09/05/19: Overwatch League partnered with Nielsen to create ad-friendly numbers

 

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It’s Thursday September 5, 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.
 

 
Overwatch League unveiled Nielsen viewership figures in average-minute-audience form for the first time in a move designed to showcase its viewership in the same way traditional sports leagues do to advertisers. This marks the first time Nielsen has released year-over-year data for an esports property, noting that the Overwatch League is the fastest growing league within the 18-34 year old demo. OWL’s 2019 regular season ended with a global AMA of 313k, up18% YoY, with 95k in the US alone, up 34%. The numbers also show that the Overwatch League is the only major sports league in the USA to be up in the 18-34 demo in the USA YoY in 2019 (up 11%). or Opening Week this year, we had a reach of more than 13 million up 30% year over year. The Overwatch League’s average viewer age being around 24, compared with 40+ in the MLS, NBA, and NFL.
 
 
COMPETITION AND VENUES

 
ESL and DreamHack are teaming up for ESL Pro Tour, linking a circuit of over twenty Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournaments and leagues that will feature an aggregate prize pool of over $5 million for 2020 from competitions on five different continents, making it the world’s largest and most lucrative circuit in Counter-Strike’s 20-year history. The slate will now combine multiple previously unconnected ESL and DreamHack tournaments into one narrative that builds toward two grand championships each year. Tournaments in the ESL Pro Tour will be organized into Challenger and Masters levels. The Challenger level will include DreamHack Open, the Mountain Dew League and ESL’s National Championships. Meanwhile, the Masters category will be anchored by arena tournaments with $250,000 or more in prize money and will include ESL One powered by Intel, Intel Extreme Masters, DreamHack Masters and the ESL CS:GO Pro League.
 
Esports entertainment platform BoomTV is finding roots in the college scene with the acquisition of the American Video Game League. BoomTV is primarily known for its popular bi-weekly event series Code Red, which reaches more than 5 million monthly users and aggregates over 30 million watched minutes through participation from influencers across Twitch and YouTube. BoomTV’s technology will now offer the AVGL’s 1,200 colleges with the its online esports experiences and content, while leveraging the AVGL’s large-scale live events and grassroots initiatives. In a recent collaboration with the AVGL, BoomTV integrated collegiate competition into its Code Red tournament, providing Fortnite collegiate players with the exclusive opportunity to compete head to head against the biggest names in streaming for a $10,000 prize pool.  
 
Formula 1 locked in contenders and plans for the start of the 2019 Formula 1 New Balance Esports Pro Series with drivers that will represent the ten official F1 Esports teams announced. With Ferrari Driver Academy making their debut in esports and in the Pro Series for the first time, this year will take place over a series of four live shows at London’s Gfinity Esports Arena as they compete for a $500,000 prize fund on September 11th, October 2nd, November 6th and culminating in the Grand Final on December 4th. In addition, Formula 1 has officially signed a deal with Huya to broadcast the Pro Series content live in China.
 
The Metarama Gaming + Music Festival , which was slated to take place Oct. 19-20 in Las Vegas, confirmed an ESPN report that the event had been cancelled. It was set to feature a bevy of stars in gaming, sports and music that include Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Marshmello. The festival was announced in June by Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza curators C3 Presents along with Esports Hospitality Concepts. On its site, festival organizers wrote that “D espite incredible support and feedback surrounding this first-of-its-kind festival concept and extensive preparation to deliver an unbelievable fan experience, we regret to announce that Metarama Gaming + Music Festival has been cancelled. ” Purchases would be refunded to the original payment source.
 
Fortress Esports announced plans to open the largest video gaming and esports entertainment venue in the Southern Hemisphere in Australia at Emporium Melbourne. Fortress Melbourne will span 2,700+ square meters across two floors and is set to open its doors in early 2020 with over 160 gaming PCs, console gaming suites, dedicated streamer pods, RPG and tabletop game play area, function rooms, a full service restaurant, two bars, and a 200 seat purpose-built esports arena with production facilities, all under one roof. For the development, Fortress Esports partnered exclusively with Allied Esports to deliver a world-class esports experience and venue.
 
LiveXLive Media and Allied Esports announced a multi-year partnership to create original live esports experiences and related content at music events and festivals throughout the world. Allied Esports’ fleet of mobile esports venues, the HyperX Esports Trucks, will serve as content generation hubs. Under the terms of the agreement, LiveXLive and Allied Esports will collaborate to activate LiveZone, LiveXLive’s traveling studio that originates from music festivals and events to broadcast a hosted mix of music news, commentary, festival updates and artist interviews.  
 
