Professional Video Gaming Hits the Big Time in China

When it comes to besieging an enemy stronghold with a combination of spells and swords, Ming Kai is a man whose talents eclipses those belonging to the people around him. The 24-year old player is one of the very best in the League of Legends game, which is one of the most popular multiplayer internet-based games in the world.

Kai Trains Every Day

Kai, who moved to Shanghai from the inland city of Wuhan to train alongside his teammates on one of China’s top LoL teams, EDwardGaming, revealed that he trains every day of the week. Generally, he will begin playing at the training centre for the eSports team, located in an office building, at around 14h00 and finish 13 hours later, although he will take breaks for food. As a member for the team for the past four years, Kai has managed to take home almost US$400 000 from the various tournaments he has taken part in, where the way he plays the game is viewed by paying spectators either onsite or online.

eSports Paying More and More

These kinds of eSports are starting to be more profitable for professional players like Kai, and Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding, two of the biggest Internet companies in China, are looking for their piece of the action too.

Tencent owns a majority stake in the League of Legends’ developer, Riot Games, and took over Finland’s Supercell last year, the makers of Clash of Clans, in a deal that totalled US$8.6 billion. Alibaba’s Alisports, meanwhile, is promoting eSports as equal to traditional sports, and are arguing that the games should feature in the Olympics. Perhaps online blackjack players can start a petition to have this king of casino games garner a spot as well?

Big eSports Tournaments Being Organised

Both Tencent and Alibaba are spending a lot of money organising tournaments in which teams like Kai’s face off inside an arena. On the 4th of November, in fact, about 40 000 fans watched the finals of the 2017 LoL World Championship unfold at the Beijing National Stadium, in which a prize pool of US$4.6 million was on the cards. Tickets for this Championship, the first of its kind to be held in China, were priced at between RMB¥280 and RMB¥1280, or US$42 to US$192, and sold out in a matter of minutes.

The Evolution of eSports in China

The PriceWaterhouseCooper advisory firm put the size of the Chinese eSports industry at an estimated US$56 million last year, making it the third largest globally, behind the USA and South Korea. PriceWaterhouseCooper sees this market increasing to around US$182 million by the year 2021. iResearch, an internet research company from China, estimates that the country’s paying eSports audience currently exceeds 170 million people.

Wilson Chow, Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Practice Leader for PriceWaterhouseCooper China, has stated that the evolution of eSports is very exciting, especially the staggering speed at which it is occurring in China.

VR online gaming development in 2016

VR online gaming development in 2016 managed to at least bring the industry closer to what a lot of people have been wanting for years. Many people have been dreaming about games that are so realistic that they are going to swear that they are happening all around them. There are games now that are at least getting closer and closer to that conclusion in terms of their graphics and their overall mechanics. However, the important thing is that in 2016, the technology surrounding all of this improved.

The year 2016 is going to be known for augmented reality in particular. The Pokemon Go game is already the sort of game that can go on to define an era, at least in the beginning of that point in time. A lot of people love this game. Many developers were worried that Pokemon Go was not really ready at the level that it was. However, since this is a game that was so incredibly popular, it seems that it was ready empirically. The game still managed to make a lot of money and to make history, and there aren’t a lot of other games like that anywhere and at any point.

It is possible that in the online casino gaming world, augmented reality is going to be right around the corner. People might be able to just look through their wearable devices in order to see something that is imposed on reality. The Pokemon characters that are present on the screen in the Pokemon Go games are already enough to convince a lot of people that they are seeing things. These tiny characters can truly alter the entire look of a room. Almost anything related to online casino gaming would be much more dramatic than that. Many people might be able to feel as if they are in a land based casino as a result of an augmented reality online casino game of that nature, and that is only going to bring people further to a fantasy of a lot of online casino gaming fans.

