|Thursday October 12, 2023
Good morning! It’s Thursday and this is your early morning Esports and Gaming brief.
The League of Legends World Championship is underway following the start of the Play-In Stage earlier this week in Seoul, South Korea. The main event will begin Oct. 19 following play-ins, with two more teams qualifying into the Main Stage field.
Perennially one of the most-watched esports events in the world, the League of Legends World Championship is being hosted by South Korea for the first time since 2018, and has started off hot in terms of viewership: The event drew more than 1 million peak viewers for Tuesday’s matchup between Brazilian organization LOUD and Vietnamese squad GAM Esports. Despite ongoing concerns about the foundations of the esports industry’s business, the audience seems to be as strong as ever, with some more big numbers on the way as North American, European, Chinese and South Korean squads get into the mix during the Main Stage.
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
Ubisoft first-person shooter XDefiant’s launch has been delayed indefinitely, the company announced, casting some doubt on the would-be Call of Duty killer’s ability to hold momentum moving into its official release. XDefiant, an arcade shooter built on movement tech and high-quality gunplay, excited players and FPS pros during its beta phase but has since fizzled out somewhat. With the upcoming release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, it appears Ubisoft has decided to take some more time and get the launch right without its primary competitor right within sightlines.
Steam will retain a frozen version of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive following the release of Counter-Strike 2, publisher Valve announced, giving fans an outlet to take in the old CS within the CS2 Betas tab. Support for CS:GO will end on Jan. 1, 2024, which means some functions of the game might fall apart over time. However, people searching for a look at the good old days will be able to get a taste (without matchmaking, anyway) whenever they want.
The latest Assassin’s Creed title brings the franchise back to its roots, and reception of Assassin’s Creed: Mirage, which released Oct. 5, has been warm so far. The game, which focuses more on the stealth gameplay that put Ubisoft’s title on the map initially, has landed well amongst both critics and consumers, according to Metacritic, with role-playing game elements turned down in favor of an adventure that runs a more manageable 20 hours compared to past 100-hour campaigns.
A new PlayStation 5 model with a removable disc drive will launch in November, with the new model decreasing the size of the disc drive version of the PS5 by about 30%. The unit will run for $499.99 and include 1 TB of internal memory, with the digital edition of the PS5 going for $449.99.
| SPONSORSHIP & ACTIVATION
Global jewelry crafter Swarovski revealed its design for the Fortnite Championship Series trophy for the FNCS World Championship. Swarovski, which crafted the hardware for the second year in a row, stuck to a similar design as the first time around with a gold hue and larger frame. The trophy will match the occasion and be available for viewing both ahead of the $4 million championship, scheduled for Oct. 13-15 at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, and in Fortnite’s item shop.
Pizza Hut will sponsor esports organization BIG’s League of Legends program, the duo announced, as well as its TrackMania squad. The Hut will be featured on social platforms for both of the German organization’s teams and collaborate on activations such as in-person and virtual community gatherings, pro meet-and-greets, giveaways and more. “This partnership marks another significant milestone for BIG, illustrating our ability to attract high-caliber partnerships even in a challenging global market,” BIG CEO Daniel Finkler said in a statement. “It’s a privilege to have such an established and globally recognized brand like Pizza Hut by our side.”
Automaker Mercedes-Benz is once again sponsoring Worlds and launching a new campaign alongside League of Legends’ premier international event. The German car manufacturer has joined forces with Riot Games for the past three world championships and has a deal with the game company through 2025. This time around, Mercedes-Benz will highlight T1, a team it also sponsors, along with Worlds 2023 in a campaign known as “The Hunt For Glory,” a global, virtual scavenger hunt-style activation.
The British Esports Federation has found itself in hot water following the announcement of a “historic” partnership with the Saudi Esports Federation. The decision was widely panned by local stakeholders, who noted Saudi Arabia’s history of human rights violations and ongoing “esportswashing” efforts, or attempts to use investment in the industry to downplay the country’s politics. In response, the BEF issued a statement saying it received no financial compensation in the deal and said it is committed to diversity and representation, though no actual action or go-forward plan to support those claims was noted in the statement.