 
TRENDS

 
A common misconception among marketers in gaming and esports is that Twitch has no competition. While some of the Amazon owned platform’s challengers are more obvious, YouTube, Microsoft owned Mixer and Facebook, a handful of disruptors are fighting for market share, Nimo, Steam, Cube and DLive. Our reporting team analyzed viewership trends in GVC over a one-week period. Here are the insights:
  • While the competition grows, Twitch is still king of the hill: Last week, Twitch viewers consumed 61.7% of the 382.3M hours of live GVC content.
  • Nimo is a Darkhorse: Nimo, the mobile game streaming platform owned by Huya, has generated significant average concurrency. The platform’s AVG CCV is 50,000 viewers above the sample average.
  • Mixer’s popularity among broadcaster: Mixer’s seamless integration with Xbox likely leads it to generate significant usage among broadcasters. Over the last week, 36.8% of the total broadcasting channels came from the Microsoft owned platform.
For more information on the competitive game streaming landscape, visit our blog at: Blog.StreamHatchet.com
 
 
EBS UPDATE

 
Happy to announce that The Tempest Awards are sold out! For anyone who needed tickets, please register as soon as possible for the wait list. See you on Sept. 11! In the meantime, if you don’t have your Esports Business Summit tickets, which runs Sept. 10-12, get them here.
 
A warm welcome to our talent who will announce the Gears 5 showcase match on Tuesday, with Rob ‘AJG’ Gonzales on deck to host, with casters Jacob ‘PR’ Arce and Christopher ‘Deluxe’ Haas and observer Waldo Kinne. The event, pitting Ghost and Reciprocity, will benefit the charity Gamers Outreach at HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas.
 
Make sure to register for one of our workshops on Sept. 10, each offering deep dives into different aspects of the esports industry: Esports for Brand and Sports Marketers 2.0; the Collegiate Esports Workshop, Building a Better Map: Emerging Markets, Venues and Communities for Esports; and the Women of Esports Bash. Below is a deeper breakdown of what to expect.
 
  • Building a Better Map: Keynote from Immortals Gaming Club CEO Ari Segal; Panel – The Esports Buff: How Communities Can Maximize Their Opportunities; Breakout Discussion: The Future Of The Esports Venue; and Panel – Emerging Markets for Global Growth.
  • Women of Esports Bash: Keynote from Super League Gaming CEO Ann Hand; Panels on the challenges, opportunities and issues facing women in business and talent/media; as well as a session on brands activating in this side of the business.
  • Collegiate Esports: Conversation on implementing a conference-wide esports program between Chris Schneider, Sr. Associate Commissioner, Sport Administration and Championships; Big East Conference and Bonnie Bernstein; Panel – National Perspectives- Implementing Esports Programs at Universities; Spotlight – The Future of Governance in Collegiate Esports; Panel: Local Perspectives- Implementing Esports Programs.
  • Esports 2.0 – Content strategies and case studies for brands and marketers from companies that include Twitch, ESL, RedPeg Marketing and Mosaic. 
 
ACTIVATION

 
The NFL and partner Pizza Hut opened the doors to the first-ever virtual stadium deal in esports in Pizza Hut Stadium as part of the EA SPORTS’ Madden NFL 20 Championship Series. Stadium specs feature a seating capacity is about 71,000, with a footprint is about 770,000 sq. ft. and 381 total luxury suites in the stadium.
 
Overwatch League unlocked an exclusive deal with Kellogg Company, which will include co-marketing initiatives with both the Cheez-It and Pringles products. Activation will kick in during the playoffs in the US, where Cheez-It Grooves and Pringles Wavy brands will serve as the presenting sponsor of the halftime show and highlights segments during the 2019 Grand Finals. In 2020, as part of the deal, Kellogg will release co-branded packaging for both Cheez-It Grooves and Pringles Wavy products featuring Overwatch League branding. This initiative will also include a US sweepstakes where consumers will have the chance to win tickets to the Overwatch League finals and other prizes related to the Overwatch League. Pringles products will extend globally, while Cheez-It will remain US-only.
 
The Esports Ad Bureau announced the addition of United Esports as the newest member of the organization. The media and marketing firm specializes in helping brands reach and engage with esports audiences.
 
