Thursday February 11, 2021
Good morning! This is your weekly Esports Brief.
The new season of Call of Duty League gets underway with a shiny new sponsor,
with USAA unlocking a multi-year deal that will designate USAA as the League’s Official Insurance Sponsor, the presenting partner of the League’s match day pre-show program and its first-ever Military Appreciation Week. Season two of Call of Duty League kicks in today. As part of the sponsorship, USAA will be the exclusive presenting partner of the Call of Duty League’s match day pre-show segment – titled the “USAA Pre-Show” – streaming live at the beginning of each League match broadcast throughout the season. USAA will also be the exclusive presenting partner of the League’s inaugural “Military Appreciation Week.”
“We understand how gaming can strengthen bonds and connect friends and families across the world. We are excited to join the Call of Duty League as an ally in the trenches for our military community gamers, and young currently serving and veterans in particular,” said Eric Engquist, USAA vice president of enterprise brand management and U.S. Army veteran. “This partnership will allow us to meet military members where they are and provide them with unique experiences and benefits through the Call of Duty League.”
Riot Games unveiled the Teamfight Tactics: Fates Championship
, the next global tournament for the League of Legends auto-battler. The TFT Fates Championship will expand the competition at both the regional and international level adding additional prizing, regional qualifiers, with a larger global final. Competition runs April 7-9 and will feature twenty-four of the best players in the world competing for $250,000. “Teamfight Tactics continues to be one of our fastest-growing titles due to its accessibility and depth,” said Whalen Rozelle, Sr. Director of Esports at Riot Games. “To meet the massive demand for organized competition, for the Fates Championship we increased both the prize pool and the number of players who can qualify for the event. We also will explore new ways to further celebrate the esport globally.”
The LCS has published viewership stats from the first-ever three-week LCS Lock In tournament. According to Riot, across all three weeks of the tournament, the event notched an Average Minute Audience of 196,000 with fans watching more than 9.4 million hours. That is an uptick of 43% from the first three weeks of Spring 2020. The Jan. 31 finishing match between Team Liquid and Cloud9 had an AMA of 246,000 and peaked at 372,000 viewers on English-language broadcasts.
ESL Gaming revealed details of one of the two ESL Pro Tour Masters Championships and IEM Katowice 2021. Running entirely online from Feb. 16-28, IEM Katowice will feature a $1,000,000 prize pool, as well as serve as the culmination of the CS:GO and StarCraft II EPT Championships, while the Warcraft III EPT Championship will follow as a separate tournament March 4-7. In preparation for the ESL Pro Tour Championship, ESL Gaming worked each of the 24 participating teams to provide equipment that will enhance the broadcast quality. Continued adaptations are also being made to the new virtual studio environment, such as fan cam rooms where fans will be able to cheer on their favorite teams during the action.
The International Esports Federation laid out its schedule of events for 2021, which will include the inaugural World Super League. Game titles for the 2021 Esports World Championship are set to be announced next month with regional matches scheduled to held from September to October, with the global finals slated for November in Eilat, Israel.
What do you get when you cross gaming’s top publishers, the nation’s stalwart collegiate conferences, a bevy of schools, and a healthy serving of tournament operators and brands? Why you get EBS University, the major new event from Esports Business Summit that is fully dedicated to the community and business of collegiate esports. We are locking in some incredible names that will be announced in the coming weeks but be sure to get your tickets as soon as you can for this virtual feast. Click here for more information.
The Hearthstone Grandmasters make a grand return in April and will sport several format changes to the eight-week tournament. Play opens on April 9, with players competing in Weekly Dual Tournaments from Thursday to Sunday. Players will receive points each week based on their finishes to lock in standings before the playoffs.
The Pokémon Company is canceling the 2021 Pokémon World Championships. The next World Championships will now take place in 2022 in London. “The safety and well-being of our competitors, organizers, employees, local communities, and partners continues to be our top priority and is the primary consideration with every decision we make,” the company stated in a post to fans.
The MotoGP eSport Championship takes another lap in 2021, offering an expanded format and new challenges with the season set to begin on March 18 with the Pro Draft. The Global Series will then shift from online to on-site in May, with players competing for the Championship crown across eight races across four rounds from May-November.
