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10/08/20: Global Esports Federation makes its move; Overwatch League’s virtual home; EBS updates




Medias First Morning Read

Thursday October 8, 2020

Good morning and welcome to EBS month! This is your weekly Esports Brief.
The Global Esports Federation started revealing details about its event endeavors, laying out plans for global events portfolio via three key event formats. The core properties announced include the annual Global Esports Games – the flagship competitive esports event contested by athletes and players from Member Federations – to be held in December each year from 2021; and the World Esports Tour – a professional-level esports tournament held across the year in geographically diverse leading and emerging cities.
In addition, the GEF also revealed the plans for the #worldconnected Series – a community-based initiative inspired by its values of inclusion, diversity and innovation. The inaugural #worldconnected 2020 will be staged online from 17-19 December 2020.

“The Global Esports Federation has grown significantly since our worldwide launch nine months ago. Over the past months, we have listened and adapted the way we convene the world esports community, creating opportunities to foster meaningful relationships and new platforms for global esports to thrive,” said Chris Chan, President, Global Esports Federation. “The Connected @Townhall sessions serve as a platform for us to connect, engage and listen to our community, keeping them informed of our latest developments.”

COMPETITION
Overwatch League has its Final Four in place to square off on Shanghai this weekend, as the Shock, Fusion, Dragons and Dynasty, square off for the championship. Play is underway this morning, with Dynasty/Shock at 7a ET, while Fusion/Dragons face off at 9a. The league also revealed its virtual arena online, where audiences will see players compete.

B Site is serving up another helping of its CS:GO series with the confirmation of Flashpoint 2, running Nov. 9-Dec. 6 and dangling a prize pool of $1 million. Play will be held completely online with competition limited to teams who are able to quarantine in Europe. Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles and Duncan “Thorin” Shields are on microphone duties.

After the success of ESL Mobile Open Season 1 in Europe, ESL detailed plans for season two, which will now also feature competitors from the European and MENA regions and building on Season 1, which saw over 500,000 participants in total. The tournament will also double the gaming titles in Season 2, with the online esports tournament featuring Asphalt 9, Auto Chess, Clash of Clans and PUBG Mobile. Online qualifiers will span from Oct.12-Nov.1 with play-ins on Nov. 6-8. The final online event will then run on Nov. 13-15.

While Worlds is notching historic audience numbers for Riot Games, the publisher did announced that the Australia and New Zealand-based League of Legends pro-league, the Oceanic Pro League is ending its run with the company closing its Sydney office while players in the OCE region will be integrated into the North American player pool.

The NBA 2K League revealed a new tryout process for the league’s fourth season, set to take place in 2021. The new format will include more than 35 Pro-Am tournaments hosted by NBA 2K League teams as part of the “NBA 2K League Draft Prospect Series,” a League?hosted event featuring winning teams from these tournaments, and a first?of?its?kind NBA 2K League Combine. Beginning this month through early December, every NBA 2K League team is eligible to host up to two NBA 2K21 Pro-Am tournaments as part of the NBA 2K League Draft Prospect Series, one on Sony PlayStation 4 and one on Microsoft Xbox One, and the winning teams from each tournament will advance to a winners’ event in December. In an effort to continue developing and showcasing female 2K players, the NBA 2K League is collaborating with several elite, all-woman 2K teams as they participate in non-NBA 2K League?sponsored Pro-Am tournaments taking place this fall.

The Brawl Stars World Finals 2020 has its date in place, announcing that the tournament will be played on Nov. 21-22 as teams compete to become world champion and lay claim to a share of the $1 million prize pool. Eight teams from five different regions around the world will play in the 2020 World Finals.

Riot Games unveiled the 10 selected teams for its Brazilian League of Legends competition, Campeonato Brasileiro de League of Legends. Making the cut were ESports Cruise, Falkol Prodigy, Flamengo Esports, FURIA Esports, INTZ, Kaboom! e-Sports, LOUD, paiN Gaming, Red Canids Kalunga and Rensga Esports.

