Archive for the ‘stocks’ Category

Every now and then, I have a little mercy on my wife, and I bail her out from cooking dinner with an impromptu trip to a restaurant (preferably with a buffet). In this case, it was an Eat n Park. As we ate our 5 or so helpings from the unlimited soup and salad bar, we could not help overhearing the conversation from the adjacent booth.

OK. It wasn’t much of a conversation. Maybe it was a date? All we can say for sure is that it was an uninterested female, listening to a very animated guy (about 30 years old) talk non-stop about…..a video game. The amount of detail, the characters, the strategy, how much each character costs, the amount of time devoted, and on…we got quite the dose of eSports and gaming. Not to be gossipers, but my wife and I filled in a few blanks for each other as we took turns making trips to the buffet. I mean, we were kinda curious as to just how important this game was, to warrant him NOT having a car, as the game took so much of his time and money. Yeah, his admission.

That meal really hit home just how obsessed, er, devoted gamers can be. This guy eats, sleeps, and breathes his video game. Though surely he is not alone. In fact, he mentioned many ‘friends’ whom he had never met. One guy he really admired and envied, acquired a certain coveted character! Wow! As for the girl, she was just giving dismissive ‘mmm’ responses to everything…. But it begs the question: How many more are like him?

The Rising Trend of eSports and Gaming

For better or worse, things change. Trends come and go. Fads rise and fall.

Before continuing, I should disclose that I have not personally played a video game in probably decades. I’ve been meaning to plug in that dusty Nintendo I have stored away, and play “Ice Hockey, ” but something always is higher on the to-do list. (It really is called “Ice Hockey” btw)

That said, I’m definitely aware that others do play video games… a lot…and the Rising Trend of eSports and Gaming is real. I’ve walked past my now college age cousin playing with a headset, conversing with players in-game. I’ve heard the complaints from my sister about my nephew playing too much. I know that there are gamers of various stripes.

Contrast this air conditioned ‘play time’ with that of a story from the Great Depression. My nanu (grandfather) has many stories of how they played outside as youth. They even reused construction scraps to create variations of games we know today. Or my mother who recalls how all the neighborhood kids would be outside playing baseball, hockey, sled riding, etc. My own youth was spent outside on the swing, then climbing trees (until the neighbor cut them down), playing hockey, bicycling, swimming, and so on. After all, staying in the house would be considered a form of strict punishment!

But now, many kids prefer to stay in the house playing video games….electronic sports. Pigskin is being swapped for pixels. Vulcanized rubber for a plastic remote. Helmet for a headset.

The trend is clear. ESports and gaming are on the rise.

Where else can this be measured?

Pro Sports Attendance

There has been a topic recently about Major League Baseball instituting rule changes (like introducing the designated hitter in the National League) to increase offense. Why? Attendance has been getting hammered, down 6.6% from a year ago! They believe that replacing a pitcher’s at-bat with an actual hitter will lead to more offense, which will keep better interest for fans. They overlook that the American League, which already has the designated hitter rule, has most of the lowest drawing teams by attendance.

Is this an anomaly? Apparently not. In 2015, the National Football League’s Super Bowl had a TV viewership of over 114 million. In 2018, the viewership was down to 103 million.

After the ‘Stand for the Anthem’ controversy last season, several NFL stadiums saw huge swaths of empty seats. This was not really apparent in attendance as the tickets were pre sold (it will be interesting to see what happens this upcoming season)… but the eye test was unmistakable.

Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA | League of Legends Final | 2013

Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA | League of Legends Final | 2013

The National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks play hockey at the SAP Centre. That venue hosted the INTEL Extreme Masters gaming event and drew 12,500 fans over two days. It’s true that the Sharks draw way more than that in a single game, but the INTEL event was viewed by 4 million people from their homes! That is ALMOST as many viewers as the NHL’s Stanley Cup Final draws! So it can be said that regular season viewership of the NHL is already surpassed by eSports and gaming viewership. Yes, read that again.

