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06/11/20: Riot’s sponsor haul; MAC’s new objective; Esports Upfront today!



Medias First Morning Read

Thursday June 11, 2020

Good morning! This is your weekly Esports Brief.
Riot landed two more key sponsors with the LCS landing Samsung as its newest partner that will see a new segment this summer in the Samsung SSD Fast Five. Each week of competition has Samsung tracking how quickly LCS players reached key benchmarks, in each position – 100 CS (for Top), Level 6 (for Jungle), Tier 3 item (for Mid), 10K gold (for Bot) and support item transformation (for Support). At the end of Summer Playoffs, Samsung and the LCS will anoint the Fast Five team of the fastest players in each position.

“A high-performance SSD is one of the most important components in a gaming system, allowing for incredibly fast data transfer speeds and better performance,” said Grace Dolan, VP of Integrated Marketing, Home Entertainment, Samsung. “Samsung is proud to be the SSD of choice for gamers and we’re excited to partner with the LCS, which is home to some of the top esports players in North America. No one values speed and efficiency as much as Samsung and players in the LCS, and we can’t wait to see who is crowned the Fast Five at the end of the Summer Split.”

Across the Atlantic, the LEC landed KitKat as a Main Partner, where the candy brand will “continue to sweeten up the breaks and pauses and will now also be featured on the recently announced banners in Summoner’s Rift Arena.” In addition, Riot will pair the chocolate treat with the on-air talent of the LEC.

COMPETITION
The collegiate Mid-American Conference is launching its own esports entity, with a dozen schools set to take part in the stand-alone esports conference, titled the Esports Collegiate Conference. The org will look to provide structure, scheduling and championship opportunities for its membership, with competition beginning with the 2020-21 academic year. The ESC is an independent entity and will operate separately from the Mid-American Conference. Esports Collegiate’s 12 founding members are: University of Akron, Ball State University, Bowling Green State University, University at Buffalo, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Kent State University, Miami University, Northern Illinois University, Ohio University, University of Toledo and Western Michigan University. “The creation of Esports Collegiate represents the foresight of our presidents to establish a stand-alone competitive framework for collegiate esports competitors and enthusiasts,” states Mid-American Conference Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher. “I look forward to this organization maturing and growing, facilitating excellent competitive opportunities, fostering teamwork, and providing even more reasons to attend an Esports Collegiate member institution.”

The Overwatch League opened the doors to its Summer Showdown, its next tournament that will span the next four weeks of its season. Beginning June 13 and running through the last three weeks of June, all 20 teams will play qualifier matches (three per team in North America and four in Asia). Team records, map scores, and standard tiebreakers in those qualifier matches will determine team seeding in two regional tournaments in North America (July 3-5) and Asia (July 4-5). Both tournaments have a combined US $275,000 prize pool.

Blizzard also announced that for the first time in WoW Classic, World of Warcraft Esports presents the Summer Bowl. The WoW Classic Summer Bowl serves as a 10v10 Warsong Gulch tournament that starts June 17 and will span three weekends as teams in North America and Europe compete.

PUBG revealed further details about the next phase of PUBG Esports and announced that the PCS 1 Grand Finals will run June 25-July 5. The Grand Finals will see 16 teams battle it out across four days of competition over the course of two weeks. Each day will feature five matches across Erangel and Miramar as the teams battle it out for their share of each regional event’s $200,000 prize pool. Exclusive items will be sold in game, with 25% of the profits from the items distributed back to pro teams across the four global regions (North America, Europe, APAC, Asia).

The World Showdown of Esports lined up competition for its online Hearthstone Montreal Masters qualifier. The event begins June 20 with a top-8 showdown on June 27, which will be hosted by Jon “Falloutt” Kefaloukos alongside commentators Dan “Frodan” Chou and Nathan “Admirable” Zamora. The stream will also include two showmatches between notable Hearthstone pros, including Jon “Orange” Westberg competing against Chris “Feno” Tsako and Darroch “Darroch” Brown taking on current WSOE: Hearthstone Champion Jacinta “Jia” Dee.

Don’t forget today’s Esports Upfronts! Hear from Twitch, Riot, ESL, TSM, Cloud9, Battlefy, WorldGaming/CSL, Houston Outlaws, and more about upcoming partnership opportunities in the industry. See you there.

