01/10/19: Super League Gaming files for IPO

It’s Thursday January 10, 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.

Madden NFL 19 developer Electronic Arts has partnered with the NFL and TV network The CW for a special broadcast commemorating the Madden NFL 19 Classic from last month.
The one-hour special, which aired on Jan. 8, chronicled the Las Vegas event, which is the first major Madden NFL 19 tournament since two professional players were killed and 11 injured in a shooting at a Jacksonville-based event. The Madden NFL 19 Classic garnered nearly 200 competitors and kicked off the 2019 season.
“We wanted this season’s special to spotlight the unique strength and unity of the Madden community,” Todd Sitrin, SVP and GM of the EA Competitive Gaming Division, said in a statement. “When people watch this show, they’ll see the players’ love of the game and the special bond they have as a group of passionate competitive gaming superstars, and we’re excited for viewers to see it come to life with the ‘EA Sports Madden NFL 19 Classic’ on The CW.”
The Madden NFL 19 Championship Series has a $1.3 million prize pool and includes a series of Major-ranked events, alongside smaller qualifiers.


Super League Gaming, a California-based event organization for amateur gamers, filed a registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an Initial Public Offering. Founded in 2014, Super League Gaming filed under the SLGG symbol for the Nasdaq Capital Market. Over the past year, Super League Gaming has expanded to multiple new cities and games. Games part of Super League Gaming’s lineup include League of Legends, Minecraft, Fortnite, and Clash Royale.
The Australian Open, the first of four Grand Slam tennis events held per year, will host a Fortnite tournament during the event’s finals weekend. The Fortnite Summer Smash will be held Jan. 26 to 27, with two tournaments, a solo event and a duos ProAm tournament. The Australian Open will give away $357,000 in prize money and donations. Participants can register on Jan. 26 to compete in the qualifying event, with finals held on Jan. 27. Australian Twitch streamer Kathleen “Loserfruit” Belsten will participate in the event.
Twelve more competitive PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds players have been issued bans for using third-party cheating programs in matches. Six players were issued three-year bans from competitive PUBG for using third-party programs in professional and public matches, while four were issued two-year bans for using the programs in public matches only. Two players were handed three-year bans for being aware of their teammates using cheating programs in professional matches. Three teams in the PUBG European League are affected by these suspensions. Pittsburg Knights and Red Diamonds must both replace their suspended players to keep their PEL spots. The third team, Sans domicile fixe, has been disqualified from the European Contends League. An EU West seed will be opened up to replace the team. Four PUBG players from the National PUBG League were issued suspensions for cheat programs last week.
German telecom company Deutsche Telekom will host a FIFA 2019 tournament in January. A PlayStation 4-exclusive event, the tournament will be held alongside the Telekom Cup, a soccer tournament between four German teams. Two online qualification rounds will be held through the ESL platform.
The ELEAGUE CS:GO Invitational 2019 will feature four CS:GO teams competing in Atlanta for a $150,000 prize pool. The teams will face each other in a double-elimination bracket in a weekend of Counter-Strike action from Jan. 25-27, 2019. In addition to live tournament coverage beginning at 2 pm each day, as well as on ELEAGUE’s Twitch channel, ELEAGUE.com, and B/R Live, TBS will create an episodic series recapping the tournament’s best action. The multi-part TBS series will include feature content, player interviews and other behind the scenes access to the teams.

Riot Games has signed a multi-year deal with Alienware for the League of Legends Championship Series and the League of Legends European Championship. Alienware will supply PCs for both leagues and for the Mid-Season Invitational, Rival Rivals North America vs. Europe match, the All-Star Event, and the League of Legends World Championship. “We’ve been continually impressed with Alienware’s unwavering commitment to elevating the gaming and esports experience through their focus on product performance, function, and design,” Riot Games’ esports partnership head Naz Aletaha said in a statement. “As our official PC and display partner, Dell and Alienware, with their extensive expertise in hardware and technology services, will help us continue to level up the sport – setting a global performance standard for the hardware that powers it.”

