We don't cover eSports on here quite as regularly as we cover things like the Xbox One tripping, falling flat on its face and busting its nose all over the hard concrete of reality, but we give it a bit of a shout-out every once in a while when the news seems interesting enough to cover (and when it isn't a multi-layered scandal involving the sort of antics you would see in a Steven Soderberg espionage film).
The news today centers around an equity deal between Azubu and the Sapinda Group, a private investment firm. The Sapinda Group put up a whoop-worthy $34.5 million in equity capital for the new re-launch of the Azubu TV eSports initiative. Basically, Azubu TV wants to cut in on the competitive marketplace of competitive streaming offered by services like Twitch.Tv and Ustream.
As mentioned in the press release by a Sapinda spokesperson...
“eSports deserves a premier broadcast platform which respects the global nature of eSports. We’re committed to providing the support necessary to ensure that Azubu will deliver this for eSports fans worldwide and that the service will evolve as quickly as eSports itself. Azubu has the leadership, vision, partnerships and technology to radically elevate the eSports viewing experience, driving greater engagement between players, fans and the brands that support them.”
Sometimes, printing quotes almost feels like more effort than cutting out a smiley-face and a corporate stamp from a boilerplate to represent these sort of deals. It's practically the same thing.
Anyway, the deal is aimed to help leverage a newcomer to rally up the forces and drum up some interest in the hard-to-enter but very lucrative eSports arena. There's been a lot of discussion about the difficult territory to navigate when it comes to success with eSports titles, start-ups and even broadcasting networks.
One of the big problems is that it's difficult to throw money at a problem that requires a solution centered around community engagement. If you don't have a community, it's impossible to expand growth. Throwing money at the situation is sometimes the equivalent of sitting into a volcano to cool it down.
A lot of what Azubu TV does will require a ton of community engagement, and trying to leverage streamers and popular personalities to get in on the action, otherwise it'll be a slow road to success as they try to carve out a place in a landscape already dominated by Twitch.
Part of that $34.5 million will be used to “bolster” Azubu TV's supposedly lag-free broadcasting and high definition output. It's not an easy road to travel given how embedded a lot of the community is to services like Twitch, so they'll have their work cutout for them.
Of course, this kind of news matters very little unless the content is there. So the big question is: can Azubu provide the content gamers want to see? Well, I would show a few of their HD video streams below, but unfortunately I don't see an easy way to embed the videos into the article. So... yeah.
If you want to see what the site looks like, you can check it out over on the official Azubu.tv website. The site is due for a relaunch very soon, so you can stay tuned in for that.