News Digest 39: Top Gaming News This Week

21 May, 2020 | By Anzu

As the weather gets hotter, will gaming speed up or slow down? In all likelihood, it will stay its current course, as many prefer to sit inside with the AC over facing the blazing sun. Let’s take a look and see what else is heating up this week--like the temperature, esports, gaming, new industry collaborations, it’s all on the rise!

Let the numbers speak! According to the NPD Group's Q1 2020 Games Market Dynamics report, consumers in the United States spent nearly $10.9 billion on video games from January through March of this year, thus reaching a record quarterly high. Digital console and PC content, mobile and subscription spending, hardware, and accessories spending were all up year-over-year. quotes the NPD Group’s representative saying, “Video games have brought comfort and connection to millions during this challenging time. As people have stayed at home more, they've utilized gaming not only as a diversion and an escape, but also as a means of staying connected with family and friends.” 

London-based esports operator Gfinity has renewed its simulation racing partnership with Formula One (F1). The multi-year agreement was described as “the largest contract in Gfinity’s history,” and includes delivery of the main elements of the F1 Esports Series in 2020 and 2021, plus the qualifying events in 2022. Find more details on the Esports Observer.

In the context of Mental Health Awareness Week, London-based nonprofit Safe In Our World has launched the #LevelUpMentalHealth global campaign to raise mental health awareness in the gaming industry. The organization reported it has support from major game companies, such as Embracer Group and others. As part of the initiative, Safe in our World has co-created an Employer’s Mental Health Toolkit, giving guidance and empowering developers, publishers, and service providers to place positive mental health at the forefront of their plans. Find the full story on VentureBeat.

T1 Entertainment and Sports (T1) has made an investment in Mobalytics, an esports analytics startup devised to improve player performance. The companies’ initial focus for the partnership is on VALORANT, reports Esports Insider, since in a new game, without a long history to rely on, player analytics will be especially impactful. However, Mobalytics will be also expanding to other Riot Games’ titles and supporting T1’s heralded League of Legends team. Mobalytics will also do work around Legends of Runeterra and TeamFight Tactics.

Wil Wheaton streams with Polygon on Twitch! A creator who needs no introduction — but just in case, he’s a renowned actor who’s been performing for nearly 40 years. He’s hosted esports competitions and board game shows, lent his voice to dozens of animated and video game characters, and has published everything from fiction to weekly columns. He’s such a nerd legend that he appears as a fictional version of himself on The Big Bang Theory. If it still does not ring the bell, the Gamers vs. COVID-19 initiative is one of his new and timely projects. Tune in to Polygon on Twitch to watch a recording of the conversation with genuine nerd superstar Wil Wheaton. is an in-game advertising platform that brings real-world brand ads to video gaming and esports. Backed by BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, WPP, and Axel Springer Digital Ventures, Anzu redefines digital advertising through seamless integration of non-intrusive ads into the gameplay. Bringing real-time data and programmatic to the video gaming world, the platform promises native advertising, brand safety and ad viewability. Follow Anzu on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.