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09/15/22: VCT’s 2023 map; ALGS raises the stakes; New feature! – “REV/XP Presents”


Medias First Morning Read
Thursday September 15, 2022

Good morning! It’s Thursday and this is your early morning Esports brief.
Bolstered by partnered teams for the first time, Riot announced 2023 plans for the VALORANT Champions Tour that will kick off in February and feature all 30 teams from the international leagues. Franchises teams will be divided into three regions with play beginning in São Paulo, Brazil next year. Participating teams will compete on LAN in one of three major hubs of Los Angeles, Berlin, or Seoul with the split beginning in March. Riot is also giving teams who are not partnered a chance to earn their ticket to the International League via the Challengers tournaments.

This year’s VALORANT Champions 2022 wraps up this weekend and will crown a victor on Sept. 18.

COMPETITION

EA revealed new details for Year 3 of the Apex Legends Global Series, with tweaks to Pro League and Challenger Circuit formats, as well as plans for in-person Majors, and a $5 million prize pool. Year 3 of the ALGS will include three LAN competitions throughout the year – the Split 1 Playoffs in winter 2023, Split 2 Playoffs in spring 2023, and Year 3 Championship in summer 2023 for teams. On the last day of each Regular Season Split, the Regional Finals will pit the top 20 teams against each other in a Match Point series, with the winner earning a guaranteed Playoff spot. In addition, the Pro League will now feature 30 teams per region – 22 invited squads and 8 from the Preseason Qualifiers

Esports entertainment company BLAST will host and produce next year’s Counter-Strike Major in France, delivering the announcement with comments from French President Emmanuel Macron. The BLAST.tv Major will take place at the Accor Arena in Paris in May 2023 and become the first CS:GO Major to take place in France. 2023 will mark 10-years of Counter-Strike Majors and the BLAST.tv Major will “look to celebrate this momentous occasion through highlighting and looking back at some of the most iconic moments from the pinnacle of esports and Counter-Strike.”

ESL, part of ESL FACEIT Group, opened the door to expansion plans for the Intel Extreme Masters Rio Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship. In addition to competitive play, a fan festival will now be organized on Nov. 10-13, bringing the CS:GO Major experience out in the open, with Brazilian streamer Alexandre “Gaules” Borba serving as the host on all days, providing fans with his characteristic live commentary and more.

DreamHack Winter returns to Jönköping, Sweden, with a full-fledged festival from Nov. 24-27. Offerings this year will include the Season 2 Global Finals of ESL Impact, the unique, all-women Counter-Strike:Global Offensive (CS:GO) circuit launched earlier this year, as well as competitions in Rocket League, and other games. The event will serve as the biggest DreamHack festival of the year, following a 2022 tour which includes stops in Dallas (June 2022), Melbourne (September 2022), Valencia (October 2022), and Atlanta (November 2022) to name a few.

The return of the Evolution Championship Series (Evo) to Las Vegas for its first in-person event since 2019 saw more than 3.7 million people watching its streams. The event spanned August 5-7 in front of nearly 18,000 in attendance, and tournament organizers ae touting that the average person watched the event online for about 82 minutes. “I’m proud of the experience the combined teams from Evo, Sony Interactive Entertainment, RTS, and the incredible event staff delivered at Evo 2022. It was a challenge to execute a live event at this scale in the new, not-quite-post-COVID environment, but we committed ourselves to meeting our community’s expectations and delivered a great event,” said Rick Thiher, General Manager of Evo. “We wanted to re-establish Evo while staying rooted in our history and the community’s love of open competition. I think we achieved that and will continue to refine and grow in the exciting years ahead.”

The 2022 F1 Esports Series Pro Championship presented by Aramco returns this week in a new three day-per-Event format with an increased offering of live shows. This year’s schedule of Events and full driver line-ups have been announced, as teams prepare to battle it out once again for a piece of the huge $750,000 prize pot. Each qualifying session will be live from 15:30 BST on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch and Huya, with the race be broadcast live from 19:30 BST on the same platforms, plus Facebook. All the race streams will also be broadcast with select TV broadcasters too, including Sky Sports F1, Viaplay and ESPN. Production will again come live from the Gfinity Arena in London.

The National Football League opened registration for the third annual EA SPORTS Madden NFL x HBCU Tournament with play starting Oct. 15. All registered students will receive a chance to compete in one of several online qualifiers offered with the top fourteen finalists advancing to a live finals broadcast from Glendale, home of Super Bowl LVII. Additionally, over $70,000 in cash, travel and prizes will be awarded from the NFL and NFL partners.

