CYNOPSISeSPORTS & GAMING
03.16.17 It’s Thursday, March 16, 2017, and this is your weekly early morning eSports & Gaming brief.
Turtle Wax is doubling down on its investment in esports as well as with team OpTic Gaming. Offering “content-driven storytelling through individual player integrations,” the brand will join OpTic on the road with fan activations at two key gaming tournaments throughout the year and become one of the first non-endemic brands to host an experiential activation onsite at select MLG tournaments starting this week at CWL Dallas where Call of Duty player Crimsix will unveil a custom co-branded wrap on his Porsche GT4 in the Turtle Wax booth. Fans will also have the opportunity pose with the car and receive a GIF that can be shared on social media. The footprint will also be present at MLG Anaheim in June. Other partnership elements include an additional integration with team producer Pamaj, social media promotions and giveaways, as well as road trip shoots that show the team “living the go moment, capturing and sharing content at every turn.”
“Professional gaming is a rapidly growing sport, and authenticity is a priority as more sponsors enter the space,” said Hector Rodriguez, CEO and co-founder of OpTic Gaming. “Our fans are highly engaged and aren’t just invested in our competitions, but also in our lifestyle. Passion for gaming and cars go hand-in-hand. Our cars are a major fixture and natural extension of our lifestyle, so Turtle Wax is a perfect fit as a sponsor for OpTic Gaming.”
“One of the major goals of this partnership is to show the new era of car lovers that Turtle Wax isn’t just your father or grandfather’s car products,” said Courtney Lauer, director of marketing for Turtle Wax. “The brand has been around for more than 70 years, and we pride ourselves on our innovations steeped in consumer insights, and continue to invent new products that meet the needs of modern drivers."
Valve is bringing its staple Dota 2 tournament The International back to Seattle this year after all. After hinting that the event could be moved as a result of new US immigration policies, the developer formally announced its cosplay competition at the annual tournament, taking place in the city this August. The Cosplay Competition this year will offer a $15,000 prize pool.
WESA unveiled a slate of regulations as it continues to help mold the esports industry, including standards for multi-team ownership prohibition, a personal code of conduct and sanction regulations. Under the Multi-Team Ownership Prohibition regulation, no team is permitted to be completely or partially owned or controlled by a person or entity that owns or controls another esports team or organization participating at WESA sanctioned events. The Personal Code of Conduct defines the values and principles of WESA and lays down the consequent rules for behavior and conduct within WESA as well as with external parties, while the Sanctions Regulations, among other things, install “a clear and unambiguous set of rules and methods for leveling sanctions, the permitted scope of any sanctions, as well as a process for appeal.” “At WESA, we are committed to creating industry-wide standards in esports that benefit member teams, their players and the esports industry at large,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Chairman and Commissioner of WESA. “These new standards and regulations will further our goal of better professionalizing esports and ensure that all of our organizations are operating on the same level playing field."
Hi-Rez Studios is hitting DreamHack Valencia with a lineup of SMITE, Paladins and SMITE Tactics esports events on July 13-15. The gaming festival will mark the Studio’s largest-ever esports event in Europe, anchored by the first-ever Paladins Console Wars, which will dangle $50,000 by squaring off the top Xbox One and PS4 teams from both Europe and North America to crown the top Paladins team across console platforms. The announcement comes on the same day that Paladins enters closed beta on both PS4 and Xbox One. “While Paladins is new on console, we thought it was important to reward our early competitive players with a unique and fun event," said Todd Harris, Hi-Rez Studio Chief Operating Officer. “As far as we know, no major multiplayer shooter has ever had their best players from both PS4 and Xbox One play one another in this type of venue. We can finally settle the Blue vs Green debate once and for all.”
The Halo World Championship 2017 Finals have their 12 teams for the March 24-26 battle in Burbank for a shot to battle for a piece of the $1,000,000 prize pool and World Championship title. Representing North America will be OpTic Gaming, Team Liquid, Team EnVyUs, TMMT Crowd Pleasers, Str8 Rippin, Luminosity Gaming and Splyce. From Europe will be Fab Games eSports, Supremacy and London Conspiracy while Team Immunity represents Australia. Rounding out the roster from Latin America will be Shock The World and Tune In.
Blizzard is bringing prizes to fans of its collegiate series Heroes of the Dorm. Fans who fill out a bracket will have a shot at taking home $10,000 as well as a challenge portrait and a Cheerleader Kerrigan Bundle. Heroes of the Dorm launches on March 18, with the finals taking place on April 8 in Las Vegas.
