06/28/18: ELEAGUE is bringing back the Street Fighter V Invitational 2018 Celebrity Showdown this weekend

CynopsisESPORTS
It’s Thursday June 28, 2018 and this is your weekly early morning Esports briefing. We are on vacation next week so enjoy your Holiday!

 


Turner and IMG lined up plans for the second annual ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational 2018 Celebrity Showdown this weekend, with the charity tournament carried on Friday at 11p on TBS. This year’s crew of celebs will include Shaquille O’Neal, World Series Champion Jimmy Rollins, NBA veteran Baron Davis and former professional wrestler Natalie Eva Marie playing for their charities, with O’Neal supporting the Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund, Rollins playing for The Jimmy Rollins Family Foundation, Davis on behalf of The Drew League and Marie for A21.
 
The single-elimination tournament consists of two first-round matches and a winner’s match (three matches total). Analysts Steve “Tasty Steve” Scott, Zhi “Zhieeep” Liang Chew, Stephen “Sajam” Lyon and Reepal “Rip” Parbhoo serve as game coaches for the celebrities, with Josh Gray as the emcee.
 
 
COMPETITION and VENUES

 


The Overwatch World Cup unveiled locations and dates for Group Stage action, set to take place in South Korea, the U.S., Thailand, and France, with tickets now available. Each venue will play host to that country’s home team and five visiting teams over three days of competition with two teams from each Group Stage heading to the top 8 at BlizzCon in November. South Korea will play host from Aug. 17-19 at Studio Paradise in Incheon. L.A. welcomes contenders from Sept. 7-9 at Blizzard Arena in Burbank. Bangkok will be on the clock from Sept. 14-16 with play being held at Royal Paragon Hall, while Paris gets the spotlight Sept. 21-23 with play at Espace Grande Arche.
 
Comcast Spectacor is diving deeper into esports, with the company – already owner of Overwatch League squad Philadelphia Fusion – now adding fellow Philly network N3rd Street Gamers to its investment portfolio. The company will look to leverage N3rd Street Gamers as a “national framework” for in-person esports competition and player development with up and coming players able to use a “soon-to-be announced network of events” designed to elevate amateur talent. “We are thrilled to continue our growth in esports through this partnership with N3rd Street Gamers,” Comcast Spectacor CEO Dave Scott said in a statement. “John and his team have formulated a strong growth strategy, and we anticipate this investment will fuel not only our advancement, but also the continued development of esports as whole.”
 
Formula 1 announced that the Williams Esports team will pick first in the 2018 F1 Esports Pro Draft, following Tuesday’s draw at F1 HQ in London. The Draft takes place on July 9 following British Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone. Beforehand, top drivers from 2018 F1 Esports Series qualifying will take part in a driver “boot camp” at Silverstone during the week under the watchful eyes of team scouts.
 
ICS, the organizer of the Wacken Open Air festival, and ESL are teaming up this year, announcing plans to add esports to the festivities. Starting Aug. 1, the 1,800 square meter esports Village will open its doors, with the first tournaments kicking off alongside the festival itself, featuring the likes of PUBG, League of Legends and more.
 
Haven’t checked out the latest roster of speakers for the Esports Business Summit? Even more to come! Don’t miss out, have a gander and register today!
 
NBC Sports revealed its voices for year two of the Universal Open Rocket League, NBC Sports Group and FACEIT’s annual esports tournament showcasing 2v2 Rocket League for a $100,000 prize pool. Host and analyst Rachel “Seltzer” Quirico anchors coverage this year throughout the Regional Finals and Grand Finals, joining commentators Caleb “WavePunk” Simmons, Mike “Quinn Lobdell” Behrouzi, Joey “JorbyPls” Ahrens and James “JamesBot” Villar. Brisk will serve as a presenting sponsor and will debut a commercial featuring Rocket League casters Caleb “WavePunk” Simmons and Mike “Quinn Lobdell” Behrouzi, and bring fans a special behind-the-scenes look during the tournament.
 
