Kevin Hitt

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Saudis' involvement in ESL/FACEIT move to Savvy Group raises questions

Esports / Thursday, January 27, 2022
The $1.5 billion dollar acquisition of both ESL and FACEIT by Savvy Gaming Group was a huge surprise to those in the space. The fact that two of the biggest esports tournament organizers have merged -- and under the auspices of a company backed by the Saudi Arabian government's...

Sources: Activision Blizzard to farm out ops for Overwatch League

Esports / Thursday, January 27, 2022
Activision Blizzard will likely farm out operations for its Overwatch League to a third party. The development comes in the wake of Activision bringing on Esports Engine this season to run its Call of Duty League. OWL (started in 2018) and CDL (started in 2020) have been produced and...

ESL, FACEIT sold to Saudi-backed group for $1.5B

Closing Bell / Monday, January 24, 2022
Savvy Gaming Group, which is backed by the Saudi Arabian government's Public Investment Fund, has bought two of video gaming's biggest tournament/league operators -- ESL and FACEIT -- for a combined $1.5B, sources tell SBJ. Modern Times Group is the owner of ESL, which was co-founded by Ralf...

Call of Duty season begins amid questions on future

Closing Bell / Friday, January 21, 2022
Season 3 of Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty League begins Friday with the Kickoff Classic on the heels of an offseason marked by radio silence from league officials as to the future of the competition – and now the pending sale of Activision to Microsoft. The Kickoff Classic will...

Future of some esports leagues, organizations unclear amid Microsoft-Activision deal

Daily / Friday, January 21, 2022
Esports organizations associated with Activision Blizzard, namely those in Call of Duty League and Overwatch League, are in a holding pattern and somewhat nervous in the wake of Microsoft's acquisition of the game publisher. More than a few organizations have millions in valuations tied to those franchised leagues. Microsoft...

Could operations for CDL, OWL be moved to a third party?

Esports / Friday, January 21, 2022
Esports organizations associated with Activision Blizzard, namely those in Call of Duty League and Overwatch League, are in a holding pattern and somewhat nervous in the wake of Microsoft's acquisition of the game publisher. More than a few organizations have millions in valuations tied to those franchised leagues. Microsoft...

Twitter data shows Apex Legends, Brazilian team LOUD are on the rise

Esports / Thursday, January 13, 2022
Twitter revealed that 2021 was a record-breaking year with more than 2.4 billion tweets related to gaming and esports on the social media platform, which is up approximately 14% over 2020, notes SBJ's Kevin Hitt. The end of 2021 (Q4) was the biggest quarter yet for gaming conversation in...

League of Legends' European Spring Split event moved to remote format

Esports / Friday, January 7, 2022
The League of Legends European Championship (LEC) has announced that its Spring Split competition schedule will be played remotely for the foreseeable future due to rising COVID-19 infections in its home base of Berlin. ITeams will play from remote locations to start the competition. Media will be asked to...

Isles join growing list of NHL clubs with a dedicated esports division

Esports / Friday, January 7, 2022
The Islanders will launch a competitive esports division known as the Isles Gaming Team (IGT). The club will compete in NHL esports tournaments with a squad consisting of six or more players (many of whom tweeted out the news from their accounts today). The team also will be hosting...

Islanders launching new esports division

Closing Bell / Thursday, January 6, 2022
The Islanders will launch a competitive esports division known as the Isles Gaming Team (IGT). The club will compete in NHL esports tournaments with a squad consisting of six or more players (many of whom tweeted out the news from their accounts today). The team also will be hosting...