Posts tagged with "esports"

Has eSports Become a Part of Pop Culture?

A couple of decades ago, when video games burst into the mainstream audience for good, everyone could have guessed that gaming would soon become an important part of the entertainment industry. But what no one could have predicted is just how popular it would become not to play video games yourself, but to watch other people play. So popular in fact, that competitive video gaming, i.e. eSports, has slowly but steadily grown to become an important part of pop culture. But how and why did eSports gain so much momentum?

eSports expand their reach into the mainstream audience

When the first organized competitive gaming tournaments emerged where professional players vie for a prize, analysts very aptly dubbed the new practice “eSports”. And research reported by the Influencer Marketing Hub reveals that this new industry has quickly expanded its appeal and gained unprecedented growth. In 2017, eSports reached an audience of 335 million viewers, which climbed to 380 million in 2018. It is now estimated that until 2021 that number will reach roughly 557 million, exhibiting an annual growth rate of 14%. Out of those, 250 million will be regular viewers but another 307 million will be casual spectators. This means that casual viewers will constitute the majority of the eSports audience.

Furthermore, according to the same source, even people who do not watch eSports have still heard of them. In 2015, an impressive 800,000 people were aware of the industry. But a year later, over a billion people have reportedly heard of eSports – a jaw-dropping growth. In 2019 alone, eSports awareness was estimated to have reached 1.57 billion people around the world. The combination of these two facts, i.e. the number of casual viewers and the tremendous growth in awareness, lead us to the conclusion that eSports has now become an important part of pop culture.

How eSports became a part of pop culture

But if you want even more proof, just take a closer look at eSports betting. That’s right: betting sites now consider eSports as a sub-category of the traditional realm of sports betting, and punters can place wagers on the biggest eSports tournament just like they would on the NBA finals or the Super Bowl. It is no surprise, when you consider the hype surrounding the biggest eSports competitions. In 2019, the League of Legends World Championship gathered an audience of almost 4 million viewers, and the Fortnite World Cup Finals amassed an impressive 2.3 million. Speaking of Fortnite, it is perhaps the game that best encapsulates how video gaming and eSports are now part of pop culture in their own right.

Who could forget the iconic and hilarious scene in Avengers: Endgame that saw Thor compete against “Noobmaster69” on Fortnite? Just like people are still not over the live concert series that now takes place within the Fortnite game. Travis Scott was the first to take the leap of faith and performed virtually to raving reviews. Now, the digital concerts continue, with J Balvin reportedly set to headline the Fortnite Halloween Concert series, in a perfect blend of these divergent strands of pop culture that has had audiences going wild. Much like the music industry, other sectors have realized the potential of eSports and gaming that allows them to reach to a wider audience and are jumping at the chance. For example, Oakley has already announced that they would launch a new type of lenses specifically designed for gaming.

If we want to understand better how eSports have so quickly become a part of pop culture, we also need to look at the channels that enabled them to connect with their audience. Millennials are now in their 20s and 30s, and they have grown up in an increasingly digital world. Watching their favorite gamers play live on Twitch or YouTube, and interacting with them on chat or social media was an organic way for them to connect. Steven Spielberg’s recent blockbuster Ready Player One took the concept one step further. In a dystopian future, taking place in a VR gaming tournament has become the one shot its protagonist has at fixing everything wrong with the world – competitive gaming has somehow turned into something more real than real life itself.

For the young adults that are right now the driving force behind market trends, and are shaping pop culture, eSports are an integral part of life and culture.

Kaelen Felix - Steve Aoki

Dim Mak and Meta Threads Enter the Neon Future

Groundbreaking fashion brand DIM MAK announced the October 19th debut of an exclusive cross-over apparel collaboration with Meta Threads, a leading e-sports lifestyle brand, that will feature original artwork from “Neon Future,” the critically acclaimed sci-fi WEBTOON & comic book series created by 2x Grammy nominated DJ/Producer Steve Aoki and Impact Theory Studios. In addition, the collaboration is the first of its kind crossing over with elements from music, fashion, e-sports and futuristic sci-fi comic art.

Steve Aoki, Dim Mak’s founder and creative director, was the driving force in bringing this visionary collaborative collection to life. “My obsession with mixing sci-fi into fashion and music all started when I was a kid reading comic books,” stated Aoki. “I’m thrilled to have Dim Mak collaborate with Meta Threads to showcase the mind-blowing artwork from my ‘Neon Future’ comic series.”  

So, to celebrate the launch, Meta Threads and Steve Aoki will host an invitational “Call of Duty Warzone” Tournament spotlighting some of the most electrifying streamers from e-sports, music and pro sports world. Steve Aoki alongside his Rogue Esports teammates and others will be live streaming their vantage points throughout the 16-squad tournament. Therefore, the event will be live streamed from Meta Thread’s Twitch Channel on October 19, 2020 at 4pm PST.  Winners will receive cash and apparel prizes. Also, spectators will have the opportunity to win apparel and other goodies via “in-chat,” giveaways. Prizing to include peripherals from ASUS Republic of Gamers, A-40 headsets from ASTRO Gaming, premium chairs by AKRacing, digital gift cards from KontrolFreak, and Neon Future Comics.  