People might have a lot of different expectations when they play games at the All Slots casino online. All slots Online Casino games are going to be fun for a lot of people. Many of these people are going to hope that the games have a certain familiarity to them. People who are used to land based casinos are going to want games that manage to recall those land based casinos. Lots of other people want to be able to really lose themselves in these games, and that means feeling as if the games are really part of the world. When it comes to augmented reality, this is going to be even easier for a lot of people. They will really feel as if the games that they like are all around them and that they are part of the world. When they look through the view screen, that is what they are going to see, and that is enough to make it real.

Shocking Facts About Online Gaming

It seems that these days we are meant to be shocked about gaming all the time. There are plenty of controversies around the community, with people asking for change, or complaining about the latest big release. Some shocking facts can be good though, as a sign of change, or at least positive movements in a community that isn’t really as controversial as it seems.

Online Gaming Has Trebled Since 2005

It should be no real shock that online gaming has been doing well, but the fact that the market hit $41.4 billion by the end of 2015 is very impressive. There’s now a huge array of games available to play from live poker to online roulette. Looking back at 2005 the fact that it was $13.8 billion shows how fast the industry is changing. With no signs of this increase slowing down anytime soon the future looks golden for the online gaming market.

Online Sales Continue to Grow

Looking at the amount of money that people are putting into their game buying, it is impressive just how much is going into the digital market. In 2012 it was around $24 billion which is impressive, but by the end of 2017 it is expected to rise to $40 billion. The growth has come from the rise of “free-to-play” games and micro-transactions which are included in “online sales”. With this amount of money being spent on them, no wonder games companies have confidence in this type of game.

Over 50% of Gamers are Female

The stereotype of the typical gamer being a teenage boy playing games in a darkened room is starting to lose credibility. With around 52% of gamers being female this shows that gaming is more diverse than people realize. It seems that everybody is a gamer at heart these days.

Online Gaming Pushed Social Gaming to Success

In the UK the online gambling sector is worth over $2 billion. It seems these days that people are loving online bingo games. With the growth in these types of games it is pushing social gaming to new heights making it more popular than ever.

Should we find these facts shocking? Maybe some people will. The fact is the game industry is changing, and for the better. Now for us to celebrate its successes rather than look for the controversial nature of it.

Product Review: Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless Gaming Headset

If you are a gamer, one of the most important pieces of equipment besides the controller is your headset. If you are playing games that require precision sound that you need to make sure you have the best. Look no further to Logitech, this month they have released the G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless Gaming Headset, just in time for the holidays. Look no further, since this is no question, the best headset I have seen in 2015. Every year, the tech get better as does the headset and each year these companies are making impressing buyers with new features and no one does it better than Logitech.

Before reviewing this product, I was able to get on the phone with one of the key developers of this outstanding headset and got an inside look into its key features and unique abilities. What makes this headset better than others and worth taking a look at? Well, it features brand new Patent pending advanced Pro-G™ audio drivers which are only available in this headset. These are made with hybrid mesh materials deliver super performance and unprecedented audio quality. I was literally blown away by this one feature alone! Whether you are listening to music or playing a video game, this unit deliver both clean and accurate highs as well as a deep rich bass.

Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless Gaming Headset allows you to experience incredible 7.1 surround sound with Dolbyreg; or DTS Headphone:X Surround Sound. Of course you need to have Logitech Gaming Software to get 7.1 sound but it is totally worth it because you are able to create an outstanding in-game awareness, hearing every branch cracking and noise possible. Another benefit of this unit is that it simply supported all game platforms. One headset to rule them all! This works with PC, mobile, home theater devices, and game consoles, most important supporting BOTH PS4 and Xbox One.

One of the important questions that I had for the developer of the product when we spoke was about the how clear the communication was on the foldaway, noise-cancelling mic. Well as he explained and as it turned out it is absolutely crystal clear. Testing it out, I found that it was clearing that even my cell phone at times. The boom is removable as well which is cool if you don’t want it in your face or you can fold it back as well.

