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06/18/20: Flashpoint’s new Commissioner; Gillette Gaming Alliance gives back



A MESSAGE FROM CYNOPSIS


Medias First Morning Read

Thursday June 18, 2020

Good morning! This is your weekly Esports Brief.
Big news from B Site, which named Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles as Commissioner of Flashpoint and Vice President of Brand of Flashpoint in an announcement yesterday in addition to acquiring the Insight on Esports content channels. Mykles, as Commissioner of Flashpoint, will serve as the official link between Flashpoint and the fans and will serve on Flashpoint’s Board of Governors to approve all formats and tournament rules for Flashpoint and enforce player penalties and competitive sanctions. As Vice President of Brand, Mykles will be in charge of the overall brand direction for all B Site initiatives inclusive of Flashpoint, B Site’s content platform, and future events (both live and digital).

“Monte is a unique voice in esports and the perfect connection point between the business of Flashpoint and the community of supporters we aim to build around it,” said Ari Segal, CEO of Immortals Gaming Club and founding member of B Site. “There is no one better suited to collaborate with players, talent, and the community and ultimately deliver the very best, most forward leaning esports content, consistent with the mission and voice of Flashpoint and future B Site products.”

COMPETITION
Riot Games opened the doors to the Ignition Series, the publisher’s first step to building an esport foundation around the newly released Valorant. Riot Games has partnered with more than 20 esports organizations to create unique competitive events around the world. The Ignition Series will kick off on June 19 with the European G2 Esports Invitational, presented by Red Bull, and the RAGE VALORANT JAPAN Invitational. Future Ignition Series events will be produced for fans in North America, Brazil, Latin America, Korea, Japan, South East Asia, Oceania, Europe, Russia, Turkey, and the Middle East. Each organizer will operate their own Ignition Series tournament, with variations that will include competitive open qualifiers, show matches, and invitationals with top players, established personalities, and aspiring amateurs.

Electronic Arts and FIFA unveiled a “larger, evolved EA SPORTS FIFA 20 esports ecosystem” that adds new competitions and returning football league tournaments, as well as online tournaments that will replace the EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series including the FIFA eWorld Cup. The EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Summer Cup Series is made up of six online regional tournaments featuring invited top players across Europe, Asia, South America, Oceania, North America, and Middle East-Africa, all competing to be crowned one of six winners. Additionally, many of the world’s top football leagues, including Bundesliga, LaLiga, Ligue 1, MLS and more, are resuming EA SPORTS FIFA 20 esports events under revised formats.

ESL scored big with its Gamers Without Borders event, which drew over 300,000 participants from 82 countries in the seven-week event as top gamers competed to win shares of the series’ $10 million prize fund for coronavirus charities including UNICEF, Direct Relief and Gavi. Between them, quarantined gamers played over 200,000 competitive matches, while GWB’s charity prize fund International Elite tournaments drew a global streaming audience of 15 million people.

The second edition of the Call of Duty League’s Warzone Weekend will reportedly get tweaked, according to ESPN. This weekend’s event, which has been pre-recorded, will consist of 15 teams, each with a team captain, who was involved in a snake draft to fill out four-person squads from a predetermined pool of players. Both the draft and the game will air Sunday on the Call of Duty League’s official YouTube channel.

EBS hosts a free webinar next week that will feature new findings on how the esports industry as weathered the pandemic crisis and feature a freeform discussion that will include Major General Frank M. Muth of the U.S. Army, Dan Dinh of Solomid Corporation and Ross Huberman of ESL. Click here to join us for “Insights and Analysis of the B2B Esports Market during the Covid-19 Crisis” on Monday at 2p.

The PUBG Mobile World League season zero was unveiled at the ongoing PMPL South Asia finals, featuring two divisions, East and West, with a total prize pool of $850,000, marking he biggest prize pool for a single PUBG Mobile event in history and running July 10-August 9.

Psyonix is giving its esports model a facelift for Rocket League, announcing the launch of a Rocket League ‘open circuit’. The new format will serve up three splits per season with each split featuring three regional events that culminates with an international major tournament.

HyperX announced the HyperX Showdown, a series of online gaming events that will feature celebrities from the worlds of entertainment, music, sports and gaming. Well-known streamers are also scheduled to participate and play during this series of gaming events. The eight weeks of unique entertainment will include music, sports and gaming stars playing games like Call of Duty: Warzone, NBA 2K, Fortnite, Madden, and others. The first gaming event is scheduled to air on Tuesday, June 16 at 3 p.m. ET featuring two influential global music stars, Afrojack vs. Nicky Romero, paired with two pro players from the London Royal Ravens playing Call of Duty: Warzone. The series will feature music artists like Afrojack, Nicky Romero, Offset, Future, Young Thug and sports stars like Gordon Hayward (Boston Celtics), JuJu Smith-Schuster (Pittsburgh Steelers), Dele Alli ( Tottenham Hotspur F.C.), Philip Forsberg (Nashville Predators), DeMarcus Cousins (NBA All Star), and more.