KRAFTON laid out its PUBG esports plan for 2021 and will hold a total of four global esports events this year including the PUBG Continental Series with PCS4 being held in June and PCS5 held in September. The action will culminate with the PUBG Global Championship in November
Super League Gaming dishes out the third annual Galentine’s Games this month, as four female, female-identifying, and/or non-binary teams compete in a League of Legends invitational tournament with each team’s winnings set to support a women’s-focused charity they selected – Black Girls Code, Girls Who Code, Live Your Dream, California Breast Cancer Research Program. “Galentine’s Games started as a labor of love by treasured Super Leaguers and has now become an important component of our esports footprint,” said Ann Hand, Chief Executive Officer for Super League. “We are thrilled to be broadcasting the third annual tournament that is certain to provide quality, compelling gameplay for League of Legends fans everywhere, while also helping to shine a light on top female, female-identifying, and/or non-binary amateur players whose gameplay and personal stories deserve to be celebrated.”
Riot Games unveiled a partnership with META to serve as the exclusive provider for high school and university esports tournaments in Australia and New Zealand across Riot’s major PC titles League of Legends, VALORANT, Teamfight Tactics, and Legends of Runeterra. In partnership with Riot, META will operate and broadcast a tournament series for students within their school environments, and provide opportunities for students to challenge themselves and develop in local and national leagues. META leagues for each Riot title will culminate in a Grand Final to determine the best school teams in the Oceanic region.
100 Thieves cut a deal with Dollar Shave Club
to serve as Founding Partner of the Los Angeles Thieves Call of Duty League team. As the founding sponsor, DSC will create the Dollar Shave Club LA Thieves Practice Facility at the 100 Thieves Cash App Compound and will also be featured on the LA Thieves Player kits for the 2021 Call of Duty League season. Additionally, DSC will be the presenting sponsor of two series focusing on the Call of Duty League – , a docu-series featuring the LA Thieves team during their 2021 season and ‘Run it Up’, a commentary series hosted by former Call of Duty pro ‘Enable’. The brand will also show up throughout the year in other 100 Thieves’ original content, live streamed events, limited-edition items, and more.
Across the country, Andbox struck a deal with ASTRO Gaming, which will become the official audio partner of Andbox’s CDL franchise New York Subliners, Overwatch League franchise New York Excelsior as well as the organization’s VALORANT squad. The trio of teams will use ASTRO Gaming headsets during competitions, practice, and live streams along with its logo placed on the jerseys of New York Excelsior and Andbox teams.
XSET named HyperX as its official peripheral and memory partner in a partnership that will see HyperX exclusively outfit XSET’s esports roster and content creators with a lineup of products that include headsets, keyboards and mice, microphones and memory.
STREAM HATCHET TRENDS
This week, Stream Hatchet analyzed the growth of simulated racing viewership over the past six months
. The genre has grown in popularity especially as a form of “sports” during the pandemic which halted most traditional events. From the comfort of their home, professional sim racers have been competing in large events as millions tuned in to watch. Games like iRacing and Assetto Corsa Competizione generated massive viewership north of 20M hours watched in 2020.
Simulated racing is in a position to further increase its live streaming market share while it’s trending. More events, sponsorships, drivers, and fans could lead the genre to even higher records in 2021. External factors like safety compared to actual racing, lower barriers to entry, and even sports betting could aid the genres growth.
· Since August, simulated racing total hours watched increased 94% month-over-month. January 2021 has been the most successful month with over 4.4M hours watched from all sim racing titles.
· Even as traditional sports have slowly been reintroduced during the pandemic, sim racing continues to climb higher. The interest generated from live streams appears to be sticky creating a prosperous community.
· Sim racing events have also helped the genre grow in popularity. The F1 Virtual Grand Prix #2 peaked at over 308K concurrent viewers in April of 2020.
For more live streaming data and insights, please visit www.streamhatchet.com/insights.
BE ON TOP OF YOUR GAME FOR 2021
The Cynopsis Membership Program is here to provide the insights + research to make you the smartest person in the (virtual) room.
Join more than 100k leading executives from agencies, brands, networks, streamers & tech companies who already look to Cynopsis to be their guide to working smarter + connecting more.
KICK START YOUR NEW YEAR – JOIN TODAY
Gaming and esports media network VENN laid out new programming on the docket.
Content will include League of Legends esports talk show Facecheck with Christian ‘IWDominate’ Rivera and Nick ‘LS’ De Cesare tapped as talent, along with ‘Origin Stories’, an interview show hosted by OpTic Gaming Founder and CEO Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez. According to the network, more programming, content, and distribution deals are expected to be unveiled ‘over the coming months’.
