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01/07/21: ELEAGUE slates FIFA Cup card; LCS’ new look and voices; Ubisoft streamlines Rainbow circuit

Medias First Morning Read

Thursday January 7, 2021

Good morning! This is your weekly Esports Brief.
ELEAGUE and Electronic Arts unveiled five EA SPORTS FIFA 21 Global Series events that will kick off on Saturday in the ELEAGUE FIFA 21 North America Regional Online Cup. Competition will run on Twitch and YouTube with four subsequent FIFA 21 NA Regional Online Cup events set to take place through May 2021. Meanwhile, ELEAGUE will televise the best moments from the ELEAGUE NA Regional Online Cup tournaments through weekly episodes premiering on TBS in Summer 2021.

The new season of the LCS will see not only a new look. but a bevy of new voices as well. A day after revealing a rebrand for its marketing materials, Riot introduced the complete on-air team for the LCS who will handle microphone duties ahead of the league’s the first-ever Lock In tournament. New additions are set to include Emily Rand, Barento “Razleplasm” Mohammed, Hai Lam and Kieran “Allorim” Logue. They join veterans Phreak, Jatt, Kobe, CaptainFlowers, Azael, LeTigress, Crumbz, MarkZ, and Spawn. On Monday, the league received a brand refresh with the New Year, with the move following the LCK rebrand in Korea. The overhaul comes with the new season beginning Jan. 15 in North America with the three-week “Lock-In” tournament.

Ubisoft revealed plans for the future of North America Rainbow Six Esports. This year will see the publisher merge the Canadian and US Divisions into on North American division for the Rainbow Six Esports Circuit. With the news, the company will also merge the Canadian Challenger League and US Challenger league will merge into a single, unified Challenger league. This league will continue to play online as a continuation of the 2020 season.

NFL Wild Card Weekend will also see ESPN and Madden NFL team up to host the first-ever ESPN Madden NFL Wild Card Duos presented by USAA Insurance, in advance of ESPN’s Wild Card Megacast. Detroit Lions’ D’Andre Swift, Carolina Panthers’ Robby Anderson, and Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Mixon will pair up with some of the best Madden players in the world to compete in Madden NFL 21’s newest mode, The Yard. The one-hour event will premiere Thursday at 5p on ESPN2 and be available on ESPN, NFL and Madden digital channels.

Valve released plans for the return of the Dota Pro Circuit, lining up two seasons that will lead up to the famed The International 2021. The first season kicks in on Jan. 18 with each region sporting a six-week league that will lead up to a Major and spanning Jan. 18 to Feb. 28 for most regions. Season two sees all regions compete from April 13-May 23.

McLaren Racing and VELO, a nicotine pouch brand, are launching the VELO ESERIES as part of its ongoing global partnership with BAT. The announcement marks VELO’s expansion into esports and will see ex-Top Gear host and TV presenter, Rory Reid host the series as “top celebrities go head-to-head against internet sensations.” Launching this weekend, Series One kicks off with DJ, singer-songwriter and producer Craig David, and Supercar Blondie.

TGS Esports is opening the doors to the Calrissian Cup, a $ Star Wars Squadrons esports event, in partnership with Aces 5 and Crimson Wings. The series will feature monthly events broadcast live on Twitch with the grand finale in October 2021. “The recent updates to Squadrons allowing for custom matchmaking and spectating have made it easier than ever to put on events. There is no true competitive scene for this title which is why we see this as such a massive opportunity to make the Calrissian Cup the global standard for Star Wars Squadrons esports.” said Spiro Khouri, CEO of TGS. “Star Wars is such a big part of many peoples lives, including mine, and to now bring a competitive esports element to this community is something we are very excited for.”

Get ready! The Esports Business Summit is revving up for EBSU, taking our unique touch and insights to the university esports ecosystem, with a fully dedicated conference that will feature some of the biggest names in university sports and esports rallying to build the community. See ya in March!

