Intel and ESL launch exclusive esports partnership at E3

Intel announced an exclusive partnership with Electronic Sports League (ESL) at its press briefing today ahead of the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

Earlier this year, ESL partnered with Facebook and it’s been long-time partners with livestreaming platform Twitch. It’s set viewership records before; according to news site IGN, ESL’s ESL One CS:GO tournament in 2015 was the most-watched CS:GO tournament ever at the time with 27 million viewers.

ESL said that Intel will now power all its streaming and live operations, and the two are teaming up for the new…

Hundreds of thousands of people are watching esports instead of E3

Above: E3 is huge, but just as many people don’t care.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show in Los Angeles is one of the biggest events of the year for the gaming industry, and yet a huge audience of hardcore gaming fans don’t care.

Earlier today as the Microsoft media event was starting, 500,000 people were watching E3-related livestreams on Twitch. At the same time, however, another 500,000 people were watching esports-related broadcasts for games like League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone, Dota 2, and Overwatch. So while it might feel like everyone in the gaming world has their eyes on L.A., it’s more obvious than ever that video games are far bigger than what is happening at E3.

For esports fans, watching their game is always going to bring them…

Twitch’s deal with Optic Gaming is all about taking a shot at shooters

Livestreaming platform Twitch is a serious fan of esports and takes its esports fans seriously, too. After renewing its partnership with DreamHack in March for the ninth year in a row, it’s now announced an exclusive broadcasting partnership with professional esports team Optic Gaming.

While some might associate esports with multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games like League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm, Optic primarily plays first-person and third-person shooters. Founded in 2006, it’s made up of several smaller teams that specialize in playing more common esports games such as Call of Duty and Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO), as well as competitive Halo and Gears of War.

Optic previously won Esports Team of the Year at The Game Awards in 2015, an award ceremony with advisers from industry fixtures such as Electronic Arts,…

Traditional sports have an esports problem

Professional sports leagues like the NFL and the NBA are about to face a major challenge called “the march of time.”

Young Americans, or “millennials,” (the generation that was born from the mid-1980s through the early 2000s) are split in terms of their loyalty to traditional sports and competitive video gaming, according to an LEK Consulting survey. While 18 percent are undecided, 40 percent of millennials prefer esports compared to 42 percent who still favor old-fashioned athletics. A variety of factors can explain this parity (such as the rise of smartphones, the free-to-play business model, or Twitch), but whatever the reasons, LEK points out that established sports leagues officially have a millennial problem.

“Though they represent a large and increasingly integral segment of the U.S. sports fan base, millennials bring to the table a unique challenge,” LEK managing directors Alex Evans and Gil Moran write in the survey. “Unlike their Baby Boomer and Gen X predecessors, millennials follow a much broader range of both traditional and alternative sports as adults, and despite having less time on their hands, have a far greater selection of viewing alternatives.”

LEK is measuring interest in sports and esports, but this doesn’t suddenly mean that competitive gaming is as large as the NFL. Pro gaming events will generate $696 million worldwide this year, according to an estimate from industry-intelligence firm Newzoo. That’s a fraction of the billions that the NFL, the NBA, and the MLB make, but esports revenues could catch up quickly as the Millennial generation overtakes older demographic segments as the biggest spenders over the next two decades.

“In terms of both composition and dollars spent, individuals 35 and older continue to dominate the country’s consumer base,”…