FANAI INSIGHTS
As we all pass the 90 day of quarantine mark, and come up on four months of no traditional, professional US sports, the stats make it clear — viewers are turning to esports.
Head over to our website, Fan.AI for more information.

Cynopsis wants to gauge your feelings on future travel for the rest of 2020.

Can you spare 1 min. to let us know your feedback?
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F92C2XB


Thank you!

ACTIVATION
The Gillette Gaming Alliance will host a multi-day livestream fundraiser, featuring the team of five Twitch streamers from around the world. Each of the Alliance members, including DrLupo, Nate Hill, DogDog, Alanzoka, and Elded, selected a charity of choice to support and will be receiving donations from consumers and fans during their streams on Twitch via the Tiltify platform. Gillette, to further their support of this important initiative, will be making a donation to each charity in addition to the stream efforts.

The LCS landed a multi-year partnership with Verizon, continuing a strong of deals in the past week. Under the partnership, Verizon will serve as the league’s official 5G network, and develop ways to elevate player and fan experiences through 5G. Verizon will also be incorporated into the broadcast as the first-ever presenting sponsor for Academy Rush, and as a sponsor for LCS post-match interview segments.

G2 named Red Bull as their first official partner for its newborn G2 VALORANT pro team. G2 has already taken first steps into VALORANT with two editions of the G2 European Brawl, the recently announced G2 Esports VALORANT Invitational which will be the official kick-off for VALORANT Ignition Series on June 19.

Audio solutions company DTS unveiled its official partnership with esports Team Vanish, further expanding presence within the games industry. As part of the partnership, Team Vanish players and creators will have access to its technology as well as previews of unreleased DTS products in the coming year. Additionally, the partnership will provide Team Vanish the opportunity to connect with fans across the world via DTS events and programming.

The NBA 2K League season announced four new marketing partnerships, cementing deals with GameStop, Jostens, SAP and Tissot. The new partners join the NBA 2K League’s record roster of 13 marketing partners for 2020, the most ever for an NBA 2K League season. GameStop is the Official Video Game Retailer of the NBA 2K League and the Presenting Partner of Draft Clash. Jostens is the Official Ring Partner of the NBA 2K League and recently delivered custom championship rings to 2019 NBA 2K League Champion T-Wolves Gaming. SAP joins the NBA 2K League as its Official Business Analytics Software Partner and the Presenting Partner of the official NBA 2K League stats website. Tissot is the Official Watch and the Official Timekeeper of the NBA 2K League, presenting the league’s virtual in-game shot clock and buzzer beaters as they occur.

Evil Geniuses unlocked a partnership with Motorola, serving as a presenting partner and official smartphone of both the Evil Geniuses LCS and Academy teams. Throughout the Summer Split, Evil Geniuses will showcase the Motorola Edge+ and the features of the phone. The custom content enabled by this partnership “spans in-depth analysis that takes gamers inside signature plays throughout the season as well as the inaugural and presenting partnership of the Evil Geniuses bi-weekly LCS-themed podcast ‘Chaotic Neutral.’”

Canadian Call of Duty franchise, the Toronto Ultra, and SCUF Gaming (SCUF) announced a multi-faceted partnership. The two brands will work together on content, marketing and advertising initiatives and SCUF will also be part of the online Toronto Ultra Home Series presented by Bell on July 24-26, 2020.

Marketing agency Engine Shop is connecting a community of gamers with the lifesaving work of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The campaign called #TiltCancer provides video gaming content creators with access to a livestream fundraising tool kit which includes a Tiltify page, Discord server, donor incentives and custom broadcast animations from Visuals by Impulse, a technology-first creative agency for gamers. The first gaming community ambassador to offer support for the #TiltCancer initiative will be Fatal1ty, who has won 12 esports major championships throughout his career.

STREAM HATCHET TRENDS
On Monday, Fortnite’s in-game event launching Chapter 2 Season 3 generated an enormous audience across North American streaming platforms. This week, Stream Hatchet analyzed this ground-breaking event and compared viewership to the “Black Hole”, Fortnite’s previous in-game event.
* “The Device Event” generated a peak audience almost twice as high as the “Black Hole” event that launched Fortnite Chapter 2 for a total increase of 67%.
* YouTube’s peak audience market share grew 7% while Twitch’s dropped 6% compared to the “Black Hole” event. * YouTube continues to pull in extremely high peak audiences for Fortnite events.The global climate could be playing a role in the increased audience as alternative entertainment options are limited.

