Good morning! It’s Thursday and this is your early morning Esports and Gaming brief.
The start of North America’s League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split will be delayed by two weeks
and might be in jeopardy for the entire summer following a player walkout supported by the LCS Players Association.
Players voted to walk out following the LCS’ decision to remove mandates for teams in the LCS to field Tier 2 rosters in the North American Challengers League. The removal of that requirement, LCS organizer and League of Legends developer Riot Games said, was to assist teams in cost-cutting measures and being more efficient in their spending amid a difficult economic climate. However, LCS players – 50% of whom came to the league through the NACL – voted “overwhelmingly” to refuse to play until Riot came to the table to discuss the LCSPA’s proposals to improve the landscape for NACL players.
In a statement Tuesday, Riot Global Head of LoL Esports Naz Aletaha said the developer will provide a one-time payment of $300,000 to NACL organizing partner Rally Cry alongside its previously announced development of revenue-sharing opportunities for the league. Aletaha also said Riot will delay the start of the Summer Split by two weeks, but “delaying beyond the two-week window would make it nearly impossible to run a legitimate competition, and in that case, we would be prepared to cancel the entire LCS summer season.” That would also mean no North American representative at the League of Legends World Championship this year.
Following an unprecedented move by the LCSPA, Riot has set a deadline that could have massive implications for both current and future LCS players and teams. Riot also took time to explain why it would not be able to fulfill any of the LCSPA’s current requests, which will set some difficult discussions that could lead to something we’ve only seen in traditional sports before: a lockout.
| COMPETITION AND GAMING NEWS
Sony has revealed its plans for a new handheld console that will allow owners to stream their PlayStation 5 games to an eight-inch LCD screen with controller handles on each side. The product, known as Project Q for now, was shown off as part of Sony’s PlayStation Showcase alongside 30 titles that were featured during the event. Project Q seems to be a piece of Sony’s answer to Microsoft’s moves in cloud gaming, Steam’s launch of the handheld Steam Deck and, of course, Nintendo’s omnipresence in the portable gaming market. The product doesn’t have a release date yet, but the reporter that first broke the news of a new PlayStation handheld, Tom Henderson, reported on Twitter that the system is scheduled to release in mid-to-late 2023.
Riot Games has announced the Teamfight Tactics Global LAN, a 512-player open bracket event taking place Dec. 8-10 in Las Vegas. The open bracket style is a noteworthy departure from Riot’s previous offerings in both TFT and other esports, where it’s favored a more structured format with ranked play scaling into regional competition and qualifiers. The tournament will align with the release of TFT Set 10; each new set release tends to dramatically shift the game with new characters, synergies and strategies, so the massive open field is likely to generate some surprising upsets and new stars in the TFT scene.
Game developer Bungie is bringing back Marathon, the first-person shooter that built the groundwork for Halo, Destiny and a good chunk of the mechanics that modern FPS players still rely on today. Marathon, which last had a franchise release in 1996, was the series that convinced Microsoft to put the Halo franchise in Bungie’s hands. The first game in the series was released in December 1994 and introduced some modern PC combat staples, such as free movement of your mouse to aim a weapon. Now, it’s being re-imagined as an extraction shooter, a genre that’s gotten hot at multiple times in recent years thanks to releases like Escape from Tarkov and Call of Duty’s DMZ game mode. Bungie has not set a release date yet, but this title will be on many FPS fans’ wish lists.
The Call of Duty League’s New York Subliners completed one of the best bracket runs of all time during the CDL Major 5 by turning an opening round loss into six straight series wins and a championship on Sunday. The Subliners lost 3-2 to the Toronto Ultra in the first round of the winners bracket but turned things around on the lower half of the bracket, including some revenge in a 3-2 win over Toronto to make the losers bracket final. New York swept the Minnesota RØKKR to make the grand final, where they put on one of the best shows of the season in a seven-game series against the Atlanta FaZe. The Subliners won $200,000 of the tournament’s $500,000 prize pool and became the first team to win two championships on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
| SPONSORSHIP & ACTIVATION
SPORTFIVE will work with the Saudi Esports Federation to help put on the Gamers8: The Land of Heroes esports festival as well as additional projects the SEF is working on within competitive gaming. SPORTFIVE will “provide strategic sales support and project management on a range of the federation’s initiatives,” with the upcoming $45 million Gamers8 festival as the main event. Gamers8 is scheduled to take place over eight weeks beginning July 6 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with eight tournaments highlighted by Dota 2’s $15 million Riyadh Masters.
