01/03/19: World Showdown of Esports events notch impressive numbers

It’s Thursday January 3, 2019 and this is your weekly early morning Esports briefing. For additional longer-form esports news plus jobs, a team directory, glossary, calendar and data, check out our new esports hub updated daily: http://cynopsisesports.com.


World Showdown of Esports took center stage over the holidays, delivering both WSOE2, featuring Hearthstone and running Dec. 20-21, and WSOE3, with Fortnite on Dec. 30. WSOE3 topped the company’s internal expectations, notching an average of 160,025 viewers, according to Esports Charts, and topping 1.5 million total views for the contest, with over a million hours watched. Meanwhile, the all-female Hearthstone event  saw 253,000 hours watched with over 708,000 total views.
Taipei will host the HCT World Championship on April 25-28, 2019. The news was announced at the 2018 Hearthstone All-Star Invitational in Taipei last week, where HCT Fall 2018 finalist Wu “BloodTrail” Zong-Chang defeated HCT World Championship 2017 winner Chen “tom60229” Wei Lin to win the tournament.
Dota 2 paid dividends in 2018, ranking as the year’s top esports title in prize money, delivering $41,326,628 won by players spread across 117 different events, according to esportsearnings. Overall, according to the report, competition in 2018 paid out approximately $172,702,412 across 1040 tournaments.
Bandai Namco is shifting esports oversight to Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada, who will now run the company’s esports strategy team and focus on growing the esports community for Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Soulcalibur VI. “We at Bandai Namco are committed to expand the horizons of both tournament and community scenes of these 3 franchises,” said Harada in a statement on TwitLonger. “We are already planning to have as many official tournaments as possible for next year – while continue supporting tournaments held by the community. Furthermore, we are dedicated to figure out ways where we can assist tournaments and community activities in the future.”
WorldGaming will power the Winnipeg Jets NHL 19 Tournament, which opens for registration on Jan. 3. The tournament will test the ‘Chel skills of players ages 14 and up from across North America who will compete for over $10,000 in cash and additional prizes throughout a multi-round tournament of online qualifiers taking place between Jan. 19 and Feb. 10, 2019. The grand final will take place Feb. 18, at Bell MTS Place when the top player from each of the Xbox One and Playstation 4 platforms will compete to be crowned the official Winnipeg Jets NHL 19 Champion.

During the final moments of 2018, Ninja, DrLupo, CouRageJD, and TimTheTatman took over a section of Times Square NYC to stream Fortnite. Hundreds of thousands watched from Twitch Streams across the world. Here are the key stats from the Stream Hatchet Team:

  • Team Ninja rang in the new year on a high: The team’s peak ccv was nearly double the value of their avg ccv.
  • All eyes on Ninja: Of the 1.9M hours watched during the activation, 88% were generated by Ninja’s audience.
  • TimTheTatman as a target: Although Ninja was the focus of the streaming campaign, TimTheTatman generated a peak ccv that was greater than DrLupo and CouRage’s combined peak ccv. 
For more insights, analysis, infographics and everything related to game streaming, visit us at: blog.streamhatchet.com.

The Professional Fighters League is forging an alliance in esports, joining with Team Liquid for a partnership that will see top Team Liquid pros become PFL Ambassadors and part of the PFL MMA experience. The deal sees select Team Liquid top players and personalities attend PFL Fights and share their experiences as part of the PFL fan community with their own fans and followers. “At Team Liquid, we seek out innovative partnerships that allow us to explore new spaces” said Team Liquid founder and co-CEO Victor Goossens, “I fell in love with MMA 15 years ago when I was a pro Starcraft player living in Seoul – I see a lot of the same core values between our organizations with a focus on entertainment, competitive sports format and athlete-first culture. This partnership will allow Team Liquid pros and PFL top athletes to explore different ways to create entertainment and promotions for both fan bases.”
DreamHack is celebrating early with a new partner for 2019, announcing a deal with Esport-Management that includes head sponsorship for CORSAIR DreamHack Masters, DreamHack Open, DreamHack Pro Circuit and DreamLeague for 2019, as well as sponsorship for BYOC tournaments during the year to come. The new agreement begins on Jan. 1 with DreamHack Leipzig being the first event where Esport-Management will be presented as a sponsor, and global partner for the first-ever held under the DreamHack Pro Circuit brand.