The SXSW Conference will be the home of a Street Fighter V Invitational event titled Fighters Underground with play kicking off today. The tournament will feature a $20,000 prize pool, according to ESPN, and run parallel to a Hearthstone major and a Rocket League event.
Blizzard detailed plans for the 2017 for World of Warcraft’s 2017 Arena season, which pits two teams of three players against the other. The new year will see Blizzard offer open signups instead of minimum rating in order to register with teams able qualify for Regional Championship events by earning points from victories at qualifier cups and approved fan competitions. The Region Championships and World Championships will feature a dozen teams from North America and Europe each, up from eight last year. Qualifier events will have $6,000 prize pools, Regional Championships will dangle $100,000, while the World Championship will have a $280,000 prize pool.
Weekly updates for our upcoming Cynopsis World Esports Summit, set to take place on April 12 in NYC. Just ahead of the advertising upfronts, the event will see a slew of brands/media buyers in attendance interested in partnering in the esports space, along with our A-list lineup of speakers, exclusive research, breaking news and more! Click here for more information and to get tickets now.
Live events continue to offer spectacular opportunities for brands to connect directly with fans and build consumer loyalty. In esports, this is especially true if you know how to speak to the market. Join us for our special session, “The Art of the Tournament” and learn the dynamics of hosting an esports tournament. Moderated by Intersport’s Kurt Melcher, panelists will include Intel’s George Woo, AEG’s Josh Gold, NGE’s Marc Koenig, Jon Bukosky from Ultimate Media Ventures and Bo Daly from Super Evil Megacorp. Don’t miss it!!
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Denial Esports announced the additions of new co-owners of the team, lining up Stephen A. Crystal and former NFL player Hank Baskett as partners for the famed franchise. Crystal’s experience includes igaming, land-based casinos, raising capital and interactive gaming, while Baskett in addition to his playing career and reality series has been active as an investor for companies such as Gaming and Entertainment Mobile Systems, aka GAEMS, and OverDog, which connects fans to athletes via Xbox and PlayStation.
Luminosity announced a pickup of another Overwatch team. Previously known as Bird Noises, the new team will play under the moniker of LG Evil while Luminosity’s current squad will be dubbed LG Loyal. "We are very excited to welcome LG Evil to the team," CEO of Luminosity Gaming Steve Maida said. "It’s in an incredibly talented group of young men who fought through adversity, and have proven they are a top team in the world. What most impresses me about the team is their unwavering loyalty and belief in one another. I think this specifically can be accredited to their success. Personally, I’ve been captivated by Overwatch, frequently finding myself losing track of time while playing or watching. I believe the future for the game and our teams looks bright and I look forward to watching and cheering them on heading into the OWL. I also want to thank Hammers Esports for making the transition a smooth one. They have an eye for talent and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from them."
Blizzard laid out early plans for BlizzCon 2017, which returns to the Anaheim Convention Center on Nov. 3. Tickets will be made available on both April 5 and April 8, at 7p PT and 10a PT respectively. In addition, the company will host an exclusive pre-BlizzCon dinner to benefit Children’s Hospital of Orange County on Nov. 2, allowing fans to spend time with Blizzard developers, artists, and community representatives with a limited number of tickets (which include BlizzCon admission) on sale on April 12 at 7p, at $750 each. “BlizzCon will be here again before we know it, and we’re looking forward to catching up with the community, taking in the awesome esports action, and showing everyone what we’ve been working on,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re already hard at work making this year’s show an unforgettable experience-we can’t wait to see everyone there.”
Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, is tapping esports for its newest sponsor play, locking in an exclusive sponsorship for NRG Esports. This partnership will see NRG promote Events DC across their streaming channels on Twitch and across social media with players participating in promotional appearances in conjunction with Events DC, leveraging the team in a move to increase the profile of Events DC’s efforts both internationally and domestically in the tech and videogame landscape, and the visibility of its logo in the esports community will underscore the importance of bringing tournaments to the District. “DC is no longer your grandparent’s capital. Each month there are 1,000 new residents in Washington, DC who are accelerating and becoming part of DC’s ongoing transformation by attracting new and exciting events that further position the city on a global stage,” said Max Brown, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Events DC. “Through collaborations with organizations like NRG, we are actively working to position ourselves for the future and in the next five to eight years, DC will be positioned to be the capital of esports.”
In other sponsorship news, Psyonix locked in PepsiCo’s Brisk brand as a sponsor for the Rocket League Championship Series. Brisk will now serve as a sponsor for Season 3 of the series.