Activision Blizzard will reportedly offer Overwatch League franchisees first crack at the upcoming franchise model for its Call of Duty World League. ESPN writes that in the company’s franchise contracts with existing Overwatch League owners, they are granted a first right of negotiation for slots in the Call of Duty World League and that Activision Blizzard is contractually obligated to approach those owners first when it begins exploring franchise opportunities for the Call of Duty World League. Activision Blizzard is assessing how to integrate the OWL ownership groups — 10 of which do not hold teams in Call of Duty at this time — with existing Call of Duty participating teams, per sources.
 
Red Bull and Super League Gaming are teaming up to launch a new tournament, Red Bull All-Stars, pitting contenders from season three of  Super League’s League of Legends City Champs, taking place on July 23 at Red Bull’s esports studio in Santa Monica. The event will look to provide a “national stage for the most accomplished five-person teams” out of each of Super League’s four City Champs divisions.
 
Esports staple Splyce announced a $2.6 million funding round anchored by the participation The Ledger Group with other investors that are set to include former Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace and former New Orleans Saints safety Roman Harper, along with sports agent David Meltzer. Splyce current fields teams in League of Legends, Call of Duty, Halo, Rocket League, StarCraft 2, Smite, and Paladins.
 
Rainbow Six Siege is launching a new esports series dedicated to the top players in the US. The US Nationals launches on July 14 and will offer $50,000 in prizes with play that will begin with online tournaments every Saturday. “The phenomenon that is Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege esports has been truly amazing to witness firsthand. With the US Nationals, we have entered into a new and exciting time for our community’s growth,” said Robb Chiarini, esports associate director at Ubisoft. “Our goal is to provide a comprehensive esports ecosystem that offers our players and ever-growing community opportunities to participate, watch and aspire to. The US Nationals expands this initiative by offering another layer of activity for all players across the United States.”
 
Publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment detailed plans for the recently-announced Dragon Ball FighterX World Tour, which will launch at the CEO Fighting Game Championships in Daytona Beach on June 29. The tour will be carried by Twitch, which will act as managing partner for league operations, circuit events, and content. The tour will also make various “Saga Event” stops, including the Ultimate Fighting Arena (France), Thunderstruck (Mexico), Southeast Asia Major (Singapore), VS Fighting (United Kingdom), and CEO Fighting Game Championships (USA). Competitions will be held throughout 2018 and culminate at the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour Finals in January 2019.
 
Com2uS unveiled the second worldwide tournament series for the mobile RPG, Summoners War. The championship tournament will see three regional cups (Asia, Europe, US) and a world final in Seoul. Players will be fighting it out for a total prize fund of $110,000. Regional cups will take place on Aug. 25 in Toyko, Sept. 8 in LA and Sept. 22 for the European tournament. The global final will see the world’s top-8 players travel to Seoul to determine the greatest Summoner on October 13.
 
Today sees the opening of the HCT Summer Championship for Hearthstone. Blizzard unveiled its talent lineup for the event as the game’s top players compete for their share of the $250,000 prize pool. Coverage begins at 8:30a PT, with coverage hosted by Cora “Songbord” Georgiou, and casting duos of Dan “Frodan” Chou/Brian Kibler, Simon “Sottle” Welch/Darroch Brown, and TJ “Azumo” Sanders/Nathan “ThatsAdmirable” Zamora.
 
Riot Games unveiled the faces and voices for Forge of Champions, now underway in the U.K. The League of Legends competition will hear from names that include Ceirnan “Excoundrel” Lowe, Rob “GosuDreams” Price, Jake “Hiprain” Matthews, Oisin “BloodPenguin” Molloy, Tadhg “CelticTiger” Brennan, Dan “Foxdrop” Wyatt, Dan “Aux” Harrison, and Joshua “Dowsey” Dowse.
 
