06/08/17: E3 lays foundation for Coliseum; Surveying reaction to Riot’s franchise news; Team Dignitas squad shares Sixers’ gameplan

CynopsiseSPORTS & GAMING
It’s Thursday June 8, 2017 and this is your weekly early morning eSports & Gaming brief.
 

The first E3 Coliseum locked in its lineup for the new anchor event at next week’s expo. Produced by Geoff Keighley, the event will run June 13-14 at The Nova at LA Live. Showcasing live demonstrations, panels, and conversations, speakers will include the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson, WWE’s Big Show, directors James Gunn and Ivan Reitman, Jack Black, director Ivan Reitman, along with publisher CEOs, and more. The lineup opens with “God of War: Behind the Curtain,” moderated by Michele Morrow on Tuesday at 11p PT. Full details can be found here. Foe more updates on E3, see below.
 
Tuesday, June 13
11:00a-Noon (PT): God of War: Behind the Curtain
Noon-12:30p: Inside Bungie
12:30-1:30p : World Builders
1:30-2:15p: Assassin’s Creed
2:15-2:45p: What Game From E3 Will Make You the Next Online Gaming Superstar?
2:45-3:15p: Bethesda Softworks
3:15-4p: Square Enix
4-4:30p: Epic Games
4:30-5p: Swing Behind the Scenes With the New Spider-Man for PS4
5-5:45p: Project Scorpio: The Most Powerful Place to Create and Play
6-7p: Jack Black in Conversation with Tim Schafer
 
Wednesday, June 14
10-10:45a: New Realities: VR, AR, and Gaming
10:45-11:30a: Sea of Thieves: Community Spirit
11:30a-Noon: Gaming Evolved: New Voices, New Visions
Noon-12:45p: Crash Bandicoot Reunion
12:45-1:30p: Mortal Kombat: Celebrating 25 Years
1:30-2p: Far Cry 5: A Trip to Hope County
2-2:30p: Call of Duty: WWII – Sledgehammer Games’ Journey Back to the Franchise’s Roots
2:30-3:15p: Stories Across Screens
3:15-4:15p: A Conversation with Hideo Kojima and Jordan Vogt-Roberts
4:15-5p: The Indie Revolution
5-5:30p: Middle-earth: Shadow of War – A Behind-the-Scenes Look
5:30-6p: Square Enix
6p: “ An exclusive surprise discussion with renowned figures.”
 
 
COMPETITION

 


Even before the launch of the US-based NBA 2K esports league, the NBA already has eyes for expansion. NBA China CEO David Shoemaker told CNBC that the association is mulling the launch of a separate esports league in China and/or including Chinese teams in the US. “When you factor in not just filling arenas, but the content offering and what that can do with the millions of people watching it online, we think the sky’s really the limit,” he said. The new US-based league will launch in 2018.
 
ELeague locked in its talent lineup for the first-ever ELeague Clash for Cash: The Rematch, taking place on June 16 at 10p on TBS. The lineup will see Richard Lewis host, with shoutcasters Anders Blume and Jason “moses” O’Toole along with analysts Chad “SPUNJ” Burchill and Scott “SirScoots” Smith. The event will offer Virtus.pro a best-of-three chance at revenge their runner-up finish to Astralis in the ELeague Major Grand Final.
 
Daybreak Game Company is launching the Elite Series, a new pro circuit for H1Z1:King of the Hill that will hit four stops in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Each event will see single-elimination team and solo tournaments with prize pools of $150,000 and $100,000, respectively. The series begins at DreamHack Atlanta this year, running July 21-23. “The Elite Series shines a spotlight on the skill and passion of our players from around the world, bringing the community closer together through online programming and in-person competition. It’s an arena for the best head-to-head H1Z1 action and will undoubtedly have viewers and players on the edge of their seat,” said Mark Tuttle, director of esports at Daybreak. “There is nothing that can match the scale or intensity of an H1Z1 tournament where everyone is dropped in together, competing amidst the mayhem to be the last one standing, and we are excited to continue to develop this new genre of esports.”
 