PLATFORMS
With the debut of the Summer Split, the LCS bring fans back into the LCS Studios (virtually) via the LCS DOME powered by Alienware. LCS broadcast team and engineers led by Dave/RumbleStew, Executive Producer of the LCS, and Justin/Riot Oniatserj, Creative Technology Producer, partnered with Immersive Design Studios to bring viewers into a 3D world, using the Canvas Platform and Unreal Engine, leveraging 75 virtual cameras (versus 22 actual cameras in our physical studios and 54 at last year’s Worlds) and pre-animated camera moves to transport viewers across different 3D environments and sets, and integrate our broadcast talent, segments and sponsors in more dynamic ways.

Meanwhile, Tempo Storm announced the launch of its official YouTube channel for its upcoming digital strategy game, The Bazaar. Serving as the one-stop destination for all things related to Tempo’s first-ever original game release, the channel will feature an ongoing video series, “The Making of The Bazaar.” Each installment will provide fans a “unique, inside look at the ongoing development of the forthcoming game including design, features, and more behind-the-scenes footage.”

The International Basketball Federation announced that its new esports competition will be streamed across its Facebook, Twitch and YouTube channels. Games will be played remotely on NBA 2K using the Pro-AM mode. National teams set to participate include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Cyprus, Indonesia, Italy, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine.

TEAMS
Barstool Sports launched its own esports team, titled Barstool HooliganZ. The squad’s first entry is in Call of Duty via a roster of Barstool personalities and producers. “This is just the beginning. Having a real, official Esports organization gives us the ability to bring on anyone and everyone that we choose to become one of the HooliganZ,” the company stated in a post. “We can legitimately sign a HUGE name to the HooliganZ, if we so please.”

The Pittsburgh Knights are playing duos with charity fundraising platform Softgiving to create live-streamed charity events together. The first event, the Wiz and Friends Charity Livestream, will take place on July 11, and will be hosted by multi-platinum recording artist Wiz Khalifa in his first-ever gaming live stream. In addition to Wiz, Twitch streamer Austin will be featured at the event.

The Golden Guardians locked in a partnership extension with Twitch and will continue streaming gameplay exclusively on the platform. In addition, the Guardians also will brandish the Twitch logo on the left sleeve of their jerseys. “With so many new streaming platforms emerging, it was a priority for us to continue our partnership with Twitch, the most renowned platform in the industry,” said Hunter Leigh, head of GSW Esports.

ROSTER MOVES

YouGov named former Nielsen exec Nicole Pike as Global Sector Head of Esports & Gaming. Pike, whose last role was as Managing Director of Esports, Games and SuperData at Nielsen, will help shape the future of YouGov’s analytics in the esports and gaming sectors, building on what are already some of the industry’s deepest and most sophisticated research tools.

INDUSTRY

EA SPORTS officially unveiled Baltimore Ravens Quarterback Lamar Jackson as the Madden NFL 21 cover athlete across all editions. The new version of the game will offer “innovative gameplay, including brand-new ball-carrier and D-Line mechanics, Realistic Open-Field Tackling, new celebrations and more.” The game will also feature new modes including Face of the Franchise: Rise to Fame – a playable documentary career campaign where players create a quarterback, halfback or wide receiver and play through their rise to fame with experiences in high school and college, at the NFL Combine and NFL Draft, as well as in the NFL.

PAX West and PAX Australia are both cancelled and will instead by replaced by the digital event PAX Online. PAX West had been scheduled for September in Seattle, while PAX Australia was going to take place the following month in Melbourne. In their places, PAX Online will run Sept. 12-20, free to the public. “PAX Online is the result of the convention-organizing supergroup made up of the people responsible for PAX West, PAX Australia, as well as our new friends at EGX to create our new PAX Online and deliver a steady 24/7 stream of content, events, discussions, and gameplay,” organizers said on the PAX Online site.

Epic Games is reportedly close to raising a $750 million round of funding at a valuation of about $17 billion, according to Bloomberg. New investors T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and Baillie Gifford will participate to the round, while existing investors including KKR & Co. will also take part.

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ON THIS DAY
2007: Electronic Arts announces a reorganization into four labels: EA Sports, EA Games, EA Casual Entertainment and The Sims.
Trivia
Which game and movie franchise features a locale known as Raccoon City? (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Which movie features a character named Diva Playalaguna? Answer: The Fifth Element. Kudos: Barbara Capella Loehr-Equal Opportunity Publications/Melville; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; JeanBaptiste Emanuel Zorg-Zorg Industries/NYC; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Vito Cornelius/Phoenix; Wendy Holmes-KCNC-TV/Denver; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Greg Dudsic/venice; Ruby Rhod/LA; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

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