Category Archives: esports

The WPT guinea pig the Esports Arena LV with $25k Bellagio HR finale


The World Poker Tour is set to become the guinea pig for live action at the Esports Arena Las Vegas at the Luxor Hotel & Casino, with the final table of the $25k Bellagio High Roller taking place at the venue. Tom Marchese leads an all-star cast.

The WPT guinea pig the Esports Arena LV with $25k Bellagio HR finaleI logged onto the World Poker Tour (WPT) website to see who had won the $25,000 Bellagio High Roller and learned that the action ceased at the final table.

I knew this, of course. The WPT broadcast this decision some months ago. However, I forgot, because the World Series of Poker (WSOP) November Nine apart, you don’t stop a poker tournament mid-pomp and ask the players to come back two weeks later.

But that’s what’s happening.

Why?

It’s an interesting question and one I plan to find an answer for in the future when I speak to someone within the corridors of power at the WPT. Until then, I will have a guess.

The final six players will take their seats on the main stage of the Esports Arena Las Vegas at MGM’s Luxor Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip at 4 pm (local time), May 25.

The winner will pick up $432,000, and when you look at the quality of the final table incumbents, you realise this is chicken feed.

The Esports Arena Las Vegas belongs to Allied Esports who in turn is a subsidiary of Ourgame International, who in turn own the WPT. Back in October 2017, the Chinese gaming giant announced plans to raise a factory full of money, via subscription shares, of which they would invest HKD 125,000,000 in the building of ten esports arenas in the US and China.

I assume, featuring the final table of the $25k Bellagio High Roller in the Arena allows the technical and production teams of both parties to test the facilities ability to handle a live event of this nature, while remaining low key enough, that any cock-ups are accepted and quickly forgiven.

But why poker?

I can’t imagine for the life of me that Allied Esports and the WPT have plans to use the Arena for poker on a full-time basis. At the recent WPT Seminole Hard Rock event in Hollywood, Florida; WPT officials paid fans $11 per hour to be part of the audience. But it does allow the facility owners to play around with the logistics prior to a ‘paid for’ esports event.

The arena currently acts as a video gaming/VR gaming site where people can play for as little as $25 a day. People who watch don’t pay. I imagine this changes when the more significant esports events come to town.

Amongst the guinea pigs for the $25k Bellagio High Roller is Tom Marchese. The Las Vegas pro came into Day 2 as the chip leader and maintained his lead until the bitter end. Joining Marchese in the final are David Peters, Aaron Ogus, Sam Soverel, Rainer Kampe, and Jake Schindler.

Two players made money, but not the final table – Ankush Mandavia who finished eight for $54,000, and Anthony Zinno who bubbled the final table banking $67,500.

The event attracted 54-entrants.

Final Table Chip Counts

1. Tom Marchese – 2,359,000
2. David Peters – 1,575,000
3. Aaron Ogus – 857,0004
4. Sam Soverel – 391,000
5. Rainer Kempe – 175,000
6. Jake Schindler – 43,000

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The kids are alright: Poker Central and ESP Gaming build a new home


Poker Central and ESP Gaming are taking care of their children, building a 10,000 sq.ft multi-purpose studio at the ARIA to record and broadcast live poker and esports events.

The Kids Are Alright: Poker Central and ESP Gaming build a new homeThe world is changing, folks.

I sit in Starbucks 8:18 am on a Sunday morning tapping away at the keys that pay my rent, the sound of Ólafur Arnalds tickling my tinnitus. A couple of grandparents in their 50s sit opposite me. Both spectacled; hiding from the world like Clark Kent. Like most couples, they look the same. Only those bits we shall not speak of are different and the beard.

Two cups of coffee sit in front of them, steam rising into the ether. Neither of them speaks. There is no eye contact. Both have a mobile phone in hand.

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

She is no doubt Googling ‘How to help someone wean a child off the breast’ so she can give tips to her daughter (she never breastfed), and he is likely trawling through Instagram gawking at the jiggly bits of faux-models.

Or.

Maybe he is a wife beater.

They hate each other’s guts.

Who knows?

But I know this.

The world is changing, folks.

A Boy is Hiding in His Nan’s Playing Video Games; Poker Central Create a New Studio

Yesterday, my sister babysat so I could watch Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella. One of her sons accompanied her. The other had been locked in a room at his grandparents since the Easter holidays began of his accord.