 
INSIGHTS

 


Twitch chat has been described as a flock of seagulls that are constantly changing direction. That being said, some patterns can be analyzed once you take a step back and look at the whole picture. With the FIFA World Cup in full swing, we’ve noticed an increase in the mentions of countries. Here are this week’s insights:
  • We scanned all of the chat messages on Twitch since the start of the FIFA World Cup and found a total of 1.3 million mentions of countries with competing teams. The top five mentioned countries are listed above.
  • 4 of the top mentioned 5 teams, Mexico, Japan, Argentina, and England are at the top of their brackets in the world cup stage.
  • The Germany Mexico matchup was the most popular topic in Twitch Chat. Despite losing the game, Germany received 3K more mentions.
For further insights visit our blog.
 
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ACTIVATION

 

Top streamer Ninja locked with a deal with clothing company PSD Underwear to launch a line of boxer briefs inspired by the Twitch competitor, announcing the partnership yesterday. The collection will be unveiled next month. PSD Underwear is a company owned by NBA stars Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler and Chandler Parsons.
 
Intel is celebrating the hunt, inking a deal with The PUBG Global Invitational 2018 to become worldwide sponsor of the event. The company will now power all of the tournament’s PCs with the 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8700k processors to help fuel the largest tournament ever for the title. “We’re delighted to join forces with Intel for PGI 2018, the first global PUBG esports tournament hosted directly by PUBG Corp.,” said Richard Kwon, CMO, PUBG Corp per Twin Galaxies. “We believe the commitment Intel is making to the event will help us in further unlocking the potential of PUBG esports as we continue to expand our efforts to audiences around the world.”
 
HyperX announced that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and dedicated gamer JuJu Smith-Schuster signed on to serve as a brand ambassador for the company. Smith-Schuster will exclusively use HyperX headsets during his gaming sessions as part of the deal. As an ambassador, Smith-Schuster will include HyperX branding on his live streams, participate in HyperX marketing campaigns and appear at HyperX fan events. Smith-Schuster recently gained notoriety in the gaming world when he and other notable gamers, including Ninja, Drake and Travis Scott, shattered Twitch viewing records together.
 
Gaming headset and audio accessory brand Turtle Beach announced another partnership, locking in Australian esports organization Tainted Minds as their official audio partner. The new partnership will see all Tainted Minds pro gaming teams and players use Turtle Beach’s Elite Pro line of professional gaming audio equipment, as well as other Turtle Beach gear and accessories.
 
Last week’s announcement that Immortals were picking up defunct Brazilian esports brand MIBR carried with it some sponsorship news while the new MIBR team will now boast a roster of former SK Gaming players from Brazil who will relocate to Los Angeles to train on the Immortals Campus. The team revealed it has landed two major sponsors for the new MIBR team with non-endemic brands Tinder and Betway signing on as partners.
 
 
CONSUMER SNAPSHOT

 


This week, FanAI analyzed eight esports teams and their social overlap with high-performance gaming hardware company Razer. Four out of the eight teams analyzed are sponsored by Razer (Gen.G/Seoul Dynasty, Immortals, 100 Thieves, and SK Gaming), while the remaining four are not. The three teams that had the greatest social overlap with Razer are all sponsored by Razer, which suggests that Razer sponsorships have been highly successful in driving team followers to begin following the Razer brand.
 

 

PLATFORMS

 


Twitch scored a couple of milestone in recent weeks. First of all, E3 saw viewership hit an all-time high on the platform this year, at least on Twitch, with a record-breaking 2.9 million concurrent viewers tuning in on June 10 and topping the previous benchmark of 2.5 million, set in January. In addition, viewers watched more than 1.6 billion total minutes of related Twitch content during the annual event, marking a rise of 106.6% year over year.
 
Meanwhile, Riot Games became the first Twitch channel to hit one billion views. The company met the milestone during a League of Legends contest between OpTic Gaming/FlyQuest on June 24 as part of the 2018 North American LCS Summer Split.
 
