Given the ever-increasing influence and impact of the gaming and esports industry on the global economy, more and more markets are seeking to tap into the field. Since technology is already closely intertwined with gaming, it’s not a huge stretch for tech giants to expand their reach into esports. Microsoft in particular has continued to expand their presence in the esports and gaming industry with MSN announcing their recent acquisition of Smash.GG.
As reported by GeekWire.com, Microsoft’s acquisition of Smash.GG was confirmed on both the platform’s website and through an announcement on MSN’s esports hub. It just so happens that MSN’s esports hub is relatively new as well, having launched this past October. As MSN is a subsidiary of Microsoft, it’s fitting for the website to break the news of the company’s recent acquisition.
Overall, the acquisition will definitely aid Microsoft in achieving their esports and gaming goals. As the GeekWire piece explains, “Smash.GG bills itself as a self-service esports platform, offered as a free service to the owners and organizers behind gaming tournaments worldwide.” Not only does the platform help gaming fans find and keep up with various competitions as viewers, it also allows them to enter said competitions and take advantage of software that “automatically generates competitive brackets.” As might be inferred from the name, Smash.GG is most closely associated with games like Super Smash Bros. The platform is specifically known for working well with “head-to-head tournament” models followed by fighting games like Super Smash Bros., Street Fighter and others; however, they also provide “services for games in other genres, such as Rocket League, Fortnite, Valorant, and the mobile card battler Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links.”
Smash.GG has a track record of facilitating a wide range of events varying in scale. As GeekWire notes, “It’s been used for everything from local get-togethers to major international competitions, and currently claims to support over 6,000 active events.”
The company was founded back in 2015 by esports fans more interested in creating opportunities for the gaming community to come together then they were in notoriety. As such, a lot of info regarding the folks behind the company is kept confidential: “The actual site keeps most of its details under wraps, but per Smash.GG’s entry on CrunchBase, it’s a private company with four team members that operates out of San Francisco.” Smash.GG is a rather small company compared with tech juggernaut Microsoft; yet, it would seem that there are no plans to change the smaller organization’s mode of operation from branding to software.
One key detail that GeekWire clocked was particularly distinct. It would seem that the announcement of the acquisition has been kept devoid of any connection to Microsoft’s Xbox division.
As GeekWire supposes, “it may simply be that Smash.GG will be folded into the service as a way to enhance the functionality of MSN’s new [esports] hub.” Whether or not Microsoft will use their new acquisition to “revive the flagging pro leagues for the Halo community,” “produce something like an integrated Smash.GG app for the Xbox Series X,” or merely take advantage of the “international fighting game community, which still makes up most of the activity on Smash.GG’s front page,” only time will tell. Either way, it looks like one of the biggest tech companies in the world just got a little bit bigger.