Vision care startup Vivior and GameSquare have signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal to “promote healthy digital habits” for gamers. Vivior will into multiple parts of GameSquare’s business, including GameSquare’s esports org, Complexity; GameSquare Chief Innovation Officer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins’ Ninja Labs innovation incubator; and ZONED Gaming, a GameSquare company that will become Vivior’s marketing agency of record. Vivior and Ninja Labs will kick off the partnership with a 50-person duos Fortnite tournament, including 25 creator teams and 25 open bracket teams, that will take place on a custom, Vivior-branded map.
Guild Esports has partnered with Sky UK to launch the “No Room for Abuse” campaign, an initiative which aims to combat targeted harassment in esports and gaming spaces. Sky will sponsor promotion of the campaign on social platforms, including survey work the companies collaborated on to show how pervasive toxicity and verbal abuse are for women in the gaming community. Nearly 50% of the 4,000 women the partners surveyed said they’d experienced some form of harassment while playing, and both organizations will look to highlight this and their other findings in an awareness campaign that will take place across in-person and digital activations.
Chipotle has partnered with Capcom for the release of Street Fighter 6, with the food chain becoming an official launch partner for the game and offering in-game currency for SF6 through its app and online orders. Chipotle will also put on the Chipotle Challenger Series, an esports competition with SF6 as its headlining game. The latest Street Fighter title releases June 2, with the Chipotle Challenger series beginning June 17 and offering winners a trip to the world’s biggest fighting game event, the Evolution Championship Series, later this year.
TOP 10 GAMES BY FIRST WEEK HOURS WATCHED MAY 2022 – MAY 2023
The latest game to join the top 10 video game debut’s for live streaming was The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Tears of The Kingdom was able to generate over 26.6M hours watched across major live streaming platforms during its first week of release. This ranks 9th among the top 10 video game debuts in live streaming just ahead of Supermassive Games’ The Quarry.
Before the official release for Tears of The Kingdom, there were significant increases in chat activity and viewership for the game’s prequel, Breath of the Wild. Thirty days prior to the game’s release, we saw a 218% increase in Zelda related Twitch chat mentions, and a 267% increase in hours watched for Breath of the Wild.
Read more on our blog
|2023 Tempest Awards
Get ready to make waves!
Dive into the extraordinary world of innovation and excellence at the Tempest Awards. Submit your cutting-edge work across production, talent, and technology and stand a chance to be crowned a true industry titan. Don’t miss your shot at the ultimate recognition. Make your mark, ride the storm, and let your brilliance shine!
YOUGOV LIVING DATA INSIGHTS
How the reasons for gaming vary by genre
YouGov data shows that across genres of games played, relaxation is the most popular reason cited by gamers as their purpose for gaming, followed by factors such as passing time, escaping from reality for a while and to complete challenges. But variances exist across the board – fighting gamers, for instance, are 11 percentage points likelier than sports gamers to say they play video games “to do something I can’t in real life” (33% vs 22%). MOBA gamers are 13 percentage points likelier than action gamers to play as a means to challenge themselves (46% vs 33%). It’s worth noting that many of there is a significant overlap in some of these fan bases, but the differences can help contribute to a better understanding of various game groups.
Esports organization M80 announced it has received $3 million in funding to further expand its competitive programs and launch M80 Labs, an innovation incubator that will focus on content creation, consumer products and web3 technologies. The round, led by Expert Dojo, VT Technology Ventures and Practical Venture Capital, will help M80 “build a different kind of esports organization that puts the power in the hands of our fans,” founder and CEO Marco Mereu said. M80 currently fields teams in the VALORANT Challengers League, Rainbow Six: Siege, Street Fighter and Rocket League.