Listen if you are planning on wearing this headset for hours at a time also or even longer (if you have a few days off from work and no plans), you are going to need comfort. The G933 Artemis Spectrum is designed for long gaming sessions. It is extremely comfortable and relaxed on your head. It uses new sports mesh materials in the ear cups and headband are soft and breathable for maximum comfort. The over-the-ear ear cups designed to fit around most ears without applying pressure on soft tissues. My ears are very sensitive and hurt easily with headsets usually and I actually forgot that I was wearing it at one time during my testing. Plus if you like to keep clean, the ear cups can be removed from the headset and washed (but you know you will never use that).

For those that like customizing your lights and tabs, the G933 Artemis Spectrum has customizable lighting zones, including the light strip and logo. You are able to customize each zone and program them to different colors or effects as well as even have them synchronized. There is also no shortage in options, the adjustable RGB lighting lets you select from up to 16.8 million colors. I have never been huge with this feature but users that like syncing their equipment lights will love this.

Keeping with customization, you are able able to assign custom commands using Logitech Gaming Software on the three programmable G-keys. This will allow you to move around seamlessly between your gaming and media experience. Some of the custom controls you can play with are controls for each audio profiles, skipping to the next song, activating push-to-talk communication, in-game trigger instant command combinations, and more. You can also use the Logitech Gaming Software to program the audio equalizer and pre-set audio preferences for music, games and movies.

Whether you want to use this headset wired or wirelessly, you can choice either one. Even though it is wireless, you will get a lag-free experience on 2.4GHz wireless for up to 12 hours per charge, without lighting, or if not 8 hours, with default lighting. So honestly just expect to recharge this headset after every use because who is going to use default settings and use less than 8 hours if you got a good session going. If you don’t want to use wireless, the 3.5mm analog input on the headset allows you to use wired without using battery power. So if you are looking for a perfect gift this season, look no further.

Product Review “Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 500P Premium Fully Wireless Gaming Headset”


Previously, we have received the Ear Force PX4 wireless gaming headset from Turtle Beach, which was a great product…that is until I saw Turtle Beach’s Ear Force Stealth 500P Premium Fully Wireless Gaming Headset with DTS Headphone:X 7.1 Surround Sound…drool. This is the ultimate gaming headset and this all-new headset design features 50mm Neodymium speakers. Not only just does it just look snazzy, this beautiful device also delivers some epic sound.

The Ear Force Stealth 500P, along with the Elite 800, is the first DTS Headphone:X 7.1 Channel Surround Sound headset for PS4 or PS3. Since this is said to be fully wireless, that is no lie either, you are able to enjoy this without the need for an adapter or wire to the controller. You are also able to setup custom DTS Surround Sound modes, each with four EQ Presets.

What strikes me as odd though is that the Stealth 500P is much much better than the Ear Force PX4 except that for some strange reason it dropped compatibility with Xbox 360. It works perfectly though with PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and Mobile Devices though. This latest model also has a great battery life lasting over 15 of gaming per charge.

After using the Ear Force PX4, I noticed that there was some interference between the wireless but this device has crystal clear wireless surround sound. It also has intelligent channel-hopping in order to achieve that interference-free wireless. I can’t wait to see what Turtle Beach comes with with next but it is going to be quite hard to top this one guys!

Product Review: Genius Gaming Arcade Stick for PC & PS3 (Arcade F-1000)

I grew up when arcades used to be very popular and there was nothing like coming home from school and spending the afternoon at the arcade. Unfortunately those days are passed use with today’s high-def video game systems and vanishing arcades. Well, Genius has an answer to your prayers for all us hardcore gamers by bringing the arcade-quality control home for use with your PC or PS3. The new gaming arcade stick, Arcade F-1000 is a great way for us hardcore gamers to get that arcade feel while being in the comfort of our own homes.

This great item can be used on today’s games like “Street Fighter”, “Tekken” and even the “Call of Duty” series. Like I said it works with both PS3 and PC systems, even with Windows 8 operating system (Sorry XBOX you miss out here). I have to admit playing with this brought me back to the old days. It delivers the classic arcade feel yet it is so integrated with today’s games that it works so well.

