Good morning! It’s Thursday and this is your early morning Esports and Gaming brief.
The Overwatch League is all but over following its 2023 Grand Finals, as Overwatch 2 publisher Activision-Blizzard seeks new avenues for a “revitalized esports program” for the team-based first-person shooter.
The OWL was announced to industry-wide fanfare and team franchise slots costing tens of millions of dollars in 2016. The league’s city-based team model, which felt more familiar to non-endemic brands, drew investment from noteworthy sports franchise owners like Robert Kraft and Stan Kroenke, linear and cable TV deals, and dollars from brands like Coca Cola, Bud Light, Toyota, Spotify and more.
What once was touted as the biggest step toward bridging digital and traditional sports audiences ended after just six seasons, amidst cooling in esports investment and a yearslong dip in interest in the game itself. Activision-Blizzard, which laid off 50 employees including a good chunk of its esports staff in July, left the door open for third-party Overwatch esports operation and said on the Overwatch League’s X (formerly Twitter) account that details of what’s next for Overwatch are still being finalized.
With institutions like the OWL struggling, it’s more important than ever to be in the know on industry trends and understand how your business can be impacted – and how it can thrive despite uncertainty. Join us at the Esports & Gaming Business Summit from Oct. 20-22 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas to get in on some must-have conversations about the present, and future, of these ecosystems. Get your tickets HERE.
|COMPETITION AND GAMING NEWS
The Overwatch League did end on a high note, with the Florida Mayhem winning their first-ever championship in a 4-0 sweep of the Houston Outlaws. While the match wasn’t all that intriguing, the Mayhem, who were a middling team at best throughout their time in the OWL, pulled together a contender in what is presumably the league’s final year to go out with a bang. Along the way, teams like the Hangzhou Spark thrilled en route to the semis on Sept. 28 in Toronto, and if the crowd at the Mattamy Athletic Centre was anything to go by, this game still has an audience to build behind.
MOUZ won what could be the final Counter-Strike: Global Offensive LAN trophy with a sweep of Natus Vincere in the ESL Pro League Season 18 final over the weekend. MOUZ’s victory netted it a spot at IEM Katowice 2024, the upcoming BLAST World Final in December and $200,000 of the event’s $850K prize purse. Next up for many of the world’s best Counter-Strike teams: IEM Sydney, which will play out on the newly released Counter-Strike 2 from Oct. 16-22 in Australia.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III put out its first multiplayer gameplay trailer on Tuesday, with an initial beta for the game set to launch Friday. The new title and transition will be an interesting one for publisher Activision, with weapon blueprints, cosmetics and other in-game items moving forward from Modern Warfare II to the impending release. Modern Warfare III is set to release Nov. 10.
Epic Games is beginning the process of adding age ratings to all in-game experiences, including user-generated content built in Fortnite Creative mode. The decision should help protect young users and promote overall player safety but will result in a little more work for creators: Upon finishing their creations, developers will have to fill out an International Age Rating Coalition questionnaire, which will then be reviewed by Epic prior to publishing, in order for the company to issue an age rating.
|SPONSORSHIP & ACTIVATION
Team Vitality and French soccer club Lille Olympique Sporting Club will maintain their partnership and join forces to compete in the newly released EA SPORTS FC Pro esports ecosystem. The announcement included the news that the team has signed Ilian Bouchi as its FC Pro competitor for the upcoming circuit and Johann “Maniika” Simon as coach.
Esports tournament organizer BLAST announced an additional $13.4 million in funding to support expansion of its production and competition slate, the company announced. The Export and Investment Fund of Denmark led the round, according to a statement from BLAST, along with several other “internal investors” that were not named. BLAST produces competitions for publishers including Epic Games (Fortnite Championship Series), Ubisoft (Rainbow Six: Siege), Valve (Counter-Strike) and others.
TSM is introducing a collaboration with anime program Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood featuring co-branded clothing and gaming peripherals. The collaboration, known as Chapter 1, will hope to capitalize on the cross-section of gaming and anime fans, with a mix of Fullmetal Alchemist iconography and TSM’s color palette.
