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Yahoo brings eSports coverage to mobile with launch of new app

TechCrunch TechCrunch 14/04/2016 Sarah Perez

Yahoo has recently been trimming down its digital media business, with the closure of several of its online magazines, but other verticals – including eSports – are still seeing investment. To that end, the company has now launched its first eSports mobile application on Android. The new app brings eSports match coverage, including the ability to watch live or replay past games, view live stats, and more to your smartphone.

The launch follows the March debut of the Yahoo Esports content site, which operates under the larger Yahoo Sports Media group.

The site itself is meant to serve as a comprehensive guide to the eSports industry, featuring reporting, video commentaries, match pages, rosters, stats, schedules, scores, and more – similar to what Yahoo offers for its other sports coverage areas. Currently, Yahoo largely focuses on top titles, including “League of Legends,” “Dota 2,” “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive,” “Heroes of the Storm,” and “Street Fighter V,” though the company said more titles would arrive in time.

However, that expansion has not yet come to pass in time for the mobile launch – today, those games are still the only ones featured in the Yahoo eSports application.

In addition to coverage, stats and commentary, the app will also support push notifications in order to deliver alerts about your favorite events and games, as well as breaking news, tournament analysis, and competitive strategy.

Yahoo’s eSports editors including Andrea Rene, Travis Gafford, Taylor Cocke, Dylan Walker and Michael Martin, who have backgrounds from IGN, GameSport, Kotaku, GameStop TV, and more, will be creating content for the new app.

The expansion into the eSports arena comes at a time when the industry is growing rapidly – the global audience for eSports in 2015 was more than 226 million, Yahoo previously noted when launching the new online destination.

Yahoo, of course, is not the only big media giant trying to edge its way into eSports – earlier this year, ESPN also launched a new division to focus on eSports coverage. This move arrived after ESPN’s increasing interest in the space. It had recently aired tournaments on its ESPN2 and ESPN3 channels, including the final of the “Heroes of the Dorm” event (a collegiate tournament for “Heroes of the Storm”), as well as The International, the tournament for Dota 2.

Amazon, via Twitch, and Google, via YouTube Gaming (and its accompanying Android integration), are also competing in this broader gaming space.

The Yahoo eSports Android application is live now, and the iOS launch is arriving soon, the company says.

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