Now let’s get to the details of the actual device. This comes with a standard 4-axis 13-button joypad and supports turbo function, so you have more precise control that an arcade layout provides and helps you get to the next level while playing action and shooting games. I have to admit, I have always been playing games on the PC but this really gives a great transition to crossing over to the PS3 with this arcade stick. What I like most is that it is not a cheap piece of plastic, it has a quite durable and sturdy metal base. It is not too heavy though weighing in at 1.866 kilograms.

The Arcade F-1000 lastly comes with 3 meter cable and 1 meter extension cable if you need the extra room and this really benefited my setup quite well. I remember my old NES controller with its 12 inch wire and we used to have to sit right in front of the screen before the days of wireless. This great item is now available in the US and Canada for the suggested retail price of US$59.99. I think it is worth every penny and will deliver a new or retro video game experience for sure.

Major League Gaming Breaks Records With 181,000 Unique Concurrent Online Viewers of Orlando Pro Circuit Video Game Competition

Major League Gaming Breaks Records With 181,000 Unique Concurrent Online Viewers of Orlando Pro Circuit Video Game Competition
Fourth Consecutive Record Breaking Online Broadcast of the 2011 Pro Circuit Season
More than 3.2 Million Hours of Video Consumed by Viewers Over the Weekend

NEW YORK—October 20, 2011—Major League Gaming (MLG), the world’s largest competitive video game league, continued its record breaking 2011 Pro Circuit season with 181,000 unique concurrent online viewers tuning in for the LIVE streaming broadcast of the Orlando Pro Circuit competition last weekend.  The fourth consecutive record breaking online broadcast of the season, Orlando viewing numbers surpassed the previous record of 138,000 concurrent viewers for the Raleigh Pro Circuit in August. Over the three-day competition October 14-16th, more than 3.2 million hours of video were consumed online and more than 15,000 fans attended in person. Working with Streamworks, the global, end-to-end streaming company that delivers a superior video experience across any network to any device, MLG delivered uninterrupted 720p high definition, high-quality video streams of the competition. Pro Circuit competitions and rebroadcasts of all matches are available on MLG.tv.

“The record-breaking viewership of our LIVE broadcasts this year is truly elevating the global presence of e-sports, placing MLG viewing in the same ballpark as traditional TV viewing numbers,” said Sundance DiGiovanni, CEO, Major League Gaming. “The support of our community is undeniable and fans can expect more high-quality streaming, intense match ups and 2012 season announcements during our 2011 Pro Circuit Championship LIVE from Providence, Rhode Island, November 18-20.”

The six-city 2011 MLG Pro Circuit places the most talented video game players alongside their toughest opponents as they battle for more than $1 million in prizes. The season culminates with the 2011 National Championship next month where the world’s best players will compete for more than $600,000 in prizes and stipends. Spectator and competitor passes can be purchased online.

To receive ad-free streams, discounts on passes and other added benefits, fans can become MLG League Members.  Gold MLG League members ($29.99-12 months) receive $10 off competitor passes and $5 off spectator passes, early entry into the event, high definition ad-free LIVE video streams for home viewing, discounts on MLG apparel and partner products and more. Silver MLG League members ($9.99-3 months) receive access to high definition, ad-free streams of Pro Circuit competitions,  premium VoD, access to member only forums and more.

About Major League Gaming:
Founded in 2002, Major League Gaming (MLG) (www.majorleaguegaming.com) is the dominant media property exclusively targeting tens of millions of consumers worldwide who have a passion for playing video games as a competitive social activity. The company gives aspiring gamers around the world an opportunity to compete, improve their skills, and socialize through a thriving competitive community with more than 750,000 matches each month online and LIVE in-person Pro Circuit tournaments in cities nationwide. MLG broadcasts all Pro Circuit play via LIVE streaming online to hundreds of thousands of fans in more than 170 countries.  MLG also provides extensive online editorial and video content to more than 8 million unique fans each month including LIVE and on-demand original programming related to games, technology and more at MLG.tv and MLG Live.