More ESports photos here.

An article on growing eSports viewership here.

Sure there and many variables with these stats, like weather for baseball attendance, and live streaming for hockey viewership. The point is, rule changes will do nothing in the face of a demographic shift.

 

This entire write up is not to say pro sports is dead, but it is changing. It must not be ignored that peak professional sports may be really close, if not already here. There is major competition in the rising eSports and gaming area, and we can see that attendance and viewers of conventional pro sports is becoming a concern.

It’s not all that crazy though. None of the major sports leagues even existed 150 years ago. When compared to thousands of years of human history, what is 150 years, but a phase. And the era of ever inflationary mega contracts for the athletes is only a few decades old. There is no reason why there can’t be salary deflation. Especially if attendance and viewership continues to trend down. The owners are running a business, and none of them want to lose money.

See below this IR4 chat about the Past, Present, and Future of Video Games. IR4 stands for the 4th Industrial Revolution. Check out their IR4 Patreon page to keep up with future updates.  (note: there are a few expletives used during the eSports and gaming talk)

 

Maybe you still are not convinced that eSports and gaming are a big deal… Then you should probably go to Eat n Park for the soup and salad bar. It’s only 8$ for a limited time… 11$ if you get it with a meal.

If you are already convinced that eSports and gaming are just beginning to take off in popularity, then here are some ways to prosper.

 

Capitalize on the Rise of eSports and Gaming

We are called to be good stewards of all that God provides us. So if you do take advantage of these opportunities in the Rise of eSports and gaming, be charitable with your wealth.

Keep in mind, it may not be the best time to buy some of these companies, as some of them are overbought or heading into resistance. However, a pullback can prove to be an opportunity of a lifetime. This is to alert you to long term plays for eSports and gaming, not for specific short term trades.

 

The recently launched HUYA Inc. (HUYA) is a leading game live streaming platform in China.

huya

 

Versus Systems Inc (VRSSF) has launched the Winfinite platform, which gives developers and publishers the ability to give in-game and real-world items as prizes. 

 

Activision Blizzard (ATVI) owns the Overwatch League! This is like the National Football League of gaming… and the owner of the New England Patriots and New York Mets are already owners of teams in the Overwatch League. More on Activision Blizzard here.

 

Tencent Holdings Ltd. (TCEHY) is a Chinese company which has the biggest stake in gaming in the whole world. It has owns most of or a piece of almost everything in the eSports and gaming industry. It even owns a piece of Activation Blizzard. 

 

Electronic Arts (EA) is the owner of the popular EA Sports subsidiary. They have been churning out games for several decades and have made popular the ‘Madden’ line of football games. 

 

Mentioned in the IR4 podcast was Twitch. Twitch was actually acquired by Amazon (AMZN). Through Amazon Web Services they can not be overlooked, as they have become a cloud computing giant, and Amazon is a mainstream vehicle to get involved with ESports. 

 

Fijian e-Gaming Tournament Group is partnering with AsuraCoin, currently in ICO, to be the token for payments to their tournament winners.

 

Unikrn has the UnicoinGold (UKG) betting token… and if people bet on conventional sports, then of course betting on eSports and gaming is to follow in big numbers. 

 

Skincoin (SKIN) allows gamers a medium-of-exchange to customize characters and buy upgrades…. and obviously these in-game items have a monetary value attached, as we heard from the guy at Eat n Park. 

 

Decentraland (MANA) is a virtual reality platform of the Ethereum blockchain. Virtual Reality. 

 

Enjin (ENJ) is a cryptocurrency for virtual goods. 

 

GameCredits (GAME) has a decentralized platform for developers to reach gamers, and also is trying to become the sole payment system for internet gaming. Imagine having an application on Google Play or Apple…then cut out the middle man Google and Apple…that is what is meant by a decentralized platform for developers.

 

There are a lot of eSports and gaming options above, so you have your work cut out for you in determining which are the right investments for you. Also, many of these are competing against each other, so in some cases, a company or coin can lose to another while the overall industry takes off.

