• Overwatch hurdles 25 million player mark
  • Digital card games on track to pull in $1.4 billion in 2017
  • Will esports gambling become legal in Massachusetts?

Surprisingly, considering there was the CS:GO ELeague Major in Atlanta and PAX South happening in Austin, it was a relatively quiet week. Despite this, some really interesting news came out of Massachusetts related to esports gambling, while Blizzard announced a massive milestone for Overwatch. This week’s Roundup wraps up with a look at how the explosive growth of esports may ultimately dictate how future brick and mortar stadiums are built. It could very well lead to entirely new sports venues that, even 5 years ago, may have seemed far-fetched.

DIGITAL CARD GAMES SET FOR $1.4 BILLION YEAR

TL;DR: Hearthstone led the pack in 2016, with Shadowverse a distant second, still pulling in over $100 million for the year. From 2017 to 2020 the genre is expected to see growth of about 4%.

Full story: http://esportsobserver.com/digital-games-revenue-2...

OVERWATCH HITS 25 MILLION PLAYER MARK

TL;DR: Not even one year old yet, Overwatch has surpassed the 25 million player mark, growing by 5 million since October 2016.

Full story: https://dotesports.com/overwatch/overwatch-player-...

ESPORTS GAMBLING MAY BECOME LEGAL IN MASSACHUSETTS

TL;DR: In a meeting earlier this year, a commission (with the longest name I’ve ever seen) in Massachusetts was presented with an overview of some recent esports issues that have surfaced around illegal online gambling. When the government starts to take note of things, regulations and laws are soon to follow. It’s very early and hard to say at this point but MA has been more tolerant of online gambling than most other states.

Full story: http://esportsobserver.com/massachusetts-gaming-co...

TWITCH ADDS VIDEO CALLING TO CURSE APP

TL;DR: Curse will soon support video calling and screen sharing on its desktop app. Mobile support is promised to follow soon after.

Full story: http://www.raplaying.com/2017/01/24/twitch-brings-...

TURNER LEAVES ELEAGUE SPONSORSHIP PRICING FLAT IN 2017

TL;DR: Turner will keep ELEAGUE sponsorships at $2 million a pop (or around that) for 2017, but will seek to pull in additional sponsors on top of the original 6 it intends to keep. It’s worth noting Turner had to make some concessions to existing sponsors to make up for less-than-impressive viewership.

Full story: https://dotesports.com/business/eleague-sponsors-2...

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

It’s really tough to overcome the at-home viewing experience when it comes to traditional sports. Stadium designers work diligently to solve this problem with each new project. The lifespan of a pro sports venue means that there is plenty of time for technological advancement before a new venue is built, or the previous venue is refurbished. Stadiums are typically torn down, however.

So imagine the challenge of accommodating live esports events, a pastime born in the home, and raised in the home. Up until very recently it was hard to imagine filling a pro sports arena for a major esports event, and yet here we are. Riot was able to sell 11,000 (sell out) tickets to the Staples Center in LA in just under an hour for Worlds last year.

What’s interesting to consider is how can designers take into account the technology of today, that esports viewers and event attendees demand, and weigh that against how fickle and quick to change one’s mind this audience can be. These are not small investments, nor do they typically come without some manner of government involvement, be it financial or regulatory.

The folks over at Curbed.com had some thoughts on this very subject, and you can read the full story here.