Hollywood sponsors its first eSports tournament


Lionsgate is teaming up with Twitch and Major League Gaming to host the first gaming competition sponsored by a major motion picture studio. The tournament will feature StarCraft II, and it will coincide with the Blu-ray and home media release of Ender’s Game.

The tournament, dubbed the “Ender’s Game on Blu-Ray Tournament,” will feature some of the best StarCraft II players from around the world, with a $20,000 prize pool on the line. The first round will appear on Twitch from February 5 through February 9, while the second round will appear on MLG.tv February 11 through February 16. The championship round will then air on Twitch on February 22, with the winner taking home $10,000.

MLG will invite 12 of the top StarCraft II players from around the world, while the four remaining competitors will be voted on by fans. Voting is open from February 3 through February 5, and can be voted on here.

The tournament is meant to raise awareness of the upcoming home media release of Ender’s Game, which debuts on February 11, but it also signifies a shift in Hollywood’s appreciation of eSports.

“Lionsgate understands that gamers are more than a niche, they are everyone,” Twitch’s Director of Content Marketing Ben Goldhaber said. “By leveraging Twitch’s community of 45 million gamers, many of whom spend hours playing and watching sci-fi inspired games, creating an esport event around Ender’s Game on our platform makes perfect sense.”