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Microsoft acquires esports tournament platform Smash.gg

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(Image credit: Smash.gg)
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Microsoft's latest big videogame acquisition is not a studio, but an esports platform: Smash.gg, which provides organizational services and support for amateur and professional gaming tournaments, is now a part of the Microsoft Content Services group.

"Since we started in 2015, our goal has been to build active esports scenes around the games people love to play," Smash.gg said on its website. "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."

Smash.gg expanded on that a bit on Twitter. "With this acquisition, the Smash.gg community and tournament organizers will continue to benefit from the Smash.gg platform, while our team will now benefit from additional resources and support as part of the Microsoft Content Services team," it wrote. "For now, it's business as usual as our combined team continues to support our community and tournament organizers. We're excited about this acquisition's potential to further empower the esports community and expand Smash.gg's reach and scale."

Microsoft confirmed the acquisition announcement through its MSN Esports Twitter account.

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As acquisitions go, this isn't as glamorous as the big Bethesda buyout, but it's a very interesting strategic maneuver. Smash.gg was originally created to support the Super Smash Bros. community, but has grown from there to become one of the most commonly-used platforms in competitive gaming. The Smash.gg website says that it now supports more than 6000 "active event organizers across a broad mix of games," ranging in scale from the Brawlhalla Community Tournament Initiative to the Bud Light Beer League and EVO. It also offers information and tutorials on tournament organizing, e-commerce, and fundraising. That makes it more of a backbone than a marquee, but it's a significant behind-the-scenes presence in competitive gaming, and now Microsoft is too.

Thanks, GamesIndustry.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.