PUBG MOBILE reveals schedule for Pro League 2021, TikTok adds automatic captions to videos in accessibility push, Tencent's Timi Studios reportedly earned $10bn in 2020, and more.


Enthusiast Gaming Signs Premium Content Partnership with ESPAT TV

Enthusiast Gaming Holdings Inc. (“Enthusiast Gaming” or the “Company”) (TSX:EGLX) (OTCQB: ENGMF) (FSE:2AV), the largest gaming media platform in North America, reaching over 300 million monthly video game and esports fans worldwide, is pleased to announce it has signed an integrated and strategic partnership deal with ESPAT TV. ESPAT TV will leverage Enthusiast Gaming’s reach into the GenZ and Millennial demographics, utilizing the Company’s integrated platform of fan communities to engage with a wider audience. Globally networked and inspired by gaming culture, design, creativity and storytelling, ESPAT TV’s Creative Collective, which consists of Ridley Scott Creative Group, Petrol, PRG, and Movers & Shakers, has produced work across the globe partnering with publishers, brands, live events, and advertising agencies alike.

Engine Media appoints Paschkes EVP of sports, e-sports

Engine Media Holdings Inc. has appointed David Paschkes as executive vice-president of sports and e-sports partnerships, effective immediately. In his role, he will be responsible for developing and expanding relationships across the sports and e-sports marketplace to create additional revenue streams and opportunities for promotion and development of Engine Media. Separately, Jason Rogers has been promoted to vice-president of corporate development and partnerships. Since joining Engine Media, Mr. Rogers has been the lead on corporate integration initiatives among Engine Media's assets since its triparty merger of Frankly Media, Torque e-sports and WinView Games in May of 2020.

OverActive Media and Abigail Capital Corporation Announce Closing of $38 Million Financing

OverActive Media Corp. ("OverActive" or the "Corporation") and Abigail Capital Corporation (TSXV: ACC.P) ("ACC") are pleased to announce the closing of the previously announced private placements, pursuant to which it raised aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $38 million from the sale of subscription receipts (the "Receipts") and common shares (the "Shares") at a price of $2.25 per Receipt or Share (the "Offerings"). The brokered private placement is comprised of 10,119,255 Receipts for total proceeds of approximately $23 million (the "Brokered Offering"). In addition, the Corporation closed a non-brokered private placement (the "Concurrent Private Placement") for total proceeds of approximately $15 million to current shareholders, friends and family, at the same price as the Receipts.

Axion shareholders question financing, transparency

Cern One Ltd. and Michael Bonner, both investors in Axion Ventures Inc., have commented on Axion's April 1 press release. Axion's press release announced that the British Columbia Securities Commission had partially lifted a cease trade order to allow Axion to enter into an investment agreement to issue $8-million principal amount of convertible debentures to KUAM (Hong Kong) Investment 01 Ltd. KUAM is controlled by the executive chairman of Axion, Yasuyo Yamazaki. "Axion has been subject to a cease trade order since August of last year and has not succeeded in raising significant financing throughout that time," said Nithinan Boonyawattanapisut of Cern One, a significant shareholder of Axion.


Tencent's Timi Studios reportedly earned $10bn in 2020

Call of Duty Mobile developer Timi Studios reportedly generated $10 billion in revenue in 2020. That's according to Reuters, who talked to people with "direct knowledge" of the matter. That would make Timi Studios, which is owned by Tencent, the world's biggest developer, the publication added. Tencent published its annual results a few weeks ago, with online games revenue representing RMB 156.1 billion ($23.8 billion) in 2020. Reuters' sources indicated that Timi's proceeds "accounted for 40% of the game revenue." Timi was created in 2008 -- initially under the name Jade Studio -- and is behind mobile hits Honor of Kings and Arena of Valor. The two titles regularly top the mobile spending charts, with Honor of Kings reaching 100 million average DAUs at the end of last year.

Microsoft adds touch controls to Xbox Cloud Gaming titles

Microsoft has announced the addition of touch controls to a selection of titles available via its Xbox Cloud Gaming service. Over 50 games can now be played from an Android phone, including Sea of Thieves, Gears 5, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, Celeste, Hello Neighbor, Yooka-Laylee and Dead Cells. The platform holder first introduced touch controls with Minecraft Dungeons last September and said in its announcement that they "remain one of the top-requested features for cloud gaming." Xbox Cloud Gaming is currently available on Android only, with iOS and PC versions expected this spring.