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference partnered with eFuse to drive their 2022-2023 collegiate esports season. The fall slate will run on Tuesdays (Super Smash Bros), Wednesdays (Rocket League) and Fridays (Valorant). Conference schools will compete across five titles in two seasons (Fall & Spring).

STREAMHATCHET
In recent years, beauty and personal care brands have started to pay more attention to the video games and esports industry as a place to target likely customers. While traditionally thought of as a male-dominated space, a recent study showed that approximately 45% of gamers in the United States identify as female.
Beauty brands like e.l.f., who didn’t make this month’s leaderboard, and Benefit Cosmetics have been pioneers in marketing to gamers, especially in the live streaming community. The two brands have their own Twitch channels with e.l.f. boasting 3.3k followers and Benefit with just over 1k followers as of September 2022. The two brands mix gaming with makeup tutorials, product reviews, and even host tournaments to bring beauty and personal hygiene to the gaming community.
Benefit Cosmetic’s Game Face Women’s Tournament series launched in the spring and will feature 9 tournaments through the rest of 2022 with a $25,500 prize pool for female gamers. The series involves other women’s gaming groups like Black Girl Gamers and The GameHers whose missions are also to uplift female gamers.
Benefit had over 26K mentions in Twitch chat last month, an extreme boost from just several hundred a year ago. As they’ve become more involved in the esports and live streaming space, gamers have begun chatting more about the beauty brand among their peers online, which can boost reputability, and of course, sales.
Read more on Stream Hatchet’s blog.

EBS 2022 (Nov. 1-3, click here for tickets!)

Join EBS for a special preview and tribute to one of gaming’s most popular genres! “FPS: First Person Shooter,” a documentary that celebrates the history and passion behind iconic FPS Games and their creators, will offer audiences a first look at the film this year at EBS. Featuring 45+ game industry legends, the film showcases nearly 50 years of history for these types of games. Afterward, director David L. Craddock will sit down with gaming legend (and 2022 Tempest Hall of Fame inductee) Dennis ‘Thresh’ Fong to discuss the screening and the impact of FPS on esports and beyond. Don’t miss!

Want to know the story behind the year’s biggest esports deal? Then don’t miss “Taking Esports Companies to the Next Level: FaZe Clan Goes Public” at EBS. Breaking down the headlines, blood and sweat that went into FaZe Clan going public as the first esports and gamer lifestyle brand on Nasdaq. FaZe Clan CLO and Head of Business and Legal Affairs Tammy Brandt joins Skadden partner Christopher Barlow and Evolution Media Managing Partner Bob Stanley to break down the deal.

Who’s down for a Pitcher’s Duel? Time is running out! 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!

SPONSORSHIP & ACTIVATION

Streaming platform Hulu + Live TV signed on as a media sponsor of the recently announced NFL Tuesday Night Gaming by Enthusiast Gaming. The series is a gaming-based collaboration with the NFL, blending gaming content creators and current and former NFL players, with a weekly edition of the show set to run throughout the 2022 NFL season. Erin Ashley Simon and Rich W Campbell host, with casters Guy “Blaze” Spencer and Ovilee May. Athletes include Andre Reed, Brian Orakpo, Desean Jackson, Dion Dawkins, Jonathan Stewart, Kendrick Bourne, Leonard Fournette, Melvin Gordon III, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Robert Griffin III.

Riot Games locked in an extension of its partnership with Mercedes-Benz through at least until 2025. The three-year extension will look to deepen the development of global esports culture and the worldwide LoL community, the companies said, with the League of Legends World Championship serving as the highlight of the partnership.

Campbell’s, an NFL sponsor since 1998, signed on to become the primary sponsor for EA Sports’ Madden Championship Series (MCS) this season, per SBJ. Competitive matches will take place inside a specially designed Campbell’s Chunky Stadium, courtesy of the EA Tiburon team.

ONE Esports extended its partnership with pan-Asian insurer FWD Group to drive the esports vertical of their newly launched lifestyle app, Omne. The partnership will span across Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Omne is a new mobile app by FWD Group that “empowers individuals with a unique set of value propositions centered on personalized goal-based journeys to help bring the best out of them.

CTRL, the meal replacement and functional food brand, launched a new partnership with Belong Gaming Arenas that will make its Meal On-The-Go Bars available for purchase at all Belong gaming centers in the United States. “The younger generation of gamers can change the deep-rooted belief that gaming is synonymous with poor nutrition and unhealthy eating habits, and that starts with focusing on healthier alternatives at an early age,” said Skyler Johnson, co-founder of CTRL. “By partnering with Belong to get our bars in every arena, we can give children, families, and the gaming community easy access to nutritious options that will help form healthy eating habits that lead to healthier lifestyles.”

