Hollywood is going esports. Lionsgate, a large film studio, will sponsor a Starcraft 2 tournament this month to support the release of one of its movies to home video.
The ‘Ender’s Game on Blu-ray Tournament’ will feature a total prize pool of $20,000, with $10,000 itself going to the final winner. A total of 32 players will go at it this month in a dual tournament structure that will see both MLG and Twitch, purveyors of rival streaming technology, each air a 16-player bracket. The winners of those will then play a final round, which Twitch itself will broadcast.
What’s all this about? Essentially, Lionsgate wants to ensure that people interested in its film — which had a disappointing box office return — know that it is coming out on Blu-Ray. And so the studio is investing a sum into sponsoring a Starcraft 2 tournament, which will be watched by tens of thousands of individuals interested in futuristic combat, and who are often young and male.
Ender’s Game, naturally, features a young male winning weightless combat in the future.
As far as targeting goes, Lionsgate is onto something. And, given that it spent and took in more than $100,000,000 million on the movie, the $20,000 at stake here is a rounding error. However, it is fun to see a very established media genre turn to one that is quite new to help its traditional products monetize.
According to onGamer’s Rod Breslau, here are the dates for the competition: “The first round will be broadcast on Twitch from February 5th to 9th and the second round will run from February 11th to 16th on MLG.tv. The winners from each event will advance to the Ender’s Game on Blu-ray Tournament: Championship Round taking place February 22nd and airing on Twitch.”
Briefly, MLG will be using its new MLG.tv technology to broadcast its games, a product that we covered at launch here at TechCrunch, and one that recently pushed its parent company into the realm of operational profit.
Twitch — total raise to date: $35 million — competes with MLG.tv for eyeballs, and content, making the dual streaming strategy employed by Lionsgate oddly progressive; it ensures that both platforms get to contribute, perhaps amping up the promotion the event will receive inside of its community. I’ll keep an eye on the event, and if Lionsgate releases any sort of interesting performance statistic, will let you know.
Top Image Credit: Blizzard