I haven’t followed the IGN Pro League too closely, but from what I do know they seem to be heavily focused on PC Gaming. After seeing the spectating success of PC titles like StarCraft 2 and League of Legends, pulling in tens of thousands of viewers per event, it’s no wonder why IGN sees this as an opportunity to expand their gaming media platform. I doubt there will be much emphasis on console titles based on what I’ve seen thus far from the group.
IGN has an interesting position with their emergence as a competitive league. For starters, they have established relationships with gaming developers and publishers which can be used as leverage in the promotion and marketing of the IPL. The ability to quickly attain publishing rights with the addition of developers potentially supporting the “marketing push” for certain games is something a lot of Leagues have trouble attaining and maintaining. You also have to account for the fact that IGN in itself has created one of the biggest gaming media outlets in the world. Their community is massive with a strong connection to the gaming consumers that read content on IGN on a daily basis — something that may lead to crossover into the IPL.
I’m hoping to see the IPL expand on their gaming lineup, perhaps including some popular console titles like Call of Duty as they ramp up their eSports league. I’m not sure if this will be another flop of a league, but the IGN Pro League has potential.
Read the full press release below:
David Ting promoted to lead competitive gaming division and create new businessesSan Francisco, CA (June 30, 2011); IGN Entertainment, the leading video games media company, today announced that it is creating an eSports group and has promoted David Ting to General Manager of eSports and Vice President of Research & Development, effective immediately. In this new role, David will focus on being an entrepreneur, creating new businesses for the company. The first business will be in competitive video gaming (“eSports”).
In his two-year tenure at IGN, David has been integral in rebuilding IGN’s technical infrastructure and driving some of the company’s most innovative technology and business projects, including the IGN Pro League (IPL), a gaming tournament created to help legitimize video gaming as a profession. Launched in April 2011 to much success, the IPL will kick-off its second season on July 14th.
“The time has come for video games, as a spectator sport, to go mainstream in the United States as it has elsewhere around the world,” said Roy Bahat, President of IGN Entertainment. “David conceived of this effort as a lean startup within IGN, and has led it with vision and skill. He is the perfect person to take it forward as we double down.”
“We created IGN eSports initiative out of our passion as fans. We want to make professional game play a joy to watch and a prestigious career. We believe this can be big.” said David Ting.
As a number of game franchises reach critical mass, users are honing their own skills by watching pro gamers, making the time ripe for eSports. IGN will leverage its unrivaled online reach and the passion of its users to provide a platform for introducing best unknown eSports stars to millions of gaming fans.
About IGN Entertainment
IGN Entertainment is the leading Internet media and services provider focused on the video game and entertainment enthusiast markets. Collectively, IGN’s properties reached more than 70 million unique users worldwide in February 2011, according to Internet audience measurement firm comScore. IGN’s network of video game-related properties (IGN.com, 1UP.com, GameSpy, FilePlanet, TeamXbox and others) is the Web’s #1 video game information destination. IGN also owns the world’s largest men’s lifestyle website, AskMen.com, and men’s entertainment site UGO.com. It also provides technology for online game play in video games. IGN is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, with offices across North America, Europe and Australia.
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