09/06/18: FOX makes a big esports move, investing $100 million into Caffeine

CynopsisESPORTS
It’s Thursday September 6, 2018 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.


21st Century Fox finally made its play into gaming and esports, announcing a $100 million investment into streaming platform Caffeine. The deal includes a newly formed venture called Caffeine Studios that is jointly owned by FOX Sports and Caffeine. The new studio will leverage FOX Sports’ expertise in live events and programming to create exclusive esports, video game, sports, and live entertainment content for Caffeine’s next-generation social broadcasting platform. The round includes participation from existing Caffeine investors Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners, and other undisclosed partners. Caffeine also announced a content agreement with Live Nation to bring live music concerts to the social broadcast platform in Q4 2018. 21CF’s stakes in Caffeine and Caffeine Studios will be part of the proposed new Fox, the company that will be formed upon completion of the proposed transaction between 21CF and The Walt Disney Company.
 
“The combination of the Caffeine platform with a content studio that benefits from Fox Sports’ expertise in live events and programming will help position Caffeine to deliver compelling experiences in esports, video gaming and entertainment,” said Lachlan Murdoch, 21CF’s Executive Chairman. “We are excited to partner with Caffeine and build something special for fans in the growing live social streaming esports and gaming space.”
 
 
COMPETITION and VENUES

Activision Blizzard is reportedly on the cusp of completing its expansion for Overwatch League before season two, adding four more teams to its roster with two more teams in North American and two in china, according to ESPN. The additions would make 20 teams for year two, including DC and Vancouver in NA and Hangzhou and Chengdu in China. This follows earlier news about the additions of Atlanta and Toronto in North America; Paris in Europe; and Guangzhou, China. The DC slot be funded by a new group led by Mark Ein, a minority owner of aXiomatic, his Capitol Investment Corp. and other affiliated venture capital groups and investors, according to the report. Hangzhou will be funded by Chinese video sharing website Bilibili. Chinese streaming platform Huya will operate the Chengdu team, while Aquilini Investment Group – which owns the Vancouver Canucks’ parent company – purchased the Vancouver slot.
 
Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympics Committee, reiterated that the IOC would not welcome “violent” video games in any move the organization would make toward esports. In an interview with the AP, Bach addressed the IOC’s interest in adding esports to its lineup of events. “We cannot have in the Olympic program a game which is promoting violence or discrimination,” Bach said. “So-called killer games. They, from our point of view, are contradictory to the Olympic values and cannot therefore be accepted.” Meanwhile, Alisports CEO Zhang Dazhong told Reuters that the event’s future esports portions will move towards a focus on sports simulations, rather than video games deemed “too violent” for Olympic inclusion.
 
The eGG Network announced the first Major of the 2018/19 Dota Pro Circuitseason, taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from Nov. 16-18. Partnering with PGL and ImbaTV to run qualifiers and streams, the event will offer a $1 million prize pool. 
 
704Games, NASCAR’s exclusive esports partner for simulation-style video games on console platforms, unveiled NASCAR Heat Champions: Road to Miami, a weekly esports competition featuring the upcoming video game NASCAR Heat 3. The series will span this year’s 2018 NASCAR Playoffs, and culminate at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend with over $500,000 in potential prize money up for grabs. 704Games will fly weekly finalists and a guest to Miami for Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The NASCAR Heat Champions: Road toMiami esports finale will take place Sunday, Nov. 18. In 2019, 704Games will look to expand NASCAR Heat Champions as a mainstay of the sport. The game hits stories on Sept. 7.
 
Take a dive in The Beta Tank and get your free chance for funding!! The Esports Business Summit is now accepting candidates to take part in The Beta Tank, featuring an all-star lineup of judges from Infinite Esports and Entertainment, BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, SeventySix Capital, and Podium VC. Start-ups from the world of esports will make their case live on the main stage on Oct. 2, with each judge offering a private meeting to their selections to discuss the business plan and possible investment. Are you a start-up looking to break into esports? Do you have technology that supports esports event production? Are you a leading team or league looking for new partners to take you to the next level? This is your chance to shine and entry is free! Click here and apply today.
 
EA is setting up a tribute fund and livestream to support the victims of the Madden NFL 19 shooting that took place in Jacksonville. The announcement includes a $1 million donation dedicated to supporting the victims in addition to a fund created for individuals can contribute and add to the donation made by EA. Meanwhile, the company is setting up a livestream for today that will pay tribute to the victims of the Madden NFL 19 Florida shooting and “help to bring the community closer together in this time of mourning.”
 
NBA 2K announced the NBA 2K19 MyTEAM Unlimited $250,000 Tournament, which will run Oct. 13- Feb. 13. The tournament will be played using the new MyTEAM Unlimited Mode, which features 5-on-5 NBA-style gameplay and allows users to choose any 13 cards from their Collection. 32 contestants (16 each on Xbox One & PS4) who qualify during weekly events will advance to a single elimination tournament, scheduled to take place on February 2, 2019. The Championship Finals winner will earn a $250,000 cash prize, and both finalists will earn a trip to NBA All-Star Weekend with tickets to all events.
 
The Georgia Esports League unveiled plans for season three for colleges across the state. The season culminates in a state championship taking place on Oct. 20 at Georgia State University’s new esports facility in its Atlanta Sports Arena. Championship competitors will play Georgia-based esports video games with titles such as Hi-Rez Studio’s “Smite” and Blue Mammoth’s “Brawlhalla.” 
 
