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09/01/22: McDonald’s orders another helping of FaZe Clan; F1 goes long; NFL welcomes Enthusiast


Medias First Morning Read
Thursday September 1, 2022

Good morning! It’s Thursday and this is your early morning Esports brief.
FaZe Clan locked in a renewal of its partnership with McDonald’s USA. The partnership kicked off last year and will continue to focus on “innovative ways to connect with the next generation of gamers and will advance successful campaigns from the past year while launching new initiatives.” To kick off the renewed partnership, FaZe Clan and McDonald’s will have a presence at PAX West this weekend in Seattle where McDonald’s will be hosting activities for fans at their booth, including a meet-and-greet with FaZe talent, and sponsoring a showcase that gives FaZe talent the opportunity to preview and play new and soon-to-be-released games at the convention.

“Collaborating with a gaming platform of FaZe Clan’s influence and credibility provides a unique opportunity for us to collaborate on original programs that honor the diverse interests of our fans,” said Veronica Thompson, Director of Cultural Engagement and Activations at McDonald’s USA. “We’re excited to continue our partnership with FaZe Clan this year as we deepen the engagement between McDonald’s brand and gaming fans.”

COMPETITION

The 2022 F1 Esports Series Pro Championship, presented by Aramco, will see 10 teams and 30 drivers once again battle for the titles over the coming months, beginning the month and running through Dec. The org announced that this year’s Pro Championship will consist of four events, each containing three qualifying and race sessions on three separate days for six streams per event starting Sept. 14-16. Held across Wednesday-Friday, each Event will feature three qualifying streams (Twitch, YouTube), as well as three full race streams (Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, TV), with races this year set at 50% distance, up from 35% in 2021.

As the 2022 VALORANT Champions Tour prepares to crown a champ, Riot announced that fans you tune in through Sept. 18 will be able to earn exclusive broadcast drops by watching through their YouTube or Twitch accounts.

WoW Esports opened the doors to two new events for its PvE and PvP communities in Xy’mox’s Charity Cache and the first-ever Solo Shuffle competition. The charity event will raise money for AbleGamers and Direct Relief on Sept. 10-11, as Echo and Team Liquid visit Castle Nathria and Sepulcher of the First Ones, live on YouTube and Twitch. The Solo Shuffle Showdown serves as a three-day invitational tournament where EU and NA Arena players will compete September 23 – 25 to see who’s the best Solo Shuffle player and a share of the $100,000 prize pool, also live on YouTube and Twitch.

LEARFIELD and Electronic Arts will see the LevelNext collegiate esports league play host to a national competition featuring EA SPORTS Madden NFL 23 with registration at more than 2,500 schools nationwide. Play begins Sept. 17 with five weeks of competition. The LevelNext Madden National Championship will hold the final four matchups the week of October 17. During the live broadcast finals on October 20, the top collegiate player will be crowned on behalf of his or her university. The LevelNext Madden National Championship is free to enter and features a cash prize pool of $150,000, $50,000 of which will be awarded directly to 20 campus esports programs through a Twitter competition.

ESL Pro League returns to Malta courtesy of an extended partnership with GamingMalta until the end of 2024. The island nation will be the host location of the #CS:GO league featuring an $850,000 total prize pool per season, and will host ESL Pro League up until the end of Season 20.

ESL Gaming will be at PAX West for its first-ever Snapdragon Pro Series Mobile Challenge Finals in the North America region, which will run on Saturday at the ESL stage at PAX West as the top four Brawl Stars teams from North America face off in front of a live audience. Talent will include GlitterXplosion, Thom “F.” Badinger, Dec Travis “Trav_Talks”, and Ash.

Content creator Lugwig serves up some Super Smash Bros with the “biggest Smash invitational” tournament ever and $1 million in prize money up for grabs. The Ludwig Smash Invitational will run Oct. 21-23 with Ludwig hosting the tournament live in Las Vegas, but he will also be streaming the event live on his YouTube channel as 32 Melee players and 32 Ultimate players square off.

The American Red Cross is hosting the second annual Rescue Royale charity esports tournament and streaming event “to support people affected by disasters big and small, including wildfires, floods and countless other crises.” As disasters become more frequent and intense, the organization noted that it is encouraging the gaming community to get involved in relief efforts. The top eight Rescue Royale players will win a free weekend trip to Las Vegas to play live in the tournament finale at the HyperX Arena Las Vegas on October 15. The top nine fundraisers, who receive the highest number of donations in September, will also win a free weekend trip to Las Vegas to attend the tournament finale.

Playfly Esports is partnering up with Generation Esports. The deal will see Generation Esports operate and service Playfly Esports high school state association partners. The strategic alignment kicks off with support for the Arizona Interscholastic Association (“AIA”), Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (“WIAA”), and Louisiana High School Athletic Association (“LHSAA”).

EBS 2022

Who’s down for a Pitcher’s Duel? EBS is putting select companies on the grand stage spotlight for their chance to pitch for a partnership. World renown brands such as Procter & Gamble, Anheuser-Busch and Comcast, among others, will be on hand to give esports organizations their insights on each pitch, with a possibility that someone walks away with a sponsorship and all participants will walk away a little wiser. If you are interested in participating, click here!