The National Football League is teaming with Skillz to crowdsource a future mobile esport. As part of the agreement, the two organizations will host a global game developer challenge that will see competing developers have the opportunity to develop an NFL-themed mobile game. The game will be powered by the Skillz esports platform and will have joint marketing support from both the NFL and Skillz. The developer challenge will launch in the second quarter of 2021 and will be open to all genres except for 11 v 11 simulated games.
The*gameHERs, a media platform that connects, supports and empowers women in gaming, is partnering with Logitech to present the Dream Stream event series, which will highlight nominees and finalists from various award categories including Top Esports Player of the Year, Twitch Streamer of the Year, Cosplayer of the Year, and more, by inviting them to participate in the five-week streaming event that runs through Feb. 26. The stream will run each week from Monday to Friday featuring engaging content, giveaways, open conversations and more on the company’s Twitch channel.
Minnesota Røkkr parent company WISE Ventures Esports will now be known as Version1,
while adding a VALORANT squad under its umbrella. “The timing is right to align our organizational initiatives under the Version1 brand,” said Brett Diamond, Chief Operating Officer at Version1
. “With three competitive esports teams and plans ahead for continued growth and diversification of our content, we’ve reached an important milestone.”
Team Liquid inked a collaboration/original collection with Naruto Shippuden. The upcoming lifestyle apparel collection will showcase members of the Hidden Leaf village alongside Team Liquid iconography. Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, Kakashi and more will be prominently featured across over a dozen select pieces, including a denim jacket, Jonin-inspired parka, cargo joggers, stylized hoodies and several short sleeve tees.
Danish esports outfit North is closing its doors, as Lars Bo Jeppesen, Chairman of North and Director of Parken Sport & Entertainment, made the announcement that investors were pulling out as a result of the pandemic.
Multiple reports state that Riot Games is investigating allegations of gender discrimination and sexual harassment
by company CEO, Nicolo Laurent, following a legal complaint. “Core to giving Rioters confidence in our commitment to culture transformation is taking all allegations of harassment or discrimination very seriously, thoroughly investigating claims and taking action against anyone who is found to have violated our policies,” the company said in a statement to media. “In this case, because some of the claims relate to an executive leader, a special committee of our Board of Directors is overseeing the investigation, which is being conducted by an outside law firm. Our CEO has pledged his full cooperation and support during this process, and we’re committed to ensuring that all claims are thoroughly explored and appropriately resolved.”
CSL Esports announced a collaboration with SeventySix Capital Sports Advisory to create and identify new business partnerships and sponsorship opportunities for the college esports league and its upcoming expansion into new educational-based programming. “We are excited to be collaborating with SeventySix Capital Sports Advisory to identify new partners that, like us, want to inspire and impact the lives of students through esports,” said Rob Johnson, CEO, CSL Esports. “SeventySix Capital Sports Advisory is the perfect partner as they are change-makers in the ever-evolving sports landscape, including esports.”
Creative company Gravity Road has launched a gaming, sponsorship and esports marketing practice that will primarily run out of its New York HQ. In addition, the company has, through holding company, brandtech group You & Mr Jones, made a strategic investment in gaming venture fund Griffin Gaming Partners (GGP), which provides Gravity Road with early strategic access at C-suite level to key partners across the global gaming ecosystem.
If You’re Ready to Create Change, Attend This Webinar
On February 23 at 1:00 PM ET to get the insights you need to hold the industry accountable and hear a panel of CEOs (speakers to be named) discuss the strategies needed to make a difference in the multi-billion-dollar industry. You’ll learn how to set benchmarks to measure the evolution of equality in business, best practices from forward-thinking companies and more
ON THIS DAY
2005: World of Warcraft is released in the EU.