Gfinity inked a five-year deal with Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management, which operates Formula 1’s annual Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, to design, develop and deliver a new virtual motorsport esports racing championship, aka ERC. The ERC will be jointly owned by Gfinity and ADMM, and will reportedly feature two seasons in each calendar year, with the first season taking place in 2020.

FANAI INSIGHTS
Have you ever wondered what games and how many games Twitch viewers watch? Perhaps you’ve wondered what games have the highest crossover with each other. If so, check out what the overlap between Valorant, CS:GO, and R6 viewership is at the graph above. For more data insights, visit us at FanAI.io.

CYNOPSIS WEBINAR’S PRESENTS:
How AVODs Can Get a Competitive Edge
6/24 | 1PM – 1:45PM ET
AVODs are surging in 2020, with more consumers viewing ad-supported video and billion-dollar growth projected for providers. In past months, AVODs have seen accelerated subscriber growth, as viewers look for more ways to save money on entertainment. Meanwhile, time spent streaming video has doubled from where it was a year ago, according to Nielsen. Learn from the experts about threats and opportunities in today’s AVOD world.

Sponsored by Penthera

ACTIVATION
Esports organization Evil Geniuses inked a new sponsorship deal with LG in a deal that designated the LG UltraGear monitor as the official gaming monitor of the team. Monitors will be installed at both the EG training facilities in Seattle and Los Angeles and will be featured in EG’s digital content, while team players will take part in LG UltraGear streams. Specific details of these streams are expected to come soon. The LG logo is also being incorporated into the new look Evil Geniuses jerseys that were released as part of the recent rebrand.

Dignitas landed a deal with Susquehanna International Group to serve as an Official Team Sponsor. The proprietary trading firm becomes the Exclusive Team Partner in the Global Quantitative Trading Firm and Trading Technology sponsorship category with the multi-year agreement designed to provide SIG with unique exposure to esports through Dignitas’ teams. As part of the deal, SIG will become the presenting sponsor for a variety of digital and physical activations, including Dignitas’ new social media content series “Predict the Draft presented by SIG”. To support SIG’s gaming culture, Dignitas will create unique experiences for employees to engage with Dignitas’ esports athletes. Dignitas will work with SIG to host interactive gaming experiences for SIG employees such as meet and greets and opportunities to play against Dignitas pros.

BLAST unlocked a partnership with KitKat that will see the Nestlé chocolate brand sponsor BLAST Bounty Hunt – the company’s online Dota 2 tournament. The deal provides the brand with a slate of activation opportunities during the tournament which takes place this week. The deal also includes sponsorship of in-broadcast feature ‘Captain’s Kick Back’, which will see team captains talk about their life in and outside of esports. Gaming peripherals manufacturer SteelSeries also recently sponsored BLAST Bounty Hunt.

High-end audio solutions and technology brand EPOS inked an accord with Riot Games to serve as the Official Audio Partner of the Oceanic Pro League. “The continued growth of the OPL in Split 1 was fantastic to see and we are thrilled to bring EPOS on board as an Official Partner to support and enhance the OPL,” said Daniel Ringland, Head of Riot Games in Oceania. “As a business we want to work with leaders in their field and when it comes to Audio, EPOS have incredible technology and products that will deliver an exceptional audio performance to the league.”

Secretlab announced they will be joining the LEC as their official chair partner. LEC Edition, which will reflect our branding and highlight the distinct identity of the LEC. The Secretlab LEC Edition comes with all the upgrades of the Secretlab 2020 Series and is engineered for all-day comfort and lasting support. Fans can upgrade their seating experience with the same chair trusted by many of their favorite LEC teams.

STREAM HATCHET TRENDS
With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the disappearance of live sports, audiences have turned to video game streaming for entertainment. While overall streaming numbers have improved at a rate of around 30% YoY, how has esports viewership been impacted? This week, Stream Hatchet investigates year over year growth of the esports market segment.
· YouTube grows esports audiences: In addition to seizing 11 points of esports market share, YouTube live hours watched has increased by 50%.
· Twitch remains market leader of esports content: Despite losing 13 points of market share, Twitch esports viewership still accounts for more than half of the esports market segment.
For more trends, analytics, and trusted esports reporting, visit us online at: StreamHatchet.com.

