Daniel “KEEMSTAR” Keem, host of the Friday Fortnite competitions, posted that the most recent offering drew 8.8 million unique viewers for last week’s tournament across all of the platforms featuring the event, marking the biggest number so far in its run, although he noted that viewers could theoretically be counted twice if they were watching more than one livestream, with Ninja leading all entry points drawing 2.4 million, 2.6 million, and 1.9 million on the past three tournaments.
Overwatch League is now serving up detailed statistics for its players on its site with data that includes eliminations, deaths, damage done, and healing. Blizzard announced that more features, such as player comparison tools and leaderboards, would be added later.
Streaming platform Play2Live will now offer users the ability to challenge their favorite streamers on the platform with a new interactive task system. During any Play2Live stream, viewers can use Level Up Coin tokens – virtual currency that can be converted to other virtual or physical currencies – to set a bounty for a streamer to complete during their stream, according to DotEsports.
DisneyXD will be showcasing the action at E3, courtesy of a deal with IGN. Overall, IGN’s E3 2018 coverage is confirmed to run for six days this year, starting on Saturday at 10:30a and concluding on June 14 with live broadcasts from downtown Los Angeles and more than 40 hours of content. IGN will also feature exclusive live game demos and appearances from gaming’s biggest names, all from IGN’s stage on the show floor. IGN’s live E3 coverage will be presented on D|XP, Disney XD’s primetime programming destination for gaming enthusiasts. This marks the first time IGN’s livestreams from E3 will also be available on TV. Recaps showcasing highlights from E3 will also be featured on Disney XD. In addition, IGN also once again partners with Twitter at E3, bringing the element of real-time conversation to IGN’s E3 coverage.
Twitch’s E3 plans will include not only all the major press conferences streamed live on Twitch, in addition to special Twitch exclusive extensions for the Bethesda and Ubisoft conferences that will include the ability to sign up for beta access and newsletters as Ubisoft unveiled their lineup, while the Bethesda E3 Extension lets fans try game trivia, answer polls, and pre-order new games on Amazon. In addition to special guests and other content that will run on the platform during the week, Twitch is also putting on meet & greet sessions with popular streamers, including DrLupo, KingRichard, Pokimane and others.
Evo 2018, running Aug. 3-5 from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, will have a new presenting sponsor, with Cygames, producers of the Shadowverse digital card game, signing on. Plans include a booth at Evo 2018 to showcase Cygames Beast and Shadowverse game. “We are thrilled to partner up with Cygames for Evo 2018,” said Director of Global Business Development, Mark “MarkMan” Julio. “The Cygames brand across their products and their Cygames Beast gaming team are synonymous with quality and care. We’re excited to have new layers of support for players, the community, and the overall event from such a prestigious company.”
HyperX announced it has now shipped 5 million gaming headsets, noting that – with the popularity of video games Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – the gaming headset market continues to grow at a rapid pace. “With the explosive growth of Fortnite, NBA 2K and esports, HyperX is seeing an exciting expansion in the global gaming headset market,” said Marcus Hermann, senior business manager, HyperX. “HyperX has been supplying hardcore gamers with gear for over 10 years and we are now seeing our HyperX headsets becoming more popular with casual gamers. Shipping 5 million headsets is a major milestone as we continue to grow.”
Syracuse University is reportedly offering an esports media course for the Fall 2018 semester. Multiple reports state that the university’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications lined up a developed a class called Esports and Media that will explore the “historical roots of competitive video games to the current multi-billion-dollar industry.” Twitch will assist in the course.
POWER PLAYERS- Riot’s Michael Sherman
This week sees one of the largest esports collegiate championships taking place in LA, as the LoL College Championships get underway with either of the best university teams squaring off from the NA LCS Studio. With State Farm coming in this year as presenting sponsor, competing schools include Maryville University, Columbia College, University of Texas, Western University, University of Ottawa, University of California – Irvine, University of Illinois and University of Maryland. Cynopsis caught up with Riot Games Collegiate Esports Director Michael Sherman to discuss university landscape, how schools are levering esports, and what we can expect from the championship.
Sherman on the 2017-18 school year: The 2017-18 school year was a big year in growth for the college space, largely fueled by the growth of education from a variety of different sources. University presidents are asking more and more what they should be doing with video games. Holistically, they hear about what’s going on and they see all the numbers but they aren’t sure how those apply to their school. I think that’s because school are really intrigued by the application across the board where they can engage with a large population of their students. They are also curious because of the academic interest and performance of these students, who are high-performing and taking on really challenging majors. So you have the strategy starting that is utilizing gamers across the board and we as a publisher are trying to drive that for schools who want to do and learn more.
On questions: I think the common question being asked is where universities should be starting. They are all approaching it differently as you will talk to one school which wants to drive enrollment in their engineering department over the next ten years and doesn’t know where to start. Another school will point to their low engagement rates and ask how they can utilize and reconnect with their students to be more functional. At a base level, a school wants to understand the types of games are being played, who is playing them and how they can get support.
On Riot’s role: In addition to organizing competitions and running the league, we support student clubs across the US. We see our role as largely facilitating conversations between students and their administrators. We want to create the best experience possible for gamers and if we can help create a dialogue and connect what’s already happening on campus.
On Riot’s year: This was our biggest year of competition yet. We had over 311 schools participating, up from 285 schools last year. We also had more schools register for our programs this year, as we had 30 at the start of the season, up from 14 last year and already we are hearing about numbers around 70-75 who will have programs next year. At the same time, we did our deal with Big Ten Network for two years and also signed with the Peach Belt Conference. Now, our focus is to continue to bring more conferences into the fold and support the way that universities in group and making an investment in esports.
On the championship: This championship is going to be the highest level of competition we ever had. Many of these players have held number ones on the ranked ladder at some point. Second, we continue to look at opportunities to put a college spin into what people traditionally think of as esports.
G2 Esports named Peter Mucha to the company’s senior executive team as the Chief Operating Officer. He will be tasked 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 joins G2 Esports from the Symanto Group, where he led the business through its start-up phase, built the strategic vision and managed both the growth and internationalization of the business and its brand.
Global esports organization Gen.G announced the appointment of Jordan Sherman as Head of Sponsorships and Revenue. Sherman got his start in the sports business with Major League Baseball Advanced Media and the Los Angeles Clippers, where he served as Director of New Business, generating annual revenue for the team via digital, social, point of sale and in-arena activations.