Professional eSports Company ESL Postpones 2020 Tournament, Along With $1M Purse
Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake
Professional eSports competitors vying for the $1 million purse that was to be awarded at this weekend's ESL One Los Angeles 2020 tournament had to hit the pause button when their event at the Shrine Auditorium was postponed due to the coronavirus. But the amateurs slated to compete in the undercard ESL Mobile Open, presented by AT&T, will still have their shot at gaming glory.
They'll just have to compete from their homes, and without a live audience.
The finalists have been competing since the qualification stage of play at the beginning of this year. The ensuing playoff round will culminate with this weekend's championship. ESL, which will provide analysis and color commentary for online viewers, is a German company founded in 2000 that operates and produces eSports competitions and leagues for numerous game publishers.
Competitors will be playing Clash of Clans, Asphalt 9: Legends, Dota Underlords and PUBG Mobile. The ESL Mobile Open will be completing its fourth season. The first three seasons reportedly yielded more than 600,000 registrations, with over $330,000 in prize money awarded. According to sources, ESL will distribute $400,000 to successful teams over the next three seasons.
Onlookers will find the viewership data for this weekend's event an interesting barometer of two ongoing eSports trends.
First is how viewing habits are evolving in real time amid the coronavirus fallout. With professional sports leagues gone dark, eSports has an opportunity to accelerate its growth by bringing in viewers hungry for competitive content.
Second is the trajectory of mobile gaming. The increasingly glamorous world of professional eSports has hitherto been mostly confined to PC-oriented games. Mobile gaming, meanwhile, has been considered more amateurish, with tournaments like ESL Mobile Open viewed as a potential onramp for ambitious gamers hoping to break into the higher ranks. But mobile, sources say, has been gaining prestige among players, fans and gaming companies.
This weekend's event should provide clues about how both of these trends may develop. Game on.
- Former Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff Launches dot.LA to Cover LA ... ›
- Esports One Aims to Provide 'Fantasy Sports' for Competitive Gaming - dot.LA ›
Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.
Minutes into filling out my absentee ballot last week, I was momentarily distracted by my dog Seamus. A moment later, I realized in horror that I was filling in the wrong bubble — accidentally voting "no" on a ballot measure that I meant to vote "yes" on.
It was only a few ink marks, but it was noticeable enough. Trying to fix my mistake, I darkly and fully filled in the correct circle and then, as if testifying to an error on a check, put my initials next to the one I wanted.
Then I worried. As a reporter who has previously covered election security for years, I went on a mini-quest trying to understand how a small mistake can have larger repercussions.
As Los Angeles County's 5.6 million registered voters all receive ballots at home for the first time, I knew my experience could not be unique. But I wondered, would my vote count? Or would my entire ballot now be discarded?
My distractingly sweet dog, Seamus.
Photo by Tami Abdollah
When the founders who lead the ten young startups selected for the 2020 Techstars LA class begin their three month accelerator program Monday, they won't be gathering in the Mid-Wilshire office and shaking hands as every other class has done. Like the rest of us, they will be working at home because of the coronavirus. Dinners, meetings, socializing, and mentoring sessions will all be online.
"A big part of the magic of the program is the relationships that are from proximity and from everyone working together in the same space and so what we're doing is we're endeavoring to create as much as that connection in the virtual world as possible," said Anna Barber, managing director of Techstars LA.
Pod People<p><a href="https://podpeople.com/" target="_blank">Pod People</a> is a full-service podcast production and staffing agency with a network of over 700 audio professionals across the globe.</p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/o56p6c" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a> <br></p>
JoyHub<p><a href="https://www.joyhub.io/" target="_blank">JoyHub</a> 's enterprise software integrates multifamily operator systems into a single, centralized data platform. </p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/io9a3s" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a> </p>
Ayana Therapy<p><a href="https://www.ayanatherapy.com/" target="_blank">Ayana Therapy</a> provides online therapy for minorities with an emphasis on intersectionality. </p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/gdwa78" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a></p>
CLLCTVE<p><a href="http://cllctve.com/" target="_blank">CLLCTVE</a> is a platform connecting college creatives with brands targeting Gen-Z consumers. </p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/bgc9pp" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a></p>
Lactation Lab<p><a href="https://www.lactationlab.com/" target="_blank">Lactation Lab</a> provides breast milk analysis and personalized recommendations for mothers to optimize their child's health and nutrition. </p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/t0173z" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a></p>
Preveta<p><a href="https://www.preveta.com/" target="_blank">Preveta</a> is transforming cancer care by arming clinicians with data and insights to improve outcomes, and blazing a trail for providers to deliver value-based care.</p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/odhs9o" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a></p>
Shop Latinx<p><a href="https://shoplatinx.com/" target="_blank">Shop LatinX</a> is the leading fashion and beauty lifestyle brand with products designed by and for the Latinx community. </p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/0luryb" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a></p>
Sike Insights<p><a href="https://sikeinsights.com/" target="_blank">Sike Insights</a> powers remote teams to work better together. Our first product, Kona, is an AI-powered Slackbot that helps you communicate. </p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/d5ejl2" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a></p>
StatsHelix<p><a href="http://statshelix.com" target="_blank">StatsHelix</a> is a B2B gametech company focused on esports and streaming. </p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/j4yp3j" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a></p>
Thrive Education<p><a href="https://thrive-education.co/" target="_blank">Thrive Education</a> provides remote tele-assessments for learning differences (LDs) such as dyslexia, ADHD, and autism. </p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/1dn2dc" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a></p>
- New Techstars Anywhere Accelerator Class has LA Company - dot.LA ›
- Here is Techstars' Starburst Space Accelerator Class - dot.LA ›
- Anna Barber Discusses Techstars and the Future of L.A. Tech - dot.LA ›
- Watch Techstars LA's 2020 Class Demo Day - dot.LA ›