Riot Games’ latest League of Legends World Championship anthem is now available on major music streaming platforms following its global debut Oct. 3. Performed by K-pop group NewJeans, the Worlds 2023 song “GODS” features Dplus KIA bot laner Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu, a star South Korean player who won the 2022 world championship alongside DRX. This year’s tournament will return to South Korea for the first time since 2018 and run from Oct. 10-Nov. 19.
|The sixth annual Tempest Awards finalists have been selected, with winners set to be announced at the in-person ceremony on October 23 at the HyperX Arena in Las Vegas, held in conjunction with Cynopsis’ Esports & Gaming Business Summit. With marquee brands such as State Farm, Red Bull, P&G, Twitch, Xfinity, the NFL and more in the running, it’ll be a must-see show. Get your tickets for Tempest and EBS HERE.
It’s a busy month, with events including Cynopsis’ Top Women in Media Awards NEXT WEEK, and the Esports and Gaming Business Summit on Oct. 22-24.
Ready to rock?
LEARN MORE HERE
YOUGOV LIVING DATA INSIGHTS
Social media product reviews key to reaching gamersFor brands looking to reach gamers across a variety of industry categories, building a strategy around encouraging influencers to post social media reviews of their products might be an important play. A fifth of American gamers say they watch video game reviews on platforms like YouTube, TikTok and Instagram (21%). Gamers are also drawn towards reviews of tech products, five percentage points clear of the overall American population (17% vs 12%). Food, clothing and shoes, and tools are other well-patronized product categories among gamers on video sharing platforms.
Cloud9 mid laner Jang “EMENES” Min-soo has been fined by Riot Games for using derogatory language toward another player via in-game chat during solo ranked play. EMENES was fined $15,000 for statements made in a Sept. 15 game separate from his play and practice with Cloud9. EMENES will also be required to complete a Riot-approved training module “that provides guidance for appropriate behavior in a professional context” before the start of the 2024 season.
Full Squad Gaming has brought on two high-profile creators as the organization continues to grow, with Brandon “Avalanche” Thomas and Yan “Classify” Shalomov joining its talent roster. The additions were made alongside an announcement of the organization’s new president, Hung Tran.
FlyQuest is parting with AD carry Lee “Prince” Chae-hwan after an up-and-down season for the former Liiv SANDBOX standout. Prince, a South Korea native, was brought in to help the North American squad turn a strong offseason into a Worlds 2023 appearance. That dream was crushed, however, following a hot start to the year and third-place finish in the League Championship Series Spring Playoffs; FlyQuest finished ninth out of 10 teams in the Summer Split with a 6-12 record, which has since led to an overhaul for the team’s international roster slots.
Fortnite maker Epic Games announced it is laying off 16% of its workforce, or 870 people, marking the latest significant cuts among major game publishers this year. “For a while now, we’ve been spending way more money than we earn,” Chief Executive Officer Tim Sweeney said in an employee memo. “I had long been optimistic that we could power through this transition without layoffs, but in retrospect I see this was unrealistic.” Sweeney said that as Epic transitions from a revenue stream primarily driven by in-game purchases and first-party content to one centered on user-generated content, it has to adjust its staffing as well to better accommodate a “lower margin business.”
PlayStation and Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO and president Jim Ryan is retiring, he announced, with a regime change set to begin with his departure in March 2024. Ryan, who has been with the company for around 30 years, has been in the lead role since 2019. The U.K. native cited the difficulty of living in Europe and working in North America as a reason for his decision. Sony Group COO, CFO, and president Hiroki Totoki will take on the interim role.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is continuing its attempts to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision-Blizzard following a suspension of its initial challenge against the $68.7 billion deal. Microsoft said in a statement that it is not concerned about hitting the current Oct. 18 deadline for closure of its deal with Activision-Blizzard despite the proceedings, which will go on despite a failed attempt by the FTC to challenge the deal over the summer.
GameStop has hired a new CEO in Chewy founder Ryan Cohen as the gaming retail company continues to grapple with what its future looks like post-meme stock surge and failed NFT marketplace push. Cohen, GameStop said in a statement, will not receive compensation for his role, which was opened following the ouster of former CEO Matt Furlong in June.
|Cynopsis – Reaching Audience in 2024 – Virtual Event – December 7th
Join us at this virtual event showcasing the must-have targeting tools Buyers & Sellers need to optimize ad strategy.