Documentary Girl Got Game premieres Wednesday, July 18 at 8p on The CW. Follows CLG Red, an all-women team in the world of esports and the first to land a major sponsor.
 

INDUSTRY

Big news for staple agency UTA, which is moving into the esports space with the formal acquisition of Press X, an esports talent agency, and Everyday Influencers, a management company, with co-founder Damon Lau set to oversee UTA’s esports division, reporting to UTA Games head Ophir Lupu and UTA Ventures head Sam Wick. The move now formally brings over 90 esports athletes and personalities into the UTA fold.  “As we identify and adopt early trends within the digital ecosystem, we recognized that the acquisition of Press X and Everyday Influencers would be a forward-looking opportunity for us,” said UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer in a statement. “The gaming sector is projected to reach over $135 billion this year and esports and streaming are critical components of any strategy for growth. For UTA, these categories are complementary to our existing gaming practice and our business overall.” 

 

Goldman Sachs reports that the esports market will see revenues hit $2.17 billion by 2023 with a compound annual growth rate of 18.6%, according to a Reuters report. The revenue total takes into account a variety of sources for esports income, including media rights, ticket sales, merchan dise, sponsorship, publisher fees, and direct advertisement. “The growth of this market is attributed to the increasing popularity of video games and growing awareness about esports,” the group said. “However, the threat from esports gambling/betting is restraining the growth of the market.” Meanwhile, the report says that esports are on track to reach the same number of viewers in 2022 that the NFL now has today, according to the research.

 
PUBG Corp. dropped its lawsuit against Fortnite developers Epic Games, according to Dot Esports. Earlier in the year, PUBG Corp., an affiliate of South Korean studio Bluehole Inc., sued Epic Games in a claim that they had copied the PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds format for its Fortnite Battle Royale offering. However, according to the local court system in Seoul, the case has been closed, with PUBG Corp. sending a letter of withdrawal to Epic’s attorneys.
 
The IOC and the Global Association of International Sports Federations will host an Esports Forum on July 21 at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne in order to “explore synergies, build joint understanding and set a platform for future engagement between the esports and gaming industries and the Olympic Movement.” Invited participants will include representatives from across the esports and gaming ecosystem: players, publishers, teams, media, sponsors and event organizers. GAISF President Patrick Baumann said: “Along with the IOC, the GAISF looks forward to welcoming the esports and gaming community to Lausanne. We understand that sport never stands still and the phenomenal growth of esports and gaming is part of its continuing evolution. The Esports Forum provides an important and extremely valuable opportunity for us to gain a deeper understanding of esports so that we can jointly consider the ways in which we may collaborate to the mutual benefit of all of sport in the years ahead.”
 
 
POWER PLAYERS – G2 Esports’ COO Peter Mucha

 


G2 Esports recently named Peter Mucha to the company’s senior executive team as the Chief Operating Officer and tasked him with managing and strategically growing G2 Esports operations worldwide, including leading the integration of a successful operational structure, defining and implementing business growth strategies, and leading the global operational teams that are crucial to the all-around success of G2. Mucha joined from the Symanto Group and previously held senior positions with Adidas, Microsoft, Universal Music and Activision.
 
He now takes the helm of a team with deep ties in League of Legends as well as CS:GO, Hearthstone, Rocket League, Paladins, and more. Cynopsis asked Mucha about taking on the role and his plans for the European squad.
 
Mucha on the G2 Esports opportunity: It was a perfect fit for a few reasons: esports is currently the fastest growing market out there, and it provided me with an opportunity to bring my background in sports, data and entertainment into one position at an organization with a lot of potential. Carlos and I immediately clicked – the cultural fit was just right from the start, and Carlos’s vision for G2 Esports and the industry was very inspirational. He’s also leading an incredibly ambitious and hungry-to-succeed team of people, who are holding themselves to very high standards. I wanted to be a part of that.
 
