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08/20/20: Twitch Rivals locked in a partnership with Verizon

Medias First Morning Read

Thursday August 20, 2020

Good morning! This is your weekly Esports Brief.
Twitch Rivals dialed up a deal with Verizon to become the official 5G and 4G LTE network partner of Twitch Rivals North America with the two companies collaborating on media and broadcast integrations across Twitch Rivals streams, activations at Twitch events, and leverage Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network. As part of the deal, Twitch and Verizon will co-create 5G concepts over the course of the partnership, exploring the impact 5G can have across the industry.

“From evolving the way creators and fans watch and play, to creating new, immersive ways for the massive gaming community to connect through augmented online and in-person experiences, the combination of Twitch’s influence and the impact 5G will have on the gaming industry opens incredible doors for innovation,” said John Nitti, Chief Media Officer, Verizon.

Meanwhile, Fall Guys is getting the red carpet treatment on Twitch Rivals, as the platform announced that Aug. 28 will see Fall Guys Fridays, a recurring event for Twitch Rivals, that will showcase “your favorite creators.”

PUBG Continental Series 2 continues with 16 teams from each of the four regional tournaments across Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, and Asia moving on to the PCS2 Grand Final. Audiences can watch the North America Grand Final on Twitch starting Aug. 27-28 at 7p. Fans purchase of celebratory in-game items, with 25% of revenue being distributed across the four regions – Europe, North America, Asia-Pacfic, and Asia. 12.5% of that amount will be added to the $800,000 prize pot and 12.5% will be split equally amongst all participating rosters.

Riot Games unveiled a new partnership with Universal Music Publishing Group for the upcoming 2020 League of Legends World Championship, which will see six new songs made for the event, courtesy of an esports-themed music cam that saw 14 Universal Music Group artists attend to create six new songs for the World Championship in July. “When music meets and mixes with gaming, it is simply exciting. I look forward to empowering and celebrating the 10th World Championship of the League of Legends with music of power and varied style through working with UMPG,” said Leo Lin, head of Riot Games China.

This week sees Call of Duty League open the playoffs, as teams compete in the postseason until Sunday, when the top four team move on to battle in the Championship Weekend on Aug, 29-30. Fans will be able to watch on YouTube.

The Overwatch League unveiled plans for its Grand Finals Weekend as the regular season wraps up, serving up a double-elimination bracket from Oct. 8-10 that pits the four teams that survive the playoff tournaments (with regional playoffs wrapping up on Sept. 13) in Asia and North America. The two teams from North America will travel to Asia for the event. The 2020 champion will take home a $1.5 million prize and the championship trophy. Blizzard is hosting two all All-Stars events before Grand Finals Weekend with All-Stars Asia on Sept. 26, followed by All-Stars North America on Oct. 3.

ESL inked a long-term partnership with Bad Boy Leeroy in a move that will see BBL continue the development of national championships, such as the Brazil Premier League, and expand the delivery of local solutions for international projects originated at ESL’s Headquarters in Germany and its North American subsidiary.

Sixteen of the best Arena World Championship teams from North America and Europe square off in the very last stage of the AWC Battle for Azeroth season every weekend across four weeks starting Aug. 22. Streams will be carried in English, Arabic, Russian and Spanish.

Formula 1 detailed plans for the 2020 F1 Esports Series presented by Aramco, beginning with the F1 Esports Pro Draft Reveal Show on Aug. 27. The F1 Esports Series marks the fourth installment of F1’s digital racing scene, where the 10 official teams compete for a share of a $750,000 prize pool. Competition spans Oct.-Dec., with a 12-round championship made up of four events featuring three races each. The F1 Esports Pro Series 2020 will be broadcast on F1’s social channels (Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Huya), as well as select TV broadcast partners, with two live shows per event from the Gfinity Arena.

Turner Sports’ ELEAGUE is delivering new episodes highlighting matches between the world’s best EA SPORTS FIFA 20 players on TBS. The ELEAGUE FIFA 20 Ultimate Team (FUT) Champions Cup Stage IV was held Feb. 21-23 at Studio Rouchon in Paris and featured 64 of the world’s top competitors facing off in ELEAGUE’s third EA SPORTS FIFA 20 major championship. Eps will run through Aug. 28.

Allied Esports announced that the company claimed a company record for viewership during a multi-day tournament with 1.6 million live views on its Twitch channel during the six-day Allied Esports Odyssey, an official Riot Games VALORANT Ignition Series event that concluded August 16. The tournament, which also logged 1.1 million hours watched and an average of 447,000 unique viewers each day, also garnered triple digit percent growth across the company’s streaming and social media platforms, including the addition of 33,448 new Twitch followers (688% increase) and 3,800 new Twitter followers (140% increase).

