Mobile Commerce

Amazon To Host eSports Tournament

Amazon continues to bank on the popularity of eSports. The online retail giant recently announced that it will hold its first-ever eSports tournament. Sixteen of the gaming industry’s top players will be brought in to compete head-to-head in five games in the casual gaming category for shares of $100,000 in cash prizes.

Dubbed Champions of Fire Invitational, the tournament will live-stream on Twitch, the Amazon-owned gaming-themed streaming site that gets more views than YouTube, on December 2, 2016, from 2 to 9 p.m. Pacific time.

CBS Sports is set to air two hours’ worth of highlights from the event, and streams will be made available on Amazon.com, Amazon Fire TV and other social media networks with streaming capabilities, including Facebook and YouTube. In addition to the live streams, tickets to attend the tournament as part of a live studio audience at Paris in Las Vegas are available for purchase.

Aaron Rubenson, director of the Amazon Appstore, said in a statement, “Competitive video gaming has seen huge growth, and we see tremendous customer value in expanding the tournament experience to include the casual mobile games played by millions of people today. The Champions of Fire Invitational will see some of the top gaming pros square off in the same fun games our customers can download and enjoy today from the Amazon Appstore.”

The games featured in the upcoming tournament include Disney’s Crossy Road, Pac-Man 256, Bloons TD Battles, 8 Ball Pool and Fruit Ninja Tournament Edition, all available on Amazon. Each game boasts $30,000 in winnings for the victor.

Amazon has also reportedly been in talks with real-sports organizations, including the NBA, MLB, NFL and others, to explore options for carrying live games and potentially offering premium sports packages with a Prime membership. If Amazon were able to manage to acquire the rights to sports broadcasts, it could cause a massive upset for the traditional paid sports package model.

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