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08/03/23: Project L, Riot Games’ upcoming fighting game, will be playable at Evo


Medias First Morning Read
Thursday August 3, 2023

Good morning! It’s Thursday and this is your early morning Esports and Gaming brief.

Project L, Riot Games’ upcoming fighting game, will be playable at Evo, the largest fighting game tournament in the world, the companies announced. The project codenamed Project L has been years in the making for Riot as the company continues to branch out into other competitive game genres and single-player content through its third-party Riot Forge development program.

Riot’s latest move is designed to capture core players during one of the biggest moments of the year for the fighting game community. Evo, which runs from Friday to Sunday at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, will feature eight fighting game tournaments across some of the genre’s most popular titles, including Street Fighter 6, Mortal Kombat 11, Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and more.

The Evo Project L demo will feature four playable characters, with Riot already showing off some gameplay ahead of the event. Positive reception could lead to another big splash in a marquee genre for the League of Legends developer, who took a similar approach in creating smash hit VALORANT, which quickly became one of the premier first-person shooter esports in the world.

You can find out more about Project L and the future of live gaming experiences at the Esports & Gaming Business Summit, taking place Oct. 22-24 in Las Vegas. Register here.


Like to get involved in this year’s Tempest Esports & Gaming awards? We’re looking for professionals in the esports and gaming industry to join our judge’s panel. Email [email protected] August 9th with a short blurb on why you would be a great judge. Know a company that deserves to be recognized? Submit your entry by visiting our website.


The VALORANT Champions Tour will bring its Masters event to Shanghai “to celebrate the one-year anniversary of VALORANT in China,” Leo Faria, VALORANT’s Global Head of Esports, announced late last week. Masters tournaments are international competitions featuring top teams from around the world in Riot Games’ VCT regions. While VALORANT only officially launched in China in mid-July, the game has been playable there since 2022 while under review from the Chinese government. Faria has voiced that Riot hopes to make China a VCT region in the coming year and lean on the popularity of Riot ecosystems such as League of Legends to make a splash in the country.

Nintendo is reportedly bringing a new console to market in 2024, with the project scheduled to drop in the second half of the year. According to a report from Video Games Chronicle, Nintendo has provided developer kits to third parties as it prepares its repertoire of playable games for the new console. The console will reportedly have similar portable features to the Nintendo Switch, which leaned into that differentiator and its standout IP such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at launch to shake up the industry. The original Nintendo Switch came out in 2017, and since then competitors such as Sony via an upcoming portable device, Microsoft via its cloud technology, and Steam via its Steam Deck portable have increased competition in the high-quality handheld marketplace. It will be interesting to see what innovations Nintendo brings to the table to compete.

The Madden Championship Series announced details of its 2024 circuit Tuesday, including monthly competitions that will double opportunities to compete in the MCS. The league will feature a $1.7 million prize pool this season and also focus on returning major competitions to LAN settings, including the upcoming Ultimate Kickoff event beginning Aug. 19. The latest installment in the Madden NFL series is scheduled to release Aug. 18.

Action-shooter role-playing game Remnant 2 has become a surprise hit following its July 25 launch, with more than 1 million units sold through the start of August. The game, developed by Gunfire Games and published by Gearbox Publishing, is available on the Xbox Series X and S, the PlayStation 5, and PC, and Gearbox said the game has already exceeded expectations commercially.


The NBA 2K league has partnered with One Up as the official on-demand partner platform for the competition, the parties announced Tuesday. The multi-year deal will see One Up, a community esports platform, help build competitive experiences for amateur players beginning Sept. 8 with the launch of NBA 2K24. “We want to lower the barrier of entry to esports tournaments,” One Up CEO Brandon Pitts said in a statement. “Our collaboration with 2K has laid the blueprint for helping publishers build game loyalty and community through tournaments that are truly open to all.”

Esports organization Endpoint has joined with eNDX, as eNDX attempts to create a stock market where fans can trade shares in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players. The concept, designed similarly to a traditional stock platform, will allow fans to buy, sell, and trade shares of their favorite players based on performance and popularity. The shares have no real-world implications such as ownership of the players but align with the upward trend in gambling partnerships and oddsmaking in CS:GO – though eNDX is trying to distance itself from that terminology.

ESL FACEIT Group announced plans to use GhostFrame, a broadcast solutions product, for its ongoing IEM Cologne competition as part of a partnership with GhostFrame parent company Appario Global Solutions. GhostFrame is an Emmy-winning service that will bring Chromakey technology and hidden tracking on broadcast cameras as well as additional innovations designed to improve the live experience.

