BUSINESS

Alibaba to Plough $15m into eSports; Warner Bros Launches Mortal Kombat X Tournaments

TAGs: alibaba, eSports, Lee Davy, Mortal Kombat X Tournament, Warner Bros, YuuZoo

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Limited has inked a deal with Singaporean social networking firm YuuZoo, that will see the behemoth investing $15m into eSports.

The Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Limited continues to delve into the realm of sport and gaming after inking a partnership with the Singaporean social networking firm YuuZoo Corporation.

The new coupling has resulted in a new eSports division called Ali Electronic Division and their first act in the burgeoning sport is to create the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG).

Alibaba to Plough $15m into eSports; Warner Bros Launches Mortal Kombat X Tournaments The groups have gone on record stating that they will invest $15m into the sport, with $5.5m heading into the coffers of the WESG. Prize pools of $1.5m for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, $1.5m for Dota 2, $400,000 for StarCraft 2, and $300,000 for Hearthstone have hit the eSports rags. Future prize pools are expected to get significantly larger thanks to the trend of crowdfunding via in-game purchases.

News report suggests that the WESG is Alibaba’s attempt to replace the failed World Cyber Games – an international eSports event created to mirror the Olympic Games on scale and grandeur. It shut down its cyber doors in 2014.

The WESG contests begin as early as April. China will host the finals in December.

Alibaba is worth an estimated $212 billion and recently agreed to promote Match Poker alongside the International Federation of Poker (IFP).

Mortal Kombat X Tournament Details Released

Who hasn’t sat down on the couch with a mate, grabbed a controller and tried to karate-kick the shit out of them?

You might have even had a small wager on the outcome.

How things have changed.

Warner Bros have announced the third season of Mortal Kombat tournaments focusing on the newly released Mortal Kombat X. There will be $500,000 in prize money; $200,000 of which will be set aside for the ESL Mortal Kombat X Pro League, which kicks off in April. The games start on April 3 and will be played out on the PlayStation 4 (PS4).

The action will take place over an eight-week online season. 16 finalists will emerge from divisions worldwide. The final will be played out in Burbank, California on June 12. Eight finalists will take a piece of the $200,000 prize money.

The other $300,000 will be handed out between ESL Mortal Kombat X Challenger Cup and local Mortal Kombat X events throughout North America and Europe. The Challenger Cup will begin April 2. PS4 and Xbox One players not competing in the Pro League can take part in this one. The finals will be held at the end of June.

Mortal Kombat X players helped to create the prize pool by purchasing Krimson Ermac DLC skins. Mortal Kombat X players now have a second option to help increase the prize pool for future events by doing likewise with the character Blue Steel Sub-Zero.

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