CS2’S AVERAGE AUDIENCE BOOSTED 71% DURING RELEASE WEEK
After 11 years, fans finally got the long-awaited sequel to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: Counter-Strike 2 this September. The game rolled out to all players on the 27th of the month, but has been in the hands of some creators for weeks prior for beta testing.
The game generated an average minute audience during the first week of release of 172,000 viewers, a 71% increase from its limited-release run September 1-27. The limited release saw just under 100K average viewers. This number was almost exactly the same as the month prior, despite the occurrence of the end of the IEM Cologne group stages and the playoffs at the start of August.
Read more on Stream Hatchet’s blog.
|2023 Esports & Gaming Business Summit
EBS AFTER DARK
At this year’s Esports & Gaming Business Summit on October 22-24 in Las Vegas, experience nightlife like never before! With the EBS AFTER DARK Package, you’ll have access to the best clubs that Sin City has to offer: the Marquee, Jewel and OMNIA. Availability is limited, so buy today!
PURCHASE A TICKET NOW
YOUGOV LIVING DATA INSIGHTS
Factors shaping gamers’ favorite console brands”
Fresh YouGov Surveys data shows that functionality and value for money emerge as the top considerations when gamers think about their favorite console brands, accounting for 23% each. Durability contributes 7% to this brand loyalty, while only 5% say that the influence of their social circle is the reason that their favorite brand is their favorite. Design aesthetics and status account for 4% and 2%, respectively. Meanwhile, customer service holds a minor 1% share. Notably, nearly a quarter of American gamers say they don’t have a favorite console brand at all.
Twitch streamer Cody “Clix” Conrodhas joined XSET as a co-owner, the content creator and esports organization announced. Clix, a professional Fortnite player, brings a recognizable brand to the organization that XSET will leverage with merchandise lines, content, in-game promotions and more. Among the highlights is an Unreal Editor for Fortnite activation. “Since the start of 2023, I’ve taken major steps in my career, my personal growth, and the impact I’m able to make with my community,” Clix said in a statement. “I’m blessed to finally sign with an organization that aligns and believes in my vision as a content creator, competitive esports athlete, and entrepreneur supporting the growth of my apparel brand and UEFN studio.”
G2 Esports is working to merge with Version1, according to a report from The Esports Advocate, with Version1 and its Call of Duty League team, the Minnesota ROKKR, coming under G2’s umbrella. Discussions between both organizations have been ongoing since between late May and early June, according to the report, with Version1 continuing to undergo financial hardship.
Counter-Strike and VALORANT veteran Óscar “mixwell” Cañellas is retiring after nearly a decade as a first-person shooter esports pro. Mixwell, who most recently played for Team Heretics in the VALORANT Champions Tour Europe/Middle East/Africa circuit, is best-known for his time with OpTic Gaming’s Counter-Strike squad and as one of the early stars of VALORANT with G2 Esports prior to the franchising era.
Longtime League of Legends Championship Series pro Lucas “Santorin” Larsen is also retiring, he announced, after 10 years as one of the premier junglers in Western Europe. Santorin began his career in Europe before becoming a standby in North American League of Legends from 2018 to now. He finished his career with Dignitas following a disappointing 2023 campaign but made it to the world championship three times before retirement.
Rocket League is removing player-to-player trading of in-game cosmetics, effectively eliminating the secondary market for the purchase and selling of those items. Developer Psyonix is cutting off trades on Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. ET, it announced, “We’re making this change to align with Epic’s overall approach to game cosmetics and item shop policies, where items aren’t tradable, transferrable, or sellable,” the developers said in a statement. “This opens up future plans for some Rocket League vehicles to come to other Epic games over time, supporting cross-game ownership.”
Unity president John Riccitiello is stepping down following the botched launch of Unity’s Runtime Fee policy, which would charge game developers using Unity a per-download fee if their titles hit certain revenue or lifetime download thresholds. Unity has since revised, and revised again, its policy, but the reputational damage seems nigh-insurmountable, particularly given Riccitiello’s history as a major proponent of microtransactions. Riccitiello, the former CEO of EA, was at the helm when the former FIFA franchise introduced lootboxes and once made the argument that he could convince committed Battlefield (an EA first-person shooter franchise) players to pay to reload weapons.
