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11/5/20: World Cyber Games 2020 Connected Finalists Announced; Call of Duty Challengers unveils new Scouting Series


 

 

Medias First Morning Read
Thursday November 5, 2020

Good morning! It’s Thursday, November 5 and this is your weekly Esports Brief.

COMPETITION

Finalists for the international World Cyber Games 2020 Connected were announced, and they’re heading to the Grand Final to compete for the nearly $300,000 cash prize. Streamed from November 5 through November 8, the Grand Final will see the top teams compete in four titles: Warcraft III: Reforged, CROSSFIRE, Honor of Kings and EA Sports FIFA Online 4. Players will battle it out in single elimination rounds with games lasting 90 to 120 minutes.

The NFL will host the inaugural Madden NFL 21 x HBCU Tournament produced by Nerd Street Gamers, via a partnership with the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The tournament it designed to connect HBCU communities and encourage competition among the most talented Madden NFL 21 players. Participation is open to all registered students at SWAC, MEAC, SIAC and CIAA Institutions.

Square Enix announced that the fourth Outriders broadcast will air Thursday, November 5 at 12p. The new episode will give players more information on the post-campaign content that awaits them in Outriders, the high-intensity RPG-Shooter where survival demands aggression, from People Can Fly.

Immortals Gaming Club is teaming with Southern California Toyota Dealers to launch a second tournament with its Immortals League of Legends team. “IMT is excited to renew its partnership with SoCal Toyota for the IMT Fall Showdown. Coming off of the huge success of our tournament in May, we look forward to bringing an even bigger platform to life in November. Given the realities of COVID, this tournament will provide a rare and necessary competitive opportunity for 12 university teams. It’s a great way for fans of Toyota and gaming to connect, root for their teams and have a blast,” said Jon Tuck, CCO of Immortals Gaming Club. The IMT University Fall Showdown will take place over two weekends on November 7 and November 14.

Chess Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen’s Play Magnus Group has teamed with digital chess platform chess24 to launch the Champions Chess Tour. The 10-tournament competition series has a total prize pool of $1.5 million USD. The event is slated to kick off later this month, ending in September 2021. Carlsen previously hosted a chess tour in the early stages of the pandemic lockdown last April.

ACTIVATION

Call of Duty Challengers unveiled the new Scouting Series and Challengers Elite program on Friday. It helps to expose top amateur talent, providing more ways for them to get noticed. The Scouting Series allows top unsigned players from Call of Duty Challengers to compete with unsigned professional form the 2020 season. A total of 128 players (64 from NA and EU) will be invited based on points collected during the 2020 sea son. The Scouting Series will take place December 15 to 18.

PUBG Esports kicks off PCS3 North America Grand Final on November 7. PCS3 items are now on sale with 25% revenue distributed back to global pro teams and added to the $800,000 USD total prize pool.

ONE WEEK AWAY

HARNESSING THE POWER OF LOCAL NEWS
Free Cynopsis Webinar: Nov. 12 / 2PM ET
Sponsored by New York Interconnect
Thanks to News 12 GM and Anchor, attendees will gain exclusive insight on how a local news network keeps viewers well-informed during tumultuous times. Also, hear from the agency side as the Associate Director for Hyundai at Canvas will discuss how the events in 2020 impacted strategy, spend, and messaging… and how advertisers are now returning to the market.

 

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STREAM HATCHET TRENDS

This week, Stream Hatchet tracked the election day live streaming coverage across Twitch and YouTube. Streaming platforms have become a very popular destination for traditional media to reach a broader, and possibly younger, audience. Out of all streams, NBC was the most popular media outlet, while HasanAbi was the most popular influencer for election news. In the future, it’s possible that more political influencers flock to streaming platforms to grow an organic audience outside of traditional media.

—NBC led all live streaming channels with 21.4% of the total market share of election day coverage.
—HasanAbi was the most popular influencer with about 2.5M hours watched and a peak concurrency of 227K viewers. He had become the go-to channel for opinionated political news on Twitch.
—In total, there was over 50M hours consumed of election day coverage across Twitch and YouTube, roughly 5x more viewership than the last presidential debate.

For more insights about political news coverage across live streaming platforms, please visit http://www.streamhatchet.com/insights.

 
PLATFORMS

Freaks 4U Gaming struck a strategic partnership with Infront for the commercialization of a new Valorant-focused German platform, Agent’s Range. It will provide editorial and video content for the game, as well as host different tournaments. As part of the launch, Agent’s Range will host its kickoff tournament, Kingdom Calling, on Friday, November 6. Samsung, Red Bull and AMD were secured as sponsors for the inaugural event.

TEAMS

Following an inconsistent run through the 2020 League of Legends season, Evil Geniuses has picked up former MAD Lions coach Peter Dun to lead its LCS team as head coach into next year. Dun joined MAD Lions as the head of its coaching staff in 2019, where he and head coach James MacCormack helped guide their roster to an 11-7 record.