Epic Games is creating a new in-game tournament system for Fortnite, an Epic developer said on Reddit. The new back-end system should be live in January, Epic esports designer Colin Fogle wrote. It’s expected to “create a richer variety of events to keep the experience fresh and exciting,” he added. Fogle said that players should expect less events in early January, before the new system is uploaded to the game’s servers.
The Korean Esports Association has released the full schedule for the League of Legends Champions Korea tournament. League play begins on Jan. 16, spanning a 10-week period. The regular season for the Spring Split ends on March 31. Playoffs will follow, though the schedule has not yet been posted.
Online tournament facilitator WorldGaming Network has partnered with NFL Canada to launch a second season of Madden NFL 19 Canadian Challenge, presented by Xbox. The one-on-one tournament has a prize pool of C$25,000. Winners will have the opportunity to compete in future Madden tournaments that have not yet been announced. Registration begins on Jan. 10, with online qualifiers held in February. The live championship will be held in Toronto on March 24. “Madden NFL is one of the most exciting sports releases every year and this year is no exception. We are thrilled to host the Madden NFL 19 Canadian Challenge this year with WorldGaming Network for gamers across the country,” said David Thomson, Managing Director of NFL Canada. “The passion and energy Madden players bring to the field is off the charts and we’re very excited to see Canada’s best gamers go head-to-head for the championship title.”
ESL UK is bringing up the ESL Premiership for Rainbow Six Siege for another season. The spring season will begin later in January. Two teams from each qualifier will move on to the main event and vye for a £10,500 prize pool against four finalists from 2018’s winter season.


Dallas-based Envy Gaming has raised $20 million of external funding, according to The Esports Observer. The organization currently operates a team in the Overwatch League, the Dallas Fuel, as well as Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and more. Investors were not named in the initial filing, though they’re described as “a mix of prominent local investors and Texas families, as well as a select set of national investors.” Envy Gaming amassed $35 million in funding from Hersh Family Investments in 2017. Forbes listed Envy Gaming as the 10th most valuable esports company in the world as of October 2018.
ExceL Esports, a  League of Legends team participating in the 2019 League of Legends European Championship, will operate its team out of London’s Twickenham Stadium. The rugby union stadium will be outfitted with two scrimmage rooms and other amenities. ExceL said its team will live and practice in London and fly to Berlin each week to play their LEC matches.
Team Liquid will build a second training facility in Utrecht, Netherlands thanks to a partnership with Alienware. The “state-of-the-art esports facility powered by Alienware technology” was announced at CES in Las Vegas. The two companies announced a 10,000 sq.ft. facility in Los Angeles at last year’s CES event. The Netherlands-based facility will become Team Liquid’s European headquarters as well as a training hub for Team Liquid’s global athletes. Alienware and Team Liquid have also expanded their hardware partnership to be “the most extensive and comprehensive hardware partnership in esports to-date,” according to the press release.


Stream Hatchet‘s access to historical game streaming data allows our platform to track macro level trends year to year. This week’s infographic focuses on year over year trends, by analyzing viewership data from the top 5 streamers on Twitch in 2017 and 2018. Here are the insights:

  • Game streaming has grown rapidly: The top five channels of 2018 generated over twice as many hours watched as the top five channels of 2017.
  • More games are being streamed: While 2017 was defined by PU:BG and League of Legends, 2018’s streamers brought games like Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and Fortnite to the top of Twitch.
  • 2019 Predictions: From 2017 to 2018, the 4th and 5th channels rose up the leaderboards and became the 2nd and 3rd most popular channels. Based on this trend, Stream Hatchet predicts that Overwatch League and Sodapoppin will become more influential in 2019.
For more insights, analysis, and useful graphics, visit our blog at: blog.streamhatchet.com.