This kid, barely into his teens, doesn’t much care for the world. He finds people and the things that people do – boring. He lives inside a digital world, playing Overwatch, Players Unknown Battleground, and watching others do the same on Twitch and YouTube.

And we laugh at him.

At social gatherings, we talk about him as if he isn’t there.

And he isn’t.

He’s checked out, secretly hoping that there is poison in our Ruby Murray. He will cackle when he leaves, the cable from his Turtle Beach Recons tickling our corpses.

And this is why Poker Central’s decision to create a new studio in partnership with ESP Gaming is the right thing to do.

It’s what their audience wants them to do.

The New Studio; ARIA and The Word ‘Poker’ 

The engineers have constructed the new gaff at the ARIA Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The home of Poker Central. Word on the street has it that Poker Central was always going to have a custom-built studio for PokerGO exclusives, when someone said, “Hello, what happens when everyone realises that poker as a form of entertainment is as barbaric as reading Herge’s Adventures of Tintin in the public library?”

ESP Gaming, who we learned was a part of the Poker Central team at Christmas, got hold of the blueprints, and now the studio is multi-purpose. It’s a quaint venue (10,000 sq.ft) can house 300 people (120 fans). It will becomThe Kids Are Alright: Poker Central and ESP Gaming build a new homee the home for live esports events like the Vainglory Premier League (the mobile esports league created by Super Evil Megacorp). Esports tournament organisers can film esports events at the studio and beam them live. ESP Gaming Prez, Jeff Liboon, said the decision to create a smaller venue allows them to focus on a more VIP experience.

Maybe it’s time for poker companies with plans of grandeur to stop putting the word ‘poker’ into their branding?

The Global Poker League walked into a problem when its founder, Alex Dreyfus, realised that poker was a mere beauty spot on the decadent face of esports. Poker Central and PokerGO are figuring it out, also. Expect a change of name within the next few years.

A bottle of champagne will strike the temple of the new studio on May 16 when PokerGO broadcasts live coverage of Poker After Dark.

It’s the second esports arena in situ on the Las Vegas strip, and the other one also has poker running in its blood. The Esports Arena Las Vegas at The Luxor is the result of a partnership between MGM Resorts International and Allied Esports. The latter is a subsidiary of Ourgame International Holdings Ltd, the owners of the World Poker Tour (WPT).

Adam Pliska and the gang have plans to use the venue for WPT action later this year. And Pliska has mentioned that part of his 2018+ brief is to learn how to integrate esports and poker to provide more value for the kids who hide in grandparents homes, as the flagrantly hypocritical occupants sit in Starbucks ignoring each other in this ever-changing world of ours.

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FTC lets skin betting shills TmarTn and ProSyndicate off the hook


csgolotto-skin-betting-promoters-ftc-settlementA pair of eSports promoters has pretty much gotten away with shilling for a skin betting site without disclosing their ownership of said site.

On Thursday, the Federal Trade Commission released a consent order of a settlement it reached with Trevor Martin (aka TmarTn) and Thomas Cassell (aka ProSyndicate) for using their social media status to promote skin betting on the CSGOLotto site without revealing that they each owned a 42.5% stake in the site.

Over a year ago, an observant eSports fan revealed that Martin and Cassell were posting YouTube videos showing them betting ‘skins’ – virtual goods earned via game play or purchased with cash – on CSGOLotto, while leaving viewers with the impression that the site was something they just happened to stumble across, but gosh golly wow, was it cool.

The pair also paid four- and five-figure sums to other individuals with large YouTube followings to promote CSGOLotto without requiring these YouTubers to disclose that their endorsements were bought and paid for.

The FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection investigated these allegations and submitted a draft complaint to the FTC, which determined that there was sufficient evidence that Martin and Cassell had violated the Federal Trade Commission Act. However, this complaint has been set aside following the settlement, which is about as meek a punishment as a federal agency is capable of meting out.

The deal essentially requires the pair not to pimp any more products or services without disclosing any financial interests they might have in said product or service. Martin and Cassell must also ensure that any hired third-party shills endorsing a product owned or operated by Martin and Cassell must disclose their financial ties to the pair.

Should Martin or Cassell fail to live up to these requirements, they could be liable for civil penalties and other relief. Or perhaps just another stern talking to.

