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04/21/22: Microsoft, CDW & McDonald’s play CECC; OWL swim co-streaming; EG nabs Predator


Medias First Morning Read
Thursday April 21, 2022

Good morning! It’s Thursday and this is your early morning Esports brief.
Microsoft and CDW are stepping up as the presenting partners of The Collegiate Esports Commissioner’s Cup, the largest collegiate esports festival running on May 7-8 out of Gateway Center Arena in Atlanta. In addition, CECC also announced that McDonald’s, Atlanta Falcons, Oakley and the U.S. Air Force are also on-board as new partners who join Barbasol, Neustreet, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, CTRL, Futures First Gaming, and HomeTown Ticketing in supporting the event. The Cup is produced by CSMG, ESPORTSU, and Skillshot Media. The esports tournament will feature 64 schools and 480 esports athletes from across the country competing in Overwatch (the Overwatch Collegiate Esports Commissioners Cup), Rocket League, Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, Valorant and NBA 2K.

“As esports within education continues to grow both in popularity and opportunity, we are excited to continue our support for the students and the esports ecosystem by serving as the presenting sponsor, along with Microsoft, of the 2022 Collegiate Esports Commissioner’s Cup. CDW’s dedicated esports team is passionate about designing, implementing, and supporting comprehensive esports programs regardless of where you might be in the process, but we are even more exhilarated by what students are able to learn and achieve through them,” said Joe Simone, Vice President, Education, CDW. “We look forward to seeing these incredible esports teams coming together to compete at this year’s event and celebrating the growing esports ecosystem.”

COMPETITION

With a new season around the corner, Overwatch League is opening the doors to community co-streaming with an eye to offer “a new way of engaging with the Overwatch League and allows creators to bring awesome match action to their communities.” The pilot program kicks off on Opening Weekend, starting with the full matchday on May 5 at 3p. All co-streamers must be of legal adult age in their country of residence with co-streaming taking place on YouTube. Co-streamers must also be willing to share select viewership data with the Overwatch League.

The Global Esports Federation lined up the first-ever South American Esports Championships in parallel with the 2022 South American Games, in Asunción, Paraguay on October 2-3. “We are making exciting headway as we continue to bring our global events portfolio to different continents of the world. The South American Esports Championships supports the Global Esports Federation’s mission and cements our commitment to fostering great collaborations across our #worldconnected community to elevate esports on the sport and entertainment world stage,” said Chris Chan, President of the GEF.

Blast is heading to Portugal for Blast Premier Spring Finals 2022 and running June 15-19, marking its first-ever Arena LAN event outside Denmark. Eight teams will play double elimination groups with the top 3 teams making it to the Playoffs. The playoffs will be a single-elimination bracket with the first seeds from both groups getting a direct berth into the playoffs.

The Mythic Dungeon International returns tomorrow on YouTube, running through May 22. Echoing last year’s format, 24 of the top teams from the Time Trials are sorted into three groups of eight, and the top two teams from each group will advance to the MDI Global Finals later this year. At the desk for all weekends will be Dratnos, naguura, Tettles and Xyronic. :

ONE Esports secured a partnership with Riot Games, and has been appointed Official Media Partner for the League of Legends: Wild Rift Champions SEA. This partnership between ONE Esports and Riot Games will involve multiple initiatives to promote fandom for the WCS Finals taking place from April 23-May 8. The WCS spans across competitive leagues in Asia Pacific, namely Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. The four winning teams of the pan-regional WCS Finals will represent Asia Pacific in the Wild Rift Icons Global Championship taking place in Europe this summer. As part of the partnership, ONE Esports will produce a Wild Rift esports video series titled WCS x ONE Presents: Rift Week! which comprises a five-part episode about WCS

The Professional Fighters League is teaming up with gaming platform Rival that will see Rival launch the PFL’s dedicated gaming community enabling PFL fans to participate, compete and engage in competitions of popular gaming titles. Rival’s enterprise solution will provide the PFL and its fans with the ability to host competitive tournaments in their community along with future esports initiatives. The agreement with PFL marks Rival’s first partnership within the combat sports space. The winner of the first tournament hosted on the Rival gaming platform will receive a private match hosted by 2021 PFL Light Heavyweight Champion Antonio Carlos Jr. “We are thrilled to welcome PFL and their passionate fanbase to the Rival platform,” said Rival CMO Dan Parise. “With the launch of their new gaming community, PFL continues the trend of creativity and innovation when it comes to engaging fans and creating opportunities for corporate partners.”