2019 is off to a slow start for esports fans. They are eagerly anticipating their favorite leagues and events to begin. In the meantime, FanAI investigated what they might be watching instead. The NFL has already kicked off the year in sports with their playoffs, and eight teams of twelve remain in pursuit of the championship title. So, which of these football teams can expect to see support from esports fans? Before looking at the numbers it is easy to assume that the Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, or the Dallas Cowboys would be popular with esports fans because of their backing of esports organizations. After all, the owners of these teams own or hold stakes in, respectively, the Los Angeles Gladiators, Boston Uprising, and compLexity Gaming, which should give them a leg up on other NFL organizations. However, it is in fact the Philadelphia Eagles which see the most crossover support from esports fans. About 1 in 4 of the Eagles’ Twitter followers also follow at least one Twitter handle related to esports. It is hard to speculate on the reason for the Eagles’ lead on other organizations, but they can rest assured that no matter how the playoffs shake out they have the support of a digitally-active and growing fanbase.
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.

TCL is returning as the official TV of the Call of Duty World League. “With our award-winning 6-Series earning a reputation for premium picture and ultra-low input lag to allow the best possible gameplay, esports remains incredibly important to TCL,”  said Chris Larson, Senior Vice President of TCL. “As an official partner, TCL will be featured in tournament broadcasts, as well as have branding in original Call of Duty World League programming. TCL will also engage with fans through on-site gaming lounges at Fort Worth, TX, Anaheim, CA, and CWL Finals, as well as the Call of Duty World Championship in August, and will have a booth in all four tournament locations showcasing televisions for competition playback. In addition, TCL will be the presenting sponsor of “Hot Mic” with CWL talent Clint “Maven” Evans, a high energy preview show for the Call of Duty World League.
“Call of Duty World League continues to grow, and we’re excited to welcome back TCL as a sponsor of the league in 2019,” said Brandon Snow, Senior Vice President, Chief Revenue Officer of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. “CWL Las Vegas, our first event of this season, was our biggest start to a new season and the highest viewed CWL open event ever.”
Chinese league of Legends team Royal Never Give Up has signed a global strategic partnership with Chinese smartphone brand Hongmo. The smartphone company will manufacture and sell a branded smartphone in China, which is on-sale this week. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
European esports organization Method has signed a partnership deal with PC peripherals company Corsair. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Method noted that it spans all of Method’s esports lineup, which includes teams in World of Warcraft, Fortnite, Rocket League, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and FIFA 19, among others. Corsair will provide gaming gear for the players.
Car manufacturer Audi has signed a sponsorship deal with Chinese streaming platform Panda TV. Audi will act as the “title sponsor” for a new Panda TV esports show called “Marvelous Esports.” Players and content creators that use Panda TV will be featured on the show.
U.K.-based esports organization Endpoint has signed a sponsorship deal with meal replacement brand Soylent. “We’ve dominated the UK CS:GO scene for the last two years and felt it’s time to take the team –  and UK esports league – to the next level and try to become the first UK team in the global top 30,” Endpoint COO Peter Thompson said. “In Soylent, we’ve found the perfect partner as they know what it takes to win and have the product to help us do so.”
Virtus.pro will partner with gaming chair brand DXRacer to create a line of products in the Virtus.pro colors. Virtus.pro’s players will also receive the gaming chairs to use while streaming. Many other esports teams have partnered with the gaming chair brand in the past, including Tempo Storm, Fnatic, and Ninjas in Pyjamas.


Valve reportedly issued a record number of Valve Anti-Cheat bans on Steam in December, according to statistics from SteamDB. More than 611,000 VAC bans were issued across Steam games with the VAC system enabled, dwarfing the last record of 193,000 bans in July 2018.
Let’s Play Live, an esports media company based in New Zealand, has acquired esports platform CyberGamer. Founded in 2007, CyberGamer is a long-standing community platform with more than 387,000 users in Australia and New Zealand. CyberGamers founder Jeremy Klaosen assured CyberGamer users that the “ladders, leagues, and forums” beloved by the community will transition into the Let’s Play Live acquisition. “Over the last 11 years since founding CyberGamer I have lived and breathed esports,” Klaosen said. “I am excited about the road ahead and the world-class production and opportunities LPL will bring to the community I love so much.”
A professional Smash Bros. player,  Joseph “Mango” Marquez of Cloud9, was suspended from Twitch on Monday for passing out from drinking too much while streaming. Marquez said on Twitter on Jan. 7 that his Twitch ban will keep him off the platform for seven due to “dangerous consumption of drugs or alcohol,” according to an email posted to Twitter.
Sony announced during its pre-Consumer Electronics Show press conference that the PlayStation 4 is nearing 100 million units sold. The company said that, to-date, Sony has sold 91.6 million PlayStation 4 consoles. Sony last reported sales at 82 million in July 2018. Sony noted that holiday sales were good for the company, with 5.6 million consoles sold alongside 50.7 million PlayStation 4 games. Subscribers to Sony’s PlayStation Network also grew to 90 million by November 2018.
Sony announced on Jan. 9 that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is the most-downloaded non-free to play game in December. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 came in second, followed by Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption 2, Battlefied V, FIFA 19, Mortal Kombat XL, Marvel’s Spider-Man, NBA 2K19, and Madden NFL 19.


