The eSports industry has become a fascinating entertainment scene where hundreds of millions of people from around the world joining to watch action-packed tournaments. With the exponential growth of the industry, casual players from all over the world have been striving to reach a professional level. In efforts to become the top in the industry, players practice for hours upon hours each day to improve their skill set. Most importantly, to compete at a professional level, players also need an advanced computers along with high-speed internet. Notably, internet connectivity has become a priority for many players because virtually every competitive game is played through an online server. As such, the demand for top speed internet connection has exponential grown within the gaming community. Often, the bandwidth of an internet connection can easily determine the outcome of a particular scenario in a game. A split millisecond latency issue can ultimately cost a player the entire game, which is why high speed internet connectivity is a must for eSport professionals. Generally, most video game manufacturers recommend having at least 3 megabits per second (Mbps) of download speed and anywhere from 0.5 Mbps to 1 Mbps of upload speed. For most casual players, the recommended network speed may be sufficient, but serious and competitive gamers may opt for networks that are even faster and more stable. There are certain internet service providers (ISPs) that can offer network speeds that exceed 1000 Mbps, offering top-of-the-line internet connectivity. And while speed is a major factor when players select their internet, its stability also plays a role in the decision. Some ISPs may offer lightning fast internet, but the stability of the connection may be weak and a weak stability can cause internet latency to fluctuate, causing disruptions throughout the game. In response, certain ISPs have launched networks that are primed for gaming. Moreover, some ISPs have established exclusive partnerships with eSport organizations to offer a dedicated network that provides optimal connections. Furthermore, other ISPs have inked partnerships and sponsorships for eSport tournaments that supply the arena with high speed internet for both the players and audience. 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), NVIDIA Corporation's (NASDAQ: NVDA), Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MU), Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE), Fox Corporation (NASDAQ: FOXA)
Unstable internet connectivity can cause "ping" issues, which is a computer network administration software utility used to test the reachability of a host on an Internet Protocol (IP) network. Typically, regions that have slower internet connections can result in higher ping. For instance, the connectivity issue to the host can cause micro-stutters in game, however, players can tweak settings on their device to improve ping issues. For instance, having a wired ethernet connection is one of the best solutions to improving internet speeds. Moreover, turning off or disabling certain features on the computer can also improve network connection. Specifically, turning off background software and updates can reduce the traffic of the amount of programs attempting to reach the host connection. In more extreme matters, players have even moved to different regions because the internet connection is superior compared to other areas. In particular, professional Fortnite player Turner "Tfue" Tenney moved into his Dennis "Cloakzy" Lepore's home in the Northeast region of the U.S. to compete on 0 ping. Tfue highlighted that 0 ping allowed him to play at a superior level compared to other professionals that play on ping upwards of 70 or even more. Other professional Fortnite players like Jamal "Jamside" Saidayev and Maga "F1veSkill" Edilgireev, who both play in Russia, can see sometimes see their ping spike at nearly 70 because Fortnite does not have dedicated servers for the region. However, with the acceleration of 5G technology, issues with slow internet can be a thing of the past. Industry experts believe that 5G could be potentially be the answer to solving internet latency matters. "Like the forward pass in football or the first baseball game played under the lights, 5G represents a potential breakthrough for esports. For 5G-powered competitive gaming, that time may be near," said John O'Malley, former Corporate External Communications Manager for Verizon Enterprise Solutions. "In effect, this "edge computing" concept shortens the distance that data has to travel. This can profoundly reduce the network latency associated with giant, centralized servers."
UMG Media Ltd. (TSX-V: ESPT) announced earlier last week that, "it has entered into an agreement to acquire Activate Entertainment LLC ("Activate"). Activate is a creative management and production services company that specializes in esports events and activations.
-- In 2019, Activate has produced a number of major esports events, including the "Esports Experience" at the National Advertising Broadcaster (NAB) Show in Las Vegas, and the "Panasonic Esports Arena" at InfoComm in Orlando
-- Activate works with hospitality brands such as Marriott International and Caesars Entertainment on their esports initiatives
-- Activate helps corporate brands such as Panasonic and Roland develop points of entry into the esports industry
-- Activate has produced top-tier livestream productions for clients at major shows including E3, San Diego Comic Con, Dell Technologies World and The World Series of Poker
-- Activate has offices in both Las Vegas and Los Angeles and is led by Chris Iaquinta and Dirk Hagen, who have combined over 40 years experience in the event management and production industry, with a focus on turnkey, custom activations for a wide variety of entertainment industries, both gaming related and beyond.
'Bringing Activate into UMG will greatly expand the services and expertise of UMG in the esports event management side of the industry,' commented Dave Antony, CEO of UMG. 'Being able to add the experience of Chris and Dirk will be invaluable as UMG expands.'
Activate was responsible for the broadcast, production and execution of over three dozen live premium esports and video game activations in the last calendar year, bringing their nearly four decades of professional execution and delivery to bear. Activate also serves as the Director of Gaming and Esports for various entities, including NAB Show and the Metarama Gaming Festival.
'UMG represents the perfect structural partner that will allow our newly unified businesses to further raise the standard for esports livestreams and event productions," said Chris Iaquinta, President of Activate Entertainment. "Together, our ability to provide professional results and deliverables to clients, partners and customers will be greatly amplified."
