10/21/21: Tempest winner revealed!; The International climbs new heights; Activision Blizzard gets uncapped
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For more info, visit SNEAKYBIG or call 480-344-0100 Thursday October 21, 2021 Good morning! It’s Thursday and this is your weekly Esports Brief. This week saw the winners of the 2021 Tempest Awards announced, amid a full house at HyperX Arena on Tuesday night, hosted by Rachel “Seltzer” Quirico. More than 250 of the esports elite convened at the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas to recognize their peers in the most prestigious awards ceremony celebrating the business of esports. Winners spanned the spectrum with multiple winners that included EA and Riot, along with teams like XSET, while Gillette went home as Brand of the Year while 100 Thieves laid claim as Team of the Year. Esports.gg assisted the effort by hosting the gifting lounge for winners after their names were called. Click here to see the full list of winners. Congrats to all of our luminaries, winners as well as nominees, along with our incredible list of presenters as well as all the judged who donated our time to review entries.
Esports Business Summit was a terrific success and we thank all of our sponsors, speakers, attendees and associates for all of their support for the show. See you in 2022! COMPETITION Valve’s Dota 2 crowing event The International saw Team Spirit take home the title and $18 million prize with the final match of the event peaking at 2.7 million viewers across all platforms (not counting China), according to Esports Charts, and making The International 10 the most-watched Dota 2 event in history. The finals saw a 37% increase in peak viewership over 2019, with 2020’s event cancelled due to the pandemic.
Activision Blizzard will reportedly remove the competitive balance tax and maximum player salary caps for both the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League, according to SBJ, which said it was “likely due to a recent U.S. Department of Justice antitrust division investigation into whether OWL’s soft cap on salaries violated the 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act because league players aren’t under the protection or bargaining power of a players union.”
Saudi Arabia is on deck to host the second event of the inaugural Global Esports Tour season, lining up three days of competition from Oct. 24-26. The second tour event will see players compete in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds mobile game. “The Global Esports Tour underscores the true energy of our #worldconnected motto,” said Paul J. Foster, GEF chief executive. “From LA – one of the global centers for entertainment, we head to the Middle East – one of the fastest-growing esports regions on the planet, Saudi Arabia. A total of 16 professional teams will compete at the event.
EA and Adidas are teaming up to host the FIFA 22 Challenge today, described as a one-day competitive FIFA tournament that pairs top professional footballers with the world’s best FIFA players on the virtual pitch. The latest edition will feature footballers from Manchester City, FC Barcelona, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, and more, and FIFA pros from Fnatic, Team Vitality, DUX, and more. Competition runs across the official EA SPORTS FIFA esports Twitch and YouTube channels today at 11a PT. The FIFA 22 Challenge is a sequel to EA’s most-watched esports broadcast of all time, the FIFA 21 Challenge. Last year’s edition drew an average minute audience (AMA) of 254,057 with a total watch time of 1,024,696 hours.
On Halloween weekend, B/R Gaming fans will see music artist T-Pain and gaming personality Erin Ashley Simon team up to offer fans the chance to win one of 100 prizes given out in 100 minutes via B/R Gaming’s 100×100. B/R Gaming’s 100×100 will be presented live, simultaneously on TBS and the B/R app on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 10p. “This is a completely unique concept and a blueprint for the type of immersive experiences that only B/R Gaming can bring to fans by delivering a unified experience across our broadcast and the B/R app,” said Jennifer Dill, Vice President, Gaming at Turner Sports. “We want our audience to feel like they’re right there in the room with us and part of a special event tailor-made for them.”
The League of Legends 2021 World Championship finals will be showcased across more than 70 cinemas around Europe, Riot Games said. The Finals will be carried live on Nov. 6.
Ferrari is fueling up plans to bring competitive racing to mobile courtesy of the first Ferrari Mobile Esports Series, hosted in the Real Racing 3 by EA. Qualifying will take place starting Oct. 23 and run through Nov. 11.
eFuse is partnering with College Call of Duty in a deal that is sure to impact the Collegiate CoD community. The alliance will see eFuse and CCL launch two summer events designed to assist full-time college Call of Duty players get discovered and strengthen path-to-pro opportunities. The 2021 College CoD Summer 8’s’ will run from July 19-31 while The College CoD Summer Open will be the second event and take place from Aug. 28-29.
Riot fleshed out plans for the previously-announced European Regional League, announcing that 2022 will see of five accredited regional leagues in: Superliga (Spain), the LFL (France), the NLC (Nordics, UK and Ireland), Ultraliga (Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia), and the Prime League (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland). Every accredited ERL will feature two divisions of 10 teams, with a double round-robin, best-of-one regular season. SPONSORSHIP & ACTIVATION Dignitas, the esports vertical of New Meta Entertainment announced a partnership with athleticwear brand, VIRUS International, to become the Official Game Day Apparel Partner of Dignitas. The company will create Dignitas’ Official Competitive Game Day uniform including the Official Team Jersey with logo presence on the front of the jersey, Game Day Warm Up and Performance Workout Apparel kits which include T-Shirt, Sweatshirt, Hoodie, Player Jacket, Joggers and Leggings.