The FTC’s acting chairperson Maureen Ohlhausen issued a statement saying consumers “need to know when social media influencers are being paid or have any other material connection to the brands endorsed in their posts.” Ohlhausen claimed the settlement “should send a message that such connections must be clearly disclosed so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions.”

The CSGOLotto affair was just one of a number of high-profile scandals that cut the legs out from under the skin betting sector last summer. The pressure eventually led developer Valve Corp to order skin betting sites to stop accessing its Steam marketplace, via which skins were traded or purchased in order to have currency to wager on the betting sites. Many skin betting sites folded their tents shortly thereafter.

Last September, the UK Gambling Commission filed criminal charges against a different pair of YouTubers for illegally promoting gambling on eSports titles. The pair originally pled not guilty, but ultimately admitted that it was a fair cop and paid a combined £265k in fines and costs.

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Valve to 3rd-celebration gambling web-sites: the eSports pores and skin betting celebration is above


July 13, 2016

valve-esports-skin-betting-site-ban-thumb

valve-esports-skin-betting-site-baneSports sport developer Valve Company suggests it will no extended permit 3rd-celebration gambling web-sites to make use of its Steam market.

In a recognize posted to the Steam internet site on Wednesday, Valve’s Erik Johnson wrote that making use of the eSports market “to run a gambling business is not permitted by our API nor our consumer agreements.”

Johnson said Valve, the builders behind online games like CounterStrike International Offensive (CS:GO) would “start sending notices to these web-sites requesting they stop functions via Steam, and further pursue the matter as important.” Johnson warned players to “consider this information as they take care of their in-sport item stock and trade activity.”

Johnson stressed that Valve had “no business relationship” with these 3rd-celebration gambling web-sites and had “never received any income from them.” Johnson mentioned that Steam “does not have a technique for turning in-sport products into real-environment forex.”

That final component is real, but real-environment forex does movement into the technique, and Valve takes a reduce of the gross sales of virtual products offered by means of Steam, building it an vital contributor to Valve’s base line.

Valve was hit with a course motion lawsuit final thirty day period by a player who accused the firm of facilitating the progress of “illegal online gambling enterprises” such as pores and skin betting web-sites, in which players wager on the consequence of eSports matches making use of virtual in-sport items as forex.

Other web-sites take pores and skin betting to its sensible summary, allowing for players to gamble real funds on the random material of pores and skin ‘loot crates’. One of these web-sites, CS:GO Lotto, was not long ago embroiled in scandal immediately after it was revealed that two popular eSports players who shilled for the internet site in YouTube videos really owned CS:GO Lotto. The pair have because been added to the course motion lawsuit in opposition to Valve.

There are evident parallels in between Valve’s situation and daily fantasy sporting activities operators. Both equally have been fortunately reaping the gains – albeit indirectly, in Valve’s scenario – of a gambling activity of questionable legality right up until a scandal broke. It continues to be to be viewed no matter whether Valve’s endeavor at damage handle will offer it any protection from opportunistic politicians, who are probably cranking up their outrage equipment as we speak.



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Microsoft Announce New Xbox Reside Tournament Platform Cross-Platform Features and ESL Partnership


March 18, 2016

Microsoft Announce New Xbox Live Tournament Platform Cross-Platform Functionality and ESL Partnership

Microsoft expands their attractiveness to the eSports local community just after using the Sport Developers Conference by storm with information of their initial cross-system project, a new Xbox Reside Tournament Platform, and interactions with FaceIt and the Electronics Sporting activities League.

Microsoft Announce New Xbox Live Tournament Platform Cross-Platform Functionality and ESL PartnershipThe 2016 Sport Developers Conference (GDC) is in the bag. Microsoft had two big bulletins to make that align with their intention to consider benefit of the expanding momentum of the eSports market.

The initial consists of their intention to open the doorways of their household with an invite to other gaming platforms, like arch-rival Sony, to kick off their footwear and consider a pew.

A great deal of the credit score has to go to Psyonix Studios VP Jeremy Dunham, who has been pushing hard for cross-system enjoy for his strike title Rocket League. Producing in a site submit on RocketLeagueGame.com Dunham said he was ‘honoured’ and ‘excited’ to have Rocket League as the initial cross-community sport, and said it was the range one particular most requested feature emanating from their local community given that the sport Xbox One particular introduced the sport.