About the Collaboration:

The apparel collaboration features 14 unique designs spanning graphic t-shirts, sports jerseys, hoodies, windbreakers, and basketball shorts ($45-$120); which were co-designed by the Dim Mak and Meta Threads studios featuring original artwork from the critically acclaimed sci-fi series “Neon Future” created by Steve Aoki, Tom Bilyeu (Impact Theory CEO) and Eisner winner Jim Krueger. Additionally, the collection features series artwork of the “Neon Future” main characters “Kita Sovee (modeled after Steve Aoki),” “Clay Campbell” and “Dee” as well as covers and panel art from actual episodes from the series.  

“Neon Future” is set roughly 30 years in the future in a dystopian version of America that has outlawed advanced technology. A civil war is brewing between the Augmented, an oppressed class of people who have chosen to integrate technology into their bodies, and the Authentic, who have not.  The resistance movement “Neon Future” is led by the mysterious Kita Sovee (a character modeled after Aoki), who strives to bring peace, by showing the world a brighter future in harmony with technology. 

The series is available to read for free at the WEBTOON site and app.

The apparel collaboration will be exclusively available for purchase at www.dimmakcollection.com and www.metathreads.com starting from October 19, 2020.

About Dim Mak:

Founded by DJ and music executive Steve Aoki, Dim Mak is a fashion streetwear brand for the uninhibited adrenaline junkies and lovers of the same punk skate LA-subcultures Aoki thrived on during his youth. Aoki named his record label and subsequent fashion brand “Dim Mak” as anod to Bruce Lee’s signature fight move: the touch of death. The name itself acts as a constant reminder to stay focused and to forge his own path. “Do it yourself…by any means necessary.”

About Meta Threads:

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Meta Threads is a leading, forward-facing, apparel brand within the gaming and esports industries. Founded by Steve Nabi and Nicholas Pineda, the company specializes in fusing streetwear aesthetic with gaming culture. The brand is dedicated to inspiring the community through a well curated mix of men’s & women’s apparel, accessories and gaming specific luggage. Also, Meta works exclusively with select clients and offers services that include custom product development, design, manufacturing, and fulfillment. For more information, visit Meta Threads at www.metathreads.com.

About Neon Future / Impact Theory:

Impact Theory is a first-of-its-kind company designed to facilitate global change by creating, cultivating and monetizing culturally-relevant content focused on human empowerment. The company’s mission is to end poverty or poor mindset by enriching our society with ideas and objectives that positively impact the world. Impact Theory is committed to bringing together some of the most talented creators, writers, and artists in the industry to tell stories of human potential.

The studio produces unscripted and scripted entertainment programming distributed through multiple digital platforms including YouTube, Facebook Watch, iTunes and Stitcher. In 2018, the scripted division released “Neon Future,” its first comic book series created in partnership with two-time Grammy nominated DJ & Producer Steve Aoki. “Neon Future” is set roughly 30 years in the future in an America that has outlawed advanced technology.  The series explores relevant themes of culture, technology and where the human species is headed on a much deeper level.   “Neon Future” is available to read on WEBTOON and available at retailers nationwide.

Headquartered in Bel Air, CA, Impact Theory is led by founders Tom and Lisa Bilyeu who previously co-founded Quest Nutrition, the billion-dollar company that rose to #2 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies. The two have built Impact Theory’s revolutionary in-house media team, producing content that has been viewed more than 100,000,000 times.

About Steve Aoki: 

Steve Aoki, the two-time Grammy-nominated producer/DJ is one of today’s most successful American cross-genre artists, collectively counting 2.8 billion music streams on Spotify. As the founder of the trendsetting record label, events/lifestyle company, and apparel line Dim Mak Records, which he founded in 1996, Aoki has helped launch the careers of global acts like The Chainsmokers, Bloc Party, The Bloody Beetroots, The Gossip, and The Kills, among many others. Dim Mak today counts more than 1,000 official releases from the biggest acts and most buzzing newcomers across EDM, indie rock, hip-hop and beyond over its two-decades-plus discography.

As a solo artist, Aoki boasts a lauded discography that includes: Wonderland (2012), his debut solo album, which garnered him his first-ever Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronica Album; hip-hop centric Kolony (2017), and the Neon Future series, which includes Neon Future I (2014, certified gold by the RIAA), Neon Future II (2015), Neon Future III (2018) and the recently released Neon Future IV (April 2020); which has rocketed in streaming to date and received praise from singles such as “Maldad” ft. Maluma and “Let It Be Me” ft. Backstreet Boys. Recognized by Forbes as one of the top 5 world’s highest paid DJ’s and the world’s hardest working DJ, Aoki is “one of the most in-demand entertainers in the world” (Billboard), counting more than 250 tour dates per year.