Content creator Jeremy “Disguised Toast” Wang said his esports team, Disguised, will cost him $1 million this year, twice as much as the creator expected to spend. Disguised is one of several content creator-led esports organizations that cropped up over the past year, including fellow VALORANT Challengers league competitor Moist Esports (led by Charles “MoistCr1TiKaL” White Jr. and Ludwig “Ludwig” Ahgren). Fielding a roster in one of the world’s largest esports and building a League of Legends squad in North America’s Tier 2 league come with some sizable costs, though Wang appeared to take the news in stride. When one Twitter user asked when Wang expected to turn a profit on Disguised, he replied with a meme saying “we don’t do that here.”
Esports organization ENCE announced it generated a nearly $1 million profit in 2022 and that it is cash flow-positive through Q1 of 2023, according to Esports Insider. If true, the Finnish organization, which focuses on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, would be one of the few in esports to be able to show profitability on a balance sheet. ENCE’s lean model might have something to do with its financials, but the team isn’t skimping on talent; ENCE is currently the No. 11 team in the world, according to HLTV, and just reached the playoff stage of one of North America’s biggest CS:GO events, IEM Dallas.
Wisdom Gaming has laid off 40% of its staff and could be on the verge of bankruptcy, according to a report from The Esports Advocate. Wisdom, which works primarily in studio production and tournament organization, cut 17 positions in this latest staff reduction, according to TEA’s James Fudge.
Nvidia broke a market cap of $1 trillion on Tuesday thanks to its cornering of the market on GPUs used in generative AI. Nvidia, once known as a PC gaming chip maker, hit the mark during day trading and landed in the company of Apple, Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Microsoft and Amazon as a U.S. company that’s broken the $1 trillion mark, according to Reuters. “We view Nvidia as the most important company on the planet in an era that is rapidly changing towards one that will be emphasized by greater AI capabilities,” CFRA Research analyst Angelo Zino told Reuters.
Nintendo shut down the release of Dolphin, a Gamecube and Wii emulator, on Steam, according to Dolphin’s developers. Steam developer Valve made the decision to remove the emulator from its digital storefront following a cease and desist order from Nintendo, according to the Dolphin creators, who had previously been issued a DMCA by Nintendo. While some fans argue emulators like Dolphin serve a historical good by archiving and democratizing the availability of older, hardware-limited games, Nintendo is consistently protective of its IP, especially when it comes to deplatforming emulation software. “This emulator illegally circumvents Nintendo’s protection measures and runs illegal copies of games,” the company said in a statement to Kotaku. “Nintendo respects the intellectual property rights of other companies, and in turn expects others to do the same.”
Microsoft checked another box this week as South Korea approved its $69 billion acquisition of Activision-Blizzard without any additional conditions. The move follows the European Union’s and China’s approval of the deal in recent weeks, with the U.K. being the only major market to shut down the deal so far. An appeal of that decision began this week. Meanwhile, more than 40 countries have approved Microsoft’s move, though U.S. regulatory scrutiny continues, with upcoming legal proceedings against the Federal Trade Commission beginning in August.
Gaming company Embracer Group hit a setback last week as a $2 billion deal fell through in the final hours. Embracer, which recently released Dead Island 2 and is working on multiple AAA titles alongside Amazon including a recently announced Lord of the Rings title, has not named the business on the other side of the deal, but CEO Lars Wingefors said the decision was unexpected. Axios reported shares of Embracer fell 40% following the news as its earning forecast for the year also shifted from $965 million – $1.3 billion to $655-840 million for the year.
Congratulations to our Q1 2023 winners!
We are thrilled to announce our Cynopsis Standouts for Q1 2023! These exceptional individuals come from all over, including McDonald’s, Microsoft, Sony, Digitas, Geico and more, and were honored for creating and implementing solutions in diverse areas in the past quarter! Mark your calendars for July 7th when Q2 nominations open, but in the meantime, join us in celebrating!