The Esports Championship Series locked in its talent roster for the Season 3 Finals spanning June 23-25 at The SSE Arena Wembley, London. Rachel Quirico, Alex Richardson and Pala Gilroy Sen host and join observers Jamie Hall and Conor Blomfield in addition to James Bardolph and Daniel Kapadia, as well as Anders Blume and Henry Greer on commentary, with analysts Duncan Shields, Janko Paunović, Tomi Kovanen and Sam Marine.
 
Following a year that saw a slew of deals between sports and esports entities, how are these new partnerships actually benefitting the brands? What have these sports powerhouses learnt about esports fans? How is competitive gaming being leveraged? Hear from some of the innovators from the sports world, including the NFL, Big Ten Network, the 76ers and Mindshare, who took on esports and learn from their experiences at our latest webinarHow Sports Brands Can Leverage the Esports Explosion,” taking place on June 27. Book your spot now by clicking here .
 
After OpTic Gaming laid claim as the Season 1 champions of the Gears Pro Circuit, tournament organizers announced plans for another season, dangling $1,000,000 for play that will begin later in the year.
 
Gfinity will serve as the exclusive partner to help deliver the Elite finals of the Forza Racing Championship at this month’s 24 hours of Le Mans event, teaming with Microsoft for the esports tournament. The event takes place from June 17-18 running alongside the famed race, with $100,000 on the line. “Gfinity’s experience of global events makes us the perfect platform for showcasing such a spectacle. The Gfinity team are extremely proud to be involved in such a legendary event, where all of the action will be in one place for sports and racing fans alike,” said Gfinity CEO Neville Upton.
 
FACEIT partnered with PGL, the host of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major, to bring the PGL Americas Minor Championship to the Santa Ana Esports Arena from June 8-11. Eight of North and South America’s best teams will compete for a prize pool of $50K and a spot in the upcoming PGL Major Offline Qualifier in Krakow, Poland.
 
 
CROWD CONTROL (aka Reactions to the Week’s Biggest Story)

 


Riot Games formalized its long-term plans for League of Legends, revealing a new franchising model for the North American League of Legends Championship Series that will include an application process for teams and revenue sharing, as well as a players’ association and more. Franchises will cost $10 million for existing NA LCS organizations, while newcomers to the scene will need to pay an extra $3 million to compensate teams not selected to the group of 10 for the 2018 season. Teams will no longer face relegation under the new model, with the company noting that “It’s harder to make long-term investments as a brand if you don’t know if the team is going to exist,” Jarred Kennedy, who co-heads Riot Esports, told Ad Age. The changes “are going to make it much more palatable and approachable for brands to come in and invest.”
 
Reactions were generally positive…
The implementation of a franchise model means greater stability and more predictability for brands. As the number of teams has started to grow in recent years, it has been challenging for advertisers to figure out who and how to sponsor,” said Joost van Dreunen, CEO & Co-Founder at SuperData Research, who added that “Riot taking the initiative on how to formalize the industry will likely affect Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League. While the financial mechanics of OWL are still shrouded in rumors, and several prominent teams dropping the game altogether, Riot is setting the standard. Consequently, teams, and their investors, will expect a comparable structure from Activision and others.”
“The @riotgames announcement everyone knew was coming is a game changer,” said WME/IMG’s Tobias Sherman on Twitter. “Value proposition is clear and the legacy of success mitigates risk.”
“Glad to see Riot also moving toward a more stable ecosystem and meaningful partnerships with owners,” said MonteCristo, who has been tapped to cast the upcoming Overwatch League.
“IMO Riot could have sold franchise spots for substantially more, but they didn’t because they care more about selecting the right partners,” wrote Team Liquid co-CEO and Owner Steve Arhancet.
“Riot is stronger than the NFL, because they don’t just own the league, they own the actual football. VERY weary of them owning the PA now too,” tweeted video game attorney Ryan Morrison .
 
 
E3

 


Twitch inked a deal with T-Mobile to partner as host of the “first-ever” Twitch Esports Arena at E3. Spotlighting fighting games, the tournament will see top players compete in Street Fighter V, TEKKEN 7, and Injustice 2 during all three days of E3. Admission will be open the public with all activities from the T-Mobile Esports Stage streamed on Twitch.tv/twitchesports. T-Mobile customers will get a VIP area where they can watch the event live.
 