In 2012, Aoki founded THE AOKI FOUNDATION, which primarily supports organizations in the brain science and research areas with a specific focus on regenerative medicine and brain preservation. Most recently, Steve Aoki released his critically acclaimed memoir entitled BLUE: The Color of Noise published by St. Martin’s Press. 

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Juice WRLD Legends Never Die visual

Juice WRLD – Legends Never Die

Juice WRLD’s new album, Legends Never Die, drops on July 10

Grade A and Interscope Records announce that Juice WRLD’s highly anticipated new album, Legends Never Die, will arrive on July 10th. In anticipation for the new album, a trailer was released on Instagram. Today, the latest song from Legends Never Die has been revealed: “Life’s a Mess” by Juice WRLD and Halsey.

Alongside today’s album announcement comes a special commemorative collaboration with gaming organization FaZe Clan. FaZe Adapt and many members of FaZe were close friends with Juice WRLD. Marked by a tribute game of “Team 999 vs Team FaZe Clan” last week, the limited-edition collection is available at www.juicewrldxfazeclan.com.

In other news, in April, Juice’s mother Carmela Wallace announced the establishment of the Live Free 999 Fund. The Live Free 999 Fund will honor the legacy of her son by supporting young people in their battles and to do so with love, joy, and emotional honesty. With new music and caring dedications like these, Juice WRLD’s legacy continues.

MAINGEAR x deadmau5

MAINGEAR PC, an award-winning PC system builder of custom gaming desktops and notebooks, announced that Joel Zimmerman, known professionally as deadmau5, has joined MAINGEAR as an advisor and investor, and that they have partnered with NetCapital to launch an equity offering open to the public. 

 

Grammy nominated producer, musician, composer, and life-long gamer, deadmau5, joins MAINGEAR as an advisor and takes a stake of the soaring PC gaming market by investing. “I first found MAINGEAR when looking for a high end PC for my studio, and started as a customer first. I became a huge fan” said deadmau5. “Since then MAINGEAR has powered all of my projects including, my recently released “where’s the drop?”. As a gamer at heart I’m a big believer that the future of PC gaming and eSports has amazing potential for growth. It was obvious to pick MAINGEAR as my first investment in the space and with MAINGEAR’s crowd raise you can invest as well. »

 

As an advisor, deadmau5 hopes to direct the future of PC gaming with MAINGEAR by advising on future products and projects. “It doesn’t get more authentic than working with deadmau5” said Wallace Santos, CEO and Founder. “He’s an amazing artist, hardcore gamer, MAINGEAR customer, and is one of the most technically driven people I have ever met. »

 

With over 15 years of experience crafting the industry’s most award-winning gaming PCs and growing a passionate community, MAINGEAR has established itself as a leader in the industry and is now opening up an opportunity for its community to invest. “I had the opportunity to engage with a few different VCs and the experience wasn’t always the best. While VC investment can be a great thing, it only makes sense if you find the right fit.” said Wallace Santos. “I didn’t want to bring on an investor that would suck the soul out of our business. After this experience we decided to ditch the traditional VC route altogether and instead offer equity to our community. »

 

“I’ve been in the gaming and tech space for as long as I can remember, and I can safely say there has never been a more exciting time in the history of our industry!” said Rahul Sood, CEO of Unikrn. “I’m excited for the future of MAINGEAR and the passionate community that they have built. As one of the most established high end PC builders on earth, we wanted to do a non-traditional raise and offer people from this community the opportunity to invest at the ground floor.”

 

For more information on MAINGEAR’s equity crowdfunding campaign, click HERE. 

 

 

Against the Current x “Legends Never Die”

The biggest esports event of the year, League of Legends World Championship, is going on RIGHT NOW in China. League of Legends is an online, multi-player battle game that is played by over 30 million people worldwide per day and 100 million monthly active players. This championship serves to showcase the highest level of professional competition between the very best teams in the world. The event also connects fans with other fans as well as with pros and teams through a shared experience. Worlds will be attended by hundreds of thousands of people in addition to the millions of others who are tuning in online from various regions of the world.

To celebrate monumental event, pop rock band, Against the Current, has released a video for their original song “Legends Never Die”. In the two days since its release, the video has already surpassed 2.2 million views. The band’s lead singer, Chrissy Costanza, is a League of Legends player and fan. The writers who collaborated on “Legends Never Die” are part of the Riot Games Music Team, which features renowned songwriters such as Alex Seaver of Mako and Justin Tranter, who wrote a plethora of hits, including Sorry” by Justin Bieber.

Watch the video for “Legends Never Die” HERE

Visit popgear for gaming clothing.

League of Legends Live: Also in China there is a world class music event streamed to fans everywhere: League of Legends Live is a concert experience featuring international artists and League of Legends community musicians taking place on the eve of the 2017 World Championship Finals. The event will be broadcast live from the Beijing National Aquatics Center (Water Cube) on November 3 @ 7:30 PM local time in Beijing (GMT+8) / November 3 at 4:30 AM PST. Artists include Alan Walker, Pentakill, Mako and Crystal Method.