Skillz Blog

Week in Review: Amazon Taking eSports Mobile Masters Series to Las Vegas, Tencent Now Making Nintendo Games, eSports Coming to Minor League Baseball. 

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Digital/Mobile News

  • Amazon is taking its eSports Mobile Masters series to Las Vegas in October. The competition will feature games including “Vainglory,” “Critical Ops,” “Power Rangers: Legacy Wars” and “World of Tanks Blitz.” eSports teams such as TSM, Fnatic, SK Gaming, Echo Fox, Imperials and more are set to take part and battle it out for their share of the $80,000 prize pool. (
  • During Apple’s reveal event at its headquarters, developer Directive Games showed off a new iOS-exclusive augmented reality game called “The Machines.” The developer’s CEO, Atli Mar Sveinsson, explained how the game would work. At the same time, a battle between tanks ensued behind him onscreen and an iPad overlaid the fight upon our world in real time. (Twinfinite)
  • A version of “Minecraft” has been made available for the New Nintendo 3DS. The announcement was made during the Nintendo Direct presentation live on Twitch. This version of “Minecraft” will include both survival and creative modes. Nintendo says that five skins are bundled with the game, along with two texture packs. The inventory, crafting and map controls will feature both traditional button controls and touchscreen controls utilizing the stylus as an input device. (Polygon)

Gaming News

  • Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition mini console is coming back. Nintendo said in a release that last year’s popular but hard to find miniature version of the Nintendo Entertainment System will return to store shelves next summer. New shipments of the NES Classic Edition will be welcome news for fans, as Nintendo released the console in limited supply for a very short window. That was always the plan, Nintendo said, but clearly continued demand for the 8-bit system has changed the company’s mind. (Polygon)
  • eSports are coming to Minor League Baseball. Athletic Park, home to Tampa Bay’s Triple A affiliate team the Durham Bulls, will become the first Minor League Baseball facility to host an eSports tournament when the inaugural DBAP Gaming Challenge occurs from Sept. 29 – Oct. 1. Fans will be able to compete in multiple video games, such as “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare,” “Rocket League,” “Super Smash Bros.” and “Halo 5.” (SportTechie)
  • According to a study conducted by CDN service provider Limelight Networks, eSports are watched more than regular sports online by young adults in the U.S. The study, State of Online Video research report, was conducted on over 4,000 people from France, Germany, India, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The survey candidates varied in gender, salary, age, and education levels in an effort to avoid bias. (Dot eSports)

Business News

  • eSports team management software company Guilded is closing a $3.2 million round of seed funding on the heels of completing Y Combinator’s Demo Day. The round includes involvement from Y Combinator, former NFL quarterback Joe Montana’s Liquid 2 Ventures, New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon’s Sterling.VC, FundersClub and others. The largest investors in the round were Initialized Capital and Susa Ventures. (Forbes)
  • Genvid Technologies, an interactive eSports and video game streaming solution, has announced an additional $2.5 million funding round. On top of its new capital, Genvid revealed that its SDK is now publicly available for all major engines and platforms. Developers and publishers can integrate the Genvid SDK into their games, allowing viewers to click on individual players and get stats, weapon loadouts, etc. (eSports Observer)
  • Dublin-based virtual reality games developer WarDucks has raised $1.55 million in seed funding from a round led by the Irish venture capital firm Suir Valley Ventures. Enterprise Ireland and a number of private investors also participated in the funding round. While Sneaky Bears, the company’s flagship product, is currently a significant revenue driver, the company is working on an additional series of games as well as localizing the Sneaky Bear brand for Japan and China. (The Irish Times)
  • Independent game developer Bossa Studios has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Atomico, with participation from existing backer London Venture Partners. “Worlds Adrift” is also one of the first games to run on SpatialOS, the nascent gaming operating system developed by Improbable. SpatialOS theoretically lets developers of any size build massive gaming worlds – but it’s early days and examples are few. (Business Insider)
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook is downright giddy about augmented reality. While virtual reality headsets from Oculus and others have yet to go mainstream, hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads in circulation are an iOS update away from morphing into consoles that bridge the real world and the imaginary one. On Apple’s latest earnings call, Cook said AR has “broad mainstream applicability across education, entertainment, interactive gaming, enterprise, and categories we probably haven’t even thought of.” (CNBC)