This week in Esports: Vainglory heads to the O2, Blizzard open stadium in Taipei and Gfinity keep busy

There’s been several big announcements this week across an array of esports in another busy week for the business world. Vainglory has announced it’s coming to London – and not just anywhere in London – the iconic O2 arena for its next big tournament. Blizzard have again been busy, with the opening of their “eStadium” in Taipei and reports that their Overwatch League could bring in $720 million a year. 

Another company that’s been busy in the space is Gfinity, announcing Rocket League as the final title in their Elite Series, releasing their financial results and unveiling a few of the Elite Series teams. 

Vainglory heads to the O2

The O2 in London will play host to the Vainglory Unified Seasonal Championship between May 19th and May 21st. The tournament will see the six best North American teams and the six best European teams face off live in London.

As of yet the prize-pool has been unconfirmed, but it could well be around the $120,000 (£95,000) mark that we saw back in December for their World Championships.

We only have to take a look back at the last few months to see the burst of organisations getting involved with the popular mobile esport. Fnatic, Echo Fox, Misfits and NRG are but a few well known organisations to get involved.

Read the full article here.

Blizzard open eStadium in Taipei

Blizzard Entertainment officially opened its first gaming venue in Taipei this week with an exhibition League match between local teams Flash Wolves and ahq. 

The arena is 1,652 square metres and located in the heart of the Taiwanese capital. The stadium seats between 200 to 500, and it boasts a 6.144 x 3.456 metre main display screen and two 1.096 x 1.536 metre side screens.

The first tournament for the Blizzard eStadium will be the Overwatch Pacific Championship on April 8th. At least initially the stadium won’t be open everyday but, as reported by Focus Taiwan, it will open Wednesday to Friday evenings and from 2pm to 11pm on weekends.

Read the full article here.

Morgan Stanley suggest Overwatch League could bring in as much as $720m

Financial giant Morgan Stanley released a report this week that suggested Blizzard’s Overwatch League could generate as much as $720m (£578m) a year. The ambitious figure comes if the market is confident, whilst should their be no confident it should still make as little as $20m (£16m), the report states. 

It suggests that Blizzard will have to build their platform into the supposed “ESPN” of esports, with viewership soaring way above current figures. It also suggests that a huge 27% of revenue will come from ticket sales for live events and merchandise which considering the substantial overall revenue banded about is fairly ambitious.

There’s still very little public information available about the Overwatch League which is set to get underway in July. It’s proposed regional approach has yet to be elaborated on, but if reports are to be believed Blizzard could be looking for up to $15,000,000 (£12m) for one of its sixteen franchise spots.

Read the full article here.

Gfinity release results and further details of Elite Series

In a cluster of announcements this week, Gfinity have revealed Rocket League as their final Elite Series game, 45% growth in revenue, and five of the teams for their Elite Series.

Rocket League joins Street Fighter V and CS:GO to become the third and final game to be a part of the Gfinity Challenger Series. Read the full article here.

Although Gfinity still announced a loss of £1.7million, revenues grew 45% to £0.9m and the company released an upbeat statement. Gfinity CEO Neville Upton said of the latest financial report (which can be viewed in full here): “During the six months to December 2016, we continued to build on our strategic objective to establish Gfinity as a leading player in the fast-growing esports sector. I am also very pleased to be able to report another period of strong revenue growth, 45% up on the equivalent period in 2015.” Read the full ESI article here.

In another announcement, it revealed the first four professional teams to take part in the Elite Series would be the following: exceL eSports, Reason Gaming, Team Prophecy and Team Infused. The final announcement of the week came with the reveal of international esports organisation EnVyUs as the fifth team. We eagerly await the final three teams. 

Read the first announcement here.

Read the second announcement here.