The Pokémon Company announced the stream schedule for this weekend’s Pokémon Europe International Championships with The Sword and Shield Video Game Championship, the trading card game, Pokémon GO and Pokkén Tournament DX each getting their own individual Twitch streams starting Friday. After more than two years of online competition, this event will mark the first in-person Pokémon International Championships since the Oceania International Championships in February of 2020.

Ubisoft revealed that its next Six Major will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina from May 16-22 where the top 16 teams across Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America will compete for the title, prize money, and points in the Global Standings in the race towards the Six Invitational 2023. The vent will be open to the public.

Roland-Garros eSeries by BNP Paribas, the biggest and most inclusive eTennis competition in the world, unlocked details for the fifth edition of its annual esports tournament. This year marks the switch to a mobile esports format, partnering with mobile tennis game, Tennis Clash, from Wildlife Studios. The event will see eight finalists progress from four separate qualifying events, to compete in a Grand Final at Roland-Garros itself on May 21 to be crowned the eTennis world champion.

Paidia – a women-led inclusive gaming company focused on empowering gamers to safely connect, learn and play – will kick-off a brand-new women’s Halo Infinite 2v2 League, titled The Paidia Circuit, on April 25. The slate will kick-off on Monday and run over six months, with three seperate splits leading into a Top 8 Championship. Each split will start with best-of-three pool play and finish with a best-of-five double elimination. The Paidia Circuit continues Paidia’s competitive gaming hostings including the “missharvey Invitational” and December 2021’s successful 2v2 Halo Infinite tournament.

STREAMHATCHET
Since the Russian invasion, regular life in Ukraine has been disrupted, people have been displaced from their homes, and thousands of lives have been lost. For one Twitch streamer, that story is no different.
Bobuubi, a Ukrainian live streamer, has been playing Escape from Tarkov on Twitch since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, about 2 years ago. He also started Tarkov Academy, an Escape from Tarkov training school where gamers can learn how to improve their gameplay directly from Bobuubi.
On February 24th, Bobuubi had to pause his live streams due to the Russian invasion. A clip of him signing off from that stream went viral with over 250,000 views, bringing attention to the war in the live streaming community. In an “On the Media” podcast episode from WNYC Studios featuring Bobuui, Bobbuui recalls that moment. He spent over a week afterwards trying to flee the country with his family. He said they were able to get to a small village near the Polish border, but after seeing the need for food and supplies there, he made the decision to stay and help his fellow Ukrainians.
To read more, visit Stream Hatchet’s blog.

SPONSORSHIP & ACTIVATION

Evil Geniuses named Acer’s Predator brand as an official partner and its official provider of desktop and laptop solutions for the team. As Acer’s partner, Evil Geniuses will have access to the company’s Predator gaming and feature the Predator logo on Evil Geniuses jerseys, along with collaborations between Predator and EG players for feedback on upcoming products and in the promotion of future Predator PCs and laptops. “Representation is so important in gaming and esports, and Acer is a company that shares our values in ensuring that everything we do truly represents our community,” said Leo Edwards, Vice President and Head of Global Partnerships at Evil Geniuses. “We’re extremely excited to call Acer our newest partner with its Predator gaming brand and look forward to our teams collaborating on new content and creating a more inclusive esports and gaming community.”

AT&T is expanding the Annihilator Cup this year, featuring 20 influencers and streamers competing across five titles this year for $350,000 in prize money. The event is AT&T’s first fully owned gaming tournament. “We chose the game titles by taking a look at some of the most popular genres and content across the gaming ecosystem, as well as the specialties of the talent we were looking to invite to participate,” said AT&T Director of Sponsorships for Esports Mario Artesiano. “Our goal has always been to create a players-first tournament that touches some of the critical pillars of gaming that fit our tournament format. We also want to keep our competitors and fans on their toes — this is a tournament meant to test everyone’s ability to play across many different kinds of titles, not just one genre.” OS Studios is producing and running the broadcasts, which take place on Fridays on AT&T’s Twitch channel.

HyperX extended its sponsorship and relationship with New Meta Entertainment, the gaming and entertainment organization that includes Dignitas and new women in gaming media platform Raidiant. HyperX is also becoming the official peripheral partner of Raidiant, with focus on desktop microphones, supporting Raidiant’s content creator activations. HyperX also signed Dignitas pro player Emmalee Garrido, known as “EMUHLEET”, as the latest HyperX Hero and content series, “HyperX Voice Comms,” will resume production for 2022.