Misfits Gaming Group partnered with ASUS Republic of Gamers to serve as the official hardware supplier of Misfits Gaming, Florida Mutineers, and Florida Mayhem. The partnership will run through the end of the year with ROG supplying high-end Strix-branded PCs and laptops to the three teams. MGG will create social content, branding content, marketing rights and more for use by ROG. “We’re excited to partner with ASUS Republic of Gamers as the official hardware provider for MGG” said Vas Roberts, VP of Partnerships at Misfits Gaming Group. “ROG is the world-renowned leader in gaming technology and has such a deep history in esports. We’re looking forward to kicking off the 2021 season with ROG powering Florida Mayhem, Florida Mutineers and Misfits Gaming. Welcome to the family!”

eUnited revealed a new partnership with Rise Above The Disorder, a non-profit dedicated to improving mental health care access and affordability. eUnited will use its platform to educate the gaming community on breaking the stigma of mental health conditions, by leveraging its players and content to send home the message of mental health awareness. eUnited will also help fundraise for RAD, aiming to open up access to mental health care for everyone.

This week, Stream Hatchet analyzed the rapid growth of mobile gaming on western streaming platforms in 2020. The mobile gaming market is booming globally but taking smaller steps in North America. With that being said, titles like PUBG Mobile and Garena Free Fire are still generating impressive viewership on YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming due to the more global nature of those platforms compared to Twitch. The mobile gaming market may finally get significant traction in 2021 as live streaming has become more mainstream and infused with pop culture.
· In 2020, mobile gaming increased 98% in total hours watched jumping from 164M in January to 326M in December.
· PUBG Mobile and Garena Free Fire were both among the top five most watched games of the year reaching 1.36B and 1.19B hours watched respectively.
· A large factor in mobile game growth is the accessibility and free-to-play nature of many popular titles which appeals to the global audience which may not have the infrastructure to support console or PC gaming.
For more information about mobile gaming trends, please visit and read our Yearly Report found on our website detailing all aspects of the living streaming and gaming industry .


Esports Charts released its roundup of the most popular esports leagues around the world in 2020, ranked by hours watched. The LCK took the top spot as the Korean League of Legends entity drew 136 million hours watched. Taking number two was the Mobile Legends Professional League with 95 million hours watched. The ESL Pro League took third for its CS:GO endeavors, with over 77 million hours watched. The LEC took fourth was nearly 73 million hours consumed, with the LCS rounding out the top five around 63 million.

In light of the current Covid-19 crisis, we’re conducting a survey to formulate insights & analysis of our market and how it will affect the future. Feedback form you will help us publish a thorough report that will provide the media sector with a trusted benchmark for expectations.

Our members will get first dibs on the report!

Everyone who takes the survey will be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card.


Dignitas, the esports vertical of New Meta Entertainment Inc. unveiled a rebrand that includes the return of ‘Digi’, a logo that originated at the team’s founding in 2003, now “reimagined to engage fans through a range of animations to communicate personality and emotions” and “allows the organization to have a mascot that better connects with esports and gaming fans.” “This new mark creates unmatched capabilities for brands and partners”, said John Spiher, Vice President of Partnerships at Dignitas, “By developing Digi as a ‘living’ part of the greater Dignitas identity, we can curate unique 2D and 3D animations, live broadcast, and other content experiences to embed our partners in more meaningful ways than ever before.”

Meanwhile, Rogue also unveiled a new look that includes a new logo as well as a new merch line supporting the changes. Parent company ReKTGlobal stated that “the new branding modernizes the Rogue look, while exemplifying Rogue’s relentless competitiveness across all of its esports teams,” per TEO.

Newbee and five of its players are now banned from future Dota 2 competitions organized by Valve Corporation, as well as Chinese partner, Perfect World Entertainment. In a post, Valve stated that the decision comes after concluding one of its largest match-fixing scandals.

Superdata’s 2020 Year in Review found that the games and interactive media industry saw growth of 12% year-over-year, with over half of US residents (55%) playing video games as a result of the first phase of COVID-19 lockdowns. Their research found that the premium games market grew 28% in 2020, anchored by games sich as DOOM Eternal, The Last of Us Part II and Cyberpunk 2077. Meanwhile, gaming video content became a $9.3 billion industry in 2020, reaching 1.2 billion viewers.

Edward Gaming announced plans for the construction of a “Shanghai International Culture and Creative Esports Center” that will cost over 10 billion yuan and is set to be completed in 2023, offering a hotel, venue, office space and more. IN the announcement, the venue is expected to host 300 international esports competitions per year with enough space for an on-site audience of 6,000.