Facebook detailed plans for this year’s event, describing its campaign as its “biggest year yet,” with a public activation in West Hall that will be dubbed ‘Raise Your Game.’ Activation will include a Facebook LIVE stage where Andrea Rene will host a series of guests for live programming throughout the three days of the show with guests that include developers, marketers, and more. In addition, the platform will integrate more video than ever and offer some news to share on the gaming video front.
 
Nintendo announced that Pokken Tournament DX will join the ARMS and Splatoon 2 titles with its own invitational tournament at E3. The event will take place on June 14 at 10:30a PT, and feature eight YouTube and Twitch stars battling in four teams.
 
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is hitting E3 with a first, announcing the WB Games Live! streaming event broadcasting live from its E3 booth from June 13-15, and can be viewed at http://live.wbgames.com . Content will see live gameplay demos, discussions with game developers and surprise guests, as well as cosplay contests. Featured titles are set to include: Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Injustice 2, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, LEGO Worlds and LEGO Dimensions.
 
 
INSIGHTS

 


Source: Superdata
 
 
PLATFORMS

 


American Leisure Holdings’ GG Media Network detailed plans for its upcoming series, 4Cast, designed as “the first weekly highlight, news and commentary show focusing on esports and the world of gaming,” according to the company. Talent is set to include hosts Alex Corea and Kimberly Crossman, with correspondents that include Lauren Compton, Curtiss Frisle, Sinead deVries, Frauq Tauheed, Pauline Yasuda and Henry Watkins. Content will feature top news stories and in-depth features, as well as predictions, recaps and commentary. “GG Media Network has assembled a strong team to host the show and selected correspondents who will provide humorous, informative and insightful takes on the world of esports and gaming,” said Christian Bishop, chief executive officer, GG Media Network.
 
OpTic Gaming is going long with Twitch, inking an exclusive, multiyear deal with the livestreaming platform that will showcase most of the squad’s first-person and third-person shooter eSports teams, according to VentureBeat. Twitch will collaborate with OpTic to “build each streamer’s presence on the platform and elevate the streamer experience for each player and their viewers.” “First and third-person shooters are what jump-started competitive online gaming as a phenomenon and are a catalyst in making esports what it is today,” said John Howell, VP of Global Partnerships at Twitch. “In the last year alone, we have seen shooter-game tournaments set viewership records and contribute to the meteoric rise of new FPS/TPS games on Twitch. By partnering with OpTic Gaming, an acclaimed fixture in the competitive shooter scene, we are able to ensure our large community of shooter game fans don’t have to go far to see the best the genre has to offer.”
 
 
MARKETING

 


Mountain Dew signed on to sponsor three esports stalwarts, locking in deals with Team Dignitas, Splyce and Team SK Gaming. The partnerships will now offer exclusive content and access to the players via the Mountain Dew Twitch channel. “We are excited to expand our support of esports through these partnerships with three world-class teams,” says Manos Spanos, Global Senior Marketing Director, Mountain Dew. “Industry-first partnerships and authentic integrations that align with core Mountain Dew values and resonate with gamers and DEW Nation will continue to inspire us as a business.”
 
EA announced that Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid will grace the global cover star of EA Sports FIFA 18, which hits shelves on Sept. 29 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 systems. “The world’s best player has helped fuel the biggest leap forward on the pitch that we’ve ever delivered,” said Aaron McHardy, Senior Producer for EA SPORTS FIFA. “We are extremely excited to partner with Cristiano – working with him we learned a lot about his unique play style and what makes him so special. His passion, energy and global fanbase make him the perfect ambassador for FIFA 18.”
 
Meanwhile, 2K is turning to Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers as the cover athletes for NBA 2K18 . “It is well known that I’m an avid player of this series and I am honored to be the cover athlete of NBA 2K18,” said Kyrie Irving, who has his sights set on another ring and is making a run for back-to-back championships. “It’s surreal to be featured on the cover and I can’t wait to dominate on the virtual court with all of my fans this fall.”
 