Skillz unveiled the results of its first live streamed mobile eSports charity tournament. The tournament drew more than 140,000 views over the course of the stream, with a total of over 7.1 million minutes watched while proceeds from the tournament supported Special Olympics Southern California.
Esports organization Team NP announced a partnership with Netsurance, the organization’s first Canadian sponsor. The deal also marks the company’s first move into esports.
Funimation signed on for the esports space by sponsoring Panda Global. "We’re incredibly excited about working with Funimation," Panda Global chief financial officer David Wu told ESPN in a statement. "Almost everyone on the team grew up watching anime, and we think our audience loves the titles that make Funimation great so there is plenty of synergy. If I were to rate this sponsorship, it would be over 9000."
A new study from Juniper Research projects that consumption of eSports and streamed games content will drive $3.5 billion in revenues by 2021, up from $1.8 billion anticipated in 2017. The report, eSports, ‘Let’s Play’ & ‘Watch Play': Competitive Tournaments & Content Streaming 2017-2021, found that whilst the subscription model, as seen on platforms such as Twitch, will contribute significant revenues to the industry, it will be advertisers who reap rewards; with almost 90% of eSports & ‘Let’s Play’ viewers also watching ad-supported casual games streams in 2021.
Sony is upgrading its streaming game service, revealing that its PlayStation Now platform is expanding to include PlayStation 4 games later this year in addition to games from its older consoles, according to multiple reports. In addition, the service’s cloud saving feature will allow players start a game on one platform and continue playing on another.
GINX esports TV continues to expand. The channel announced plans to take root in the MENA region via OSN marking the first 24-hour competitive video gaming channel to showcase the emerging esports phenomenon in the area. In addition, the channel is hitting South Africa where it will stream on DStv Now and supersport.com starting May 1. The deal also includes selected GINX esports TV content being simulcast on the SuperSport channels.
Twitch continues to tinker with the launch of a desktop app designed to boost the Twitch experience starting today. The app will allow viewers to view streams and chat as well as connect Communities, and offers a “Friend Sync” feature to import friends and games. The app also allows Skype-like voice and video calls, and manages addons.
Allied Esports and Esports Arena are taking the event game on the road, unveiling Esports Arena: Drive, a new mobile esports truck that will debut this summer. The semi-truck will be able to convert into a full stage and studio within two hours, according to the company. “Esports Arena Drive will be able to connect our existing Arena’s to all regions across the country, go on nationwide tours, supplement existing esports events, and even bring esports to non gaming events in one streamlined operation,” said Paul Ward, co-founder and CEO of Esports Arena.
With the 2017 Game Developers Conference in the books, organizers of the event announced that the conference saw over 26,000 professional attendees along with 570 companies exhibiting in San Francisco. The annual Independent Games Festival (IGF) Awards and Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) saw Blendo Games’ Quadrilateral Cowboy earning this year’s Seumas McNally Grand Prize while Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch took home the award for Game of the Year at the 17th annual Game Developers Choice Awards. “Every GDC gives us a deeper appreciation of the hard work that goes into every aspect of game production, and every role requires attention and deserves respect. With GDC, we aim to honor the commitment, passion and love that all game creators put into each project, I’d like to think we’ve done that this year,” said Meggan Scavio, general manager of the Game Developers Conference.
Roblox Corporation locked in a funding round valued at over $90 million with financing led by Meritech Capital Partners as well as Index Ventures. The investment will allow the company to enhance its platform by updating its infrastructure and allowing it to bring in new talent.
Superdata reports that Nintendo has now sold 1.5 million Nintendo Switch consoles worldwide. Leveraging data supplied by Famitsu and GfK, SuperData says that 500,000 consoles were sold in the US, with 360,000 bought in Japan with most numbers based on the first week of sales. In addition, SuperData says 89% of Switch owners have bought the new Zelda game.
With less than a year under its belt, eUnited has quickly shaken up the competitive ranks, including the team’s recent win at the CWL Atlanta Open. Under the watchful eyes of franchise co-founders Adam Stein and Jamie Daquino, since launching with a CS:GO team last August, eUnited now boasts representation in Overwatch, League of Legends, Gears of War, Call of Duty, and Smite. Cynopsis eSports asked Stein and Daquino about their team’s launch and rise up the charts, building the brand and their interest in the upcoming Overwatch League.
