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05/19/22: 100 Thieves’ new play; MSI Rumble sked; ESL & Lenovo partner up


Medias First Morning Read
Thursday May 19, 2022

Good morning! It’s Thursday and this is your early morning Esports brief.
100 Thieves revealed its newest endeavor, developing its own video game, known at the moment as Project X. Company CEO Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag and 100T President & COO John Robinson announced the new vertical, citing a list of shooting games that included franchises such as halo, Gears of War and Call of Duty as inspiration for their own IP, and will be tapping Chief Product Officer Pete Hawley to oversee the initiative. In addition, 100 Thieves will be incorporating input from streamers, pro players, and community members as the game is developed.

“What we think makes this project unique is we’re going to develop it the 100 Thieves way,” Robinson noted with the announcement. “We hope to make a great game by taking a radically different approach: with our content creators and esports pros as key contributors, and by building in public with our community.”

COMPETITION

Riot released its schedule for the MSI 2022 Rumble Stage, which opens on Friday with a matchup of LCK’s T1 against LEC’s G2 Esports with both entering the round undefeated from the group stage. The Rumble Stage will continue before wrapping up on Tuesday with T1 vs Royal Never Give Up. At the end of the Rumble, the top four teams progress to the semi-finals.

The Global Esports Tour is returning for its second season beginning with Dubai from June 9-11 as part of Dubai’s EMG 2022 Esports Festival, organized by the Esports Management Group. The GET is made up of a slate of competitions staged across key global cities throughout the year. The first of this year’s GET series will be played on CS:GO. The GEF has established a total prize pool of $1 million+ this season. “With more than 500 million fans for our inaugural Global Esports Games in Singapore in December, the second season of the Global Esports Tour 2022 is set to be epic as players, athletes and fans return to live events around the world. We are hyper-focused on presenting powerful opportunities on the best stages in the world as the GET 2022 is locked in for our #worldconnected community to meet, play, compete and connect live in person,” said Paul J. Foster, CEO of the GEF.

Dr DisRespect revealed plans to host a new Fortnite Zero Build tournament that will run on May 27 and will feature a $100,000 prize pool. The Hot Shot Duo Drop is will launch at 4p.

Riot Games named Copenhagen and Istanbul as hosts of VALORANT’s remaining international events within the 2022 VALORANT Champions Tour. The second Masters event of the season will run in Copenhagen in July 2022 while the final international event will take place in Istanbul in September. “Our goal is to see our biggest international events played in front of a live audience and both of these cities provided clear pathways towards this goal, while also providing the best possible guarantee that all qualified teams will be able to safely attend and compete,” the publisher said in the announcement.

MultiVersus developer Player First Games revealed a 2v2 tournament that will take place at EVO 2022. The top 32 teams will compete for $100k with the annual fighting game fest slated to run Aug. 5-7 out of Las Vegas. The game dropped a trailer earlier this week that featured characters ranging from Batman and Superman to Shaggy and Bugs Bunny to Game of Thrones’ Arya Stark and the Iron Giant.

Generation Esports announced the acquisition of the Military Gaming League, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to providing esports competitions for service members and veterans. MGL kicks off its biggest event this summer with Season Zero featuring Valorant, Call of Duty: Cold War, Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, and Rocket League. Competition begins Memorial Day weekend on May 27 and will follow a five-week format that culminates in a playoff and championship July 1-3.

ESL Gaming shared the full roster of teams set to compete in the ESL Impact Season 1 Global Finals. Taking place at DreamHack Dallas, June 3-5, the competition marks the first global finals of the new women’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive circuit, ESL Impact. The eight teams competing for the $150,000 prize pool are: Counter Logic Gaming Red, Please Send Help, FURIA Esports Female, Black Dragons Female, Nigma Galaxy Female, equipa, Quality Kermits and Mindfreak.

Full Sail University is teaming with the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games to produce the first ever 2022 Special Olympics USA Games Unified Esports Invitational on June 7. Running at the university’s esports arena the event will air live on ESPN3, in addition to streaming via the Special Olympics Twitch channel, and Full Sail Armada’s Twitch.

