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Volume 26 No. 177
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Microsoft Partners With Cloud9 To Apply Sports Analytics To Esports

Microsoft has partnered with esports organization Cloud9 on a sponsorship deal that will have it "deliver a cocktail of proprietary advanced analytics" to the L.A.-based team, according to Noah Smith of the WASHINGTON POST. Microsoft plans to "source player biometric data and game video content, of both Cloud9 and its opponents, in hopes of bringing traditional sports learnings to esports." Microsoft's move "follows German software company SAP's deal with esports franchise Team Liquid" in April and Intel’s extension of its partnership with ESL in December, worth $100M over three years. But Cloud9's deal presents a "unique wrinkle, in that its partner actually makes video games as well as the consoles and operating system they are played on." Microsoft "denied any notions of unfair access." The company said that it would be "mining Cloud9 for inspiration on how to create successful esports game titles in the future." Cloud9 "does not currently compete in any Microsoft-developed titles nor on Xbox." Microsoft's esports sponsorship "follows several high profile deals" it has made in traditional sports, including with the NFL, PGA Tour, NASCAR, and LaLiga club Real Madrid. The partnership with Cloud9 "gives the company access to potential insights across a variety of titles, instead of being locked into a single game" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 5/31).

For more coverage of the business of esports, visit our partners, esportsobserver.com.