Hi-Rez Studios announced on Monday that it’s starting an esports tournament operator and production company called Skillshot Media. The Georgia-based subsidiary will manage multiple leagues for Hi-Rez titles “Smite” and “Paladins,” along with games from other publishers.
Hi-Rez co-founder and COO Todd Harris is acting as Skillshot Media’s president, while Nabil Ismail is vice president of operations.
We're excited to announce the launch of @SkillshotMedia, a new subsidiary of our studio focused solely on esports. With a dedicated team and cutting-edge production studio, Skillshot will take community-driven esports to the next level!
— Hi-Rez Studios (@HiRezStudios) May 7, 2018
Skillshot’s newly opened production studio is 16,000 square feet and features a custom show stage and soundproof player booths for live events, according to its website. “With our experienced staff and a studio space tailored to competitive gaming, we’re hoping to take community-driven esports to the next level, expand opportunities for our current leagues, and explore partnerships with new games and developers that are looking to create their own esports leagues,” Hi-Rez said.
While no outside clients are confirmed at this time, Harris recently told The Esports Observer that additional productions could be announced “as soon as Q1 2019.”
“We started live-streaming games from a bedroom, then a tiny office, and now a dedicated production studio,” Harris said. “But our goal has always been to foster community through esports and video content. By organizing ourselves as a separate entity focused only on esports and content, we’re excited to bring even more dedicated esports attention to ‘Smite’ and ‘Paladins,’ and to also explore partnerships with new games and additional game publishers and developers.”
Hi-Rez’s free-to-play hero shooter “Paladins” left early access on May 8 after a year and a half in development. It’s getting a battle royale mode called “Battlegrounds.” Like “PUBG” and “Fortnite,” it will drop 100 players onto a large map to duke it out until the last person is standing. It comes out later this year.