The BIG EAST Conference and the Electronic Gaming Federation are launching a three-year agreement that will allow all 11 member schools to compete in a year-long multigame season for the first time as official EGF Collegiate league members. The EGFC Season begins October 5 and features nationwide intercollegiate competition in two eight-week splits as well as conference championships, regional playoffs and the EGFC National Championship to be held April 24-25, 2021. Expanded titles include: Rocket League, Overwatch, SSBU and FIFA. Broadcasts of all matches will be streamed on EGF’s 5 Twitch channels, the BIG EAST YouTube channel and various institutional platforms.

EBS
Super League Gaming and Access Intelligence, the parent company behind the Esports Business Summit and Cynopsis Esports, announced Super League’s selection as the production partner to broadcast this year’s all virtual Tempest Awards gala on October 28. The awards ceremony, a major part of the annual Esports Business Summit, will be produced on a fully remote basis by Super League, with all award nominees, luminaries, and hosts, and every member of the broadcast production crew participating comfortably and safely from their homes. Super League was selected by EBS for several reasons, including the “ease with which the company’s veteran team and versatile system can accommodate any combination of pre-recorded, live-to-tape, and live broadcast content within a seamless entertainment experience, even while adjusting for COVID-related production requirements. As a result, the show will feature exciting elements audiences have come to expect in a first-class awards broadcast – namely live, reactions of nominees and winners, real-time interactions between hosts and talent, use of pre-recorded segments, roll-in graphics, and more.

Big names and brands will anchor EBS’ keynote slots. Tune in as Walker Jacobs, Chief Revenue Officer of Twitch kicks things off on Oct. 27 during our opening keynote, followed by our second keynote presented by Daniel Kelley of HyperX. On day 2, catch a fireside chat with Craig Barry, President of ELEAGUE/Turner Sports and Todd Sitrin, General Manager of Electronic Arts. Oct. 29 brings in keynote panels as Lee Trink, CEO of FaZe Clan, Ben Simmons, NBA All-Star, Yousef “Apex” Abdelfattah and Thomas “Temperrr” Oliveira take the main stage.

Get your tickets now at EsportsBizSummit.com!

“A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

Join Cynopsis for the inspirational, Top Women in Media (Virtual) Awards Ceremony taking place October 13-October 16.

GET INSPIRED

Sponsored by: Turnkey Search
Supported by: Allen Media Group, Crown Media & Sinclair Broadcast Group

ACTIVATION
Hisense inked a multi-year partnership with Fnatic. Through the partnership, the two companies will produce a variety of content, including product reviews, video collaborations and social engagement, each featuring Hisense appliances and Fnatic’s teams. “We are thrilled to partner with Fnatic, one of the world’s top esports organizations, in a joint effort to bring a better quality of life to Fnatic and esports fans,” said Alex Zhu, the Vice President of Hisense International. “We hope to make Hisense TV and home appliances truly their friend and right hand in life by constantly exploring the needs of fans, so as to allow them to focus on enjoying every moment of esports games. Supported by the unique VIDAA operation system that launched at Hisense TV, we are dedicated to bringing more esports and Fnatic content to our big screens for fans.”

TikTok clocked in a new deal to become principal partner of London-based esports organization Tundra. As part of the new partnership, which comes in line with the release of the popular video game FIFA 21, TikTok will be displayed on the front of Tundra’s new jersey.

STREAM HATCHET TRENDS
Stream Hatchet analyzed publisher market share across Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming last week. At the top sat Riot Games with 10.5% of the total hours watched. The leading AAA publisher looks to increase its share week-over-week as one of the largest esports events in the world, the League of Legends 2020 World Championship, is currently underway. As the event gets closer and closer to the final match, expect viewership to continue to rise with Riot Games extending their lead over other publishers.
· Riot Games more than doubled the next highest publisher market share who secured 4.67% of the hours watched last week.
· League of Legends accounted for the majority of the Riot Games viewership with 81.2% of its total hours watched.
· Riot Games also held the highest peak concurrency (2.2M viewers) and average concurrency (420K viewers) out of any publisher last week.