In other deal news, OMEN by HP was named the Official PC Partner of Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch World Cup this year, where OMEN X Desktop PCs will power gameplay for each of the global tournament’s live events. “With the launch of an entirely new, cutting-edge and comprehensive portfolio of OMEN by HP gaming products, HP is celebrating the competitive spirit that burns inside all gamers,” said Alex Craddock, global head of marketing, personal systems at HP. “We’re excited to be working with Blizzard Entertainment by helping power the gameplay behind the Overwatch World Cup. HP is dedicating itself to helping grow esports by investing in the athletes of the future and our partnership with Blizzard Entertainment is a big step in pursuing that goal.”
 
 
INDUSTRY

 

PwC released its Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2017-2021, with a dedicated section for esports. The study projected that total esports revenue in the US would hit$299 million in 2021, up from $108 million in 2016, rising at a 22.6% CAGR. Esports streaming advertising revenue is forecast to rise from $33 million in 2016 to $148 million in 2021, becoming the biggest contributor to total esports revenue in the process. Meanwhile, esports consumer contribution revenue will climb from $20 million in 2016 to $42 million in 2021, for a 15.7% CAGR. Finally, consumer ticket sales revenue is forecast to rise from $11 million in 2016 to $26 million in 2021, a 19.7% CAGR. Meanwhile,
 
In the gaming sector, the PwC Global Entertainment and Media Outlook projections expect total video games revenue in the US to grow at a 6.3% CAGR rate to reach more than $28.5 billion by 2021, with the PC games sector posting a bigger uptick than for consoles in terms of growth. Total PC games revenue in the US would shift from $3.7 billion in 2016 to $5 billion in 2021, notching a 6.6% CAGR. In VR, the company projects the segment to grow at an impressive 64% CAGR to reach $5bn by 2021, or roughly 17% of the entire US games business revenue total.
 
Speaking of VR, Sony reports that it had sold over one million PlayStation VR headsets since debuting in October, exceeding company expectations, according to Atsushi Morita, President of Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia, who noted, “We are boosting production and a supply shortage should be solved accordingly.”
 
Fox is fleshing out its new games division, FoxNext, acquiring mobile studio Afterschock, which has delivered the likes of Dragons of Atlantis, Marvel Contest of Champions and The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth. According to reports, Aftershock’s Aaron Loeb will now serve as President of Studios for FoxNext Games, reporting to FoxNext President Salil Mehta.
 
 
POWER PLAYERS – Team Dignitas

 


Once playing under the Team Karma and Selfless Gaming banner and now serving as the newest squad for Team Dignitas, team captain Emmalee “emuhleet” Garrido and crew are now seeing new doors open under the watch of team owner the Philadelphia 76ers. Cynopsis Esports asked members of the female CS:GO squad – Garrido, along with Heather “sapphiRe” Garozzo, Carolyn “artStar” Noquez, Catherine “CAth” Leroux, Amanda “rain” Smith and Mounira “GooseBreeder” Dobie – about the benefits of playing for their new owners, their training regimen and misconceptions about female gamers. Click here to watch, also available on our website.

 

ROSTER MOVES

 

ESL announced plans to expand into Southeast Asia, detailing plans to open a regional office that will be led by Sebastian Radu as the Interim Chief Executive Officer for the region.

 

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
How Sports Brands Can Leverage the eSports Explosion
Register now for Cynopsis’ June 27 webinar and discover the best business plays for sports brands looking to take a shot and hear from sports executives who have made the jump. In this webinar, you’ll get insights on:
  • What brought current players into the space and what have they learned since their investment that can help you shape your strategy? 
  • How can the sports and esports industries help each other? 
  • How can media companies and content producers leverage the gaming craze with complementary programming?
  • What data should potential partners look at as the mull a play?

Register today

 

ON THIS DAY in 2011: Angry Birds Rio released worldwide.
 