 SMAAASH Entertainment entered into a definitive agreement to combine with Simplicity Esports via an all stock acquisition. Simplicity, which competes in titles such as PUBG, Gears of War, Injustice 2 and NHL 19, also brings the Simplicity stream team, which encompasses casters, influencers and personalities. Jed Kaplan, Managing Partner of Simplicity Esports and a minority owner of both the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, noted, “I am pleased to further develop, enhance and build the esports business together with the public platform of Smaaash. As technology evolves, gaming is one of the fastest growing verticals within the media and entertainment sector, and specifically esports is experiencing explosive growth, having attracted prime time audiences over 3 times larger than that which tuned into Super Bowl LI in 2017.”
The National Association of Collegiate Esports and Hi-Rez Studios are holding online competitions for title games for the college Spring 2019 semester. Registration for the NACE 2019 Gem Cup for SMITE and the NACE 2019 Crystal Cup for Paladins runs now through Jan. 31, 2019, with competition set to begin on Saturday, Feb. 2.  
For the 8th year in a row, we’ll celebrate the work of the most talented producers, hosts, sponsors and executives in the sports industry, saluting the initiatives that drove audiences and turned sports viewers into fans. Crossing the spectrum of television, radio, and online platforms, we’ve expanded our categories and are looking forward to spotlighting this incredible industry.


Ninja’s New Year’s Eve event on Twitch drew an average of 175,019 viewers, with over 4 million overall views. The special stream saw more than 2 million total hours watched across the 12 hour stream.
Blizzard is implementing a new way to “improve the viewer experience” via Overwatch Contenders with the launch of a new moderation system on Twitch. The change will see viewers who want to participate in Twitch chat during Overwatch Contenders streams be required to link their Battle.net accounts with their Twitch accounts in a move to create “a more positive viewing experience.”
Discord raised $150 million in a funding round that now brings its total value up to $2.05 billion. The round was led by private investment firm Greenoaks Capital and supported also by Firstmark, Tencent, IVP, Index Ventures, and Technology Opportunity Partners.
Actor Jack Black launched a new gaming channel on YouTube – titled Jablinksi Games – that has already reeled in over 2.3 million subscribers. “I am proud to announce the launch of my new channel, Jablinksi. This channel will have games, food, and life,” the description for Black’s introductory video reads, with Black posting videos every Friday.

CNET and GameSpot are teaming for the Consumer Electronics Show, offering original programming, real-time streams of major press events and reviews and analysis. For the first time, CNET’s booth will be located at Tech West in the Sands Convention Center. In addition to live coverage of events, the booth will house TV stars and musicians including Jonathan and Drew Scott from HGTV’s Property Brothers, Shawn Stockman from Boyz II Men, Sophie the Robot and Mike Fasulo, President, Sony Electronics. Also new this year, attendees can take part in video game tournaments at the GameSpot eSports Truck. And CNET’s “The Next Big Thing” session will explore innovations in mobile video, 5G, OTT and the forces shaping the future of content creation and consumption.
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins told CNN he earned close to $10 million in 2018, including “a lot more” than $500,000 in a good month. Downside? Taking a break from streaming costs him “tens of thousands of dollars.”
Steam shared their top sellers of 2018. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Civilization VI, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and The Elder Scrolls Online made the top five of Steam’s “Platinum Tier” – WValve’s online shop divided the list into four tiers, as measured by gross revenue.
New venture LDN UTD is looking to offer London-area gamers a path to professionalism. Players can upload clips of themselves gaming on the group’s web site; the community will vote on who makes the cut for upcoming events. “There are more than 2 million gamers in London,” said Oliver Weingarten, CCEO of LDN UTD. “We believe there is plenty of undiscovered talent.”

Netflix is tapping Spencer Neumann, Activision Blizzard’s CFO, as its new chief financial officer, according to multiple reports. Neumann is expected to start at the streaming platform in early 2019.
If you’re looking for a fresh start, check out the new Cynopsis website featuring new opportunities in the television, digital, sports, esports and kids’ media… just for you!
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ON THIS DAY in 1990: Hugo’s House of Horrors is released.
Trivia: Which classic game famously announces that “You have died of dysentery”? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: The Belmont clan, including Simon, Trevor, Richter, and Sonia, anchors which long-running game franchise in the family’s multi-generational fight against otherworldly beasts?  Answer: Castlevania. Kudos: Chris davies-Virgin/London; Luke Watson-Essential TV/NY; Paul J. Sucec-ESPN/NY; Danny Araque/NY; Jason Valluzzi-Active International/NY; Gabrielle Fredrick-National Geographic/DC; Joey Olson/DC; Jorge Tatto-WorldGaming Network/Toronto; Peter Steckelman-Tennis Channel/Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Greg Dudsic/Venice; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank
For more news and coverage, check out: http://cynopsisesports.com (updated daily).