STREAMHATCHET
This week, Stream Hatchet is taking a look at fan engagement with sportswear brands in Twitch chat. We’re looking specifically at English language channels for the month of April 2022.
· Nike took the top spot with 25k mentions in Twitch chat last month. No sponsored streams were recorded from Nike last month, which means all of their mentions were organically created.
· Some of the highest viewed chat messages were sent during a Just Chatting segment on xQcOW’s channel on April 18th. He said he wanted to buy comfortable sweatpants and his chat immediately started giving recommendations, many of which were Nike. During that stream, 56 chat messages mentioned the brand Nike, while 31 mentioned another sportswear brand, LuLuLemon.
· The second most mentioned sportswear brand in April was Adidas, with 16k mentions. Puma came in third place with just under 10k chat mentions. Reebok and The North Face had considerably less, with 936 and 833 chat mentions, respectively.
Read more on Stream Hatchet’s blog.

SPONSORSHIP & ACTIVATION

Capcom’s Mega Man is celebrating 35 years by partnering with G FUEL for its new flavor, Blue Bomber Slushee. Blue Bomber Slushee is the fourth flavor that G FUEL developed in partnership with Capcom. The first three co-developed flavors are Resident Evil 3 Nemesis Tea, Monster Hunter Rise-inspired Mega Potion, and Resident Evil Village-themed Maiden’s Blood.

ESL Gaming and global technology brand, Lenovo sealed an exclusive PC partnership for ESL’s Intel Extreme Masters properties. Starting with IEM Dallas in June, Lenovo Legion will become the official Original Equipment Manufacturer Partner covering multiple IEM tournaments through IEM Katowice 2023. “Lenovo Legion is a gaming brand with roots in esports, teaming up with one of the world’s pre-eminent esports tournament brands speaks to our commitment to our gaming community,” said Emily Ketchen, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Intelligent Devices Group at Lenovo. “We’re proud to be joining the fans and followers of Intel Extreme Masters this year in supporting the top players and teams around the world as they reach new heights alongside Lenovo Legion’s high-performance devices powered by Intel throughout the upcoming season.”

Red Bull unlocked the 2022 Age of Empires esports tournament, titled Red Bull Wololo: Legacy. AMD, Backforce, and AGON by AOC signed on as partners for the event, which will be played across three games, with each title sporting a grand final running Oct. 21-30 in Germany.

HyperX announced the release of a custom Tim “TimTheTatMan” Betar HyperX peripherals collection. The products feature the HyperX Cloud Alpha gaming headset, HyperX Elite 2 gaming keyboard, HyperX Pulsefire Haste gaming mouse, and HyperX Pulsefire Mat gaming mouse pad, all sporting a custom TimTheTatMan design with the “triple T” logo. “TimTheTatMan is an engaging and entertaining personality representing a core segment of the gaming and streaming industry,” said Khoi Nguyen, influencer marketing, HyperX. “The HyperX team is thrilled to be working with TimTheTatMan on this limited-edition suite of peripherals to provide the Tatman army with a collection of gaming products designed to tackle daily in-game and on-stream needs.”

Meanwhile, HyperX also renewed its partnership with Team Liquid and will remain its official peripheral partner. In addition, Team Liquid’s Juan ‘Hungrybox’ DeBeidma has been named as a HyperX global ambassador. As part of the deal, HyperX will bolster Team Liquid’s tournaments, community initiatives and content.

Version1 announced the addition of Undeniably Dairy as the Official Nutrition Partner of Version1 Rocket League. The partnership with Version1 is the first time Undeniably Dairy has organized an esports marketing effort in the Midwest.

Beyond the Summit revealed plans to team with Papa Johns to run a year-long campaign in the Super Smash Bros. community. Together with Papa Johns, BTS crafted a year-round campaign designed to connect the brand with the Super Smash Bros. community on a deeper level with activations that include building a pathway to pro for amateur Smash players, creating an in-depth episodic content series focused on local Smash communities, designing and running a full social media campaign, and more.

Esports Scotland appointed Strive Sponsorship to develop its commercial approach across its range of properties ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and beyond. Strive Sponsorship, the sport and entertainment consultancy, is updating Esports Scotland’s commercial partnership proposition and strategy, upskilling staff’s sponsorship skills and helping the organization “better understand the value of all its leagues, tournaments, venue, and teams.”

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PLATFORMS

Riot Games is going deeper with Statespace, the developer of aim training platform Aim Lab. As a part of the expansion, Riot Games will now become a minority shareholder in Statespace while Aim Lab will become the official training platform for VALORANT. Aim Lab will now leverage Riot’s Intellectual Property to integrate in-game physics, maps, and weapons into the training software.

