The demand for high-end and top tier gaming equipment has recently surged due to the prolific eSports scene. In the world of eSports, professional players use equipment and computers that can potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars. To a casual player. the equipment may not be a major factor to their gameplay. But to professional gamers who play hours upon hours a day, maximizing their gear helps with efficiency and also prevents their body from breaking down. For instance, Harsha Bandi, an Assistant Coach for the Overwatch League's Vancouver Titans told Motherboard that a mechanical keyboard is crucial in eSports because of the millisecond difference. He says when you're competing against some of the best players in the world for cash prize pools, every single variable matters. Additionally, gamers have also mentioned that other equipment such as a lightweight mouse, back-supported ergonomics chair, and high resolution monitors also impact their performance. For instance, renowned Fortnite professional player, Turner "Tfue" Tenney has even boasted about his expensive USD 20,000 gaming PC. The top tier computer parts provide Tfue with the highest performance, allowing him to maximize his efficiency without factors such as low latency and frames per second affecting his gameplay. Coaches and eSports medical personnel mention other equipment that may seem insignificant, but can also play a large role in performance. Dr. Caitlin "Lurkaderp" McGee, a physical therapist for 1HP Gaming, has stressed the importance of physical fitness and activity. McGee has highlighted exercises such as wrist strengthening routines, foam rollers for your back and wrists, and KT tape for pain relief and support. While many of these things may seem trivial, to professional gamers, they could represent the difference of winning the grand prize at a tournament or going home empty-handed. According to data compiled by Verified Market Research, the global eSports market was valued at USD 915.30 Million in 2018. By 2025, the market is projected to reach USD 2.97 Billion while registering a CAGR of 18.35% during the forecast period from 2018 to 2025. UMG Media Ltd. (TSX-V: ESPT), NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI), QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD), Sea Limited (NYSE: SE)
With the rise of eSports, casual players are now dedicating their time to training and becoming better at their respective games. Over the past several years, young adults and teenagers who never dreamed of becoming a professional gamer have now obtained fame through the prominent eSports industry. In the early stages of eSports, tournaments were typically small-scale and featured players from the region. Nowadays, tournaments draw interest from top players around the world. For instance, Epic Games held its Fortnite World Cup tournament this past week and featured players from various countries such as the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Sweden, South Korean, and the United Kingdom. In order to stand out among competitors, players need to perform to their utmost potential, which is why equipment and gear are extremely important. Generally, at live eSports tournaments, the organizer provides players with either a PC or a gaming console-setup in order to avoid potential cheaters. However, in certain tournaments, organizers allow players to bring their own mouses, keyboards, or controllers because players are accustomed to their own gear. In one instance, professional Dota 2 player Kanishka "BuLba" Sosale for Evil Geniuses' said during the Dreamhack 2013 tournament that he was forced to use another mousepad. While he did note that it is mostly a mental effect, Sosale still believes using your own equipment is crucial. Moreover, live tournaments also provide players with the best-in-class network so everyone is competing on similar latency and bandwidth, to present competitors with a more even game field. "These are things that a casual player will overlook and not necessarily consider to be paramount on the necessities list for playing [their] game, because they're trying to have fun," said Alex "LeX" Deily, a professional Counter Strike player for Winterfox. "Fifteen-year-olds that are rising and getting on these pro teams, I guarantee you at some point they realize, 'hey, I'm pretty good at this game, and I'd like to take it to the next level. And they invested and bought competitive gaming-grade products."
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 www.umggaming.com."