The Rogue Rocket League Team will now see its Championship Series vehicles feature graphics from Guaranteed Rate, one of the top 5 retail mortgage lenders in the United States. The move marks the first time the Rogue Team has featured any branding on its Rocket League Championship Series with graphics displayed on Rogue Team’s Away RLCS cars. In addition, the kit will be available in the Rocket League online store for fans to customize their own vehicles. “Sporting Guaranteed Rate branding on our digital assets in official matches is an exciting new activation for the Rocket League fanbase,” said Anna Baumann, EVP of Esports at ReKTGlobal. “We’re proud to partner with Guaranteed Rate on this first-of-its-kind milestone for the Rogue Team.”
Financial solutions brand Step unlocked a deal with Sentinels Fortnite player Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf with Bugha also investing an undisclosed amount into the company. The deal will look to offer gamers with access to financial products designed to help make gaming purchases and manage esports winnings.
EA extended its exclusive agreement with Lenovo for the Apex Legends Global Series, as the new season prepares to take off this weekend with competition from over 80 markets for a total prize pool of $5 million. “The popularity of esports is skyrocketing and striving to be increasingly inclusive with more players forming teams – growing its worldwide fanbase to over 474 million total viewers on the edge of their seats. With all eyes on this competitive industry, it’s now a lasting cultural phenomenon without borders,” said Emily Ketchen, CMO and Vice President of Intelligent Devices Group, Lenovo. “The future of global esports will be powered by increasingly sophisticated, more immersive gaming devices like our premium Lenovo Legion lineup that can successfully accelerate a gamer’s honed skills and help them win. That’s why we’re thrilled to once again be the official PC and Monitor of the Apex Legends Global Series.”
ESL Gaming has named cybersecurity software company Norton as its official cyber safety partner for StarCraft II and Warcraft III’s ESL Pro Tour. The deal will see Norton collaborate with ESL Gaming on brand integrations, custom streams via Norton Gaming’s Twitch channel, as well as special giveaways during broadcasts and on social media. Meet the It List
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MEET THE HONOREES MOL REGISTER TODAY PLATFORMS Social platform Juked.GG revealed that its upcoming mobile app is now entering the alpha stage and has invited 100 selected users to test the initiative. Juked’s alpha will offer a selection of games that include CS:GO, VALORANT, Call of Duty and Overwatch. Support for more titles are slated to be strategically rolled out after the app’s full release next year. TEAMS Team Liquid announced their second Naruto Shippuden capsule: The Akatsuki, focusing on the villains of the series. The limited edition drop offers fans 20 pieces of fully-custom streetwear and accessories emblazoned with Akatsuki thematic. With the drop, King Vader returned to the Liquid x Naruto family, joined by other top-tier influencers and content creators like Sonii, Taya Miller, Atikhun, Hungrybox, Ovilee May and more. Keep your eyes open as they appear in Liquid x Naruto Akatsuki videos and visuals. “For our sophomore Liquid x Naruto drop, we were attracted to the energy of Akatsuki, these iconic antagonists who shaped the series’ narrative,” said Travis Anderson, Global VP of Apparel and Commerce at Team Liquid. “Our pieces meld the roguish, independent spirit of Akatsuki with Team Liquid’s competitive drive, resulting in a more natural collaboration than the visual contrast of red clouds and blue horses might suggest. We’re very proud of this collection, and we know that fans across esports, anime and gaming will love it too.”
G2 Esports unveiled its first-ever all-female team, with the initial squad set to compete in Valorant scene. They will be known as G2 Gozen, with team captain Julia “Juliano” Kiran.
Zenni announced it’s adding the newly formed Rocket League team, AXLE-R8, to its growing Zenni Gaming family. The team, owned by Beasley Esports, was built after the organization completed The Search For The Next Rocket League Team, a competition to find and sign its first Rocket League players and coach during this past summer.
The Seattle Seahawks announced the launch of gaming community – Seahawks Sandbox, which will feature a regular rotation of weekly tournaments and content for the 12s, produced with gaming platform provider Rival. The Seahawks Sandbox platform will host 50 different tournaments throughout the season on Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and PC. The community will feature 14 different popular sports, racing, battle royale, and fighting game titles. INDUSTRY Comcast Spectacor and Populous revealed the new studio and office space for upcoming gaming network G4 at EBS. G4’s headquarters, located in Burbank, will be a 67,000-square-foot facility that will feature workplace environments and broadcast production facilities, along with gaming spaces and esports training facilities. “The G4 culture is all about gaming, pop, and fandom culture and the team at Populous translated its forward-thinking design concepts to reimagine these studios as a stand-out facility at the intersection of real estate, broadcast media, and gaming,” said Joe Marsh, Strategic Advisor at G4. “The environment helps us bring the G4 universe to life and invite it into people’s own homes in a new way.”
Complexity Gaming announced three hires to bolster the organization’s expansion efforts. Hires include Bee Yancey as Director of Partnerships; Michael Zervos as Director of Video Content; and John Williams as Art Director. READYUP GAMES OF THE WEEK
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