CSL Esports and WorldGaming Chief Commercial Officer Neil Duffy is departing the organizations after a six-year run with the companies. Duffy joined WorldGaming in 2014 and sourced and led acquisition of the Collegiate StarLeague (CSL) in April 2015. Over the next six years, he led CSL’s expansion into over 15 games,1800 colleges, 11,000 teams and 85,000 student-gamers. He most recently was the Chief Commercial Officer having inked partnership deals with Riot Games, EA Sports, TikTok, 2K Sports, NBA, NFL, Bud Light, Dreamhack and General Mills, among other companies.

Method named Joel Holmes-Darby, co-founder of EXCEL Esports, as the org’s new General Manager. Holmes-Darby will work Method’s World of Warcraft guild and any future Method operations to “help enable the organisation to achieve its rebuild objective and bring on incredible talent.”

WWE SVP of programming and media operations Craig Tello announced that he is heading to Electronic Arts to serve as their head of market communications and content strategy with a focus on competitive gaming. Tello had been with WWE for nearly 15 years.

Save the Date!
Our Best of the Best Awards are coming up…

Join us on Thursday, February 25 for our virtual celebration of the industry’s Best of the Best.

Finalists will be announced later next week!

2008; Electronic Arts acquires BioWare
What game is pictured above? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Which major video game franchise takes place on the world of Gaia? Answer: Final Fantasy. Kudos: Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

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A+E NETWORKS/NYC: Dynamic digital marketer to drive growth in A+E’s Digital business by acquiring OTT, mobile, and website video streamers for A&E, HISTORY and Lifetime brands. Leverage owned, earned, and paid marketing tactics. 5 years’ experience with direct response digital marketing. Full info HERE (1/21)

A+E NETWORKS/NYC: Critical role in media acquisition team as tech liaison for suppliers/production teams to intake content and shepherd through to air. Project leadership + Media Supply Chain tech exp (camera technology/NLE workflows/content acquisition/QC). Act as technical consultant on prod/post prod. workflows across all A+E formats-scripted/non-scripted/live/movies/episodic series. 4+ yrs hands-on technical exp.(Post-Prod Sup./Online/Finishing Prod. Full info HERE (1/20)

Concept, write, produce and execute best-in-class creative launch campaigns for Peacock Originals for use on all platforms. Minimum 7 years of experience in writing, producing and video editing, experience leading 360° Originals creative campaigns in television or entertainment and Expert in digital video file formats. Full info HERE (1/19)

Looking for a Data Engineer who will be directly responsible for developing efficient data ingestion processes and automated management; develop and operationalize of machine learning models; and building robust data platforms to enable scaling of our products. 4+ years’ experience processing large amounts of structured and unstructured data in a cluster-computing environment required or similar experience in academia. Full Info HERE (1/19)

THE JIM HENSON COMPANY/LA: Collect and track pertinent data and information from production, talent, and license contracts, assist with negotiating terms and conditions of contracts and draft initial contracts and revise as needed. Minimum of two years’ experience in a law firm, network, or studio. Experience with guild agreements and/or Paralegal training and certification a plus. Full info HERE (1/19)

NBCUNIVERSAL/NYC: Seeking a Director of Data Science who will lead a team of Data Scientists that focus on the design and execution of advanced data exploration, data mining, inference and prediction of multiple traditional and non-traditional media measurement data sets. Expert knowledge of R and Python required, additional languages (i.e., Julia, Java, Scala) a plus. Full Info HERE (1/18)

Provide strategic legal counsel to Crown Media executives, on matters of the highest profile, impact, complexity or sensitivity and leads the attorney and legal specialist team members. Substantive experience handling and advising on entertainment network legal issues within a broadcast/cable/digital in-house environment is sought. HERE (1/18)

A+E NETWORKS/NYC: Ensure Ads are compliant with A+E’s policies and federal guidelines during content and advertising review. Liaise with internal Ad Sales executives and external Ad Agencies. 5+ years experience, preferably at a network working in Ad Standards & Practices/Commercial Clearance. Strong familiarity with rules including FDA, FTC and FCC regulations, indecency and trade libel. Full info HERE (1/17)

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