VIEW Q1 2023 STANDOUTS
Fighting game and role-playing game fans alike have hot releases to play this month with Street Fighter __ and Diablo __ coming out. (Email [email protected] with your answer, and be sure to include your name, company and city).
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
A neighborhood in which U.S. city was recently in the news for naming its streets after Pokémon? Answer: Las Vegas. Kudos: Michael Goodman | Radio One Atlanta, Atlanta; Tom Moore | Kalt Productions, Los Angeles; David Westberg | SAG•AFTRA Federal Credit Union, Burbank, California
|DIRECTOR, PRODUCTION LIFETIME/LMN MARKETING PRODUCTION OPERATIONS
Lead campaign planning & production oversight, ensuring best-in-class creative. Direct Campaign Planning rollouts & ensure production readiness of marketing initiatives. Oversee production on high-end graphics/design/editorial projects. 7+ yrs working in a fast-paced, highly collaborative team, with relevant work exp. in production management. Full info HERE
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA INC/NYC: Determine best news stories for the program and create daily rundown. Work with show host in program preparation and execution. Identify compelling news stories. Delegate responsibilities as appropriate to producers, associate producers, and casting producers. 3+ years executive producing experience or overseeing newscast production. Full info HERE
STAGE MANAGER >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA INC/WASHINGTON DC: Works with Production management to maintains cast and crew lists and manages local rehearsal and show calendar. Oversee daily technical run-throughs directly prior to shows. Willing and able to work shifts between 12noon to 11pm and occasional Weekends and some longer hours during election and special events. Full info HERE
BROADCAST ENGINEER >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA INC/WASHINGTON DC: Troubleshooting, repair, and preventative maintenance of television broadcast equipment, computers, and broadcast computer networks in a 24x7x365 environment. Serve as E.I.C. during live and taped shows. Electrical Engineering, or other technical degree preferred. 5+ yrs as broadcast engineer, or equivalent knowledge. 5+ yrs in live TV production. Full info HERE
NEWSMAX MEDIA INC/NEW YORK: Generate story ideas through research of news reports, social media, websites & contacts. Strong understanding of Newsmax brand & talent. Identify impactful news stories that result in provocative, compelling television. Delegate responsibilities as appropriate to associate producers, assignment editors & video editors. Bachelor’s degree preferred. Full info HERE
DIRECTOR, GENERAL AUDIENCE PUBLICITY >>
PBS/ARLINGTON VA, Hybrid: Leads the strategy, development & implementation of external communications to support PBS’s general audience content & provide support for PBS’s reputation & executive visibility. Manage relationships w/notable on-camera talent, producers – including partner agencies, managers, or agents supporting their programs. 8+ yrs of public relations exp. Full info HERE
AD SALES COORDINATOR, DIRECT RESPONSE
NYC, Hybrid, Remote
Work with account executives & sales planners utilizing internal computer system to fulfill sales orders through the execution of client schedules. Serve as the primary point of contact for ad agencies & TV One to resolve discrepancies, confirm schedule changes & distribute post & pre-logs. Bachelor’s degree or 2 yrs of exp. in advertising sales. Full info HERE
MANAGER OF ENTERPRISE CONTENT, WTKR
Collaborates w/other newsroom managers to leverage the Scripps content strategy as the foundation for market-specific local content strategy. Leading a team of people to regularly & reliably produce targeted enterprise & investigative stories of impact & importance to our community. 3 yrs of exp. in digital media, journalism, broadcast preferred. Full info HERE
SR. DIRECTOR, DIGITAL PLATFORMS AND PARTNERSHIPS
SILVERSIDE MD, NYC, Hybrid Remote
Develop, cultivate, and socialize vision, mission, and strategy for Digital Business, Programming Visibility, Content Creation and Content Partnerships & Data Governance. Lead and facilitate cross-functional and cross-company project teams. 12 yrs in the media & emerging platform landscape with building digital platforms and vMVPD growth strategy. Full info HERE
