While all physical sporting events were canceled early on during the lockdowns, an industry report from esports organization Fnatic showed that only 23.5% of esports events were canceled due to the pandemic. This insulation from the necessities of pandemic-related sanitization and social distancing allowed esports to grow more quickly than before, and online tournaments to surge in popularity.
Twitch, the largest livestreaming site on the internet – which was built off gaming – saw a 17% increase in hours watched by viewers over the last quarter, as compared to pre-pandemic levels. While the growth sounds impressive on its own, this increase means that a staggering 2.72+ billion hours were spent livestreaming content from the site in Q2 alone.
TGS Esports (TSX.V: TGS) is Helping Transition Chicago Players to the Online World
TGS Esports Inc. has teamed up with Chicago Gaming United to produce an epic NBA2K tournament for Chicagoland high school students, with the winner of each division receiving educational scholarships.
“School isn’t just about education. It’s about sports, friends, and most importantly finding a community. The pandemic has really highlighted how important these connections are for teens,” said Spiro Khouri, CEO of TGS. “Esports has filled that void while the world has been on pause. This tournament is a chance to bring kids across the city together in one big event.”
The tournament, which will feature an Xbox and PlayStation division, will be held online over the weekends of November 7-8 and Nov. 14-15. A final round – an Elite 8 for each division – will take place the weekend of November 21-22 and will be livestreamed on TGS’ Twitch channel. TGS will power the tournament, bringing professional-level production and tournament management to the event
In addition to the scholarships, a portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit three nonprofits, including Cxmmunity, which focuses on increasing minority participation in esports; the Beyond Sports Foundation, dedicated to translating athletic ability into real-life opportunity; and That Harper Kid, the foundation established by former Chicago Sky guard Linnae Harper to benefit area youth.
Several Chicago area high school basketball legends have also lent their support to the effort, including Jahil Okafor, Kendrick Nunn, Quentin Richardson, Darius Miles, Tim Hardaway, Deon Thomas, Hoop Dreams stars Arthur Agee and William Gates, and Chicago high school legend Linnae Harper. Look for updates on their social media accounts as they cheer on the players.
Entry into the tournament is free and open to any Chicagoland High School student. For more information, please visit https://www.thegamingstadium.com/event/chicago-gaming-united/.
TGS Esports Making Significant Strides in Online Tournament Management
TGS is serious about becoming a major player in the online arena.
Since the lockdowns began, TGS saw an opportunity to capitalize on the surging popularity of online esports tournaments and solve the problem of fragmented tournament management. With an obvious revenue opportunity from sponsorships, ticket payment processing, player data, and more, TGS began hosting weekly tournaments, with big-name sponsors like Red Bull, EB Games, and 7-11 – and have since seen their tournament viewership rise significantly.
In an exciting move that is expected to accelerate this initiative, TGS acquired Pepper Esports, the creator of a software-as-a-service business focused on driving revenue from online tournament management.
“The Pepper platform offers an advanced suite of tools for league operators, tournament operators, and venue owners to set up and manage esports communities and run world-class events. These include key innovations, such as Pepper’s automatic game scoring technology, which uses its patent-pending AI engine and saves event organizers hundreds of hours of setup time, while also providing players and attendees with a vastly improved experience.”
In the coming months, we look forward to watching continued progress on these online, pandemic-proof initiatives, and are excited to see the Pepper platform in action.
Disclaimer: TGS Esports is a communications client of Edge Investments. We have also purchased stock on the open market.