A game developer union has formed in Poland following layoffs at Polish game studio CD Projekt Red earlier this year. CDPR, which is behind The Witcher video game series and misstep-turned-Game of the Year candidate Cyberpunk 2077, went through multiple rounds of layoffs and is set to cut 9% of its workforce by March 2024 despite the surge in success of Cyberpunk 2077’s recent expansion and major game overhaul. The union will not just be open to CDPR members but any full-time employee contracted in the country. The Polish Gamedev Workers Union hopes to provide employees “more security, transparency, better protection, and a stronger voice in times of crisis,” it said on its website.
News earlier this week confirmed layoffs at Telltale Games, the studio behind The Wolf Among Us and other innovative, episodic decision-based titles. The cuts affected “most of” Telltale’s staff, former Telltale staffer Jonah Huang said on X (formerly Twitter). It’s still unclear how the layoffs will affect ongoing Telltale projects or the impact they had, if any, on Flavourworks, a game studio Telltale acquired in August.
|2023 Tempest Esports & Gaming Awards
Tables for the Tempest Awards on Oct. 23 are still available, but not for long! Selling out fast, the awards program at HyperX Arena in Las Vegas will feature gaming’s best in class, including none other than NICKMERCS and GuhRL.
I’LL BE THERE
What day is the 2023 edition of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III slated to release? (Email [email protected] with your answer, and be sure to include your name, company and city).
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Which internationally renowned musical group is making its mark as the first residency at The Sphere in Las Vegas? Answer: U2. Kudos: Erin Weissman | Disney Advertising Local, New York; Maxx Cavanaugh | BCW Global, New York; Creed Heilskov | ImOn Communications, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Jim Himmel | TCB Media, San Clemente, California; Wouter Maenhaut | tournamentcenter, Belgium; Amy Guthrie | Mediassociates, Commerce Charter Township, Michigan; Lorrie Shilling | El Segundo, California; Michelle Bergmann | Mediassociates, Sandy Hook, Connecticut; Phyllis McQuillan | MSG Networks, New York; Dory Petsrillo | Locality, New York; 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 HERE
ACCOUNT 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 HERE
VP/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 HERE
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 HERE
SENIOR 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 HERE
DIGITAL 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
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
|OTHER JOBS OF INTEREST
Write well-designed, testable, efficient code by using best software development practices.
Senior Graphic Engineer – Voxedit
Take part in the planning process and vision of our technology stack.
Senior Engine Programmer
Responsible for guiding the development, creative direction, project timeline, and report project progress to key partners.
Creative Producer (Digital Licensing)
Wizards of the Coast
You may create or have responsibility to improve or invent small tools or applications.
Senior Software Engineer (Backend)
Lead design initiatives for new features from clients and internal technical debt.
Senior Software Engineer
You will be developing new features, iterating on the current systems, and maintaining our high code quality
Senior Software Engineer – iOS
We’re constantly growing and forming new teams; you will be able to lead either as an engineer or transition into a manager role.
Senior Software Engineer, Android
Create new and ownable gaming ideas to be pitched in business plan that are regionally relevant, unique in concept, and aspirational to the local community.
Red Bull Gaming
Analyzes the market to make roadmap and product decisions.
Salt Lake City UT
Developing a culture of teamwork and integration between the creative team and game design.
Creative Manager (Magic Creative)
Wizards of the Coast
Build a network in the gaming communities to build relevance and frequency of touchpoints with the gamer following national strategies.
Senior Manager, Sports Marketing
Red Bull Gaming
Santa Monica CA
You will lead, manage, and contribute code with a team of passionate engineers to ship our mobile games, delighting millions of players around the world.
San Francisco CA
Work with ASO tools and internal stakeholders to gain insights and identify areas for improvement.
Growth Marketing Specialist, ASO
Los Angeles CA
Lead the creation of Riot wide standards and best practices for alerting and monitoring.
Software Engineer II
Los Angeles CA
Oversee co-development initiatives and own the results of your external partners.
Los Angeles CA