Esports community aggregator Harena Data is adding outlets for Go PiXLS, its esports entertainment and gaming network, on Android devices and Amazon Fire TV. Go PiXLS was previously only available on Roku TV and remains free to consumers on various over-the-top (OTT) platforms with advertising and commercials in between programming. “We’re making our esports and entertainment content more obtainable to enthusiasts and casual audiences across the country by expanding our service offer,” said Bill Dever, Chief Strategy Officer of Harena Data. “The push for more platforms is what the industry needs to make esports mainstream and a household name in America. We’re helping it get there.”

Sizzle.gg, an AI-driven platform that creates automatic and personalized highlights, raised $5 million in a seed funding round led by White Star Capital along with Progression Fund, Eterna Capital, Play Ventures, Mindset Ventures, Xoogler Ventures and others also taking part. The news comes as the company emerges from its initial beta phase. “There are so many valuable applications for what we’re delivering to leagues, teams and streamers – we’re just scratching the surface of what’s to come,” said Vijay Koduri, co-founder and CEO of Sizzle.gg. “With this recent round of funding, we’ll be able to expand further and offer even more to creators and leagues, helping them continue to grow and reach their audiences in new and unique ways.”

Full Squad Gaming, one of the fastest-growing digital media brands in gaming, revealed plans to tour the country with host and co-owner Jake Lucky to celebrate the culture of gaming. A 31-foot RV has been converted into the FSG Gaming Bus, and will drive across the country to interview streamers, explore esports facilities, meet icons, and more. Stops begin on May 16 in LA and will continue through Las Vegas, Austin, Dallas, Atlanta, Orlando and Miami.

TEAMS & INDUSTRY

Dignitas announced the addition of Tyla “Tyla” Decker and Amber “AlarmingAmber” Pettinato as Content Creators. “Tyla and AlarmingAmber are two of the most compelling creators on the scene and are the perfect additions to the Dignitas roster,” said Michael Prindiville, CEO of New Meta Entertainment. “Their signings further demonstrates a commitment to producing the most engaging content for our fans, opening up new opportunities for brands and partners to align with the most dynamic creators in the industry.”

The Saudi Arabian government’s Public Investment Fund reportedly picked up a 5% stake in Nintendo. Bloomberg writes that the purchase was for investment purposes and PIF the company’s fifth-largest shareholder

ROSTER MOVES

CAA Sports signed global esports and gaming organization T1 Entertainment & Sports as well as its star athlete ‘Faker’ (Lee Sang-hyeok), for exclusive sponsorship and endorsement representation. “CAA Sports has a long history of supporting and growing the careers of iconic athletes and brands. As T1 continues to break records and dominate across the industry as a global leader in esports, we are looking forward to joining forces with the greatest sales organization in the world,” said Joe Marsh, CEO, T1 Entertainment & Sports. “We look forward to continuing building upon our blue chip roster of partners and building a long-lasting partnership with CAA Sports.”

Meanwhile, Kris “FaZe Swagg” Lamberson, one of FaZe Clan’s leading content creators, signed with Klutch Sports Group and UTA. This mark’s Klutch Sports Group’s first foray into gaming, as FaZe Swagg is the first gamer ever to be represented by the agency. “FaZe Swagg is a leading esports athlete and content creator who is a trailblazer in the gaming industry,” said Klutch Sports Group Founder and CEO Rich Paul. “We are thrilled to be representing him with UTA.” FaZe Swagg will continue to be managed by FaZe Clan’s in-house management team led by Darren Yan and Vera Salamone.

Game Gym, a youth esports camps and programming provider, announced Anthony “Logic” Moorman, a Super Smash Brothers staple, will join the Game Gym team as a coach, mentor, and content creator. “Game Gym is incredibly excited to have Logic join our crew. I’ve watched him on Twitch for years and he is a fantastic commentator, a strong competitor, and I love the way he thinks about the game,” Game Gym CEO, Josh Hafkin said. “I am excited to start this new push towards original content and having Logic with us for the launch of Game Gym Online is massive for our new platform.”

READYUP WHAT TO WATCH

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Let’s go through the decades with some classic games. What game is pictured below, developed by Tomohiro Nishikado in 1978? (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Since we seem to be on a space opera roll these past two weeks… what was the name of Michael Rooker’s character in the Guardian of the Galaxy movies? Answer: Yondu. Kudos: Barbara Capella Loehr-Equal Opportunity Publications/NY; Henry Calloway-Wendy’s/NY; Glen Ross/Blacksburg; Ritch Williams-Disney/Orlando; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Jason Morrow-Toyota/Houston; Ivy Mitchell/San Antonio; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Steve Chags/LA; Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

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