This week in esports news: Twitch has a larger audience than mainstream media outlets
Esports continues to grow in viewers, reach and potential.
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.
Forza Racing Championship returns for 2018 with $250,000 in prizes
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.
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.
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.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.