Nintendo has just launched a new website dedicated to competitive Splatoon 2. The website, designed to help players find teams to participate in future tournaments, is only open to to European players at this time. The first European tournament is scheduled for Jan. 13.
Esports Entertainment Group, an online gambling company, announced its new global headquarters to open in Malta. The company said the location is strategic for its place in the European Union and workers experienced in online gambling. Two executive hires will lead the new office initiative – Chief Risk and Compliance Officer Adrien J. Lefèvre and Head of Payments Jenny Pace. Esports Entertainment Group also added Alan Alden, General Secretary of Malta Remote Gaming Council, to its Board of Directors.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 developer Treyarch will add the game’s competitive playlist, League Play, to Black Ops 4 as part of the new World League Hub. It’s expected to be added by the end of January, according to the developer. In the World League Hub, players can access everything Call of Duty esports, including participating in League Play events and watching tournaments.
The Tokyo government is expected to host an esports event in 2019, governor Yuriko Koike announced this week. The two-day event will have $460,000 set aside from the government’s budget for the event. Details regarding the venue and dates have been been announced yet. Koike wants to event to promote Tokyo’s video game and anime industry. “Esports involves many different industries, and the event will be an opportunity (for companies) to get some publicity,” Koike said, according to The Japan Times.
CES 2019 is ongoing in Las Vegas. Multiple esports brands, developers, and sponsors are in attendance. Representatives from Blizzard, Twitch, HyperX, YouTube, and more participated in informational panels spread across the week’s events.


Developer Blizzard Entertainment has announced that Sam Braithwaite, who formerly led Heroes of the Storm and StarCraft esports, will take over Hearthstone esports in 2019. He’ll take the reins from former Hearthstone Senior Global Franchise Lead Che Chou, whose departure was announced last week. Braithwaite has been with Blizzard since 2016. He’s been part of the Hearthstone esports team for the past six months. Chou will move to Ubisoft to work as its senior director of esports.
Activision-Blizzard also lost two Chief Financial Officers over the past couple weeks. Spencer Neumann’s contract with the developer was terminated due to “cause unrelated to the Company’s financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures.” Neumann is reportedly headed to Netflix. Blizzard CFO Amrita Ahuja is leaving the company to join mobile payment company Square.
Activision Blizzard announced new leadership additions, with Call of Duty Executive Vice President Rob Kostich named President of Activision. Former CFO Humam Saknini has been named President of King Digital Entertainment, while CFO Dennis Durkin will add President of Emerging Business to his resume.
Cynopsis is thrilled to announce the finalists for our 2019 Short Form Video Festival! Winners will be announced at the second annual industry event, taking place on Wednesday, March 6 at the SVA Theatre in NYC. The festival will also feature panels offering best practices in business and advertising in the short form space as well as opportunities to network with creators, buyers, distributors, brands and more.

ON THIS DAY in 1863: The first underground railway opened in London.
Trivia: What was the grand prize for the first known video competition, for the game Spacewar, in 1972? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.) 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which classic game famously announces that “You have died of dysentery”? Oregon Trail.known  Kudos to: Brendan Awerbuch-Brooklyn Nets, Brooklyn, Ken Gerlinger-Peach Belt Conference/Augusta, GA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, Gabrielle Fredick-National Geographic/Washington, D.C., Luke Wason-Essential TV/NYC, Brian Traynor-Endeaovor/NYC, Allison Weiner-MMSI/Warwick, RI

For more news and coverage, check out: http://cynopsisesports.com (updated daily).