Get ready for our most OP lineup ever! The Esports Business Summit is going virtual, running Oct. 27-29 this year, and we are giving an overhaul to the “digital conference” experience. Now that systems are in place, keep your eyes out for an incredible class of executives from platforms, leagues, global brands, teams, content creators, celebrity investors and everything else you love about our events (plus The Tempests!). Click here to sign up early and we will see you soon.

76ers Gaming Club, the NBA 2K League team owned by Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, is partnering with Nerd Street Gamers for the 76ers GC X CHOP 2K Showdown Powered by Nerd Street Gamers. All proceeds from the two-day NBA 2K20 tournament, running Sept. 13-14, benefit Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “With deep roots in Philadelphia and influence across the country, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals and we are thrilled to raise funds to support their work,” said Kathryn Alario, Vice President, Marketing, Philadelphia 76ers. “In our continued effort to engage with our fans and the gaming community in exciting and impactful ways, we look forward to hosting the 76ers GC X CHOP 2K Showdown Powered by Nerd Street Gamers. This tournament marks the beginning of our partnership with CHOP and is the first of many meaningful activations to come.”

Riot Games and Cisco entered into a multi-year partnership that establishes the tech company as the Official Enterprise Networking Partner of League of Legends Esports. The partnership will provide reliable infrastructure and networking capabilities across five continents and three global events that will improve the competitive experience for pro players as well as enhance the viewing experience for fans. Cisco’s networking solutions will power “The Realm” – the private game server used exclusively for pro-level competitive LoL Esports matches at three major global events: The League of Legends World Championship, The Mid-Season Invitational, and The All-Star Event.

DoorDash secured a deal with the National Basketball Association for a multiyear marketing partnership that makes DoorDash the Official On-Demand Delivery Platform of the NBA, WNBA and NBA 2K League, beginning with the 2020 NBA Playoffs. On the esports front, DoorDash will also become the first-ever Presenting Partner of the NBA 2K League Playoffs and Finals, executing in-game activations that will bring fans special moments and relevant experiences through custom integrations and features.

Activision Blizzard signed Xperia by Sony to serve as the new mobile partner for Call of Duty League. Activation begins on Aug. 21 as talent competes against each other on Call of Duty: Mobile, as part of the ‘Mobile Special Exhibition.’

Dignitas announced an expanded partnership with Esports Entertainment Group’s The online exchange betting platform,, and secures the naming rights of the organization’s CS:GO team. In addition to’s integration into the CS:GO naming rights and jersey, the partners will roll out strategic digital and physical activations with the New Jersey marketplace as a core focus.

Immortals Gaming Club named ALL33 as its official chair partner, with the deal impacting Immortals, Brazilian brand MIBR, Overwatch League franchise Los Angeles Valiant, and Call of Duty League franchise OpTic Gaming Los Angeles. The deal sees the organization work with ALL33 to conduct research and development sessions that leverages its players to provide insight and feedback on gaming chairs in a move to “build the world’s best and ergonomically optimal gaming chair.”

A new survey from research company Reach3 Insights found that brands that sponsor esports events, see 41% of fans state they have bought something from a company after seeing that brand sponsor a game, streamer, or gaming event. The surey also found that sports sponsorships are driving positive brand sentiment for both the advertisers and the esports event, with 47% of consumers having a better impression of the game, streamer or gaming event, while 41% had a better impression of the brand. When it comes to how gamers want brands to advertising in esports, most tactics were seen as acceptable, but sponsorships of an event (93%) or a team were seen as the most acceptable (92%). Consumers were less accepting of in-game product placements (85%), in-game ads in a sports video game (80%) and ads on a game loading screen (66%).

The audiences of female streamers continue to grow in 2020 as inclusivity and equal opportunity become as important as ever in the industry. To celebrate the women forging the path, Stream Hatchet analyzed the top ten female streamers on Twitch in 2020.
· Pokimane leads all female streamers in 2020 with over 12.4M hours watched! VALORANT has contributed the most to her total hours watched at 4.2M.
· The top ten female Twitch streamers of 2020 have generated over 74M hours watched. While much of the viewership comes while streaming games, a large portion is also dedicated to Just Chatting content where the streamers talk about their life, news, and interact with their chat.
· At 112K concurrents, Pokimane reached the highest peak out of all the streamers on the list while playing the VALORANT beta back in early April.
For more information on top streamers, games, esports, and platforms, please visit

The Cynopsis Adtech Awards


In the face of surprising acquisitions, privacy concerns, and drops in ad spend, we at Cynopsis are blown away by the incredible work we see the ad tech community producing – and we want everyone to hear about it. See who made the cut and stay tuned for ceremony details coming on early December.