In-game spending on iPhone grew 43% in 2020 in the US

Consumer spending on iPhone in the US was largely dominated by games in 2020, with a 43% growth in average spending year-on-year. The average in-app spending per active iPhone in the US was $76.80 for games last year, compared to $53.80 in 2019, Sensor Tower reported. The figure is all the more impressive when compared to other app categories -- average spending on entertainment iPhone apps was $10.20 last year, and $7.90 for social networks. Photo and video apps is the category that saw the most growth, with a 56% increase in spending to reach an average of $9.80.

Content Creators

YouTube claims it’s getting better at enforcing its own moderation rules

YouTube wants the world to know that it’s doing a better job than ever of enforcing its own moderation rules. The company says that a shrinking number of people see problematic videos on its site — such as videos that contain graphic violence, scams, or hate speech — before they’re taken down. In the final months of 2020, up to 18 out of every 10,000 views on YouTube were on videos that violate the company’s policies and should have been removed before anyone watched them. That’s down from 72 out of every 10,000 views in the fourth quarter of 2017, when YouTube started tracking the figure.

TikTok adds automatic captions to videos in accessibility push

TikTok creators will soon be able to add automatically generated captions to their videos as the app attempts to make itself more accessible. The option to add auto captions will appear in the editing page after a video has been uploaded or recorded. TikTok says the feature will be available in American English and Japanese at first, but it plans to add support for more languages “in the coming months.” The platform is adding the feature to make TikTok videos easier to watch for deaf and hard of hearing viewers. However, a TikTok dialogue box also says the feature is useful for anyone watching videos “when it’s difficult or inconvenient for them to listen to audio.”

Tfue announces auction of NFTs depicting streamer in ‘Fortnite,’ ‘Minecraft,’ ‘Call of Duty’

Turner Tenney, the 23-year-old esports star better known by his online alias “Tfue,” says he’s always considered himself a gaming “trailblazer.” And Tuesday night on his Twitch stream he played the part, announcing he’ll soon be pioneering a new venture for streamers: NFTs. “I heard about [NFTs] from a few friends of mine — mainly DJs, artists, and celebrities,” Tenney said in an interview with The Washington Post. “They said, ‘Yo, no one has done a gaming one yet. You should do one.’ So a few months back we started working on this project and now we’ve come to a point where we’re ready to release it, and I’m pretty excited.”


TSM launches collegiate programme TSMU

North American esports organisation TSM has announced the launch of TSMU, its new collegiate programme. According to the release, the initiative will provide ‘quality mentorship, guidance, support, and community for those looking to learn and engage with the global esports industry’. The free programme will offer mentorships and internship opportunities not only to students but to everybody who’s interested in entering the industry. “One of the most common questions I get asked is ‘How do you get into esports?” commented Allie Hahe, TSM Project Manager and Creator of TSMU.

PUBG MOBILE reveals schedule for Pro League 2021

PUBG MOBILE has revealed its schedule for the 2021 PUBG MOBILE Pro League (PMPL) circuit, adding seven new regions and a $14m (£10.1m) prize pool — the highest in mobile esports to date. The new regions include North America, Brazil, LATAM, CIS, Turkey, Arabia, and Western Europe. PUBG Mobile also teased a new ‘World Class’ tournament for this summer that would see the top teams from all regions go head-to-head. The PUBG MOBILE Pro League includes four Regional Championships: PMPL Southeast Asia Championship (PMPL SEA), PMPL Americas Championship, PMPL South Asia Championship, and PMPL EMEA Championship. Similar to 2020, this year’s circuit will be split into two seasons, culminating in PUBG MOBILE Global Championship (PMGC) at the end of 2021.

BLAST Premier Partners With Performance MADMONQ

Global Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament series organizer BLAST Premier has announced a partnership with the health and performance gaming supplement MADMONQ for the Spring Season. While financial details of the partnership were not released, MADMONQ will serve as BLAST Premier’s official health supplement partner for the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown (April 13-18) and Final (June 15-20). The two, as part of the agreement, aim to bring gaming health and performance to the forefront of the esports ecosystem by collaborating on a series of unique content productions and by providing resources to those fans and players that are looking to learn more about making sure they are integrating a healthy lifestyle while gaming.

Tournament platform Epulze secures £4.7m investment

Swedish esports tournament platform Epulze has secured an investment of SEK 57m (∼£4,74m) from its latest funding round. According to the release, participants in the funding round included Swedish financial group Svea Ekonomi and Norwegian Carucel Finance. The funding is expected to help the company enter into a ‘new phase’, with the esports tournament platform looking to add new game titles and functions, whilst also expanding its ecosystem. Currently, the platform only supports Dota. Mattias Lövgren, CEO and Co-Founder at Epulze, commented on securing the funding: “Our user base grew rapidly in 2020 and today we offer a world-class digital platform where we can arrange tournaments with the biggest names in esports. With new money in the coffers, we will be able to accelerate growth, and increase awareness of our offering.”