The US Army unveiled its new esports team at PAX Arena at PAX West with eight thousand soldiers signing up for the 16 slots on the team. The esports team will compete in tournaments across the country as be used as a recruitment tool for the military branch. “There are so many folks that don’t know about the Army and what the Army does and what the Army can offer so this is another venue to start the discussion,” said Maj. Gen. Muth in the announcement.
 
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PLATFORMS

 
IMGN Media and its TryHard platform announced an esports news show and a makeover series that will be carried on Instagram and Snapchat. Hosted by Alex ‘Goldenboy Mendez, the series LVL UP highlights gamers and the “leveling up” of their game cave, including hardware, furniture, A/V equipment and other innovative peripherals. The series premiered this week and will feature new episodes every Friday through September.
 
Acer unveiled Planet9, described as a next-generation esports platform and serving as an open community that allows gamers to “build their team, train for excellence and challenge for victory.” It is currently in closed beta, and will enter open beta on January 30, 2020. “Planet9 is a next-generation esports platform that encompasses what competitive and casual gamers need to level up and participate in esports below the professional tier,” said Andrew Chuang, General Manager, Esports Services, IT Products Business, Acer Inc. “Building on Acer’s strength in hardware, software, and services, Planet9 will provide insights to complete the experience for gamers around the world.”
 
Modern Times Group announced the signing of a term sheet for a new strategic partnership with leading Chinese game live streaming platform Huya. The deal would see Huya form a joint venture with MTG’s portfolio company Turtle Entertainment GmbH (ESL), to facilitate expansion into China, in addition to acquiring a minority interest in the league in a $30 million investment. ESL and Huya plan to host and build local Chinese esport competitions connected to the global ESL tournament. “We are pleased to establish a close partnership with ESL, which demonstrates Huya’s further penetration into the global esports sector. Together with ESL, we are thrilled to bring more world class global esports content to Chinese gaming enthusiasts,” says Rongjie Dong, Chief Executive Officer of Huya.
 
 
TEAMS

 
The Houston Business Journal writes that Lee Zieben, a Houston real estate investor who recently agreed to purchase the Houston Outlaws, is also adding eUnited eSports under his umbrella. eUnited won the 2019 CWL Championship, as well as the CWL Finals, finishing the Black Ops 4 season as the top team in Call of Duty. As such, Zieben has submitted a bid to acquire the Houston spot for the franchised Call of Duty league. The report also states that Zieben is “in the process” of raising $50 million to finance an “esports-focused” holding company.
 
Call of Duty stalwarts 100 Thieves are bowing out of the title’s competitive scene, with team founder Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag announcing that the team was withdrawing from the franchising process for what would be a city-based league next season. Nadeshot said that the organization didn’t want to commit to the costs of purchasing a spot in the franchised league, in addition to the operating costs that would come with fielding a team.
 
 
READYUP GAMES OF THE WEEK

 
 
INDUSTRY

The Interactive Software Federation of Europe is launching an esports branch to “represent and promote the esports sector.” Partnering on the endeavor will be companies such as Riot Games, Epic Games, and Twitch in a move to unite industry stakeholders. “Esports, or competitive gaming, is an important and rapidly-growing segment of the video games industry, offering huge opportunities for job creation, economic growth, tourism and the development of digital skills,” said ISFE chairman Olaf Coenen. “According to Newzoo, global esports revenues could exceed €2bn by 2020. Esports has revolutionized how consumers interact with sports, video games, and online streaming platforms.”
 
Last night’s Nintendo Direct announcements saw the reveals, among other news, that Blizzard’s Overwatch is coming to the Switch, coming out Oct. 15. Overwatch launched in May of 2016 for PS4, PC, and Xbox One. Other news included new additions for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Doom 64 coming to the Switch, new titles and more.
 
Brice Faccento, coach of the 2019 Call of Duty world champions eUnited, revealed plans to launch a new esports talent agency called Bad Moon Talent, according to Dot Esports. Faccento will join former marketing contributor Andrew Drake as the joint co-founders of the company. Call of Duty players Jordan “JKap” Kaplan, Ian “Enable” Wyatt, and Donovan “Temp” Laroda are already signed to the agency, according to an interview by Cheddar Esports.
 
 
POWER PLAYERS – Activision Blizzard’s Kasra Jafroodi
 
 
With Nielsen data opening the books to Overwatch League’s audience measurement, Cynopsis Esports asked Kasra Jafroodi, Strategy & Analytics Lead for Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues, about the release and how the numbers will be leveraged.
 
