Dota 2 International claims esports prize pool crown

TL;DR - With a month still to go before The International 9 takes place in Shanghai, its prize pool has surpassed the Fortnite World Cup’s previous $30M record.  25% of the proceeds of Dota 2’s Battle Pass go towards the game’s world championship tournament, and that number just hit $30.2M, about $8.4M more than the total for last year’s event.  From August 15th - 25th, 18 teams will compete for a slice of those tasty winnings. We’ll share an update once the pool is closed off and there’s a final tally, but with a month left to go there’s plenty of opportunity remaining.

Full story - https://esportsinsider.com/2019/07/the-international-2019-prize-pool/

Apex Legends lands a spot at the X Games

TL;DR - The Apex Legends EPX Invitational will take place over two days in August at this year’s X Games.  Fifteen notable esports orgs have been invited, with another five having previously secured their spots during the June qualifiers.  The tournament will feature a $150k prize pool, twelve matches, and an as-yet undisclosed format. Participating orgs include: Tempo Storm, Team Liquid, CLG, Cloud9, and others.  All matches will be streamed on the ESPN app, and the ESPN Esports and EA Twitch channels.

Full story - https://dotesports.com/apex-legends/news/x-games-to-host-first-apex-legends-exp-invitational

Douyu makes good on its $775M US IPO

TL;DR - Chinese streaming platform Douyu (DOYU), finally made it’s US IPO debut this week on the NASDAQ, hitting its target $11.50 / share price and raising $775M.  Since then, the stock has slipped but not immensely. The successful IPO puts the company’s value at around $3.7B. In the first quarter of 2019, Douyu posted a profit of $2.7M on about $222M in revenue.  This is in contrast to its near $131M loss in 2018. The platform boasts almost 160M monthly active users, 6M of which are paying in some form.

Full story - https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Startups/Tencent-backed-streamer-Douyu-stumbles-in-Wall-Street-debut

Overwatch League announces big changes for the 2020 season

TL;DR - OWL enthusiasts can expect to see more “homestand” games for the 2020 season, with each team required to host no fewer than two games in their local arena, with a cap of five per team.  To date, homestand games have only happened in Dallas and Atlanta as a test during the 2019 season - but Blizzard intends to make good on its promise when the league launched in 2018. Also on deck for 2020, the league’s division will be lumped into geographic conferences.  The existing Atlantic Conference will be divided into two divisions, while the Pacific Conference will be broken down into three divisions due to its concentration of Asia-Pac teams. This change in particular should reduce travel costs and time for all involved. The overall structure of the league will remain as is, with each team playing 28 matches from February to August.  Expansions are off the table while the league gets adjusted to the homestand model.

Full story - https://dotesports.com/overwatch/news/overwatch-league-new-division-structure-home-games-2020

Washington Post to begin coverage of gaming / esports news

TL;DR - The Washington Post is currently hiring two reporters and an editor to cover the video game and esports industries.  Surprisingly, the news broke when the news outlet shared the update on its Tumblr page. Not surprisingly, the Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, who not coincidentally owns Amazon which, also not coincidentally, owns...Twitch.  Go figure.

Full story - https://esportsobserver.com/washington-post-esports-staff/