With September serving as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation is teaming up with Comcast Business to help children battling cancer, as well as all patients in children’s hospitals, through the power of gaming. To spread awareness, they are partnering with esports infrastructure company Nerd Street to host the 2022 Dunkin’ Connecting Joy Gaming Tournament on Sept. 24. The national tournament will take place at all eight of Nerd Street’s Localhost gaming and esports facilities nationwide.

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IT’S ALIVE: YouGov Living Data Insights

TEAMS

Evil Geniuses announced a new partnership with sportswear company Champion. As part of the announcement, Evil Geniuses revealed their first-ever championship jersey that “celebrates the organization’s legacy of champions, including its first LCS Championship during the 2022 LCS Spring Split.” “Seattle sports are bound together not only by their passionate fans and rich history, but by their iconic shared colors that proudly represent Seattle and the Pacific Northwest’s beautiful forests and blue ocean,” said Avelina Daum, Vice President and Head of Global Marketing at Evil Geniuses. “Evil Geniuses is proud to call Seattle home and what better way to honor this city, its teams and its fans than to have our first championship jersey reflect the fabric of this city through shades of blue and green that will set Evil Geniuses alongside Seattle’s other sports franchises.”

GameSquare Esports launched its own merchandise and consumer products company, titled Mission Supply. In addition to merchandising, Mission Supply will look to offer marketing and sales consultation services to brands and esports organizations seeking to grow connections with gaming audiences. In addition, Complexity, Complexity Stars, and GameSquare’s growing roster of influencers and content creators are also set to benefit from Mission Supply’s designs.

XSET named Chief Merchandising Officer, Steve Birkhold, as the organization’s new COO. The news comes a month after XSET named Erin Ashley Simon as Chief Culture Officer.

REV/XP PRESENTS…

Welcome to REV/XP Presents now in partnership with Cynopsis Media. Our guest this week is Ryan Johnson, the founder of Cxmmunity Media. Cxmmunity recently received the Cynopsis Media Rising Stars recognition. Ryan shares insight on how Cxmmunity Media is future-proofing diversity in esports and opportunities for brands to partner to champion that cause. Click here to watch the conversation, or visit esportsbiz.com.

INDUSTRY

Prodigy Agency, an esports representation agency that reps players such as TenZ, ScreaM, ZywOo, cNed and steel, locked in a new partnership with Adamas Esports to deliver performance and wellness services on a day-to-day basis, as well as on site at specific events to Prodigy Agency’s roster of clients.

ROSTER MOVES

Allied Esports Entertainment announced that the Company’s Board of Directors appointed Yinghua Chen as Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Chen had previously served as the Company’s President, Chief Investment Officer and Board Secretary.

READYUP WHAT TO WATCH

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TRIVIA
Which character from the Mario universe pilots the Clown Car pictured here? (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
In what city is the movie Blade Runner, and its subsequent games, based in? Answer: Los Angeles. Kudos: Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank

Cynopsis Team

Chris Pursell
@VegasandVine
Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Robbie Caploe
VP/Group Publisher
@robertacaploe

Executive Director of Sales
Albert Nassour
917-545-3129
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
John Cox

CynopsisJobs
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JR. ANALYST, AUDIENCE RESEARCH
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VICE PRESIDENT & MARKET MANAGER – ORLANDO RADIO
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Operates a market strategy that achieves EBITDA, revenue, expense, & ratings budgets. Leads the execution of a growth-driven sales strategy. Oversees all station departments including sales, content, promotions, engineering, production, and community affairs. 8+ yrs of progressive radio or related media management exp. and/or general management. Full info HERE (9/23)

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Build, revise & maintain all sales proposals for agency list assignment. Receive registered budgets from agency buyers. Compile advertiser history & pricing direction for Account Executive as req. Communicate deal planning status to national sales team on a weekly basis for financial reporting purposes. Min 3+ yrs in television National Ad Sales. Full info HERE (9/21)

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Lead and manage the digital research team. Working with the Digital team to measure the performance of all of Scripps Networks’ streaming properties across all venues. Compile aggregate viewing metrics across platforms using first- and third-party data sources. 15 yrs research & analytics exp., some of this at an entertainment and/or news provider. Full info HERE (9/21)

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SENIOR PRODUCER, LIVE BROADCAST >>
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Deliver a unique style and cohesive cross-platform editorial voice. Provide key input with editorial leadership to provide guidance and quality consistency for AccuWeather digital, social video, and between dayparts. Produce recognizable programming that is distinctive and best-of-class. 5 yrs of exp. in a dynamic, live news production environment. Full info HERE (9/17)

WEATHER GRAPHICS PRODUCER >>
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