eSports now worth almost $900 million

eSports is a young, booming and wealthy industry. According to SuperData Research, eSports is worth $892 million currently and expected to break $1 billion sometime next year. SuperData also expects viewership to increase from 214 million to 202 million by 2019.

eSports turns to Facebook Live

Digiday had an interesting post on how ESL One Cologne, the world’s biggest eSports promoter, used Facebook Live. Their recent tournament in Germany had 42,000 live attenders and drew 21.7 million unique viewers online. ESL used Facebook Live to interview top players and video game personalities, visit partner booths, etc. It was great use of showing additional content and behind-the-scenes look for folks who couldn’t be there themselves.

“With Facebook Live, we are creating this ‘B-stream’ exclusively for the platform,” said Johannes Schiefer, director of global social and editorial for ESL. “There, we can bring the experience of what it would be like if you were actually at the event.”

ESL’s first FB Live broadcast had 9,000 live viewers.

Twitch says “Game Over” to PhantomL0rd

Streaming service Twitch has banned popular game streamer James “PhantomL0rd” Varga for secretly owning a gambling site. Skype logs showed that Varga had a stake in CSGO Shuffle, a website that allowed players to gamble weapon skins from games. He also rigged the best in his favor and he was involved in a best worth over $100,000 last year. Before his channel closed, Varga had 1.3 million followers, the seventh-biggest streamer on the platform.

eSports goes NASCAR

Some of the biggest eSports events can bring in winnings well into the six figures, but players can’t rely on cash prizes to make a living. Many turn to sponsorships to pay the bills. Deals range from having social media posts with a sponsor’s products to logos on the players’ jerseys. In fact, the Immortals eSports team have an official undergarment — MeUndies. They even have a fun video to prove it.