Torque, Activision Team Up on Collegiate Overwatch Tournament

- March 2nd, 2020

UMG will bring in hundreds of colleges in the US fielding competitive Overwatch teams to compete for a total of US$40,000 in prize money.

A Canadian company is expanding the reach of esports thanks to a new college-level division for one of the most popular games on the market.

Torque Esports (TSXV:GAME,OTCQB:MLLLF), alongside its broadcasting branch UMG Media, has signed a contract with Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) to host the Overwatch Collegiate Series.

During the eight week tournament, UMG will bring in hundreds of colleges in the US fielding competitive Overwatch teams to compete for a total of US$40,000 in prize money. The money will be given as scholarships to the future esports teams at the winning schools.

The tournament is planned to start in late March and will be streamed on UMG’s Twitch channel.

Early in the trading day on Monday (March 2), Torque’s shares jumped 13 percent, and they sat at C$0.77 as of 10:22 a.m. EST.

Activision, for its part, saw a very slight increase to US$58.96 by mid-morning during the trading session on Monday.

Torque CEO Darren Cox said the move represented a step into the “big leagues” for his company. “Like stick and ball sports, college competition is becoming the development league where young esports stars of the future are honing their skills and preparing to become professional gamers,” said Cox.

According to Cox, experts of the esports landscape have highlighted US colleges and universities as a growing opportunity for publishers and brands alike.

torque march 2 2020 stock chart

Thanks in large part to the Activision partnership, Torque plans to help create a path to the professional gaming world for college-level players.

In addition to the new significant partnership for Torque, the firm has recently aligned alongside some of its peers in the gaming space.

Torque is closing in on a three-way business combination with Frankly (TSXV:TLK,OTCQX:FRNKF) and WinView to create an integrated news, gaming, sports and esports platform that will be called Engine Media Holdings.

The Activision deal follows shortly after the firm locked down a partnership with Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox Game Studios to broadcast the Gears 5 Esports Challenger Series Finals in February.

UMG, which was recently acquired by Torque in December, also hosts games for other popular titles like Fortnite, Call of Duty, NBA 2K20 and Madden 20 and has generated over 20 million views with more than US$3 million paid out in prize money.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Danielle Edwards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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