Event Review: Major League Gaming Pro Circuit 2011

Major League Gaming Pro Circuit
Gaylord Palms Hotel
Orlando, FL – October 14-16, 2011

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

This weekend I had the privilege of attending the Major League Gaming (MLG) event held in Orlando, FL, at the beautiful Gaylord Palms Hotel. The Major League Gaming event is a tournament event that brings hardcore gamers together to compete in tournaments against each other.

MLG was founded in 2002 by Sundance DiGiovann and Mike Sepso, who wanted to bring computer and console game tournaments to a competitive and spectator market. They have partnered with PlayStation and have many sponsors such as Sony Ericsson and Alienware who provide the computers and monitors, and Dr. Pepper and Stride gum who not only sponsor the organization but also provide free samples at the events.

The event it’s self is very well organized, allowing for amateur players to play against already established professional players after competing against each other. The games are displayed on large screens above the players so the audience can watch from a “spectator” perspective. There was a section for “Halo: Reach” for the Xbox 360, “Call of Duty: Black Ops” on PlayStation 3, and “StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty” on the PC. The excitement of the audience was so intense as the competitors get into watching the players competed, clapping and shouting with as much enthusiasm as a rock concert.

Audience members are even allowed the option, for a minimal increase to their attendance fee, to play the games in separate areas on individual computers and console. This allows the opportunity for gamers who have not played the games before to experience them.

I made several attempts to try getting an interview with any of the professional gamers and since they were so busy most of the time playing games I was extremely fortunate to catch a few minutes with each Michael Cavanaugh and Cody “Wethy” Wetherald, who are both on teams sponsored by “QuanTic”.

 

Pro Gamer: Michael Cavanaugh, age 23

Desiree Yates: So Michael, how long have you been with your current team?
Michael Cavanaugh: About 6 years.

DY: When did you first start playing video games as a career?
MC: I started when I was in High School on “Halo 2” then “Halo: Reach”.

DY: From experience I understand there were a lot of major changes from “Halo 2” to “Halo: Reach”, such as the major increase in weapon choices. Do you think maybe the weapon choices has gone a little overboard?
MC: No, I don’t think they went overboard at all. In fact I think they were perfect. I like the new sprint feature and jet pack the most.

DY: So when did you sign on with MLG and can you tell us roughly how much you make playing console games professionally?
MC: I’ve been with MLG since July 2005 and contracted for $250,000 a year.

DY: Wow, impressive! Do you have your own sponsers?
MC: Yeah, RedBull, Apex Esports, partnered with Twitch.tv, and a few others. (National Guard)

DY: So you are here in Orlando, FL right now for this tournament. How do you like Orlando?
MC: I like Orlando because of the sights and activities and I am staying four more days after the competition with my girlfriend.

 

Pro Gamer: Cody “Wethy” Wetherald

Desiree Yates: So Cody, what team are you on and how long have you played on that team?
Cody “Wethy” Wetherald: I’ve been on “QuanTic LeveraGe” team since “Call of Duty: Black Ops” and “Modern Warfare II” and I’ve also been playing “Modern Warfare III”.

DY: So can you tell me a bit about your experience as a professional gamer?
CW: I travel with MLG and love these events. There has been a major increase in sponsorship and turnout (from spectators). This is an industry that is still growing and will never go away, it will keep getting bigger and bigger.

Both Michael Cavanaugh and Cody Wetherald only had so much time before they had to get into another game, but it was obvious by their big smiles and energy they absolutely loved what they do for a living. And who wouldn’t? There are kids and adults of all ages out there that would love a chance to play video games and get paid for it. I know I sure would!

While the games themselves were terrific and the competitions were, well, competitive, I found the announcers though to be rather amateur. They gave off the impression they were probably related to someone to get the position as an announcer. After speaking to a few of the spectators, there seemed to be a somewhat general consensus agreeing with my observation that everyone would appreciate a little more swag, other then the free “Dr. Pepper” drinks and samples of “Warheads” candy and “STRIDE” gum.