Connect with 400+ industry leaders and elevate your brand in 2024 by positioning yourself among top experts in the space.
Limited sponsorships available – contact Albert Nassour, Executive Director of Sales today.
Which internationally renowned musical group is making its mark as the first residency at The Sphere in Las Vegas? (Email [email protected] with your answer, and be sure to include your name, company and city).Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Which superstar artist is Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce now allegedly dating? Answer: Taylor Swift. Kudos: Jilliann Parraguirre and Kari Jaspersohn | R&R Partners, Las Vegas; Benjamin (B.J.) Robinson | D50 Media, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts; Creed Heilskov | ImOn Communications, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Jim Himmel | TCB Media, San Clemente, California; David Hauptman, Denver; Michelle Bergmann | Mediassociates, Sandy Hook, Connecticut; Travis Wacker | Good Karma Brands/ESPN Chicago; Barb Throm | Stealth Creative, St. Louis, Missouri; Michael Goodman | Radio One Atlanta; Tom Moore | Kalt Productions, Los Angeles; David Westberg | SAG•AFTRA Federal Credit Union, Burbank, California
Represent Future Today, selling an expansive portfolio of O&O CTV apps, inclusive of HappyKids, Fawesome, The LEGO Channel, FilmRise, Blippi. 5+years selling linear/streaming/OLV exp req.Biz dev position inclusive of direct, pmp/pg.Solid relationships; agency & client. Full info HEREACCOUNT EXECUTIVE DIRECT RESPONSE >>
Seeking an energetic achiever with excellent written & organizational skills for role to assist in growing revenue for dynamic Direct Response Team: BA Degree, Min 2 yrs DR Experience req. Wide Orbit Exp a +. Fully info HERE
NYC, Hybrid, Remote
Communicate the value & brand strength of Urban One Networks to advertisers & agencies. Create compelling presentations that convey the benefits & features of our programming and the viewing audiences. Proactively keep clients informed of pertinent account and network information. Min. 4+ yrs national advertising sales or equivalent sales exp. Full info HEREVP/HEAD OF ADVERTISING SALES
Lead, manage, develop, and grow Ad Sales teams. Attract and retain the best talent. Work with leadership team to set, achieve, and grow revenue targets across OOH, Digital and Experiential. Instrumental in driving the team to exceed all expectations and goals. 15+ years’ experience in advertising, media, and relevant sales management roles. Full info HEREACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
Achieve revenue and growth targets across linear and digital. Identify and execute strategies which result in exceeding revenue targets. Develop and execute effective sales strategies that showcase as well as maximize overall revenues for the overarching National Sales division. 7-10 yrs exp. in advertising, media & relevant sales management roles. Full info HERESENIOR AUDIO/VIDEO PROMOTION PRODUCER >>
WHYY/PHILADELPHIA: Produce best-in-class promotional spots, accurately reflecting WHYY’s brand mission, from strategy through management approvals. Write killer scripts for audio and video to engage audiences. Organize promotional spot production schedule for video and audio spots needed for TV, FM, digital and social platforms. 10-15+ years’ experience. Full info HEREDIGITAL DIRECTOR, NEWS >>
WHYY/PHILADELPHIA: Develop a cogent strategy for developing and publishing WHYY news content across social media and emerging digital platforms. Convey and create SEO, social media and digital best practices in concert with the digital staff with the focus of informing and developing the newsroom’s digital muscles. Five or more years of journalism experience. Full info HERE
SENIOR STUDIO TECHNICAL MANAGER
Technical manager for live, studio, productions/eveants. Provides technical oversight, support, solutions, troubleshooting, and in-house technical resource. Functions as Studio and Tech Manager for Studio and Tech Manager for remote productions, on-site and off-site corporate events. Requires 5-7 years production technical management experience. Full info HERE
SENIOR DIRECTOR, DIGITAL CONTENT LICENSING
Negotiate, draft & review agreements for owned & operated platforms/services, third-party platform. Exp. in digital media, content licensing (domestic/international), linear & on-demand rights & distribution, Privacy & Data Security preferred. Min 5 yrs of exp. supporting digital media at media company or streaming platform. Full info HERE
FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT TV
Represent FETV & FMC to media community via ongoing communications & relationship building. Maintain & develop strong working relationships w/both agencies & internal departments in support of sales efforts. Work w/sales management, pricing & planning to achieve quarterly revenue goals. 5+ yrs media sales exp. preferably in cable TV- agency exp. +. Full info HERE
SENIOR DESIGNER, MOTION GRAPHICS & DIGITAL >>
REELZ/ALBUQUERQUE, NM: Strong graphic design foundation including – typography, color, composition & concepts & stays up to date with motion design trends & visual effects. Expert level experience w/After Effects, Photoshop & Illustrator is req. Knowledge of InDesign & 3D design software is a +. Exp. in greenscreen keying, tracking & rotoscoping techniques are also a +. Full info HERE
BUSINESS PARTNERSHIPS AND DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE >>
HEARST MEDIA PRODUCTION GROUP/CHARLOTTE, NC: Proactively identify, research, and develop new opportunities for our family-friendly programming blocks on ABC, CBS, NBC, The CW, Telemundo, & other media & digital/social outlets. Support creation and present strategic, cross-media concepts to multiple stakeholder groups that meet our client’s business objectives. 8 + yrs of business dev. exp. Full info HERE
SENIOR MANAGER, AD SALES MARKETING
NEXSTAR MEDIA GROUP, INC.
Manage the pre-sale client facing pitch process and post-sale activation of cross-platform television, streaming, digital & social media integrated marketing programs. Write & create compelling sales presentations, one-sheets & cross-platform sponsorship opportunities. 5+ yrs exp. with ad sales marketing, integrated marketing, brand advertising. Full info HERE
DIRECTOR, MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS
NEXSTAR MEDIA GROUP, INC.
NYC or LOS ANGELES
Manage messaging, vision and strategy in the marketplace and internally. Responsible for helping to build, execute and enhance ad sales brand reputation and to raise awareness of the organization both internally and externally. 10+ years’ related media experience and experience with an ad sales organization. Full info HERE
HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR >>
BIG FISH ENTERTAINMENT/NYC/NJ: Coordinating onboarding for all new hires.
Administering the benefits and payroll changes for employees accurately.
Maintaining an efficient filing system—paper and electronic, for employee and company records related to their job functions. Building a successful bridge between management and employees. 7 yrs entertainment exp. preferred. Full Info HERE
DIRECTOR, MEDIA SUPPLY CHAIN OPERATIONS >>
PBS DISTRIBUTION/ARLINGTON VA, Hybrid: Oversee media systems operations, including daily operations as well as development and implementation of overall media supply chain. Work with external vendors and internal stakeholders on design and implementation of hardware and software solutions for media systems. 7+ yrs of work exp. in the areas of television, media, or consumer products. Full info HERE
TV/VIDEO SPONSORSHIP-PRODUCT INTEGRATION SALES REPRESENTATIVE >>
GAME ON MEDIA SOLUTIONS/Remote: Game On Media Solutions is looking for an independent business development oriented sponsorship sales representative. Focus will be on TV/Streaming project opportunities for brands that include product integration and placement. This is an Independent Contractor performance compensated opening. Attractive fees can be earned for closed deals. Full info HERE
BRAND ASSISTANT >>
THE LEDE COMPANY/NYC: Full-service communication, strategy, and social impact consulting firm, specializing in corporate, brand, entertainment, and nonprofit sectors, is seeking a Brand Assistant to join the Brand team in our New York office. The Assistant will play an integral role in supporting accounts for a wide variety of Fashion, Beauty, CPG and Lifestyle clients. Full info HERE
TALENT ASSISTANT >>
THE LEDE COMPANY/LA: Full-service strategy, communications and social impact consulting firm, specializing in corporate, entertainment and nonprofit sectors. We are looking for a Talent Assistant to a Talent Publicist in Los Angeles. We are seeking enthusiastic candidates who can work in a fast-paced environment, are driven & have strong communication and writing skills. Full info HERE
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR NATIONAL POLITICAL SHOW >>