Jafroodi on working with Nielsen: We recognized that for Overwatch League to be successful, we needed to ensure that we are representing our viewership in a way that everyone can truly understand. We partnered with Nielsen because they’re a trusted name and experts in viewership measurement (and widely cited for linear viewership measurement in the US). Our partnership with Nielsen began over a year ago and they have been responsible for ensuring our audience is measured and represented the same way as traditional sports.
 
On the biggest surprise: What has really stood out to us is how competitive we are with traditional sports, especially when you look at the 18-34 demo. While traditional sports boast high overall numbers, when you actually narrow their audience down to the most valuable segment (18-34), you lose the majority of the audience. We’re seeing that OWL’s regular season USA AMA of 55k is already beating some leagues in the USA like MLS and MLB. When you take into consideration that every league is declining in the 18-34 demo (while OWL is up 11%), it won’t be long before OWL becomes one of the largest leagues in the US.
 
On how the data will be used: We use this viewership data regularly to show all our partners how Overwatch League has been performing. Everyone has been very appreciative that they finally have numbers they can both understand and compare to their other investments.
 
 
ROSTER MOVES

Caster Christopher “PapaSmithy” Smith moving from the LCK and will take on a role as the new League of Legends general manager for 100 Thieves heading beginning with the 2020 season. “We’re committed to building a League of Legends program that annually competes for championships, and having a strong general manager is a key factor in making that a reality,” Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, founder and CEO of 100 Thieves, told ESPN. “After an exhaustive search, we found Chris ‘PapaSmithy’ Smith and believe he has the experience and vision to make that possible.”  
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That Big TV Conference / Sept 9 – 10 / NYC
SESSION SPOTLIGHT > Live With The Brands
 
Marisa Thalberg, Former Global Chief Brand Officer for Taco Bell & Current Strategic Advisor for Yum! Brands will join Dean Evans, CMO of Hyundai and Jenny Rooney, Editor of the CMO Network- FORBES on Monday afternoon for an in-depth discussion on the transforming media landscape and what brands are doing to drive big results in a new era.
 
 Sponsors: Gamut – Sinclair – NY Interconnect – FriendMTS – iSpot.tv – ListenFirst Media – NCC Media – TV Time – Tubi – a4 – Simpli.fi – TVsquared
 

ON THIS WEEK in 2018: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is formally released worldwide.
 
Trivia: What is the name of the original map used in PUBG? (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Tom Nook plays a central role in which video game franchise?  Answer: Animal Crossing. Kudos: Chris Davies-Virgin/London; Allison Weiner-MMSI/Warwick; Kelsey Schroeder-KemperLesnik/Chicago; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Greg Dudsic/Venice

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

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Knoxville TN

https://corporate.discovery.com/careers/

Manage technology programs, defining milestones and success criteria, resource allocation and successful on-time delivery.
Technical Program Manager, Software Engineer
Google
Boulder CO

https://careers.google.com

Design, develop, test, deploy, maintain and improve software.
Software Engineer
Google
Sunnyvale CA

https://careers.google.com

Be a leader in developer tools and infrastructure and be willing to make the big bets it will take to move the organization to the next level of efficiency.
Senior Developer Infrastructure Engineer
Facebook
Menlo Park CA

https://www.facebook.com/careers

Drive product vision and direction for our core data services, exhibiting strong strategy, execution, design, and analytics skills.
Technical Program Manager, Core Data Storage
Facebook
Menlo Park CA

https://www.facebook.com/careers

Lead the migration of various enterprise applications to the cloud as part of MGM’s Cloud First initiative.
Senior Cloud Architect
MGM
Culver City CA

https://recruiting.adp.com/srccar/public/RTI.home?c=2169107&d=ExternalCareerSite

Act as a technical liaison between customers, service engineering teams, and support.
Senior Solutions Architect
MGM
Culver City CA

https://recruiting.adp.com/srccar/public/RTI.home?c=2169107&d=ExternalCareerSite

Successful delivery of high quality web software (requirements, design, code, documentation, etc.)
Principle Software Engineer CX Unity
Oracle
Redwood City CA

https://www.oracle.com/corporate/careers/

Counsel on product development and policy frameworks related to enabling integrity and safety within WhatsApp’s community of consumers, businesses, and organizations.
Lead Counsel, Product
WhatsApp
San Francisco CA

https://www.whatsapp.com/join/

Interface with other teams to incorporate their innovations and vice versa.
Software Engineer, Infrastructure
WhatsApp
San Francisco CA

https://www.whatsapp.com/join/


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