Overall I found the event to be a terrific opportunity to experience what the hardcore gamer can do when put to the test. Their reaction times are phenomenal and they clearly know every inch of every map on their specialized games. Having been addicted to “Halo 2” myself, I can definitely understand their drive to want to know everything they can to exploit their opportunity to get just one more win. The sense of achievement even with something as simple as winning a video game is one that gamers have experienced since the early arcade games…where kids would burn through quarter after quarter.

Games today are much easier then they were originally. Just play a game of “Zelda” and you will notice it. But in a sense gamers have not really changed much…we all love the games…we play the ones we love the most several times working out several angles and scenarios on the “RPG” games and continue to strive to kick the heck out of our friends and others. This industry may still be in it’s beginning stages in some ways, but from the location of the event, the increasing sponsors and attendance from spectators…it is obvious this industry will just keep getting bigger and bigger.

Major League Gaming Comes to Orlando, FL October 14-16

Thousands of the World’s Best Video Game Players to Compete in Orlando at the Major League Gaming Pro Circuit October 14-16

Competitor and Spectator Passes Now Available

Purchase an MLG League Membership for Discounts on Passes, Early Entry and More

Major League Gaming (MLG), the world’s largest competitive video game league, is returning to Florida from October 14-16 for the Orlando Pro Circuit video game competition at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center. Competitor and spectator passes are now on-sale at www.majorleaguegaming.com.

The Orlando competition is the last stop before the championship on the 8th annual MLG Pro Circuit tour. Thousands of fans will attend as the world’s best players square off in a three-day, double-elimination video game tournament for a chance at more than $120,000 in prizes. Gamers from as far as Korea, Sweden and Australia will compete against locals playing some of the most popular video games of all time including Blizzard Entertainment’s blockbuster real-time strategy game, StarCraft® II: Wings of Liberty on PC, the record-setting Call of Duty®: Black Ops on the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) system, and the popular Halo: Reach on Xbox 360.

Spectators will view the action via huge video screens and experience LIVE commentating. Attendees can visit an array of booths featuring meet and greets with the Pros, the latest products from MLG partners, pre-release access to games and more.

To receive discounts and added benefits, fans can purchase an MLG League Membership online.  Gold MLG League members ($29.99-12 months) receive $10 off a competitor pass and $5 off a spectator pass, early entry into the event, ad-free high quality live video streams for home viewing, discounts on MLG apparel and partner products and more. Silver MLG League members ($9.99-3 months) receive access to high quality, ad-free streams, premium VoD, access to member only forums and more.

For those that can’t make the event in-person, they can watch LIVE via streams online at www.majorleaguegaming.com.

The 2011 Pro Circuit culminates with the national championship in Providence, RI, November 18-20.

Details about the Orlando Pro Circuit:

Dates:                   Friday, October 14 – Sunday, October 16

Hours:

  • Friday, October 14 – Doors open at 1:30 PM with the official welcome at 5:00 PM and competition on the main stages from 5:30 PM – 12:30 AM
  • Saturday, October 15 – 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM
  • Sunday, October 16 – 10:00 AM to 8:30 PM, championship matches on the main stages from approximately 4:30 PM – 8:30PM

Location:              Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

6000 W. Osceola Parkway
Kissimmee, Florida 34746

Pricing:

  • Spectator Passes for the weekend = $25
  • Halo: Reach Team Pass = $280
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Team Pass = $240
  • Starcraft 2 Player Pass = $70

ABOUT MAJOR LEAGUE GAMING

Founded in 2002, Major League Gaming (MLG) is the dominant media property exclusively targeting the approximately 40 million consumers in North America who have a passion for playing video games as a competitive social activity. The company exclusively represents the best professional gamers and gives millions of aspiring gamers around the world an opportunity to compete, improve their skills, and socialize through a thriving online competitive community and live Pro Circuit competitions. For more information: www.majorleaguegaming.com.