North American esports team NRG Esports is now being sponsored by Washington D.C.’s, district’s official convention and sports authority, Events D.C. revealed to me in a series of interviews yesterday. Not only is the city’s sponsorship one of the first of its kind, it marks the District of Columbia’s official push into the world of professional competitive gaming.
NRG Esports — which has professional teams and players competing in Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros., Rocket League and more — was founded by Sacramento Kings co-owners Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov, and has big name investors like four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal and MLB stars/World Series champions Alex Rodriguez and Jimmy Rollins. Washington D.C. will have logos on the teams’ jerseys, players’ streams and the NRG website, plus it will host NRG bootcamps where players get together and practice for long hours for days on end.
Open qualifiers for the “Overwatch” Winter Premiere will be held for four days starting December 10 and will be presented at NGE’s official website. The Next Generation Esports said that all “Overwatch” teams for North America will be able to play for the event and team registration can be filled out online.
In the “Overwatch” Winter Premiere by Next Generation Esports, only the top eight teams will be able to battle it out after the open qualifiers. The top eight “Overwatch” teams will then face off in a Double Round-Robin group play for three weeks until two teams are left.
Amazon is paying $970 million in cash for the online gathering place for gamers. Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive officer, has made video games a focus of a strategy to add more entertainment services. Google and Twitch were in talks earlier this year on a transaction that valued Twitch at about $1 billion, a person familiar with discussions said in May. While the deal with Google was being discussed, investment banker Frank Quattrone introduced Twitch to other potential bidders.