October’s gaming insights include a mix of general gaming updates as well as perceptions from around the league. The most talked about teams and countries that Tweeted the most from the inaugural season of @CODLeague were @Huntsmen, @ATLFaZe, @DallasEmpire, @ROKKR and @RoyalRavens. Checking out Activision Blizzard Esports League and @overwatchleague, props to @NRGgg for taking the top spot in both leagues. Owl2020’s most tweeted about teams were @SFShock, @ParisEternal, @NYXL, @DallasFuel and @Fusion. Meanwhile, over at @lolesports, taking a look at the most talked about teams and countries tweeting the most for @LCSOfficial, @Cloud9 took the #1 spot in both splits, this year. As for the most talked about esports teams, taking a look at the rankings for the US, @NRGgg secured 3 out of 10 spots, while @FaZeClan @TSM placed first and second, respectively.

INDUSTRY

The EA SPORTS FIFA 21 Challenge was the most-watched esports event to date. The one-day competition, pairing top professional footballers with the world’s best FIFA players, had an average minute audience of 254,057. In addition, the broadcast more than doubled the viewership metric set by the next most-watched EA operated event, the FIFA Global Series FUT Champions Cup: Barcelona in 2018.

Engine Media Holdings, Inc. completed the sale of IDEAS+CARS, The Race Media, WTFI and Driver DataBase – collectively the “Motorsports Assets” — to Ideas + Cars Holding Limited, a third-party investment group in the UK. The move allows Engine to eliminate its funding obligations related to the cost of maintaining and growing these auto media businesses and some accrued liabilities, while reorganizing its leadership team. Namely, moving to a single CEO role under Lou Schwartz, with Tom Rogers remaining Executive Chairman. Rogers offered a strategic review, noting that “Torque Esports assets that folded in Engine Media as part of the three-way merger with Winview Games and Frankly Media are critical elements of the combined company. Those assets are Stream Hatchet, the esports data and measurement business; UMG – Ultimate Multiparty Gaming – the esports competitive gaming platform; and Eden Games, the mobile game publisher that, among other games, created F1, the leading mobile game for Formula One fans. The other auto related businesses being sold are not focused on gaming, but instead are developing esport and traditional sport racing audiences with the creation and production of auto racing content.”

Blizzard’s virtual BlizzCon will be free to watch, this year. Since the event didn’t go ahead as usual, like most others in 2020, there will be an all-digital replacement in February, BlizzConline. Unlike with BlizzCon proper, which featured certain aspects free, but charged a $50 fee for developer panels, cosplay contests and the closing ceremony, last year, fans will be able to stream it in its entirety gratis. “We want it to be a big virtual celebration, so BlizzConline will be free to watch and engage in,” said Blizzard president, J. Allen Brack in a fireside chat video.

Backstageplay announced the mutual termination of its merger agreement with eUnited, citing the impact of the pandemic as a major factor. The release from Backstageplay noted that the two companies “have agreed to continue discussions as to commercial and strategic alternatives through which they can forge a continuing relationship.” Meanwhile, Backstageplay is still looking at building “synergies between esports and social gaming,” particularly with eUnited in the future. The gaming platform also noted that it still plans to explore other opportunities in the esports sector to eventually carry out its goal of integrating competitive gaming into its services.

PokerStars added to its network of esports connections via a partnership with Team Furia. The deal will open up new opportunities in Central and South America. Long time PokerStars pro Andre Akkari will lead the team of streamers committed to strengthening the links between poker, esports and the world of entertainment. The goal
Is to build on the close ties that online poker players and esports gamers already share.

A written statement from the IOC’s Esports and Gaming Liaison Group to all summer and winter federations states that they do not plan to recognize any group or organization as “the world governing body of esports.” That includes Tencent’s Global Esports Federation. According to the report by insidethegames, sports have been “warned” by the IOC not to join the GEF.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by 12 esports federations to form the Caribbean Esports Federations Alliance. Reportedly backed by many stakeholders and partners, the formation of CEFA is an effort to continue esports’ growth in the Caribbean region and combine the efforts of all federations involved. The 12 countries represented in the agreement are The Bahamas, St. Lucia, Cubs, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Suriname, Venezuela, Haiti and Jamaica. The alliance is expecting more countries to join once esports entities have been formed.

ROSTER MOVES

Former Blizzard Entertainment Chief Security Officer, Mark Adams, was hired as new Chief Security Office and Senior Vice President on Adobe. He replaces Brad Arkin, who left the company in March to join Cisco as its new Senior Vice President, Chief Security & Trust Officer.

HONOREES + FINALISTS ANNOUNCED!

 

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2000: Donkey Kong Country, Game Boy Color version, was released.

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DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT >>
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