10/28/21: Pokimane makes a move; Gillette grows out Alliance; BlizzCon sits out a round
| Thursday October 28, 2021 Good morning! It’s Thursday and this is your weekly Esports Brief. Content creator and entrepreneur Imane “Pokimane” Anys is expanding her portfolio, announcing that she was taking on duties at new talent management and brand consulting firm RTS where she would serve as a co-founder and Chief Creative Officer: The goal: “fixing what is broken in both talent management and brand partnerships in the gaming and esports landscape.” “I keep seeing amazing creators that are doing wonders with their content and streams, but they don’t have the support to grow their brand and business operations. They’re spinning their wheels on basic stuff and taking a lot of frustrating partnership deals that don’t work out for either party involved,” she said. “I’ve gone through the wringer with these experiences, and we’re building RTS to be able to provide the support, alleviate the workload, and solve this for creators, developers, and brands. My goal is to take my years of experience and make it accessible to newer creators so they don’t need to go through the process I have endured.”|
Anys joins a diverse team that includes CEO Stuart Saw (former Twitch and Endeavor) along with COO Kim Phan (former Blizzard and Endeavor), VP Talent Management Sue Lee (former Twitch), and VP Sales and Partnerships Jason Scorrano (former PAX and Turner Sports), along with an advisory board which includes Kevin Lin (co-founder and former COO of Twitch), Brian Corrigan (Head of Americas for PUBG Corporation) and Karen Brodkin (Executive Vice President of Content Strategy & Partnerships at Endeavor). “Imane and I began talking last year on how we can build RTS to reimagine the creator economy and esports in a way that focuses on the sustainability of our industry,” said Saw. “She has such a keen eye on the business which will be a huge asset to creators and brands who truly want to make a long-term difference.” COMPETITION League of Legends’ World Championship 2021 continues to roar with only four teams left standing in T1, Gen.G, DAMWON KIA Gaming and Edward Gaming. According to Esports Charts, the most popular first day match of the playoffs was between the reigning world champions DWG KIA and MAD Lions, reaching 2.29 million peak viewers. Playoff viewership averages were reportedly up 2% over 2020, hitting 1.4 million people. Semifinal matches will run Oct. 30 and 31 in a best-of-five format. The final match of the championship will be held on Nov. 6.
Tournament organizer PGL appointed IMG to distribute its media rights globally for its PGL Stockholm Major 2021. The tournament will mark the sixteenth Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) Major Championship and the first time since 2014 to be held in Sweden, running through Nov. 7.
The ESL Pro League is adding Big, Furia and Heroic as the series’ newest partner teams. The agreement saw Big, Furia and Heroic each bid almost $20 million for their spot and the three squads will join the 12 existing partner teams to participate in the league on an ongoing basis. “These teams and their investors have recognized the value of what we are building with the ESL Pro League project,” said Alex Inglot, the ESL Pro League’s commissioner.
Riot Games announced a new competitive circuit for Teamfight Tactics, the team-building PvP strategy game, dubbed Teamfight Tactics Rising Legends: Gizmos and Gadgets. The slate will span from November to march 2022 and will be operated by GGTech Entertainment, featuring players from the EMEA region.
Blizzard laid out plans for the MDI Global Finals as the top six teams from the Global Region join the top team from China and the top team from the Last Stand Tournament, to compete in a series of Best of 3, double-elimination matches, on their path to the Grand Finals on October 29. A prize pool of $300,000 will be on the line with the action beginning each broadcast day at 10a PT on YouTube. Casting will be: Dan “AutomaticJak” Anzenberger; Tristan “Dratnos” Killeen; Caroline “Naguura” Forer; Peyton “Tettles” Tettleton; and Alex “Xyronic” Tatge. STREAMHATCHET Netflix recently released their shareholder letter for Q3 2021. Apart from the typical financial documents, the letter also contains viewership data for some of the platform’s top performing films and series. The reported data includes the total hours watched of a film or series during its first 28 days on Netflix. So, how does this viewership data compare to live streaming content on Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming?
· Bird Box, released in 2018, was the most watched film during its first 4 weeks on Netflix generating over 282M hours watched.
· Just Chatting content on Twitch reached 221M hours watched in September, placing 3rd compared to Netflix films during their 28-day launch period.
· Although Netflix generates much more viewership than live streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming, the content on these platforms are more dynamic. VoD’s of the streams are available but new content is produced daily across millions of channels unlike Netflix which only has static, pre-recorded content available.
For more live streaming data and insights, please visit www.streamhatchet.com. SPONSORSHIP & ACTIVATION Gillette is bringing back the Gillette Gaming Alliance, a group of global streamers selected to represent the brand and create content for audiences worldwide and offering the brand’s largest roster to date, with streamers representing a total of 11 countries. Each member of the Alliance will create custom content streams as well as highlight their shaving routines, personal style and Gillette’s newest innovation, core products including ProGlide and SkinGuard, initiatives such as Movember, and promotions when applicable. Gillette Gaming Alliance veterans – including Alanzoka (Brazil), Elded (Mexico), DrLupo (North America), DeejayKnight (North America), Buster (Russia) and LandoNorris (United Kingdom) – make their return, alongside new additions including oCastrin (Brazil), Jolavanille (France), Juansguarnizo (Mexico), DreadzTV (Russia), and Silvername (Russia), among others.