Team Whistle announced a partnership with 16-year-old Fortnite Champion Griffin “Sceptic” Spikoski as an esports ambassador who now brings his talents to the Whistle team to star in a new weekly Twitch stream, new bi-weekly YouTube series, weekly Snapchat Discover show and merchandise store. His YouTube channel has over 1.4 million subscribers and more than 100 million views.

DreamHack and ESL entered into a mutual partnership with DMAX Turkey in a move to foster the Turkish esports landscape by bringing four top tier Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournaments to fans in Turkish language. The cooperation includes the right to broadcast selected premier competitions, which ESL will bring to life in 2020, such as IEM and ESL One competitions, as well as the ESL National Championship Turkey.

Sponsored Content: Ross Innovations in Esports | A Customer Case Study

Ross Live | 2020 esports week featured a live case study presentation featuring James Dean, Founder and CEO at ESL UK, and Andrew Wagnitz, Director of Broadcast and Technology at Next Generation Esports (NGE). Cameron Reed, Esports Business Development Manager with Ross Video, sat down with James and Andrew to discuss how esports productions have been able to achieve “more with less”. The group also discussed how the industry has had to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic and where esports is headed in the future. Click here to see the results.

FaZe Clan and Invisible Narratives announced that content creator FaZe Rug will star in his first-ever feature movie. FaZe Rug. The film is set to be directed by Gregory Plotkin, (“Game Night,” “Get Out,” “Happy Death Day,” and the “Paranormal Activity” franchise). Simon Boyes is set to write the script. “It’s his time and it’s our time,” says FaZe Clan CEO Lee Trink. “This is the moment where YouTube and Hollywood finally collide. Not only do we have an incredible team and thoughtful concept to take the leap from the smallest screen to the largest screen, FaZe Rug is also the perfect lead actor to kick it off.”

Team Liquid cemented a partnership with Zoomph, which specializes in esports and sports analytics. Zoomph created a custom version of its real-time social analytics platform to “meet Team Liquid’s unique needs as a multi-team esports organization and a multimedia company, with a global team and fanbase” and equips Team Liquid with reporting data to create more engaging and meaningful partner campaigns. Team Liquid and its athletes will also use this data to effectively grow their social media audiences.


ESL announced the launch of an ESL Shop in Cologne at Xperion, the e-arena of Saturn, one of the leading consumer electronics retailers in Germany. Esports apparel will be offered when the on-ground shop opens with fans able to view and purchase ESL products for the first time in-store, offering limited edition ‘Graffiti Bomber Jackets’ and ‘Local Hero Cologne’ hoodies and t-shirts. Customers will be able to purchase esports team jerseys, including beloved German teams SK Gaming, BIG and mousesports, as well as popular collectable items such as CS:GO and Dota 2 figures.

UK-based esports apparel brand Raven nabbed a license to design, manufacture and and bring official Call of Duty League merch to retail with the deal spanning both the league as well as its teams. To kick off the deal, Raven will offer fans a limited run of officially licensed Call of Duty League Championship T-shirts that will sport a custom wire design Champs trophy print that also includes the logos of each of the competing teams on the reverse.


Electronic Arts revealed that EA Access and Origin Access Basic have become EA Play*, and Origin Access Premier evolves to EA Play Pro. In addition, on August 31st, EA Play will launch on its fourth platform, the most in the industry, with Steam for PC, and players can look for more exciting news on EA Play soon.

ReKTGlobal, parent company of Rogue and London Royal Ravens, acquired digital media agency Fearless Media in a move that will “further solidify relationships across all verticals” owned by ReKTGlobal. “ReKTGlobal’s acquisition of Fearless Media is unlike any other in the esports industry,” said Dave Bialek, CEO of ReKTGlobal. “It allows us to fully support the growing demand for advertising and marketing solutions to the gaming and esports community, as we continue to build our industry leading esports marketing portfolio.”

Guild Esports, the esports company co-owned by David Beckham, appointed MediaCom Sport & Entertainment to serve as a consultant to bolster its global partnerships strategy. MediaCom will support Guild on developing its commercial proposition, with an eye to lock in global brand partners.

World Archery reportedly joined the Global Esports Federation and will use its membership of the Global Esports Federation to investigate further opportunities for the sport in the video game domain.

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