VP OF BROADCAST ENGINEERING >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA, INC./NYC, NEW YORK: Oversee the planning, management, installation & maintenance of the networks technical infrastructure: studios, transmitters, digital production platforms & automated systems. Ability to deploy in the field to coordinate special events. 8+ yrs of broadcast troubleshooting in a television network environment, preferably in a network News environment. Full info HERE
MEDIA RESEARCH MANAGER
Evaluate programming for our linear and FAST channel schedules to provide insights for content strategy and audience growth. Analyze & interpret media research for programming, ad sales, marketing, and affiliate sales. Research, & preferably Nielsen background is a strongly preferred. Media Research with linear, or similar platforms, is required. Full info HERE
SCHEDULING ASSISTANT- PROGRAMMING DEPARTMENT
Partner with the Programming Director to perform scheduling tasks for our Linear and FAST Channels. This includes data entry and distributing weekly schedules. Strong attention to detail and love for data entry/meta data is a plus. This role is ideal for someone looking to break into the media world. Full info HERE
TRAFFIC ASSISTANT- AD SALES METADATA ENTRY
Performing a variety of administrative tasks to provide support to the Traffic Department. The majority of this role will focus on metadata entry and must have strong attention to detail. This role will also assist team members with projects and serve as an idea source during team meetings. Full info HERE
VIDEO EDITOR- MOTION GRAPHICS
Responsible for editing a variety of content, including but not limited to: network promos, show promos, sponsor ads and graphics. The ideal candidate is highly skilled in the Adobe editing suite and is highly motivated and organized. After Effects/Motion graphics skills are needed and coding is preferred, but not required. Full info HERE
VICE PRESIDENT, COMPENSATION
NYC, Hybrid, Remote
Review current compensation programs to identify changes needed for a true best in class compensation approach. Develop simple tools that can be used by recruiters, candidates, & employees to effectively communicate all aspects of a compensation package. Minimum of 10 + years of experience in compensation. Full info HERE
DIRECTOR OF SALES
Leader of the Sales Team. Drive new business & digital sales development. Manage inventory, rates, political sales processes & revenue forecasting. Develop and execute integrated marketing packages and projects to increase stations’ revenue. Resolve customer complaints regarding sales and service. Min. 5 years’ exp. in Television Sales Management. Full info HERE
NETWORK ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
WEIGEL BROADCASTING CO.
Building and managing relationships with existing and potential new clients and agencies through routine communication; actively grow industry relationships to gain marketplace intelligence. Generate revenue for the networks & meet monthly goals through effective outside sales techniques. 5 yrs of National Network selling and sales development exp. Full info HERE
AD SALES PLANNER >>
SINCLAIR BROADCASTING GROUP/NYC, Hybrid: Responsible for creating, analyzing & communicating sales proposals to the Sales team for presentation to advertising agencies and/or clients. Collaborate w/all media platforms & departments to create proposals, execute campaigns, manage stewardship & pacing of linear & digital deals. Point of contact post sale & provide excellent client services. Full info HERE
DIRECTOR OF SALES >>
NEXSTAR MEDIA GROUP WKRN -TV (ABC)/NASHVILLE TN: Being a Leader of the Sales Team and owning the position. Driving new business development. Managing inventory, rates, political sales processes & revenue forecasting. Developing and executing sales packages and projects to increase stations’ revenue. Performing other duties as assigned. Minimum five yrs experience in Television Station Management. Full info HERE
MANAGER, RIGHTS CLEARANCES, STANDARDS & PRACTICES
SILVER SPRING MD, Hybrid, Remote
Pre-screen broadcast programs, commercials and other content to ensure compliance with TV One’s current Content Standards, Federal Trade Commission/Federal Communications Commission regulations. Assign parental ratings to all TV One programming based on content review. 3+ yrs exp. in a rights clearances and standards and practices is preferred. Full info HERE
DIRECTOR OF AD SALES – PLATFORM PARTNER
BBC GLOBAL DIGITAL NEWS & STREAMING