Initially, you will see Xbox One particular and Laptop users using benefit of the cross-community enjoy, but Chris Charla, Director of Microsoft’s Impartial Developers for Xbox program, hinted at the GDC that the ‘invitation was open’ to other networks to get associated.

Dunham is specially enthusiastic about the prospect of Sony obtaining in on the motion and implications it has for a sport like Rocket League. At present, the Xbox, Laptop and PlayStation variations are independent, but a unity would deliver anyone alongside one another and the wheat will get started to be divided from the chaff as we get started being familiar with who the greatest gamers in the environment are.

Xbox Ink Offer With ESL

In the other piece of breaking information, Microsoft has inked a offer with the Digital Sporting activities League (ESL) and FaceIT in a bid to enhance their aggressive gaming and eSports element.

Xbox will create an in-property event system referred to as the Xbox Reside Tournament system and ESL’s system will be built-in. The go makes it possible for sport builders and publishers to work their tournaments on Xbox Reside and Laptop even though concurrently currently being exposed to the ESL dynamic.

Xbox Reside will electrical power the new Xbox Reside Tournament Platform it will provide a solitary integration to assistance numerous event operators, and the initial titles are anticipated to be introduced later in the year.

Sport builders will get the possibility to expose their sport as well considerably much more men and women by obtaining their claws on to the Xbox Reside multiplayer community, many thanks to the incorporation of mass multi-player tournaments. Microsoft hopes the new system, and interactions will result in both equally homegrown modest scale tournaments and big-scale pro events.

FaceIT CEO Niccolo Maisto referred to as the announcement a ‘monumental instant for the upcoming of aggressive gaming and the development of eSports.



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eSports Crowd Funding Build $2.5m Prize Pool For Halo Globe Championships


February 29, 2016

eSports Crowd Funding Create $2.5m Prize Pool For Halo World Championships

The 2016 Halo Globe Championships is established to award the greatest prize in eSports console history, and the seventh-greatest prize general just after crowd funding allows spawn a $2.five million monster.

The 2016 Halo Globe Championships (HaloWC) promises to be something exclusive,

sixteen groups will contend for what will be the greatest prize pool in eSports console history and the seventh greatest in eSports tournaments suitable. Microsoft initially assured $1m in prize income but opened it up to Halo supporters to increase that by getting in-house REQ method incorporate-ons when enjoying Halo five: Guardians.

The prize pool is locked in at $2.five million. Unsurprising, when you look at that Halo five earned $400 million in its initially week of product sales. The profitable staff will stroll away with $1m, and the rest of the income falls as hence:

eSports Crowd Funding Create $2.5m Prize Pool For Halo World Championships1st. $1m

2nd. $500,000

three-4th. $250,000

five-eighth. $75,000

Sponsored by Mega Bloks, Famous Pictures’ and the Common Pictures summertime blockbuster “Warcraft”. The 2016 HaloWC will play out above a a few-day stretch March 18-20 in Hollywood, California.

Tickets for the party will go are living Monday, February 29 at 12 pm (PT), and will be handed out on a initially-come, initially served foundation. The location continues to be a thriller, with tournament organisers promising further data March 4.

It’s the initially time a Halo tournament has been opened up on a international scale. The breakdown of the groups using section is as follows:

8 from North The usa: Allegiance, Noble, CLG, Renegades, Evil Geniuses, Triggers Pound, Liquid and Denial.

Four from Europe/Africa: Epsilon, Fabe, Excel and Infused.

Two from Australia/New Zealand: Immunity and Exiles.

A single from Asia: Skyfire

A single from Latin The usa: Preferred Squad.

The tournament will attribute 4 v 4 level of competition.

In this article is a record of the Prime six greatest eSports tournament prize pools just before 2016 HaloWC requires put.

one. The Global 2015 (Dota 2) – $18,429,613.05

2. The Global 2014 (Dota 2) – $10,931,103.00

three. DAC 2015 (Dota 2) – $three,057,521.00

4. The Frankfurt Major 2015 (Dota 2) – $three,000,000

five. The Global 2013 (Dota 2) – $2,874,407

six. Smite Globe Championships 2015 (Smite) – $2,612,259.00

As you can see, Dota 2 holds the monopoly on the significant income, and the paydays are expanding yearly.



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