PLATFORMS
More news from Riot. When fans tune into LCS broadcasts today, the will see that the league has updated its HUD in order to make it easier for viewers to track key information, emphasizes team branding, and offer a cleaner look. The update will serve up an improved overall readability and digestion of information for all stages of a game as well as “implement a streamlined visual style that the LCS could own as a modern sport.”

Meanwhile, LEC partnered with LVP to launch LEC SuperFantasy, where fans will be able to craft their ultimate dream teams, pocket points, and move up the leaderboards. Fans can track their progress in the LEC SuperFantasy Ladder by checking the LEC SuperFantasy’s official lobby under the ‘General’ tab.

Finally, Riot detailed plans to offer in-game rewards to fans who tune in to live League matches via watch.lolesports.com. The new “Drop” initiative begins in the third week of the 2020 LCS and LEC Summer Split for fans from all regions. Watching competition during key moments will earn fans digital goods that include skin shards, chromas, prestige points, and Clash tickets.

ESPN and Discovery’s Eurosport picked up the first-ever virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans race with ESPN showcasing the event in the US while Eurosport carries it in Europe and Asia-Pacific with the race running June 13-14. Stateside, ESPN carries 12 hours of the race on its ESPN2 linear channel, with the entire race will be available on the ESPN app and on ESPN.com.

Speaking of racing, World’s Fastest Gamer brought together 10 of the world’s fastest esports racers last year to compete for the chance to earn a real-world race drive worth more than $1 million thanks to Engine Media. The experience has now been turned into six 30-minute episodes will debut this Saturday at 5p on ESPN2 and will also be available via the ESPN app. “The concept of World’s Fastest Gamer brings together the best of the best, regardless of what game or gaming platform they compete on – PC, console or even mobile games,” Torque Esports President and CEO and World’s Fastest Gamer creator, Darren Cox said.

BoomTV raised $10 million for its livestreaming platform in a Series A that was led by BITKRAFT Esports. The funding will be used to boost the company’s tech and its marketing and development budgets, as well as expand the company’s professional-amateur esports tournament series. Boom.tv CEO Sumit Gupta also stated that the company is also exploring the option of launching celebrity-led tournament franchises, according to reports.

TEAMS
Invisible Narratives and FaZe Clan unveiled their partnership and plans to launch The FaZe Clan Universe, which will begin with a feature-length film set to arrive later this year. Additionally, Invisible Narratives and FaZe Clan partnered with Epic Records to integrate culturally influential artists and their music into the first film, which will include the release of a new soundtrack. The flagship film is set to debut at a drive-in movie premiere event in Los Angeles this September. “When Adam first introduced his unique idea for bridging the gap between YouTube content creators and filmmakers, I knew he was onto something big,” said Lee Trink, CEO, FaZe Clan. “Historically, Hollywood has taken an expedient approach to leveraging creators and their huge audiences. Invisible Narratives’ immense respect and keen understanding of that relationship sets the new standard for filmmakers bringing their formats to this massive and rabid audience.”

MMA staple Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson signed on to join Method Gaming as a Content Creator and will be streaming on Twitch while creating content and building his community, making charity campaigns and custom activations, and attending gaming events around the world representing Method. “I am super excited to be a part of Method – the best in the World in World of Warcraft – the most achieved raid guild of all-time,” said Johnson. “I look forward to creating content under the stream team banner and continuing to share my passion for Azeroth with all of the fans out there. Alliance you stink.”

Cloud9 is tapping Guinevere Capital for a strategic partnership designed to beef up the operational capacity of OWL squad the London Spitfire across the United Kingdom and Europe. Guinevere received logistical control of the commercial and marketing aspects of the organization as well as facilitating expected live home stand events in 2021, according to an announcement. The company will also create regular weekly content for fans.

READY UP

LIFESTYLE
Gen.G entered into a new partnership with apparel company PUMA designed to “bring new merch, collaborations, and experiences” to the organization’s fans. The multi-year partnership will outfit Korea based Gen.G Esports pro teams and streamers exclusively with Puma-made performance based uniforms and related player apparel. These will be available for public purchase targeting Gen.G fans, esports fans and general consumers in-market. Gen.G and Puma will co-design & develop new apparel and capsule collections throughout the partnership. The League of Legends (LCK) team will first showcase the Puma branded jersey starting this Summer Split, followed by other Korea based teams and streamers.