I will link a few more links here of some pages I ran across while compiling this eSports and gaming article… this one touches on WAX, CHIMAERA (not the metal band), DreamTeam, First Blood, HunterCoin, Skrilla, and BitQuest. And here is a HUGE LIST of ESports and gaming coins. Also, Steve Bannon was recently pointed out as having in a stake in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and in that article it is mentioned how he was involved with the Gaming Industry before he was involved in President Trump’s candidacy. So this industry has been around, and is still growing.

Above are a few plays you can look at if you want to take advantage of the rise of eSports and gaming. Is there something you think needs to be listed here? Please sound off below. Thanks for spending your time here. I know our time is limited and I appreciate that you chose this page on which to spend it.

Travis

JMJ – UIOGD

Former chief strategist to President Trump, Stephen Bannon, is betting on Bitcoin. Much like Donald Trump threw a wrench into the status quo of politics, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can throw a wrench into how conventional banking and entire industries function.

In a New York Times article by Jeremy W. Peters and Nathaniel Popper, Bannon admits that he has a “good stake” in Bitcoin and has had private meetings with hedge fund managers, crypto investors, and those behind ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings).

bannon betting on bitcoinSome key words and quotes throughout the article would win some friends in the cryptocurrency realm…

Steve Bannon said “It’s disruptive populism…It takes control back from central authorities. It’s revolutionary.”

“It was pretty obvious to me that unless you got somehow control over your currency, all these political movements were going to be beholden to who controlled the currency,”

He acknowledged that central banks “debase your currency” and make citizens “slaves to debt.” And recycled the famous  “Control of the currency…is control of everything.”

Betting on Bitcoin is Betting on Free Speech

As the article mentions, many who identify as alt-right or nationalist have been restricted by PayPal and Apple Pay. Others have seen their sites smeared and their applications blocked from being listed on Google Play.

These groups have relied on Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies to get funding and donations.

One social media platform Gab.ai (of which I have invested a small amount), is even in the process of launching an SEC compliant ICO.

The article also mentions coins being created tied to national wealth, like a marble based coin by Italy. Bannon’s connection with Brock Pierce (who has a highly questionable past) who was also involved with EOS at a point, and their involvement in the rapidly growing world of gaming.

When speaking of those who are behind the cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects, the article ends with a quote, “These guys are visionaries.”

 

The entire market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies combined is still less than 300 billion! It is not too late to get in. You can follow some of my trades on Trading ViewYou can check out RealLifeTrading to learn how to trade cryptos yourself. You can follow this site for occasional info. Or you can follow others who are even more involved than I. Feel free to reach out for any questions…

Travis

JMJ – UIOGD

Stock Alert: STRL Is Positioned To Gain Big

August 30th, 2017 by Vigilo

Sterling Construction (STRL: NASDAQ) is positioned to gain big over the coming weeks.

Thanks to the National Inflation Association for shining light on STRL. They sent out the suggestion Monday August 28th, when the price was $10.25 per share. As of the close Tuesday August 29th, it was already up to $11.99 per share.

To give an example of the gains that are available, in a little over a day, options at the $12.50 price, expiring in December 2017 had already gained over 150% ! But what is fueling this stock?

Sterling Construction is an infrastructure company based just outside of Houston, TX.

But that’s not all. Even before Hurricane Harvey devastated the area, the company was highlighted to gain from national transportation projects. Now, add in all of the Houston area projects that they could bid on during the rebuild phase after Hurricane Harvey, and this company could hurdle it’s all time highs in value.

 

strl2

 

As you can see, there is some resistance in the $13 range…but if it can clear the $14 range, there is not much to hold it back.

Of note, in NIA’s suggestion, they had mentioned that it could reach $15-$20.

Con: On the flip side, Unicorn Bay has STRL’s book value listed at only $4.86.

Whether or not you decide to enter a position on STRL, consider donating some of your profits to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

-Travis

JMJ – IOGD