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NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) enables secure connections and infrastructure for a smarter world, advancing solutions that make lives easier, better and safer. NXP Semiconductors N.V. recently announced that Taiwanese electronics company ASUS implemented NXP's fast and reliable battery charging solution for its latest ASUS ROG (Republic of Gaming) high-end flagship gaming phone. Traditional battery charging in phones dissipates heat limiting the battery charging levels, resulting in slow battery charging. As the first to go to market with the USB PD 3.0 compliant, end-to-end fast charging solution, NXP removes the thermal issues of high current battery charging with its market-leading 2:1 switched capacitor charger to bring safe, cool and fast battery charging. As a result, NXP's end-to-end charging solution allows the battery to maintain 98% efficiency during high current charging during gameplay or full operation of application processors. "Our 'Republic of Gamers' products are designed to be the most powerful premium gear designed for gamers and gaming enthusiasts," said Bryan Chang, Associate Vice President at ASUS. "To meet serious gamers' expectations, we proudly teamed up with NXP to bring industry-leading charging solutions to our phones - enabling longer play time while delivering epic performance, unbeatable visuals and total control demanded from our customers."
QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) invents breakthrough technologies that transform how the world connects, computes and communicates. Qualcomm Wireless Communications Technologies (China) Limited, a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, recently announced the cooperation with Tencent Games. The two companies have signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding (MoU) for strategic cooperation wherein they are expected to have comprehensive collaborations in the field of digital entertainment. The cooperation includes joint efforts anticipated to optimize future projects including Qualcomm(R) Snapdragon(TM) based mobile gaming devices, game content and performance optimizations, Snapdragon Elite Gaming enhancements, cloud gaming, AR/VR, 5G gaming use case developments and additional relevant technologies. Frank Meng, Chairman of Qualcomm China, said: "With 30 years of innovation under our belt, we're ushering in a new age of gaming. Mobile gaming, an important 5G use case, will soon take advantage of the next generation of connectivity. Faster speeds, more bandwidth, and cutting edge ultra-low latency will support real-time, multi-player and immersive gaming experience. We look forward to this new cooperation with Tencent Games to enrich lives and transform gaming behaviors on a global scale."
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD), for more than 45 years, has driven innovation in high-performance computing, graphics and visualization technologies -- the building blocks for gaming, immersive platforms and the datacenter. AMD recently unveiled AMD Radeon(TM) VII, the world's first 7nm gaming graphics card. It was designed to deliver exceptional performance and amazing experiences for the latest AAA, esports and Virtual Reality (VR) titles, demanding 3D rendering and video editing applications, and next-generation compute workloads. Built on the enhanced second-generation AMD 'Vega' architecture, AMD Radeon VII provides 2X the memory, 2.1X the memory bandwidth, up to 29% higher gaming performance on average, and up to 36% higher performance on average in content creation applications compared to the current top-of-the-line AMD Radeon(TM) RX Vega 64 graphics card. For gamers, AMD Radeon VII enables maximum settings for extreme frame rates at the highest resolutions. It also provides seamless, high-refresh HDR5 gaming at 1080p, ultrawide 1440p and 4K, and enables next-generation photo and visual creation applications on razor sharp, vibrant 8K monitors. "AMD Radeon VII is the highest-performance gaming graphics card we ever created," said Scott Herkelman, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, Radeon Technologies Group at AMD. "It is designed for gamers, creators and enthusiasts who demand ultra-high quality visuals, uncompromising performance and immersive gaming experiences."
Sea Limited (NYSE: SE) mission is to better the lives of the consumers and small businesses of our region with technology. Sea Limited recently announced that Garena, the company's digital entertainment arm, and an affiliate of Tencent Holdings Limited had signed a binding letter of intent under which Tencent will grant Garena a right of first refusal to publish Tencent's mobile and PC games in Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore. The arrangement strengthens a long-standing strategic partnership between Garena and Tencent. Garena already publishes a number of the most successful games from Tencent's portfolio in its core markets, including Arena of Valor and League of Legends. Forrest Li, Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer of Sea, said, "Tencent is a global leader in the video games industry, with a portfolio that includes some of the world's most popular and engaging titles. This arrangement further solidifies our strategic partnership with Tencent to bring top-quality IP to the large and growing games community in our region. Tencent has long been one of our most valued partners, and we are excited to work even more closely together to develop new opportunities in the relevant markets over the long run."
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