This “Family Matters” star voiced Sonic the Hedgehog across multiple shows. Who was he? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
This Detroit Lions RB is the first in his position to be a part of the Madden 100 Overall Club in 2001. Who was he? Answer: Barry Sanders. Kudos: Mick Reuther/Sydney; Ken Hakamoto/Tokyo; Danny Araque/NY; Joey Olson-Lowe’s/Arlington; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; C.J. Bottitta-Big Picture Productions/Apex; Julie Schell/Chicago; Vincent Leon/San Antonio; Daniel Hanson/Vail; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Andy Babb-Super League Gaming/Santa Monica; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente
|OTT PLATFORMS EXECUTIVE CONSULTANT
Castify.ai, a global leader in CTV content distribution, allows video content owners to publish & monetize their content as a native app or channel, across multiple CTV and OTT platforms, is looking for a well-connected media consultant who can liaise with OTT and CTV distribution partners. The consultant will have the primary responsibility to extend the reach and lead the relationships with our OTT and CTV partners. Full info HERE (2/26)
SENIOR DIRECTOR, CONTENT ACQUISITIONS >>
FILMRISE/NYC or LA: Develop licensing and distribution partnership opportunities; Oversee company’s existing servicing partnerships business and identify new prospective partners. Minimum 5 to 7 years of experience in an acquisitions, sales, or business development role at a film or television company. Candidate should have existing network of content relationships across the industry. Full info HERE (2/23)
TECHNICAL OPERATIONS >>
FILM RISE/NYC: Support our IT team and manage our digital assets. We are looking for someone extremely detail-oriented with strong organizational skills. Previous experience with digital asset coordination is preferred, working knowledge of Premiere Pro required. Full info HERE (2/23)
VP ORIGINAL SERIES DTC >>
discovery+/LA: This D+ Original Content role will serve as a key member of the DTC Content Team, driving original content strategy and execution for discovery+. Must have at least 2 years streaming experience, excellent analytical skills, strong creative judgement, and be a great collaborator. Full info HERE (2/22)
LINE PRODUCER >>
JV PRODUCTIONS/REMOTE: Experienced PM or Line Producer needed to help command the production process for a new unscripted Reno & Build Series. You’ll manage logistics, balance vision with time & money, and strategize with others to ensure an efficient, fun, safe and high-quality production. Full info HERE (2/22)
SENIOR COUNSEL >>
FILM RISE/NYC or LA: Looking for New York or California bar member for drafting and negotiating content acquisition and distribution agreements, television contracts, releases, agreements with streaming platforms, software licenses, vendor agreements and NDAs. Must possess solid understanding of digital streaming platforms and contracts, and substantive knowledge of contract law principles. Full info HERE (2/20)
COORDINATOR, SOCIAL MEDIA >>
MEDIA CROWN FAMILY NETWORKS/STUDIO CITY CA: Will support Social Marketing initiatives through creating and gathering compelling content, assets, and graphics for all segments and platforms of our Social Media presence. Responsible for writing post/tweet copy to go with created assets, scheduling content, and making sure all assets are up to date. Liaise with other internal departments and agencies on all trafficking of assets, media buys, and fulfillment of giveaways. 1-2 years of experience in entertainment. Full info HERE (2/19)
MANAGER, LOCAL SALES >>
NEXSTAR MEDIA GROUP/INDIANAPOLIS: Development of new business and achievement of revenue goals. Makes decisions regarding hiring, evaluation, promotion, and termination of account executives and sales assistants. 3-5 years of television sales management experience is preferred. 5+ years television sales experience mandatory. Full info HERE (2/19)
DIRECTOR OF BRAND PARTNERSHIPS >>
TEAM WHISTLE/NYC/REMOTE: Win Revenue– prospect, connect with, and secure partnership from agency-led and client-direct branded partners. Educate the media market on the Team Whistle product line and generate revenue via selling video, branded content, and white-label solutions. Experience selling branded content, familiarity within the larger sports/entertainment media landscape, and 5+ years partnering with ad agencies and clients directly required. Full info HERE (2/19)
NEWS DIRECTOR >>
NEXSTAR MEDIA GROUP – KTLA/LOS ANGELES: Manages all aspects of the News Department (other than Production), plans and manages staffing, training, and performance evaluations for the News Department. Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism, or a related field, or an equivalent combination of education and work-related experience required. Full info HERE (2/19)
MANAGER, A&E STRATEGIST, SHORT FORM MONETIZATION >>
A+E NETWORKS/NYC: Digital content strategist to drive distribution and revenue for video content across key digital platforms, primarily A&E’s YouTube Channel. Strong project manager who will leverage data to drive decision making. 3-5 years’ experience working with digital video strategies at the brand/publishing level. Full info HERE (2/18)
SENIOR TALENT BOOKER >>