State of the Unions will return once again to EBS in 2022. The annual favorite dives deep with full sessions dedicated to competition in orgs such as VALORANT, ESL Pro League, NBA 2K League, Twitch Rivals, etc.! Here about the year that was, audience trends, activations, and take a look at what to expect in the years ahead. Don’t wait! Get you tickets as EsportsBusinessSummit.com.

Are you, or someone you know, looking to elevate your portfolio within the Esports industry? Find your place on the Esports Watch List. The Watch List shines the spotlight on 12 up and coming professionals who are changing the dollars and fostering innovation across the esports industry. Recognized at the Tempest Awards, you’ll be front and center with the industries top companies, executives, and brands. Nominate those most deserving today! Entries close September 16th.

STREAMHATCHET

Tony the Tiger, the 70-year-old mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, got a facelift this month when he was transformed into a VTuber. During his debut stream, Tony played in a Fall Guys tournament with four popular Twitch streamers, Brennon ’GoldGlove’ O’Neill, Chrissy Costanza, Jakeem ’BigCheese’ Johnson, and Khleo Thomas.

After his first live stream, Tony the Tiger has just under 7k followers on Twitch. During his debut stream, Tony garnered 17.7k hours watched and hit a peak of 14.5k viewers. Additionally, his viewers were engaged with the stream, sending over 10k chat messages. The stream’s chat engagement rate was above average, at just under 20%. The average chat engagement rate for the top 1000 Twitch channels in Q2 of this year was just 16%.

While Kellogg’s isn’t the first brand to get its own VTuber, it might be one of the first Western-based companies to dive into the trend, which originated in Asia around 2016. VTubing is growing rapidly and attracting more streamers and consumers to participate. In 2021, hours watched for the top 15 VTubers grew 113% from 2020.

Read more on Stream Hatchet’s blog.

SPONSORSHIP & ACTIVATION

Tiffany & Co and Riot Games LoL Esports unveiled the final design for the Summoner’s Cup– the championship trophy awarded to the team crowned the 2022 World Champion on November 5. Tiffany & Co. redesigned the Summoner’s Cup out of sterling silver, fine silver, stainless steel, brass, and wood. Weighing 44 pounds and standing approximately 27 inches tall. The base of the Summoner’s Cup features engraved names of previous winning teams and pro players – a new tradition awaiting future champions.

100 Thieves continues to add partners under its umbrella. The org most recently named Heineken as their Official Beer Partner in a post on Tuesday.

2022 ESPORTS BUSINESS SUMMIT

Claim Your Seat at EBS

New speakers and sessions are added almost daily, and boy do we have something in store for you! Industry Leaders such as Twitch, Stream Hatchet, FaZe Clan, Anheuser-Busch and many more are just the start of the programming scheduled for you. Don’t miss your chance to learn from some of the best!

Learn from the best in the industry!

IT’S ALIVE: YouGov Living Data Insights
Quality and price are tops when purchasing gaming accessories.

Esports fans purchases are primarily driven by cost and caliber of product, among other decisions.

TEAMS

Enthusiast Gaming locked in a multi-year collaboration with the National Football League that includes the launch of NFL Tuesday Night Gaming, a weekly series streamed on YouTube that features NFL players and legends competing alongside gaming content creators. Luminosity Gaming will be integrated into the series by featuring its content creators and will launch on Sept. 13 at 6:30 on YouTube, running throughout the upcoming NFL season.

The Sentinels announced the signing of former CS:GO player Tarik Celik as a content creator for the organization, the move follows the team landing Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek recently for their VALORANT team.

READYUP WHAT TO WATCH

PLATFORMS/METAVERSE

Facebook’s video game livestreaming app, Facebook Gaming, will close its doors after two years starting Oct. 28. “We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of you for everything that you’ve done to build a thriving community for gamers and fans since this app first launched. This was truly a community-led effort to bring new gaming features to Facebook,” the platform posted. All streaming functionality will still remain on the main Facebook app or webpage, however.

ROSTER MOVES

FaZe Clan named Christoph Pachler as Chief Financial Officer, effective on or before Oct. 3. He will oversee all aspects of FaZe Clan’s financial management, including financial planning, accounting and reporting, strategic development, M&A and investor relations, as well as work closely with the executive team on strategies to develop new revenue opportunities and drive profitable growth.

Skillz announced that Seth Schorr, Chief Executive Officer of Fifth Street Gaming and Chairman of Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino, joined its Board of Directors. Schorr will serve on the Compensation Committee of the Board.

Russell Arons departed G4 TV as president, according to Deadline. Arons joined G4 TV last September.

2022 Top Women in Media

Special Guest Presenter

Cynopsis Top Women in Media is proud to announce our first guest presenter for the Gala, Michele Ghee, President of Multicultural Advertising for Allen Media Group. Michele is a transformational leader and hasa received many awards and accolades over her thirty-year TV and Digital Career.

Register to hear more and attend

TRIVIA
In what city did The Walking Dead originate? (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
When it was released in 1989, what color was the original Game Boy? Answer: Grey (but will accept off-white as well). Kudos: Danny Araque/NY; Sarah Timberland-Gamestop/NY; Heather Allen-WWE Corporation/Stamford; Joey Olson-Lowe’s/Arlington; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Jason Morrow-Toyota/Houston; Joy Olson/Chicago; Daniel Hanson/Vail; David Vincent Gagne-bartender.live/LA; Greg Dudsic-REI/Palmdale; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank

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