Stein on forming eUnited: Our foray into esports was driven because we felt we could build a brand that we felt could really be one of the first organizations that really bridged the gap between hardcore gamers and casual fans who were just getting into esports by acquiring a number of teams across a number of titles. We’d focus on doing business the right way and over time we’d be able to build a brand that connects with different audiences. That’s one reason why we focused on an accessible name like eUnited.
Daquino on esports as an investment opportunity: We started looking at the industry and the growth potential, we thought it was an incredibly exciting space to be in. It was a chance to own a pro sports team and get into an area with huge upside. We recognized it as an opportunity to build a business from the ground floor up and when you combine that with the notion that we have always wanted to be in the sports world, owning teams that can actually be competitive and win titles, it was a great marriage to combine all of our skillsets. One of the things that got us excited about the space was that it was vibrant and filled with passionate fans and we felt like we could surround ourselves with bright folks to make a powerful combination for eUnited.
Stein on building a brand: For us, the first thing was to make sure we did two things: the first was to build teams that win and we are fortunate that we have found super-motivated and talented gamers that can be successful in the field of play. Beyond that, we have focused on getting all those guys all the tools they need to be successful. We don’t want to squabble over whether they need a new computer. We want to follow up with what we say we are going to do. The other thing is to make sure that every chance that we get, we get out there to promote the eUnited brand, not only through Twitter, our website, etc., as well as through smart content about this up and coming hot brand.
Daquino on the role of players in marketing: We are trying to develop a culture where the success of the organization is something that everybody participates in. While we encourage players to be out there with their own personal brand, we also want them actively out there promoting the organization. What we’ve seen happen is that our League of Legends guys will be at their house, tweeting about our Call of Duty team playing across the country, communicating how proud they are.
Stein on Overwatch League: It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of esports in general and want to acquire a team and a championship in almost every single esport or game. But for us, each title serves a different purpose. An important focus at eUnited is to have a stake in League of Legends and Overwatch. Those are the two dominant games and being a part of the upcoming Overwatch League is vital to us. We think, much like a lot of other wonderful organizations, that we want the opportunity to be a part of that. A lot remains to be seen as to how that plays out but we are actively pursuing a slot in that league.
ON THIS DAY in 1999: Sony Online Entertainment lanches EverQuest for PCs in the US.
Trivia: In which game are players welcomed by Harth Stonebrew, aka the Innkeeper? (Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Originally titled Dragon King: The Fighting Game, this title has since become a staple brawler title of the esports community. What is that franchise? Answer: Super Smash Bros. Kudos: Chris Davies-Virgin/London; Danny Araque/NY; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank .
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Implement and support Big Data tools and frameworks such as HDFS, Hive, and Impala.
Senior Data Engineer – Bi & Analytics
Design and implement exciting and fresh next generation content.
Content Game Designer
Work closely with designers to visualize gameplay VFX for players, creatures and events.
Leverage analytics and quantitative analysis to monitor game performance, tune mechanics, and identify new features to impact KPIs.
Senior Mobile Product Manager
Bandai Namco Entertainment
Santa Clara CA
Ability to work on several projects simultaneously, meet deadlines, and work with our project tracking software.
Senior Graphic Designer
Bandai Namco Entertainment
Santa Clara CA
Manage resource requirements (expenditure, human resource planning, etc.) necessary to deliver the marketing objectives.
Head of Marketing
Establish roadmap for commercialization of broadcast rights across each product and region.
Broadcast & Programming Manager, ESports
Responsible for directing the Animation department in the creation of cinematics as well as in-game animation for client projects.
Redwood City CA
Work with others to expand our next-generation graphics pipeline including advanced lighting and rendering techniques, and special effects.
Senior Graphics Programmer
San Diego CA
Working closely with the fellow programmers, artists, and designers to meet the technical requirements of the game design.
Senior Gameplay Programmer
San Diego CA
Work with existing graphic designers, Esports, marketing, video, and production teams to determine and plan the scope of a visual project.
ESports Graphic Designer
San Diego CA
Present and communicate your designs to the team and the greater organization to build consensus around your concepts.
Senior UI/UX Designer: Ads & Promotions and Platform
San Francisco CA
Work across technical and product teams to help define and prioritize requirements.
Engineering ManagerEcosystem Solution
San Francisco CA
Knowledge of SAN and NAS principles, experience deploying and maintaining various storage solutions.
ESports Systems Engineer
Los Angeles CA
Collaborate closely with Brand Management to develop player insights that drive campaign development.
Social Media Lead
Los Angeles CA
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