Sep 20, 2019

Esports network to launch New York, Los Angeles studios

Photo: Getty Images/Gorodenkoff

Video Game Entertainment & News Network (Venn), a startup seeking to make 55 hours of esports content a week, plans to launch studios in New York and Los Angeles in mid-2020, the Los Angeles Times writes.

The big picture: The New York-based business has raised $17 million and is looking to become a gaming network, with distribution deals including Twitch, YouTube and Hulu TV. The esports category has expanded in popularity, particularly with young people, with platforms like Twitch allowing gamers to grow more connected by streaming their activities.

By the numbers ... According to research firm EMarketer:

  • The U.S. esports audience currently sits around 30.3 million people.
  • Viewing is expected to increase to 46.2 million by 2023.
  • Esports advertising revenue is set to increase from $178 million in 2019 to $213.8 million in 2020.

Between the lines: The Times writes: "...some of the new platforms hosting esports content don’t have sophisticated advertising tools for marketers," per Eric Haggstrom, a forecasting analyst with EMarketer.

  • Venn plans to change that by producing high-quality content including "talk shows, reality shows, documentaries and esports events," the Times writes.

Go deeper: High school esports goes mainstream

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Esports developer Nerd Street Gamers raises $12 million in funding

Nerd Street Gamers, a Philadelphia-based developer of local training and competition facilities for esports, raised $12 million in Series A funding.

Why it matters: Esports has been growing ahead of its physical infrastructure, so back-build is needed to protect existing investments — both on the professional and amateur sides.

Go deeperArrowOct 10, 2019

How NBA 2k's infrastructure sets the bar for esports

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver at the NBA 2k league draft. Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The esports industry continues to tussle with creating viable paths for amateur gamers to turn pro, but the NBA 2k league seems to have come up with something that's working.

How it works: Anyone who owns the game has a legitimate shot at getting into the 2k league.

Go deeperArrowSep 25, 2019

German synagogue shooting streamed on Amazon's Twitch, leaves 2 dead

Police block access to a street near the scene of a shooting that has left two people dead. Photo: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

The alleged shooter who killed 2 people outside a synagogue in Halle, Germany, on Wednesday morning used the platform Twitch to livestream the attack, Amazon confirmed to CNBC.

Why it matters: 2,200 people viewed the recording of the killings, and the video was accessible on the platform for 30 minutes before Twitch flagged and removed it, according to the New York Times.

Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019