Ahead of the fifth installment of the Battle for Texas in San Antonio between the Houston Outlaws and Dallas Fuel to kick off the fifth season of the Overwatch League, Beasley Esports and Belong Gaming Arenas are partnering so fans can play the Overwatch 2 PvP beta during the event. Belong, an international network of experiential gaming centers with a growing footprint in Texas, joins Beasley’s other partners Respawn Entertainment, H-E-B and Wingstop.

THAT BIG TV CONFERENCE

Save the date: Sept 29-30th

Calling all senior executives interested in discussing how to navigate the constant fluctuations in consumer behavior. Who should attend? Networks, agencies, brands, tech and research companies.

FIND OUT MORE

PLATFORMS

Esports Charts laid out the first results of 2022 on Twitch, breaking out the platform’s most popular female streamers during the first quarter of the year. Taking the crown was ironmouse, who drew 10.76 million hours watched during the period, topping Amouranth, who drew 8.05 million. Rounding out the top five were fuslie with 5.06 million, pokimane at 5.01 million and Shylily, clocking 4.22 million so far.

Psyonic announced that NASCAR is returning to Rocket League with the 2022 NASCAR Fan Pass available today on all platforms. The 2022 NASCAR Fan Pass will feature new NASCAR-themed content throughout the year with the first content drop featuring three Cars (NASCAR Next Gen Ford Mustang, NASCAR Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro, and NASCAR Next Gen Toyota Camry), nine NASCAR team Decals and Player Banners, and Next Gen Goodyear Racing Wheels.

Esports Technologies announced a software license and service agreement between subsidiary Esports Marketing Technologies and Incentive Games, a developer of premium free-to-play games for casino, sports betting, and fantasy sports operators. Incentive will now build customized free-to-play games for Esports Technologies brands. The first free-to-play game will be created using Counter Strike: Global Offensive wagering markets, with plans to expand to Dota 2, League of Legends, and Valorant.

TEAMS

Complexity Gaming signed LA Galaxy player Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez to Complexity Stars, which serves as a gaming division for celebrities and professional athletes launched by Complexity Gaming in 2021 and includes including two-time NBA champion J.R. Smith, NFL running back Leonard Fournette, and five-time UFC champion Max Holloway. “Complexity Stars has given athletes a platform to connect with fans in new ways,” Duane “Zeno” Jackson, Head of Complexity Stars said. “And now Chicharito will be able to leverage the program to captivate the next generation of fans where they’re consuming content.”

Oxygen Esports wrapped up a Series A financing round led by PGA Tour golfer Jon Rahm. Rahm joins investors that include the Kraft Family, Danny Ainge and Rob Gronkowski, as well as Banner Ventures, Part of the investment will go toward housing its roster of esports teams in the Boston area while also investing in an amateur eco-system and talent pipeline across New England.

INDUSTRY

Esports stadium company Glytch landed a strategic partnership with Legends to serve as the exclusive operator for its forthcoming professional esports stadiums with location-based entertainment in major cities across America and Canada. Glytch is looking to open four locations by the end of 2024, and an additional four locations each year thereafter until reaching an initial target of 32 locations with the first location, already under construction, in Los Angeles, and additional locations under development in Atlanta, Bellevue, and Chicago. Glytch Stadiums are designed to serve as large-scale, 90,000 to 120,000 square feet venues, which “combine a high-tech performance venue (the stadium) with location-based entertainment and live broadcasting.”

DreamHack and A-Kon, North America’s longest-running anime and Japanese Pop Culture Convention, are teaming up as both take place in Dallas June 3-5, 2022. DreamHack Dallas will take place at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center; while A-Kon will take place at the Irving Convention Center. To bring both experiences to fans, the two events have joined together to offer a bundle pass. Spanning more than a million square feet of combined gaming, pop culture, anime, concerts and more.

ROSTER MOVES

John Reseburg is stepping into the new role of VP of Global Communications for EA SPORTS and Racing, driving a 360 communications strategy for one of the highest-profile and highest-growth areas of Electronic Arts. Reseburg has been with EA since 2011, most recently overseeing global communications.

READYUP WHAT TO WATCH

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