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MANAGER, CONTENT DISTRIBUTION, THE AMERICAS/LEGO/LA: Help to develop and foster strong relationships with key existing networks and content platforms. 5+ yrs exp in a content distribution/sales or content strategy role. Understanding of various forms of media. Full info HERE (1/24)
TRAFFIC COPY COORDINATOR/OVATION TV/NYC: (FT freelance) Tech-savvy person w/willingness to learn, a cooperative attitude, att to detail & strong ability to meet changing deadlines in a fast paced- envir. creating house numbers for on air promo and added value elements. Full info HERE (1/24)

/NYC: Work directly w/Sales & AdOps teams to ensure schedule runs as ordered & traffic issues are resolved. Mng nat’l sales proposals, prepare post analysis for clients & resolve contract discrepancies. 2-4 yrs exp in a multi-media sales co, or ad agency pref’d. Familiarity w/rsch products incl Nielsen & MRI. APPLY HERE (1/23)

NBC SALES ENABLEMENT DIRECTOR, SALES OPERATIONS/NBCU Tech Ops/NYC: Empower sales, traffic, research, finance and marketing users across our division to work at peak performance. Min 5 yrs in a similar lead customer support/training function, or a related vendor role. Full info/apply HERE (1/19)

MARKETING COORDINATOR/Cynopsis Media/Norwalk: Temp to hire. Play a critical role in mktg dept for Cynopsis (B2B publisher TV industry). Support mktg team incl event & email plan’g. BA deg mktg/comms. 1-4 mktg exp. Word Press/Excel skills/Event exp a +. Resume to Jenn@cynopsis.com (1/19)

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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 (1/18)

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 (1/18)

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 (1/18)

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 (1/17)

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 (1/17)
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 (1/17)
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 (1/16)
SR BROADCAST DESIGNER/NESN/Boston: Passionate/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 (1/16)
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 (1/16)

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 (1/15)

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 (1/15)


Developed an application on AWS for handling millions of daily pings from our software, SteelSeries Engine, with information from customers around the world.
Senior Python Developer
Chicago IL
Solve interesting technical problems
Senior Firmware Engineer
Chicago IL
Research and respond to requests and issues reported by Regulatory or Independent Test Labs.
Senior Software Test Engineer
Las Vegas NV
Develops software features, writes documentation, reviews code, and follows test procedures.
Software Engineer III (Platform Development)
Las Vegas NV
Manage the ongoing FINAL FANTASY XIV Online and FINAL FANTASY XI Online product go to market strategy and execution.
Senior Manager, Product Marketing
Square Enix
El Segundo CA
Develop and execute marketing strategies and online/offline campaigns to grow our user base.
Senior Marketing Manager
Square Enix
El Segundo CA

Build and execute social media strategy through competitive and audience research and Manage all social media channels.
Social Media Manager
Chino CA
Review and provide clear, actionable feedback on game design documents, scripts, in-game assets and marketing materials to ensure accuracy and brand fidelity.
Creative Assistant, Marvel Games
Glendale CA
With a user-first mindset, understand the needs, wants and challenges of the Disney Channels World Wide digital audience.
Games Producer
Burbank CA
Communication with team members and meeting deadlines is a critical and required skill.
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Turtle Beach Corporation
San Diego CA
Work with the audio team to implement new features in new products..
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Turtle Beach Corporation
San Diego CA
Contribute strong visual design ideas throughout pre-production and production.
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Double Fine Productions
San Francisco CA
Establish clear, comprehensive and thorough organizational processes, and communicate them to Studio Leads and Publishing partner.
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Double Fine Productions
San Francisco CA
Work closely with product management and design teams to create innovative applications on the Android platform.
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Razer USA Ltd.
San Francisco CA
Work with the manager to develop marketing campaigns to drive awareness and adoption for Razer mobile devices.
Associate Marketing Manager
Razer USA Ltd.
San Francisco CA

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