position on the reels. What is more, players can block any symbols and re-spin the reels for a chance to get a winning combination.

Wazdan - Larry the Leprechaun

Relax Gaming, has boosted its proprietary offering with the localised and high energy game Powerspin, adding another title to its Jackpot Stars series. With 5 fixed paylines, the 3×3 video slot offers a modern twist on the classic fruit theme and is packed with bonus features that promise powerful and frequent wins. Multipliers and symbol upgrades can be won when the same symbol lands on all 9 positions thanks to the Bonus Wheel feature, while players can also choose to place a side bet to trigger the jackpot.

Relax Gaming with Powerspin

 

Playson transports players to a place of mysticism and beauty with its latest slot, Solar Queen. The Egyptian-themed 4×5 slot with 20 lines slot features the progressive accumulation of Wild symbols and winning multipliers to pique the interest of even the most seasoned adventurers. Sun symbols trigger the Flaming Frames feature and increase multipliers, and with every tenth spin each frame is transformed into Wild symbols.

Egyptian quest awaits slots fans in Playson’s Solar Queen

 

Blueprint Gaming is inviting players to beat the banker once again in the latest addition to its popular Pub Fruit Series – Deal or No Deal: Double Action™. Following the success of last year’s debut release, The Perfect Play, the next incarnation of the slot game using the Deal or No Deal™ licence, inspired by the world-renowned gameshow, delivers even more features from the classic pub fruit gaming format. Collect five or more telephone symbols to trigger the Double Action feature, where players can experience two games at the same time and double their chances of picking a box filled with top prizes.

Double the action in Blueprint’s latest Deal or No Deal™ game release

 

Microgaming has launched its latest online slot “Magic of Sahara” developed by All41 Studios. Following the release of Le Kaffee Bar, Magic of Sahara is the second game developed by All41 Studios. Conjured up with lavish art and music, the game’s enchanting atmosphere invites players into a desert wonderland filled with stacked wilds, free spins and a Token Chain feature. Casting a spell during the base game are valuable super stacked wilds, which can materialise on reels three and four, invoking magical rewards.

Microgaming - Magic of Sahara

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Week 29 slot games releases

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DouYu International Holdings Ltd Raises $775 Million in U.S. IPO

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DouYu International Holdings Ltd, a Chinese video-streaming service which is backed by the Tencent Holdings Ltd, has raised $775 million through an initial public offering in the U.S.

DouYu sold 67.39 million American depositary shares at $11.50 apiece, at the bottom of an indicative price range of $11.50 to $14 a share. The IPO values the company at nearly $4 billion, including restricted shares issued to employees under a share-based compensation program.

In 2018, around 683 million people or roughly half the country’s population, played games on phones, computers or game consoles. The market-research firm forecasts that number will reach 878 million or nearly a third of videogamers globally in 2023.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: DouYu International Holdings Ltd Raises 5 Million in U.S. IPO

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Fortuna Becomes the Official Sponsor of Stomil Olsztyn in Poland

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Fortuna Becomes the Official Sponsor of Stomil Olsztyn in PolandReading Time: 1 minute

 

Bookmaker Fortuna has signed a deal with the Polish football club Stomil Olsztyn and become the official sponsor of the club. The contract will be valid at least until the end of the 2019/2020 season.

The joint marketing plans of Stomil and Fortuna assume activations directed to supporters and the presence of a bookmaker in the club’s social media channels.

“Involvement of the club and players in the struggle for survival of Stomil at the level of Fortuna 1st League in the spring round of the previous season made a huge impression on the whole football environment,” Leszek Haba, Member of the Board, Marketing Director of Fortuna Online Zakłady Bukmacherskie said.

“I am convinced that better days are coming for the Pride of Warmia, therefore, as Fortuna, we want to accompany the team from Olsztyn in the fight for higher and higher sporting and organizational goals. I hope that thanks to cooperation with Stomil we will strengthen our presence in the region, and the club, with our support, will soon refer to the times when, as an equal, it competed with the best teams in the country,” Leszek Haba added.

“We are very pleased that such a company recognized on the Polish market, which undoubtedly is Fortuna joined the group supporting the Club and together we will build #NowyStomil. I believe that this cooperation will bring benefits for both parties,” Robert Jurga, President of Stomil said.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Fortuna Becomes the Official Sponsor of Stomil Olsztyn in Poland

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