Twitch continues to dominate the streaming landscape for esports coverage but Microsoft is working hard to make some dents in Amazon's armor, the latest attempt being an exclusivity deal with Hi-Rez Studios to host the 2018 SMITE season. There's also a new scholarship fund to get younger minds working towards a career in esports.
Breaking into the scene
It's all good watching esport tournaments and following your favorite team, but what would you say to a chance of actually breaking into esports and making it a career? Sure, you may not have the skill to perform well as a professional player but that's where other areas of the scene come into play. There are plenty of career opportunities and disciplines that make the world of esports happen, from sound and video to marketing and casting.
Find Your Grind (FYG), an organization set on helping young folk explore careers they may not have considered, has announced a $450,000 annual esports scholarship fund, in partnership with esport infrastructure company ReKTGlobal. The goal is to connect young applicants with opportunities in the fast-growing sporting scene.
SMITE Mixing it up
Mixer announced an exclusive partnership with Hi-Rex Studios to bring the SMITE Pro League and Console Series to viewers on the platform. The popular Massive Online Battle Arena has been enjoyed by millions and Microsoft hopes hosting matches will draw more gamers to Mixer. Season 5 of the SMITE Pro League is set to commence on March 20 and will be broadcast on the official Mixer channel.
If that wasn't enough, the console series will kick things off on March 5.
League of Legends
The big story this week in League of Legends (as well as other games the team has a roster for) is the $38 million raised by Vision Esports, the owner of Echo Fox. Big sports industry names included TPG and The Durant Company, showcasing that many see the scene continuing to grow above and beyond where it's at currently.
The UK gets a CS:GO Major
The CS:GO Major is coming to the UK, thanks to esports organization FACEIT. London will host the 2018 event on September 20-23 at the Wembley Arena. Tickets will be available from April 2 if you plan to head to the British capital and enjoy a live experience. What makes this such a compelling event to have in the UK is the prize money — $1 million.
Major League Soccer is set to host a new esports league, called the eMLS. This new league will run FIFA 18, allowing 19 players to represent an MLS team and qualify for the global playoffs. The league will be split into two conferences, East and West. Each player will craft a squad of 11 talented individuals, with five on the bench and a further five in reserve.
The cup will commence on April 5, taking in the top eight players from each conference. Weekend matches will be held on the PAX Arena Main Stage and streamed on the PAX Arena Twitch channel. A virtual football league, how about that.
Upcoming live events
- League of Legends LCS - February 23 (EU), February 24 (EU and NA), February 25 (NA), watch on Twitch
- PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds IEM Katowice - February 24 - 25, watch on Twitch
- Overwatch League - February 24 - 25, watch on Twitch
- Halo WC EU qualification finals - February 23 - 25, watch on Twitch