In consideration for the acquisition of Activate (the "Transaction"), UMG will issue 2,333,333 Common Shares at a price of $0.30 per share. The shareholders of Activate have the ability to receive $3,000,000 in additional common shares ("Performance Shares") of UMG. The Performance Shares will be earned over the 18 month period following the closing of the transaction. The number of Performance Shares to be issued will be based directly on the gross revenue of Activate and will be issued at the 10 day weighted average price of UMG shares at the time of issue. The Transaction is subject to due diligence and regulatory approval, including the acceptance of the TSX Venture Exchange. The Transaction is an arm's length transaction.
Closing is expected to occur in the next 30 days.
About UMG: UMG Media Ltd. ("UMG") is a premier esports company in North America, offering live gaming entertainment events and online play. UMG provides online and live tournaments as well as the creation and distribution of original esports content. For more information about UMG visit www.umggaming.com."
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NVIDIA Corporation's (NASDAQ: NVDA) invention of the GPU in 1999 sparked the growth of the PC gaming market, redefined modern computer graphics and revolutionized parallel computing. NVIDIA recently supercharged its lineup of gaming GPUs by introducing GeForce(R) RTX 2060 SUPER(TM), GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER and GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER -- delivering best-in-class gaming performance and real time ray tracing for today's and next-generation games. The result of nearly a year of architectural and process optimizations, the new GeForce RTX SUPER GPUs deliver the fastest gaming performance, and the best power efficiency of any gaming GPU in their class. They also offer gamers an uncompromised combination of leading performance and cutting-edge features. "The ecosystem driving real-time ray tracing is immense -- tens of millions of GPUs, industry standard APIs, leading game engines and an all-star roster of game franchises," said Jeff Fisher, Senior Vice President of the PC business at NVIDIA. "This killer lineup of SUPER GPUs delivers even more performance for demanding PC gamers and ensures that they're prepared for the coming wave of real-time ray tracing blockbusters."
Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) is an industry leader in innovative memory and storage solutions. At MWC Barcelona 2019, Micron Technology, Inc., recently launched the Micron(R)c200 1TB microSDXC UHS-I card -- the world's highest-capacity microSD card, delivering one terabyte (1TB)1 of high-performance removable storage. The c200 1TB microSD card is the world's first microSD card on the market that leverages Micron's advanced 96-layer 3D quad-level cell (QLC) NAND technology. Consumers will find that the 1TB microSD card provides cost-effective storage for 4K videos, pictures and games on their mobile phones and other electronic devices. Designed for high-performance mobile applications, the c200 1TB microSD card meets the A2 App Performance Class specification, enhancing user experience for Android Adoptable storage2 by enabling applications and games installed on the card to load faster. The Micron c200 1TB microSD card also delivers up to 100MB per second read and 95MB per second write performance speeds, 3 meeting UHS-I Speed Class 3 and Video Speed Class 30 specifications.4 These performance metrics are optimal for video recording of 4K content, game consoles and burst-mode still photography. "Micron's technology leadership in 3D NAND with CMOS under the array and 96-layer QLC has been instrumental in developing and launching the world's first 1TB microSD card," said Aravind Ramamoorthy, Senior Director of NAND solutions for Micron's Embedded Business Unit. "The new c200 1TB microSD card gives consumers the freedom to capture, share, store and enjoy more content while supporting their mobile-centric lifestyles."
Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE) purpose and value is to fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology. Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) recently announced that PlayStation(R)Classic, a miniature games console that mirrors the look of the original PlayStation(R) and comes preloaded with 20 original games, launched in limited quantities on December 3rd, 2018, in Japan, North America and Europe. PlayStation Classic was available at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of JPY 9,980 in Japan, USD 99 in North America and EUR 99 in Europe. The original PlayStation made its debut in Japan on December 3, 1994, and with landmark innovations such as enabling real-time 3DCG rendering and adopting CD-ROMs had a huge impact on the games industry in the 1990s and beyond. The design of the PlayStation Classic resembles PlayStation, including the button layout, as well as controllers and outer package, but in a miniature size, it is 45% smaller on the sides and 80% smaller in volume than the original console. Pre-loaded with 20 PlayStation games such as Final Fantasy(R) VII (SQUARE ENIX Co., LTD.), Jumping Flash! (SIE), R4 RIDGE RACER TYPE 4, Tekken 3 (BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.), and Wild Arms (SIE). PlayStation Classic is a perfect fit for anyone including the current PlayStation fans as well as nostalgic fans that enjoyed playing the original PlayStation and gamers new to PlayStation who want to experience classic PlayStation games from the 1990s.
Fox Corporation (NASDAQ: FOXA) produces and distributes compelling news, sports and entertainment content through its iconic domestic brands including: FOX News, FOX Sports, the FOX Network, and the FOX Television Stations. Fox Corporation (formerly known as 21st Century Fox) and Caffeine, the next-generation social broadcasting platform for gaming, entertainment, and other creative content recently announced that 21CF led a round of funding, which also included participation from existing Caffeine investors Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners, and other undisclosed partners. Caffeine also announced a content agreement with Live Nation to bring live music concerts to the social broadcast platform in Q4 2018. 21CF invested a combined USD 100 Million into Caffeine and a newly formed venture called Caffeine Studios that is jointly owned by FOX Sports and Caffeine. The new studio will leverage FOX Sports' expertise in live events and programming to create exclusive esports, video game, sports, and live entertainment content for Caffeine's next-generation social broadcasting platform. "The combination of the Caffeine platform with a content studio that benefits from Fox Sports' expertise in live events and programming will help position Caffeine to deliver compelling experiences in esports, video gaming and entertainment," said Lachlan Murdoch, Chief Executive Officer of Fox Corporation. "We are excited to partner with Caffeine and build something special for fans in the growing live social streaming esports and gaming space."
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