Riot Games, in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz, announced a new addition to the 2021 League of Legends World Championship. This year’s championship team will mark the occasion with special championship rings designed by Riot Games and Mercedes-Benz that will be presented to the winning team, joining the Summoner’s Cup during the Trophy Ceremony presented by Mercedes-Benz. Each team member will receive a personalized championship ring designed specifically for the 2021 Champions with the year, player’s summoner name, and team tricode all displayed on the custom fitted piece. “Championship rings are a storied tradition in sports, synonymous with the highest achievements and unmatched excellence,” said Naz Aletaha, Riot Games Global Head of League of Legends Esports. “Since the start of our partnership in 2020, Mercedes-Benz has helped elevate and celebrate the best-of-the best in LoL Esports, and we are thrilled to bring together our shared love for design and innovation to make a resounding mark on the crowning achievement of our sport.”
BLAST Premier revealed eight new partners ahead of next month’s Fall Final (Nov. 24-28), which marks the esports tournament organizer’s first LAN event in over 20 months. Elgiganten, Kia Denmark, A.P. Moller – Maersk, Xbox, OMEN, Stimorol, KPMG and Greater Copenhagen will all team up with BLAST Premier ahead of the return of fans and physical events at Copenhagen’s iconic Royal Arena venue in late November. All partners will be activating at BLAST Premier’s eagerly-anticipated return to LAN events at November’s Fall Final – via a number of fan engagement initiatives, giveaways and designated spaces at the venue to activate around on top of digital branding that will reach BLAST’s global audience watching from home.
CSL Esports announced a series of new partnerships to enhance the playing experience for collegiate student athletes participating in NACE Starleague. CORSAIR, GUNNAR Optiks, MAVIX, Metafy, and Future. In addition to establishing exclusive sponsorship engagements between the brands and NACE Starleague, the new partnerships will include a variety of activations, including broadcasting capabilities, digital marketing integration and exclusive discounts and giveaways for participating collegiate student athletes.
FaZe Clan and Nissan are partnering for the Nissan FaZe Clan Pro-Am Invitational where FaZe Clan gamers, popular Fortnite streamers, and Manchester City FC players will compete for a $100,000 prize pool with half of the earnings going to a non-profit of the winning Fortnite trios’ choice. Meet the It List
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MEET THE HONOREES MOL REGISTER TODAY PLATFORMS According to a new report from Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet, Facebook Gaming was the only major game streaming platform that saw a consistent increase in hours watched from July to September. The uptick pushed Facebook Gaming over YouTube Gaming in hours watched for Q3, notching 1.29 billion hours, while YouTube nabbed 1.13 billion. Twitch led the pack among stream viewership during the period, with 5.79 billion hours watched. TEAMS FaZe Clan is going public, announcing a definitive merger agreement to combine with B. Riley Principal 150 Merger Corp with an equity value of approximately $1 billion for the combined company inclusive of nearly $275 million of cash. Upon completion of the proposed merger, BRPM will change its name to “FaZe Holdings Inc.” The combined company’s common stock is expected to be listed on NASDAQ under the new ticker symbol “FAZE.”
FlyQuest revealed that the 12,095 trees from the TreeQuest initiative have been officially planted. TreeQuest has been just one aspect of FlyQuest’s Go Green Initiatives. Every item purchased from the FlyQuest store sees another tree planted.
Aser Ventures partnered with Ninjas in Pyjamas to launch Shinobi Sports. The joint venture will offer a suite of management, studio and media services to sports clubs looking for opportunities in the esports sphere. INDUSTRY Activision Blizzard announced that BlizzCon would no longer take place in February, even virtually, although game announcements will continue to be made. The announcement comes as the company undergoes continued sexual harassment and misconduct investigations. “We’ve decided to take a step back and pause on planning the previously announced BlizzConline event scheduled for early next year. This was a tough decision for all of us to make, but it’s the right one,” the company stated. “Whatever the event looks like in the future, we also need to ensure that it feels as safe, welcoming, and inclusive as possible.”
FIFA is reportedly ending its licensing contract with EA Sports, according to the New York Times. The publication reported that negotiations were halted after the soccer company requested that the gamer double its licensing fee of $150 million per year to $1 billion every four years. Meanwhile, EA registered a trademark for “EA Sports F.C.”
CLG named Jonathon McDaniel as general manager for the organization’s League of Legends team. McDaniel most recently served as the assistant general manager of the Golden Guardians. “Jonathon has had a great career in the League of Legends space, from scouting to coaching, and ultimately leading to jobs in the front office,” said Greg Kim, head of CLG. “I’ve always admired his work and I’m excited to have him take this next step of leading CLG’s League of Legends program back to the ultimate goal of competing for championships.” READYUP GAMES OF THE WEEK
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