INDUSTRY

The Summer Game Fest will now include live programming coming from a partnership between YouTube Gaming and executive producer Geoff Keighley, lining up a slate of streams to debut new gaming content over the next few months Confirmed participants include JackSepticEye, Ali-A, Valkyrae, Egoraptor, LaurenzSide, and Kyle Bosman. “For the past six years, YouTube has worked with Geoff to bring some of the biggest gaming industry events to a broader audience using the power of our platform,” said Ryan Wyatt, head of gaming at YouTube. “While physical events this year transition to digital, it’s comforting to know that we still have Geoff to guide us through the biggest industry announcements and we’re excited to add our unique YouTube flavor via creators from around the world.”

CALLING ALL DIGITAL INNOVATORS: THE SEARCH IS ON!

The 8th Annual Cynopsis Model D Awards + Digital “IT LIST”

An annual must for all digital innovators in the media space, the Cynopsis Digital Awards have been honoring the best in online video content, advertising, talent and digital media’s movers and shakers for 8 years running. We’re looking for executives at every level who excel in digital content, marketing, advertising and social media to join the Digital “It List.”

ENTRIES AND NOMINATIONS DUE AUGUST 11thGET STARTED TODAY!

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CynopsisJobs
Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day
SR PODCAST PRODUCER
Glass Entertainment Group
Philadelphia

Story producer to help lead a new episodic podcast. You will be involved in episode dvlopmnt, rsrch, interview prep & prod episodes (both during actual record & in post). Background in storytelling & min 5yrs exp making audio, pref w/proven field reporting exp. Full info HERE

VP GROWTH MARKETING >>
Jersey City, NJ:
Lead/develop, and deploy enhancements to PointsBet’s growth marketing strategies including performance media, SEO, Conversion Rate Optimization, MarTech, and more. 10+yrs of exp in relevant growth marketing roles, ideally for digital/app based product(s). Full info HERE (6/23)

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT >>
MY ENTERTAINMENT/NYC:
MY Entertainment is seeking a highly organized, charismatic, and reality-TV loving candidate w/1yr admin exp and working exp in TV. Strong knwldg MS PP &Keynote. Adobe Suite (Premiere & InDesign preferred)
Full info HERE (6/23)

DIRECTOR OF SALES
>>
RNN/Rye Brooke NY: Responsible for growing and managing its Diginet business across all of its TV stations. Minimum of 5 yrs exp in sales in the TV industry and experience in Diginet/multicast/D2 business required. Exp’d networking & establishing new relationships with key players at agencies and advertisers. BA deg Full info HERE (6/18)

SR PODCAST PRODUCER
>>
Glass Entertainment Group/Philadelphia:
Story producer to help lead a new episodic podcast. You will be involved in episode dvlopmnt, rsrch, interview prep & prod episodes (both during actual record & in post). Background in storytelling & min 5yrs exp making audio, pref w/proven field reporting exp. Full info HERE (6/18)


PRODUCER, BROADCAST LIVE >>
AccuWeather/State College PA:
Produce compelling live video segments for the national network on a daily and as-needed schedule. Put together the rundown for each individual segment and work with a team. Entrepreneurial spirit & working knwldg of non-linear editing suites req’d. Full info HERE (6/18)

MARKETING MANAGER, SVOD >>
AMC Networks’ Acorn TV/Silver Spring, MD:
Plans, implements, evaluates performance/KPIs of multi-territory subscriber acquisition campaigns; acts as creative lead and agency POC. Spanish fluency required; marketing exp, 5+ yrs. Full info/apply HERE (6/17)

MGR/DIRECTOR, MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS
>>
ISE/LA:
Passionate, innovative & driven candidate to support planning, development & execution of marketing, brand building & PR initiatives for the company’s Football & Basketball clients. 5+ yrs comms, sales, superior marketing & athletic brand building skills a must. Full info HERE (6/17)

PUBLICIST, COMMUNICATIONS >>
Earth Day Network/DC:
Help support the dvlpmnt/ execution of multi-channel, integrated communications and engagement strategies. 3+ yrs of communications planning and execution exp. Superior communication skills a must. Full info HERE (6/17)

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