For more information about live streaming market share and other data, please visit www.streamhatchet.com/insights.

PLATFORMS

Speaking of Stream Hatchet, Engine Media’s gaming live streaming data analytics and analysis pros revealed their latest industry trends in its 2020/Q3 report, with notables such as interest in esports streaming remaining high and continuing to earn numbers well above 500 million watched hours per week. “The latest report from Stream Hatchet again highlights the massive increase enjoyed by esports during the shutdown earlier this year. But rather than it being a blip on the radar, esports streaming has continued to enjoy massive popularity even with the return of regular sports programming,” Engine Media’s co-CEO, Darren Cox said.

TEAMS
NRG Esports co-CEO Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez reclaimed the org he founded, acquiring OpTic Gaming, according to multiple reports, with Rodriguez snatching up intellectual property in its entirety back from Immortals Gaming Club.

Former Turner President David Levy is returning to the esports scene, joining Andbox as an investor and Chairman of the company’s advisory board. His investment came as a part of Andbox’s Series B funding round that included parties with broad expertise in sports, entertainment, consumer brands and digital media.

Enthusiast Gaming Holdings will be hosting its Rising Stars reality competition, to discover the next gaming superstar. The grand prize winner will receive a $100,000 sponsorship with Luminosity Gaming and will be added to its roster which includes top gaming influencers such as Anomaly, Muselk, Fresh, RockyNoHands, and most recently, xQc. The public can tune in to watch these live shows, every Tuesday and Thursday night between October 13 and November 5 at 9pm ET on twitch.tv/lgloyal. The top two performers will have a guaranteed spot in the finals–while the third final spot will be given to the fan favorite of the remaining top six.

READYUP SPOTLIGHT
ROSTER MOVES

TEO writes that Johanna Faries,
currently serving as commissioner of the Call of Duty League, will now move to the newly created position at the company of Head of Leagues starting Oct. 12. The move comes after Overwatch League commissioner Pete Vlastelica revealed plans to step away from the role, although he will remain CEO of Activision Blizzard’s esports division. Vlastelica has served as the Overwatch League’s commissioner since 2019.

Yvette MartinezRea, Chief Executive Officer at ESL Gaming North America, is departing the company to take on a new role. She announced that she had been named VP of Sponsorships & Partnerships at Verizon, noting “This opportunity would not be possible without all I learned from the whole global team at ESL Gaming, but feeling especially grateful for my North American team who went on a amazing journey with me and kept me laughing and growing every step of the way.”

100 Thieves expanded its executive team, recruiting Mark Rasoul as Vice President of Marketing, Julie Van as Vice President of People, and Jeremy Azevedo as Vice President of Content. Rasoul most recently held the position of Brand Marketing Director, Call of Duty Esports at Activision Blizzard, while Van comes from Lucky Strike Entertainment. Azevedo has directly managed many of the biggest brands in the industry, including IGN, Group Nine Media, Machinima, and Jukin Media.

Excel Esports announced the departure co-founder Joel Holmes-Darby, who had been serving as Chief People Officer

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE – POLITICAL MEDIA BUYING IN 2020
Virtual Roundtable Event: Tuesday, OCT 20 / 1-2PM ET

Our roundtable of experts have both institutional knowledge and up-to-the-minute intelligence. Join us to learn about the must-haves of political advertising, how to streamline the process of getting your message across every screen within the all-important limited political window timeframe and more.

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(Sponsored by New York Interconnect – so it’s free to attend!)

ON THIS DAY
2013: Halo 4: Game of the Year Edition is released.

Trivia
What color was the lone button on an Atari Joystick? (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Name the character pictured last week. Answer: Halo. Kudos: Allison Weiner-MMSI/Warwick; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

Cynopsis Team

Chris Pursell
@VegasandVine
Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Roberta Caploe
Publisher
@robertacaploe

Cynopsis Ad Sales
Mike Farina
203-218-6480

Albert Nassour
917-545-3129

Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
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203-218-6480

CynopsisJobs
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