Image via Blizzard Entertainment


YouTube recently secured a media-rights deal with Activision Blizzard Esports that is currently valued at around $160 million over three years. This comes according to people briefed on the terms of the partnership, part of a strategic partnership between Google and the video game company.

Who contributes what: Sources indicate that the deal is valued for all of the esports properties involved, including Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Hearthstone. The previous deal with Activision Blizzard was just for Overwatch League (OWL) and had a reported value of $90 million over two years. The exact breakdown of how much each property contributes to the total payout is not none, but sources indicate the majority of it comes from OWL, with a smaller section coming from CDL, and Hearthstone being described as a “free throw-in” for YouTube.

Additional benefits: As part of the deal, Google Cloud provides cloud computing services to Activision Blizzard, which is viewed very much as an enormous boon given the size of Activision Blizzard as one of the biggest video game companies in the world.


20 years ago, no one would have expected the money generating from esports could amount to something sufficient that would allow companies to form as ancillaries in the industry. If anything, it would have been easier to assume gaming developers would be the ones making all the money. But it’s quite possible for professional players to make a significant return by winning various tournaments taking place across the globe. And businesses are popping up left and right to fill in new needs throughout the industry.

Startups spawning everywhere: The esports industry as a whole is expected to generate around $1.4 billion in revenue in 2021, nearly triple the figure in 2017. Suffice it to say, this sector is booming in a way that no one could have anticipated. Asia is a hotbed of action due to the high number of esports fans in the area, many aspiring to become gaming champions themselves. This has led to numerous startups developing AI-driven training sites, such as SenpAI, which attempts to hone skills driven by reacting to the player’s abilities.

Something to wager: Esports betting has come from nowhere and is already generating an estimated $12 billion a year. Some of the biggest names in the online betting world have already added esports to their offering, though this opportunity has also presented itself to numerous startups. One example if Midnite, a seemingly-dedicated esports betting site for UK customers. The start-up recently secured $2.5 million in additional funding and is expected to use that capital to continue developing its global offering.

Money in sponsoring: Sponsorship opportunities are likewise quite numerous in the esports industry, worth around $360 million in 2018, which has attracted a whole range of start-ups, including France’s Galibelum, which brings brands and players together for mutual benefits.


A new esports reality competition series hosted by Wil Wheaton is anticipated to release sometime this spring. The show, called GameMaster, features 12 amateur, aspiring esports athletes under one roof and places them in competition with each other for a $100,000 grand prize. Each week, a contestant is sent home with the series culminating in a one-on-one battle between the top competitors.

Executive producer John Colp said,” GameMaster takes the love of gaming and elevates it to a whole new level through the first immersive, multi-platform, head-to-head competition for both casual and diehard gaming fans.”

Wil Wheaton is an excellent choice as a host due to his background in gaming, having voiced roles in titles such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Fallout: New Vegas. Additionally, he will be hosting the SXSW Gaming Awards at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas.

We just had our latest MAINGEAR gaming backpack giveaway drawing! The lucky winner is Ali from Panorama City. Congrats for winning and we’re grateful for everyone’s support!

Sad you missed out? Don’t worry. We’re doing more drawings every Tuesday! So if you aren’t a previous winner, you’ve already been thrown back into the drawing for our next backpack giveaway. Stay strong, your time will come!

Image via Epic Games


Nike’s former Chief Digital Officer, Adam Sussman, has accepted new employment at Epic Games as the new president. With myriad experience in executive positions throughout numerous companies, he is quite capable of the role in this billion-dollar industry.

A quick recap: Sussman worked for Nike over five years, first starting as the Head of Global Strategy and Development. In 2016, he made the move to Chief Digital Officer. After a time, he announced his departure. He’s also held numerous positions in the gaming industry, such as Take-Two Interactive, Vice President of Global Publishing for EA Mobile, and Senior Vice President at both Zynga and Disney Interactive Media Group.

Popularity and fiscal returns: Fortnite is a game that has experience a significant boost in popularity since its release in 2017, now bringing in an astounding $1.8 billion in 2019. It was the highest-earning game of 2019, and used its popularity to boost its spot in pop culture through additional collaborations with popular IPs like Marvel, Star Wars, and Stranger Things.

Sussman will now move to his new role in North Carolina with his wife, three kids, and two dogs. It’s time to change Epic Games for the better!

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Image via Valve


Valve’s Dota 2 is unmistakably one of the most popular MOBAs on the market due to its comprehensive system of heroes and versatile mechanics. One fan has taken this love to new heights with a capstone project for school. In some very impressive early alpha footage shared on Reddit, the system looks like one rife with opportunity.

How it works: The player takes the form of a Radiant melee creep and can traverse the jungle, interact with objects like torches and other signature weapons, like Pudge’s Meat Hook. With said item, the player gains the corresponding signature skill of the hero, which can be used to Hook and Dismember approaching enemies.

Gabe’s blessing: The Reddit user indicated the game was intended as a series of mini-games with Pudge’s Hook mechanic. Most surprising of all, the student emailed Gabe Newell on a whim, who gave him permission to use Dota 2‘s assets in the making of this game.

Congratulations again to Ali from Panorama City for winning our backpack drawing!

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