Microsoft buys eSports platform vendor Smash.gg

Microsoft has purchased eSports platform vendor Smash.gg and is planning on integrating it with its MSN eSports franchise.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor
Credit: Microsoft MSN

Microsoft has purchased Smash.gg, a five-year-old eSports platform company, for an undisclosed amount. Smash.gg announced the purchase on its website on December 2.

Smash.gg is all about "empowering eSports communities," according to its tagline. The company was founded in 2015 by a team of amateur players and fans active in the esports community. Smash.gg says it currently supports more than 6,000 active event organizers across a broad mix of games. 

On its home page, Smash.gg officials acknowledge the Microsoft purchase with the following statement: "Since we started in 2015, our goal has been to build active esports scenes around the games people love to play. Today we're excited to take the next step in that journey by joining Microsoft to help strengthen our existing relationships and explore new opportunities. Smash.gg will continue as a self-service esports platform available to tournament organizers from all game communities."

More on what Smash does from the Smash.gg site:

"We provide bracket and registration functionality for both online and live events, running from 16 person LAN events to online tournaments with thousands of participants.

Our software is free to use for anyone. We often work with sponsors and game developers looking to connect with their player communities and are always happy to share our insights."

Sources close to Microsoft confirmed that Microsoft acquired Smash.gg, but had nothing to say about the terms of the deal. The MSN eSports account on Twitter also confirmed the deal with this Tweet: "Big news everyone! @smashggis joining us at Microsoft. Same great tournament organization features. Same amazing team. Even more support and opportunities. Get ready to play!

Earlier this year, Microsoft ended up shutting down Mixer, its game streaming platform that it was attempting to build as an alternative to Amazon's Twitch and Google's YouTube service. Mixer was the name Microsoft gave to the Beam technology which it bought back in 2016.

From what I hear, the Smash.gg deal is more about web content for MSN than it is about Xbox, however. MSN covers sports and entertainment news as a couple of its primary categories. There's a sub-category on MSN for eSports news, as well. So I guess this is meant to provide MSN with some first-party-sourced sports content? 

(Thanks to Brad Sams on Twitter for the original heads-up on the Smash.gg acquisition.)

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