India’s Revenant Esports has partnered with KREO, an electronics brand in the country, as its official peripheral provider. Along with the peripheral support, KREO will be featured on Revenant Esports jerseys. The team is one of the premier esports organizations in India, with a focus on mobile competition in the handheld-dominated gaming landscape of the country. Revenant fields teams in Call of Duty: Mobile and Battlegrounds Mobile India (a PUBG Mobile product under different branding for the country) as well as a PC game in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.


Final Fantasy XVI: Live Streaming Insights

Square Enix released the newest game in the Final Fantasy franchise, FFXVI, over a month ago on June 22nd, with great success.

The game’s shift from traditional RPG strategy elements to a focus on Action/Combat seems to have struck a chord with its fanbase. Across live-streaming platforms in the first 30 days, the game generated 19.4 million hours watched, 95% of that on Twitch alone.
In its first week, the game hit just shy of the top 10 games in live streaming, landing at number 11 with 11.7 million hours watched. Compared to other big releases this year, it was slightly higher than Honkai Star Rail and just a couple million hours watched behind Street Fighter 6’s first-week performance.

Read more Final Fantasy XVI insights at Stream Hatchet’s website.

2023 Esports & Gaming Business Summit

A few announcements…
You can now expect to hear from executives such as Ally’s Beth Woodruff, Nintendo’s Krystyne Escalambre and NBA 2K League’s Christina Granville at 2023 Esports & Gaming Business Summit in Las Vegas, taking place October 22-24. Want to see the full list?



Esports fans vs the rest: Differences in live music preferences!

A recent survey revealed that US esports fans have unique musical tastes. Much like the overall audience, live music shows featuring pop music and classic rock are top draws among esports fans (25% each). However, sharp differences emerge in some of the other genres. Heavy metal appeals to 23% of esports fans compared to just 10% of all US adults. R&B resonates with around 22% of gamers but only 14% of the wider audience. EDM and Techno have a much more massive following among esports fans, with about 18% preference, contrasting with 5% among US adults.


OpTic Texas has revealed its Call of Duty roster for the upcoming Call of Duty League season. Following the departure of Daniel “Ghosty” Rothe and Cuyler “Huke” Garland in late June, OpTic announced the addition of former LA Thieves player Kenneth “Kenny” Williams and Seattle Surge standout Amer “Pred” Zulbeari. Kenny won a CDL Champs title with the Thieves in 2022 and was the MVP of that event, while Pred, an Australia native, bears the honor of being the first player from Asia-Pacific and China to win a CDL Major with his MVP performance during Major 3 in 2022.

Japanese esports org DetonatioN FocusMe is taking a unique approach to improving its VALORANT squad by hosting open tryouts following an 0-11 season. The VALORANT Champions Tour Pacific participants are open to international players, but roster restrictions from organizer Riot Games require four of the five starters for a team to be from its home country. Potential recruits will also need to secure South Korean visas to participate in VCT Pacific competition, as the LAN-only league takes place in that country.


Gaming nonprofit Feminist Frequency is shutting down after 15 years, founder ??Anita Sarkeesian announced, with its Games and Online Harassment Hotline closing in September of this year. Sarkeesian built Feminist Frequency to provide a resource and additional perspective in the male-dominated games industry as well as resources for women-identifying persons who frequently deal with harassment and verbal abuse in gaming communities. Sarkeesian cited burnout as her rationale for winding things down but credited the Feminist Frequency team for its very real impact on the video game industry. “The work we’ve done to effect change in the industry made a difference, and all of us at Feminist Frequency and the Games and Online Harassment Hotline are hopeful to see improvements continue to be made,” she said in a statement. “But the time has come to close this chapter and rest before starting the next phase of my professional life.”

China’s number of gamers is bouncing back following the country’s legislative efforts to curb gaming addiction and limit playtime. Laws instituted in 2021 prohibit children under 18 from playing games for more than three hours a week, and China has also been stingy with video game licenses and slow to officially approve games for consumption in the country in recent years. While legislation is still in place, the government has eased off of its regulation efforts, according to Reuters, and while the gaming population has boomed, revenue from games and game launches are still lagging behind past results.

2023 Tempest Esports & Gaming Awards

Ready, set, GO!
Entries for the Tempest Esports & Gaming Awards are still open, for a limited time. Closing in just under 2 weeks – August 16! – the nominee list for the most innovative companies and executives is a top honor for the brands, teams and leagues playing the game. Show us your stars!


Highly anticipated role-playing game Baldur’s Gate 3 officially releases today. How long has the game been in “Early Access” before its launch? (Email [email protected] with your answer, and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
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