It has been a solid year in the scene as UK retailers make plans to push esports alongside traditional sports, Twitch attracts more viewers than mainstream media, and there's going to be more driving with Forza and DiRT.
The Forza Racing Championship is back on track
Microsoft's official competitive Forza 7 series is back for another season, with the World Championship final the culmination of the year's action. That'll take place in London in October, but before that there are two series' plus playoffs to race through.
And there's a whopping $250,000 on offer in prize money.
The announcement comes with some new features added to Forza 7 to enhance the esports viewing experience.
DiRT 4 gets its own official esports championship
Codemasters and Motorsport Network are pairing up with UK based Gfinity for the inaugural DiRT World Championships.
Using the Community Events system in DiRT 4, players will compete online in rally and rallycross events to earn a place in the live-streamed quarter-finals and semi-final before gaining a place at Speedmachine. Details of the rounds, rules and how to take part can be found on the DiRT World Championships website: www.dirt4game.com/esports.
There will be six qualifying rounds beginning on February 19, with the two fastest times across each supported platform (PC, Xbox One and PS4) getting put through to the quarter-finals.
The final will take place later on this year at the home of British motorsport, Silverstone. For Codemasters, this is another step into competitive gaming, following the success of the F1 esports series. Interested drivers should hit the link below to find out more.
Find out more about the DiRT World Championships
GAME teams up with Sports Direct
Esports in the UK has taken an interesting turn. The massive retailer Sports Direct, which sells everything related to all things sport, and video game retailer GAME have teamed up to offer new Belong in select Sports Direct stores across the country. This is a big deal for esports since the two retailers will be able to bring video games to a new audience. Not only will it be possible to wander around a store and pick up a pair of football boots but also hang out and play some games.
It's also good news for GAME as a retailer since physical game sales continue to decline and esports is clearly the way forward. It makes sense for both brands to team up and really push esports across the country.
HCS Orlando streaming live on Twitter
Fans of competitive Halo are getting their first major of the new World Championship season this weekend in Orlando, and among other ways to watch is now Twitter.
Twitter Gaming will be streaming the action live at the link below, so if you want to watch and live tweet, you're in good hands!
Twitch has more viewers than CNN and MSNBC
In what is nothing other than a huge win for streaming and esports, January 2018 saw a pretty momentous milestone for the biggest service out there for both, Twitch.
Perhaps the biggest revelation is that Twitch attracted more viewers than CNN. January average concurrent viewers on Twitch showed a record 962k, up 22% from January 2017, and up 26% from December. For comparison, 2017 total day viewership for Fox News Channel and ESPN was ~1.5mm, MSNBC was 885K, and CNN was 783K, putting Twitch squarely among the most-watched U.S. cable channels.
Esports is still finding its way as both a solid business opportunity and growing its fanbase, but stats like this certainly prove there's a huge interest in folks watching gaming broadcasts. Competitive or otherwise.
Upcoming live events
- Halo World Championship Orlando Open, begins on February 16, watch on Twitch or Mixer
- League of Legends LCS - February 23 (EU), February 24 (EU and NA), February 25 (NA), watch on Twitch