THE PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA/NYC: Procure talent – research, invite and secure the highest-level speakers/panelists and moderators; book and produce unique and influential programs. 10+ years of programming experience securing high profile talent for industry, entertainment, sports and media programs and other special events on time and within budget. Full info HERE (2/18)
NATIONAL BUYER >>
ANCHOR TRADING/NY: National Linear Buyer, negotiate and strategize to obtain maximum ROI. Collaborator with strong analytical skills, media relationships and buy management. At least 3 years relevant prior work experience in National Media. Full info HERE (2/18)
SALES PLANNER >>
FIRST MEDIA/NYC: Sales Planner, manages and executes the completion and fulfillment of RFPs, works cross-divisionally to help fulfill client requests and compiles, maintains, and distributes weekly booked business report. At least 2 years relevant prior work experience in the advertising industry and Analytical and able to take a strategic approach when creating proposals required. Full info HERE (2/17)
SENIOR DIRECTOR, DATA SCIENCE >>
NBCUNIVERSAL/NYC: Lead and manage a team of Data Scientists in the development of high-impact tools for ad hoc projects and on-going operational analytic platforms, partner with business leaders across NBCUniversal to identify, build, and implement capabilities to leverage advanced data science. Advanced Degree (PhD strongly preferred) with a specialization in Statistics, Computer Science, Data Science, Economics, Mathematics, Operations Research, or other equivalent quantitative fields. Full info HERE (2/17)
SALES PLANNER >>
UPTV/NYC: Work with advertising agency contacts and other advertising sales personnel to ensure that administration aspects of accounts are in order, build, revise and maintain all sales proposals for AEs. Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university; at least 1+ years related cable experience preferred. Full info HERE (2/17)
MANAGER, DIGITAL MARKETING >>
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 (2/16)
LEARN/UPDATE/REFINE YOUR EXCEL SKILLS >>
MY SOFTWARE TUTOR: MST offers three levels of real-time, online courses in Excel with a live instructor: Fundamentals, Basics, and Intermediate. These courses deliver practical, functional business skills to increase your marketability. Use promo code CYNOPSIS20 to unlock a 20% savings. Full info HERE (2/16)
MEDIA EXECUTIVE CONSULTANT >>
AROUND ROBIN PRODUCTION COMPANY/WASHINGTON, DC: Looking for a Media Executive Consultant who can connect a content creator with distribution partners. Will be tasked with consulting production company on strategy of selling content. Must have experience in sales, traditional and digital media, and distribution strategy Full info HERE (2/16)
KEY ART DESIGNER/SENIOR DESIGNER >>
SJI ASSOCIATE/REMOTE: Looking for a passionate designer, enthusiastic about working on creative and conceptual design projects. The designer will work within a team of Art Directors and Designers to create high impact key art, and streaming platform product art. Candidates should be well versed in design principles for both print and digital deliverables. 7+ years agency experience, background in entertainment design preferred. Full info HERE (2/16)
OTHER JOBS OF INTEREST
You will utilize your deep experience to simplify processes through automation while developing production software to continuously improve reliability.
Site Reliability Engineer III
Contribute to sprint development, executing on availability and performance topics within our product roadmap.
Staff Site Reliability Engineer
Define and apply efficient team structures, continually seeking opportunities to maximize agility and productivity.
Director, Software Engineering
Work hand in hand with Engineering teams to clearly communicate a customer’s needs, wants, and timelines.
Lead, Public Sector Solutions Engineer
Driving the design and iteration of new features and games, making good use of internal and external feedback.
Game Development Software Engineer
You will design and publish user interfaces, architectures, layouts, and graphics, we devise and implement user studies.
Visual & User Experience Designer
Develop a close working relationship with the account managers, 3rd party partners, and retailer(s).
Senior Manager, Channel Marketing
Creating stunning visuals effects for the FPS genre using proprietary real time particle systems.
Senior VFX Artist
Foster City CA
Create visually appealing, realistic 3D models of natural and architectural elements based on concept art and photo reference.
Senior Environment Artist
Foster City CA
Assist in developing and executing comprehensive global marketing plans for Gotham Knights and Hogwarts Legacy.
Associate Manager, Brand Marketing
Present and sell designs and key milestone deliverables to internal teams and key stakeholders; effectively manage internal and external feedback.
Senior UI/UX Designer
Create exploration and visualization interfaces in our BI tools and promote the use of these sources across the company through training programs.
Senior Data Engineer
San Francisco CA
Work across both technical and business-focused teams to provide value to our creators.
Senior Software Engineer – Android
San Francisco CA
Clearly communicate the direction of the project to the team.
Los Angeles CA
Work with leadership to ensure work is prioritized in line with the creative vision.
Los Angeles CA