Gamers Stake Their Claim for Fame in Popular eSports Competitions News Commentary

NEW YORK, Aug. 2, 2019 — (PRNewswire) — Following the conclusion of the Fortnite World Cup this past weekend, Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf's fame skyrocketed after winning the Solo Final's USD 3 Million grand prize. Prior to the World Cup, Bugha was one of the smaller streamers on Twitch, which is a popular streaming platform for gamers. After his dominating performance at the World Cup, Bugha's viewership spiked rapidly. In the month of June, Bugha typically averaged anywhere from 300 to 800 viewers every stream. At the time, Bugha also had about 40,000 followers and approximately 430,000 total views throughout his videos. On July 31st, Bugha had over 37,000 people watching his livestream, now maintaining an average audience of 26,148 each stream, according to TwitchMetrics. Additionally, Bugha also witnessed his Twitch follower count skyrocket from a mere 40,000 to an astonishing 278,000. Moreover, Bugha's social media accounts also experienced a massive swell in following after the World Cup. Bugha's Twitter follower count rose from 20,000 on July 15th to over 300,000 on August 1st, while his YouTube channel gained almost 500,000 subscribers. As such, it's more than likely that Bugha will receive sponsorships and partnerships from various companies because of his popularity. And he has already been interviewed by popular TV shows such as ESPN and The Jimmy Fallon Show. Meanwhile, hundreds of other channels have also reported about his winnings. While Fortnite's World Cup was the largest eSports tournament in terms of its prize pool, future tournaments are expected to be even bigger. Overall, the eSports market is accelerating at a rapid rate as more players enter into the industry and become more serious about their hobby. According to data compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the global eSports revenue reached USD 805 Million in 2018. By 2022, the market is expected to reach USD 1.58 Billion by 2022 while registering a CAGR of 18.4%. UMG Media Ltd. (TSX-V: ESPT), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX), Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MU)

For many popular Fortnite competitive players, earnings from tournaments make up just a minuscule amount of the earnings they receive from revenue streams like sponsorships, brand deals, and social media followers. While tournaments have attractive payouts, the media side of eSports has presented an opportunity to others. Jeremy "DisguisedToast" Wang is a popular Twitch streamer, boasting over 1.1 million total followers, who disclosed the potential earnings that top streamers can generate. In a YouTube video posted on October 2018, Wang highlighted that there are four main ways Twitch streams make their revenue: donations; paid subscriptions; ad revenue; and sponsorships. At the time of the video, Wang mentioned Tyler "Ninja" Blevins who was the number one subscribed streamer on Twitch. Blevins had over 120,000 subscribers back then, meaning that he was generating around USD 423,000 each month solely off subscribers. However, it is important to note that the majority of Blevins' subscribers back then were Twitch Primes users, a service which expired after a month and had to be manually renewed. While Blevins is still the most followed channel on Twitch, his subscriber count has quickly diminished. Nonetheless, Blevins is still a top streamer. While subscribers can account for a significant chunk of streamers' revenues, Wang also noted that he can make tens of thousands of dollars more each month off donations and ads. Wang mentions that he receives about USD 2,500 in donations each month. Additionally, Wang highlights that he does not run ads on his Twitch channel, but receives money from pre-rolls and other banner displays, which nets him about another USD 10,000 per month. On top of that, Wang often receives sponsorships where companies may ask him to play a specific game on stream. Typically, streamers can earn approximately USD 1 per viewer per hour, and with Wang's 13,000 average viewer base, he can earn upwards of USD 13,000 each hour. With his 4,000 subscribers at the time, Wang was reeling in USD 246,000 each year, without the inclusion of ads or sponsored content. Overall, the industry revolving around eSports and media is a highly lucrative market. The idea of being able to play video games and talk to viewers while making thousands of dollars each month has become an active goal for many ambitious players. "I think we're at a very exciting time of where Twitch is heading. There are a lot of areas that are important to our community that we're really doubling down on. Twitch's mission statement — when we open up our staff meetings every week — our goal is to enable creators to make a living entertaining and educating their fans. And so to do that, a big focus of ours is monetization. We're constantly looking for new ways — better ways — to enable creators to make a living," said Chase, former PR Director at Twitch. 

UMG Media Ltd. (TSX-V: ESPT) announced earlier this week that, "Legends were made and champions were crowned this weekend in New York City at the Fortnite World Cup. With over $30,000,000USD awarded to players in the Solos, Duos, Creative and Pro/AM World Championships, countless lives were changed from a few flights on Fortnite's Battle Bus.

Out of the four world championship events, all four were won by players of UMG's Friday Fortnite. Bugha, a 16-year old reigning from Pennsylvania just won the most recent Friday Fortnite on July 19, 2019 and went on to win $3,000,000USD and claim the title of Fortnite World Champion. Aquaa took home $1,500,000USD in the duos championship. Friday Fortnite regulars, Cizzorz and Airwaks won the Creative World Championship and Pro/AM at the World Cup respectively. Countless other Friday Fortnite competitors finished top ten in the world taking home a combined $9,287,500.

UMG's CEO, Dave Antony had this to say regarding UMG series players performance at the World Cup:

'I want to congratulate everyone who participated in the Fortnite World Cup on their achievements and give a special shoutout to the four newly crowned world champions who participate in UMG's broadcast events, along with all other UMG players at the event. Everyone at UMG loves the game, the competitions and most importantly the players and community. We look forward to kicking off more Fortnite initiatives through the remainder of 2019 to give more players a platform to kickoff their competitive gaming careers.'

UMG has increased their Fortnite offerings in the recent months to meet the demand set forth by the competitive gaming community for their competitions. Since 2019 started, UMG has had over 110,000 Fortnite tournament signups. Between the gaming platform and their initiatives on the influencer side, UMG is in a unique situation to capture a large percent of the Fortnite market.

About UMG: UMG is a premier esports company in North America. UMG has operations involved in live tournaments, online esports contests, casino esports ‎operations, creation and distribution of original content and esports tournament operations through ‎its proprietary tournament management app. Readers can learn more about UMG and its esports ‎offerings at‎."

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NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) with the invention of the GPU in 1999, sparked the growth of the PC gaming market, redefined modern computer graphics and revolutionized parallel computing. One year after NVIDIA RTX™ technology was unveiled at SIGGRAPH 2018, ray tracing has emerged as the new industry standard for product design, architecture, gaming, effects and scientific visualization. The world's leading software makers have introduced over 40 applications with RTX technology, which will enable tens of millions of users to harness ray tracing and AI, which had previously been too computationally demanding for working with interactively. This includes seven applications from top ISVs being introduced this week at SIGGRAPH. Customers as diverse as Pixar, Renault, New Balance, Woods Bagot and Siemens Healthineers are using ray tracing in their workflows. The gaming industry's leading engines — Unity and Unreal Engine — support ray tracing with RTX, and RTX technology is integrated by visual computing giants like Adobe, Autodesk, Blackmagic Design and Dassault Systèmes. "Around the world, designers and artists, OEMs and software providers have embraced real-time ray tracing and AI acceleration as the new industry standard in product design and content creation," said Greg Estes , Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Developer programs at NVIDIA. "From RTX Studio laptops used by millions of creatives to data centers managed by global businesses, the power of NVIDIA RTX can be accessed from anywhere to design better products and produce richer, more immersive entertainment faster than ever." 

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