Trivia: In the Angry Birds franchise, what color bird drops eggs? (Email chris-sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Considered as the one of the most evil villains in gaming, Kerrigan – aka the Queen of Blades – appears in which game franchise? Answer: Starcraft. Kudos: Chris Davies-Virgin/London; Danny Araque/NY; Will Cutrone-Weber Shandwick/NY; Gabrielle Pedro Fredrick-National Geographic/DC; Glen Ross/DC; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; James Davidson-Warner Bros/Machinima/Burbank; Mark Van Lommel-PMK•BNC/LA

Later — Chris

Roberta Caploe
Publisher
@robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz
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Mike Farina | 203-218-6480
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Director of Operations
CYNOPSISJOBS – For More jobs, please visit Cynopsis.com
JOB OPENING: ACCT SERVICES MGR/SONY CRACKLE/NY or LA: Temp role. Immed start. Work closely w/Sales, Pricing Yield Mngmnt & Ad Solutions teams by helping support advertising businesses across mult platforms. Min 1-3 yrs’ exp in combo media plan’g and/or campaign mngmnt – some video exp a must. Resume HERE (6/14)


JOB OPENING:
NEWS DIRECTOR/Local New York DMA TV News Station: Well rounded & an exp’d News Dir who will mng a multi-shift operation & oversee all news dept functions. Preferably have in mkt news management exp, have passion for news, a proven track record for dvlpng staff. Resume HERE (6/13)

JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXEC/Fooji/Santa Monica: Dynamic, fearless self-starter w/exp working in digital & solid social media skills within music & entertainment.  2 – 3 yrs proven exp in ad tech, B to B, enterprise, inside or outside sales. Strong written/verbal comm skills a must. Full info/apply HERE (6/13)

 

JOB OPENING: LOG EDITOR/Z LIVING TV/NYC: Assist Ad Sales team in the management of traffic functions. Copy/material assignment, log placements, meeting daily traffic operations deadlines, as well as office manager and other duties that may be assigned. Cover/resume HERE (6/13)


JOB OPENING:
SR PRODUCER/MSNBC The 11th Hour/NYC: Mng/supervise control room w/EP. Assist in supervision of the editorial vision of each day. Must have at least 7 yrs of exp  live TV (i.e. morning shows, cable shows, brdcst TV, etc). Must have 3+yrs exp of control room exp. Full info/apply HERE (6/10)

JOB OPENING: SR PRODUCER/NBC News weekend nightly news/NYC: Work directly with EP, anchor, and staff to generate/oversee the prod of hard news and enterprise segments for the weekend edition of NBC Nightly News. Full info/apply HERE (6/10)
 
JOB OPENING: SR PRODUCER/MSNBC Live/NYC: Supervise and oversee the editorial vision of each day, including suggesting stories and guests for the show. Must have at least 7 yrs of exp  live TV (i.e. morning shows, cable shows, brdcst TV, etc). Must have 3+yrs line producting exp. Full info/apply HERE (6/10)
 
JOB OPENING: DIRECT RESPONSE AD SALES ASSISTANT/Marathon Ventures: Detail oriented individual ready to work in a fast-paced environment. Responsibilities include: processing orders, reconciling pre/post logs and providing support to the sales team. Resume to: careers@mvmediasales.com (6/10)


JOB OPENING:
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/WMAQ/CHICAGO: Acct Exec to join our local sales team, dvlp relationships w/clients, agencies & advertisers. Min 5 yrs of exp in sales and/or mktg roles.BS/BA Degree. Ability to drive & own a vehicle for transportation to & from client meetings. Full info/apply HERE (6/9)

 
JOB OPENING: SALES PLANNER/CBS Television Distribution/NY: Nat’l TV Sales Org. seeks energetic organized individual to join our company. Direct contact w/sales team and agencies managing all aspects of advertising schedules from proposal to payment. Strong math & excel skills req’d. Full info/apply HERE (6/9)
 
JOB OPENING: SEGMENT PRODUCER/RACHEL MADDOW/MSNBC/NYC: Work closely with anchor, Rachel Maddow, and senior staff to determine daily show content. Must have at least 3 years of experience in broadcast media Ability to “book” guests, and work with graphics and video elements. Full info/apply HERE (6/9)
 
JOB OPENING: SR PRODUCER/MSNBC Live/NYC: Supervise/oversee the editorial vision of each day, including suggesting stories and guests for the show Must have at least 7 yrs exp in live TV (i.e. morning shows, cable shows, broadcast TV, etc  & 3yrs of line prod exp. Full info/apply HERE (6/9)
 