BAHAKEL COMMUNICATIONS/CHARLOTTE NC: Develop and oversee the production of a daily or weekly national political show that covers the most important political news and events of the day. Develop and execute strategies to increase the show’s audience and engagement. At least 5 years of experience as an executive producer for a political show or similar program. Full info HERE
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF NEWS/ENTERTAINMENT >>
BAHAKEL COMMUNICATIONS/CHARLOTTE NC: Oversee all editorial and entertainment content, news production and presentation. Responsible for day-to-day operations of the show: producing, writing, and guiding creative. Develop content for the News @ TEN, plan, assign and create production schedules. 7 years of experience as executive producer or show producer. Network experience preferred. Full info HERE
SR. DIRECTOR, PRODUCT MANAGEMENT >>
SHOUT! FACTORY/LOS ANGELES: P&L responsibility, ownership over all aspects of a project, standalone releases or a licensed library of titles. Works w/production, publicity, creative services, distribution/sales, digital, finance, legal, acquisitions & licensors to best position the project for success. 7+ yrs of exp. in marketing, business development, or product management. Full info HERE
SALES OPERATIONS MANAGER >>
SHOUT! FACTORY/LOS ANGELES: Prepare accurate reports using data from internal & external sources for sales planning & analysis. Communicate w/our distributor on a regular basis with an understanding of their systems & deadlines. Announce release date, pricing confirmation & metadata for staff & distributor. 3+Yrs exp. in Sales Planning & Analysis/Finance Administration. Full info HERE
SENIOR CONTENT PRODUCER
Oversee video/creative production team thru ideation, production planning, crew/talent hiring, & budget/project management. Shepherd campaigns from development, pre-production, & production thru editing & delivery. Help w/shoots as well as postproduction team. 5+ yrs exp. spanning editorial, design, advertising agency, film, branded entertainment. Full info HERE
Respond to both RFPs and direct-to-client assignments from brands and agencies. Examine client brief and lead ideation or adapt pre-existing creative. Identify innovative storytelling and emerging video formats. Minimum of 7 yrs exp. producing compelling video, television and digital media content across multiple channels and platforms. 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
|OTHER JOBS OF INTEREST
You will design, implement, tune and bug-fix entire programs of content that surprise and delight our players.
Game Designer II – College Football
You will report to the Operations Development Director and Technical Lead to estimate, build projects and provide excellent results.
Online Software Engineer
Manage and evolve our end-to-end design process including activities, artifacts and meetings or routines;
Senior Design Program Manager
Has the ability to lead cross functional teams as it relates to your own projects.
You will then partner with engineers to develop, or integrate, those cutting edge tools and technology.
Principal Technical Artist
You engage with all levels of the organization and are comfortable whiteboarding complex solutions to executives and engineers.
Senior Solutions Engineer
Develop best in class Go-To-Market plans in partnership with Product Marketing and Production, that support the launch and post-launch marketing campaigns.
Senior Brand Manager
Maintain, enhance, and optimize existing backend systems for performance and scalability.
Senior Software Engineer/Backend (Python)
Manage a team of engineers and collaborate with developers in surrounding disciplines to architect, architecturally sound graphics features and pipelines.
Lead Graphics Engineer
Work closely with production staff and other team leads to plan and schedule work for your team.
Lead Technical Engineer
Be open to collaborative feedback with the goal of being agile and excited to iterate.
Principal VFX Artist
Work with Product Development teams to understand UX requirements and develop test cases for system level validation.
Software Quality Assurance Engineer
Define and develop the character pipeline including modeling, texturing, rigging, animation, and work closely with tech artist to implement these assets in game.
Senior Character Concept Artist
San Mateo CA
Create fun compelling spaces for players to adventure within in a cross platform survival crafting game.
Senior Level Designer
San Mateo CA
Improve the density of network-intensive, compute-bound workloads like video ingest and media distribution (e.g. CDN optimization).
Senior Software Engineer, Video Network Performance
San Francisco CA