On immediate goals: G2 is already on a very fruitful road to competitive and business success, so my immediate goals are centered around supporting them on this path. First and foremost, I want to provide Carlos with a partner he can trust and rely on long-term, so he can focus on the brand, our competitive success, and the strategic direction of the company. That’s a challenge that comes with structuring a lot of operations and setting the organization up for success, building best-in-class structures across the board – from marketing to support for our teams and partners. Additionally, I want to capitalize on the incredibly impressive 3.5 years of unprecedented growth in branding, competitive success and vertical expansion – including increasing merchandising capabilities, expanding distribution channels and building long term, strategic partnerships with endemic and non-endemic stakeholders.
 
On challenges to teams today: That’s an interesting question because a lot of things that many – myself included – would consider challenges also present a lot of opportunities for growth. Take, for instance, the talent pool: before esports reached “mainstream” status, the talent pool was low. Today, the talent influx coming from other industries forces old-school organizations to adapt or make way. We are an industry with an outstanding growth rate, so we have the challenge of salaries (for players but also other stakeholders) growing unreasonably higher and faster than revenues. The capital influx coming from other industries is the main cause of that, and the stakeholders focused on increasing their market share know that every dollar today is worth 10x as much tomorrow. I also think that outside of the heavily endemic and passionate-about-esports group of people, newcomers will have a hard time finding partners who will educate them – who have the right pedigree, experience and skills. As a result of these likely underwhelming partnerships, some investors and partners alike grow hesitant on the esports opportunity.
 
On franchising: Long-term partnerships of this type change a lot of things in esports, most notably our quest to find the ideal competitive structure, which simultaneously could be different for each type of game out there. I think the biggest change deriving from that will come from esports’ ability to forge new types of partnerships: the serious, longer-term deals that will make it possible for everyone to make more accurate forecasts and predictions. Those types of partnerships are relatively new in esports, as there’s never been a point in time where teams and players have been able to make more elaborate plans with regards to their contracts and revenue coming in. I think this will be one of the most effective ways to create an ecosystem that allows fans to passionately follow their favorite teams, players and brands for decades to come – just like they do in other entertainment industries.
 
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JOB OPENING: VP EXCHANGE CONTENT & DIGITAL/American Public TV/Boston: Terrific opp. to work at one of best pub media cos. & have dynamic impact on nat’l content. Lead APT’s largest content dept. Key to multicast channels & dig. initiatives. 5-10 yrs. rel. exp. PubTV & dig. exp. pref. Report to CEO. Info/APPLY (7/11)

 

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Responsible for designing, developing and maintaining many aspects of the core engine tech such as streaming, threading, memory management.
Engine Programmer
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NYC
 
Requires expertise with modern C++ programming and completed and shipped at least one full-cycle (start to end) 3D console game project.
Character Programmer
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Understand how the system fits within the strategic overview of the product design.
Senior System Designer
Volition
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Proactively seek out inefficiencies and problems in existing pipelines and identify potential solutions.
Senior Python Tools Programmer
Volition
Champaign IL
 
Strong fundamentals, including object oriented programming and software design patterns.
Software Engineer
Babaroga
Chicago IL
 
Proficiency with Maya / Max is necessary.
3D Artist
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Create and optimize shaders and materials to run on a variety of platforms and machine specifications.
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Looking for experienced art directors to blend our amazing engineering capabilities with our talented art team.
Art Director
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Design and build levels for single player, Co-Op PvE and PvP multiplayer gameplay.
Senior Level Designer
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Create and maintain creature, weapon, and character animation rigs in MotionBuilder.
Technical Artist
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Create original concept art that will represent the in-game user interface.
UI Artist
High Voltage Software
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Design and implement core gameplay components such as application specific AI, physics, character control, cameras, event systems, VFX, etc.
Gameplay Programmer
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specializes in programming the tools and engine of the Days Gone user interface on the target platform and game engine.
Senior Staff UI Programmer
Bend Studio
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Specializes in specific areas of programming that centers around the architecture and implementation of game engine code systems.
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