JOB OPENING: SR PRODUCER/MSNBC Weekends/NYC: Assist in the supervision of the editorial vision of each day, including suggesting stories and guests for the show. Must have at least 7 yrs exp in live TV (i.e. morning shows, cable shows, broadcast TV, etc & 3 yrs control room exp pref’d. Full info/apply HERE  (6/9)
JOB OPENING: SENIOR WRITER/PRODUCER/NYC: Lead creative for IFC Originals launches and brand campaigns. Idea-generating/writing/producing/directing mastermind with a comedy background and “Always On, Slightly Off” sensibility. 6-8 years’ experience. Submit resume and reel link HERE (6/9)

JOB OPENING:

eCOMMERCE DEALS EDITOR/Future/NYC: Research/write deals & sales related news content to help readers keep up to date w/any opp to grab a bargain. Exc writing/comm skills a must. Deg in English/journalism req’d. Expert-level knwldg of technology ind, its trends & its history. Full info/apply HERE (6/9)

 
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JOB OPENING: DIR, PROJECT MANAGEMENT ANIMATION/Nickelodeon/NYC: Resp for project mngmnt of all mktg/creative promotion for the animated properties on the Nickelodeon network. Min 8yrs yrs of project mngmnt or prod mngmnt exp in TV network capacity. Full info/apply HERE (6/9) 
 
JOB OPENING: VIDEO PRODUCER/Disney Corp Creative Resources/Glendale CA: Prod high-quality video content incl sizzle reels, digital shorts, executive comms, etc. Min 6 yrs exp in video prod, incl scripting, lighting, audio, videography, graphics & editing. Full info/apply HERE (6/9)  
 

OTHER JOBS OF INTEREST

 

Build and maintain gameplay and engine systems, empowering your team to create amazing experiences for players.
Senior Software Engineer
Firaxis
Baltimore MD
 
Making materials for characters, environment and terrain assets, effects etc, anything requiring a novel approach to solving a complex problem.
Senior Technical Artist
Firaxis
Baltimore MD
 
Establish a high bar for the aesthetic of our in-game characters and help set the best practices for concept creation.
Senior Concept Artist
Boss Key Productions
Raleigh NC
 
Create highly detailed and believable 3D character models and textures for use in-game.
Senior Character Artist
Boss Key Productions
Raleigh NC
 
Design and write code that fulfills the functional, graphical and technical requirements of the project.
Senior Graphics/Rendering Engineer
Hangar 13
Novato CA
 
Provide the Lead Programmer with feedback regarding the time allotted to assigned tasks and implementation concerns.
Senior Gameplay Animation Engineer
Hangar 13
Novato CA
 
Perform discovery work with proof of concept and prototypes to evaluate new technologies, external vendor products.
.NET Architect
Cyber Coders
Orange County CA
 
Write dialogue and cinematic scenes that are compelling and on tone with the established style of the studio.
Game Writer
Crystal Dynamics
Redwood City CA
 
Collaborate with Producers, Leads, and other managers to assemble a quality art team.
Art Director
Crystal Dynamics
Redwood City CA
 
Work with an interdisciplinary agile team of artists, designers, and programmers to design, prototype, and implement new gameplay features.
Senior Gameplay Engineer
Turtle Rock Studios
Lake Forest CA
 
Work with our team of audio designers and programmers to design, prototype, and implement new audio features.
Audio Programmer
Turtle Rock Studios
Lake Forest CA
 
Manage external agencies and teams from crafting RFP documents to day-to-day management of projects.
Web Developer
Naughty Dog
Santa Monica CA
 
Work with the UI artist and programming team to implement all HUD and UI elements for both single player and multiplayer.
UI Designer/Scripter
Naughty Dog
Santa Monica CA
 
Develop and support CI/CD solutions to meet the high-level requirements of our engineering teams.
Senior Build & Release Engineer
Roblox
San Mateo CA
 
Build infrastructure to support core application features and functionality.
Senior Game Applications Engineer
Roblox
San Mateo CA

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