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Sr. FILM & TV DISTRIBUTION ACCOUNTANT/Second Screen, Inc/LA: Exp’d part-time contractor to set up a system & execute a full report in the quarter after we launch nationally. Potential to join us long term. 7-10 yrs in film or TV distribution with at least 2 years in digital or OTT. Full info/apply HERE (1/11)

DIR AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT & OPERATIONS/NBCUniversal/NY: seeking someone to build and engage audiences across digital, emerging and TV platforms. Work with leaders in research, mktg, edit, engineering, sales and bus dev to implement a strat to retain/monetize audiences. 5 yrs exp in digital audience dev/mktg, BA/BS degree, some travel. Full info/apply HERE (1/11)

TEAM LEADER/CheckpointXP/Detroit: Visionary leader, w/exceptional orgnztnl skills to build/grow the division. Previous exp in brdcast radio & as mktg/promotions dir or event planner a +, but not required. Strong knwldg of Esports/gaming world; strong contacts & networking are a plus. Resume HERE (1/11)

MGR, BENEFITS/A+E/NY: Mng the admin of co-wide Health & Welfare and Retirement plans/programs. Lead contact w/insurance brokers & benefit providers. Point person for employee/vendor questions. 6+ yrs of HR Benefits mgmt exp. Strong tech aptitude w/advanced Excel skills. Workday exp preferable. Apply HERE (1/9)

CLIENT SOLUTIONS COORDINATOR/Telepictures Productions Inc. – WB/CA: Seeking a Client Solutions Coordinator for the TPX Ad Sales department. Responsible for assisting in the dev of cross platform mktg campaigns that generate advertising revenue for TMZ, TMZ Sports and toofab.com. 3+ years in account/project management, marketing or ad sales. Full info/apply HERE (1/8)
SENIOR DIRECTOR CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT/NBC Sports/Golf Channel/Orlando: Develop marketing strategies to drive viewership, consumption & revenue goals across various Golf Channel platforms. 10+ yrs mrkting exp in Media, TV or Sports. Full info/apply HERE  (1/7)
MANAGER, INVENTORY/Crown Media Family Networks/NY: Monitor and track all inventory through WideOrbit and Dealmaker. Build ADU packages and analyze and strategize pre and post upfront reporting. Min 2 years exp. in pricing and planning or ad sales req. Apply  HERE (1/6)
SR BROADCAST DESIGNER/NESN/Boston: Pa ssionate/motivated self-starter, creative thinker w/ability to multi-task effectively & prioritize accordingly. Demonstrates proficiency in Cinema 4D, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Mac Computers & Broadcast prod. Min 5 yrs exp brdcst design. Full info/apply HERE (1/6)
Sr. DIRECTOR GLOBAL ACQUISITIONS/A+E/Stamford, CT: Plan, implement, monitor & optimization of content delivery; technical, file-based procurement of Domestic and International content; 10+ yrs exp technical procurement of content cable or broadcast network. Full info/apply  HERE (1/5)

POST HEADLINE ACCOUNT EXEC/DIRECTavenue/Carlsbad CA: Exp’d candidate w/sophisticated understanding of media analytics. 10+ yrs of agency client mngmnt exp. Must have exemplary emotional intelligence to help be primary liaison between our agency team & a roster of clients. Full info/apply HERE (1/5)

PRODUCER/Spectrum/Albany: Produce assigned newscasts & news inserts making decisions on story lineup, video/audio elements, graphics and timing to construct show. 3+ yrs TV news exp. Writes news stories for an assigned newscasts. Full info: HERE (1/5)
PRODUCER, ON-AIR PROMOTIONS SPORTS & NEWS/Spectrum/El Segundo CA: Mng projects through all phases prod & delivery. Detail-oriented person to create, write/edit/produce on-air promotional spots and campaigns, from initial concept to finished product. 2+ yr TV news or produ exp. Full info/apply HERE (1/4)
CREATIVE DIRECTOR/WRITER/WRIGLEY MEDIA GROUP/LEX, KY: ISO battle-tested m/f CD for fast-paced media/TV/Digital prod co. Must: write, PITCH & manage in an agency-style environment. Min 5 yrs in the big leagues. Tasty salary/bennies/re-location pkg for “the one”. Reel/Res/Pitch HERE (1/4)

SR ANALYST, PRESENTATION DESIGN & AD SALES MARKETING/CBS/NYC: Convey thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in verbal and written format. Design/edit advanced-level PPoint presentations & 1-sheets as well as proj mng mult assignments start to finish. 1-3 yrs related media work exp. Full info/apply HERE (1/4)


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Big Fish Games
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Provide design direction of both features and new casino games with clear documentation of feature specifications.
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Big Fish Games
Oakland CA
Support game service launches and operations with Restful API developments to lift the service value.
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Bandai Namco
Santa Clara CA
Maintain constant communication with first parties to understand and maintain marketing and retail pages.
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Bandai Namco
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Develop and implement new and existing rendering techniques.
Graphics Programmer for the Last of Us Part II
Naughty Dog
Santa Monica CA
Create models and assemble scenes for both architectural and organic environments.
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Naughty Dog
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Insomniac Games
Burbank CA
Work with your lead to identify technical risks and generate solutions.
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Glu Mobile
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