BBC Global Digital News & Streaming is looking for a highly skilled, NY based, Director of Ad Sales – Platform Partner. The purpose of the role is to launch BBC Studios Youtube and social advertising proposition across the Americas, deliver advertising revenues across the BBC Studios global portfolio and build a best in market Partner Sales team. Full info HERE
LOG EDITOR, COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS
CHICAGO, IL, NEW YORK, NY – Hybrid, Remote
Prepare and update the daily assigned program log for TV One or Cleo TV. Manage the placement of key clients by using detailed instructions to ensure correct placement as ordered by the Advertising Sales team. Bachelor’s degree in a related field or 2+ years of experience in Broadcast Cable Log Operations. Full info HERE
SR. PROMO EDITOR
SILVER SPRING, Hybrid, Remote
Video editing, with primary responsibility in marketing and digital media. Work with creative marketing teams to complete their production assignments. Contribute creative ideas that will help elevate the brand. Organize, Manage and Archive Avid Media Projects and files. 10 years of video editing exp. including 5 years of promo editing exp. Full info HERE
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE – AD SALES >>
GREAT AMERICAN MEDIA/CHICAGO Remote: Strategically sells linear & digital properties to drive Ad Sales revenue. Works with agencies & clients to develop unique advertising solutions for their brands. Requires 5-10 years of sales experience with established agency & client relationships. Seeking a motivated, self-starter with strong negotiation, communication & presentation skills. Full info HERE
SALES PLANNER – AD SALES >>
GREAT AMERICAN MEDIA/NEW YORK, Hybrid/Remote: Works with Account Executives to service clients daily. Builds sales plans, maintains media schedules & handles client requests such as stewardship, liability, and traffic concerns. Seeking a motivated, self-starter with strong communication, problem-solving & time management skills. Must have 1+ year of planning experience. Full info HERE
MOTION GRAPHIC DESIGNER >>
LONG STORY SHORT MEDIA/WASHINGTON, DC: Bring creative concepts to life through design and animation. Motion Designer will work in a team environment to share fresh design perspectives and create engaging high-quality content for a variety of subjects and media. Full Info HERE
|OTHER JOBS OF INTEREST
Collaborate with other disciplines to guide the implementation of core game mechanics and project design infrastructure.
Principal Technical Designer
You will develop core rendering features, engine components and tools.
Graphics Software Engineer – MADDEN
Design and establish concrete level plan from paper map to 3D block out.
Level Designer – Sanzaru Games
Foster City CA
Driving the planning and delivery process for graphics features across multiple platforms, multiple teams, varying customer needs and timelines.
Platform Product Manager, Graphics
Work closely with the Creative team to design artwork for Machine Zone’s marketing campaigns.
Senior Graphic Designer
Palo Alto CA
Maintain a thorough understanding of the competitive landscape and markets.
Product Marketing Manager
Palo Alto CA
You will manage relationships with the best gaming companies across the world, representing Apple Arcade in the gaming industry.
Senior Manager, Content Acquisition
Demonstrated ability building apps with native Apple technologies, including Swift or Objective-C and UIKit or SwiftUI.
Software Engineer – Games Experience
Lead the supporting game designers through mentorship and growth.
Lead Game Designer
San Francisco CA
Leading Marketing Programs including Go to Market, Growth, Community and Lifecycle for Design Home.
Senior Manager, Product Marketing
San Francisco CA
You will take initiative to design and implement complex systems with little or no technical direction.
Software Engineer, Lead/Manager, Core Games
San Francisco CA
You’ll design and code innovative, scalable and robust features.
San Francisco CA
Market segmentation, targeting, and positioning
Consumer & Market Research Lead
San Francisco CA
Develop groundbreaking creative strategies to market existing games, in partnership with game teams in Helsinki and other creative partners.
San Francisco CA
Create 3D animation focused video assets with provided IP footage for marketing, SNS, internal projects, and more.
3D Creative Video Artist
Los Angeles CA