that Hollywood is dipping its toe into eSports this month with the "Ender's Game on Blu-Ray Tournament", a 16-player Starcraft II
tournament sponsored by Lionsgate that will play out this month to hype the release of Ender's Game on DVD and Blu-Ray next week.
The tournament, broadcast on Twitch and MLG.tv, will pit 32 professional Starcraft II
players against one another across two rounds of competition. The first sixteen players will compete this week (February 5-9) for a prize pool of $7,000 in a round of matches streamed on Twitch
, and the other sixteen will compete next week (February 11-16) for a prize pool of $5,000 on MLG.tv
The winners from each event will face off in a championship match on February 22 for a grand prize pool of $10,000 -- $7,000 for the victor, $3,000 for the loser.
The tournament seems like a notable milestone for the games business, as it marks the first time that an eSports competition has been part of a film's promotional campaign.
"The skills used to develop battle leaders in Ender’s Game are drawn from real-world gaming, especially the types of skills used by premier tournament level players," Lionsgate executive VP of marketing Anne Parducci stated in a press release announcing the promotion. "We are excited to partner with Major League Gaming and Twitch, both leaders in the e-sports [sic] world, to present this unprecedented movie tie-in aimed directly at those who take gaming seriously."