 
FanAI SNAPSHOT


This week FanAI investigates demographic differences in purchasing behaviors within the esports audience. The typical stereotype of an esports fan is young and male, which many brands are targeting when they sponsor in esports. So FanAI looked deeper to see if there were differences in spending habits between male and female esports fans. In most categories spending did not vary significantly, though one outlier was purchases at the box office. The data shows that female fans spend 6% more on tickets and concessions than their male counterparts. With brands such as Lionsgate, Twentieth Century Fox and Disney already investing in the esports ecosystem, these brands and others entering the space could benefit from factoring in the spending power of female fans when considering their spending strategy. 
 
 
ACTIVATION

Champion is getting into the esports arena for the first time, locking in a deal with Team Dignitas for a multi-year partnership to become Team Dignitas’ Official Jersey, Casual Wear and Athletic Wear Provider. The agreement will see the launch of a new casual, fan-focused apparel line and online store alongside the franchise’s Fall 2018 rebrand. Acknowledging the growing women’s esports fan and player base, Champion will also develop a Team Dignitas-branded women’s apparel line. Through the new partnership, Champion will leverage its resources and best practices in merchandise, customer service and product distribution to design and operate an online retail platform for Team Dignitas fans. Champion logos will appear on all Team Dignitas’ player jerseys. In association with the partnership announcement, 12 popular Team Digntas players will stream “unboxing” videos of Champion apparel via Team Dignitas and player social media channels. “Just like Champion, Team Dignitas has become incredibly recognizable both nationally and internationally,” said President of Sports Apparel and Graphics at Champion, John Fryer. “They are positively motivating and inspiring so many young people out there, just as we’re doing in the apparel industry, and we’re thrilled to be a part of that. The partnership and collaboration between our brands will advance the esports culture in a very exciting way.”
 
The Story Mob continues to unveil new practices, launching a new vertical: publicity services for esports talent and influencers. As personal publicists, The Story Mob will look to connect “the best of on-air talent and industry influencers with brands and media partners looking to capture their deep endemic expertise and engage their global fan base.” The top six broadcast talent the agency will initially partner with include: Alex ‘Machine’ Richardson, Anders ‘Anders’ Blume, Chad ‘Spunj’ Burchill, Henry ‘HenryG’ Greer, Jason ‘Moses’ O’Toole and Tres ‘Stunna’ Saranthus.
 
HyperX locked in a sponsorship and will participate at this year’s FACEIT London Major. Taking place at a sold-out SSE Arena in Wembley, London from Sept. 20-23, the event will see a slate of key CS:GO teams compete for a share of the $1 million prize pool. In addition to sponsoring the event, HyperX will offer a booth for fans to visit and play their own one versus one tournaments and play with the latest HyperX peripherals at exclusive show prices. HyperX-Europe will also be showcasing their newly launched licensed clothing from European company Rubber Road which includes esports jerseys, hoodies and t-shirts.
 
Worldgaming Network is teaming up with the Minnesota Twins to launch a special Fortnite streaming party at Target Field on Sept. 9, titled Fortday with Trevor May. Both gamers and baseball fans will be able to watch pro gamers BasicallyIDoWrk and Jordan Fisher join Twins pitcher Trevor May go for the Victory Royale Live on the video boards at Target Field at 10a. Twins catcher Mitch Garver will serve as the events’ special emcee. The event will be sponsored by WorldGaming Network.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
SAVE THE DATE
November 9th, 2018 | ThreeSixty, NYC
 
Save the date for the 6th Annual Cynopsis Digital Model D & It List Awards. Join in on the action as digital’s best and brightest honor those who have excelled in digital content, marketing, advertising and social media.
 
 **Finalists will be announced in mid-September**
 
PLATFORMS

Nielsen is getting deeper into the meta, announcing the acquisition of games market intelligence firm SuperData Research in a move to bolster Nielsen’s games and esports research sectors, which analyze the $109 billion video game industry. According to the announcement, clients will now have greater access to global market intelligence around digital video gaming use, sales, and audiences, in addition to our existing areas of expertise such as consumer research, video game tracking, esports sponsorship valuation and consulting services.

DreamHack unveiled its roster lineup for the DreamHack Montreal Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament this weekend running Sept. 7-9. Tres “stunna” Saranthus. Stunna takes the spotlight as host and will join Tomi “lurppis” Kovanen and Dustin “dusT” Mouret. Conner “Scrawny” Girvan, Mohan “launders” Govindasamy, Niels “rizc” Topp and Harry “JustHarry” Russell will commentate the event.   

 
Mobile Esports Games and Fantasy Sports platform MEGAFANS announced its first esports tournament prototype for mobile games, where players can compete for tokenized prizes from their mobile devices anywhere in the world. The platform offers mobile tournaments for prizes and will also hold streaming and destination location events, combining multiple forms of digital gaming.  Megafans is the first mobile esports platform, according to the company, to integrate daily fantasy sports into their business model.
 
 
INDUSTRY


Lots more info about Activision’s Call of Duty’s upcoming Black Ops 4 Blackout Battle Royale mode, including its first map as well as its player count, vehicles list, and more. Pieces of the Blackout map had been sent to various CoD personalities which became the image above. The mode will see an 80-player lineup for the battle royale genre while zombies will be roaming the map, according to Game Informer.
 
Meanwhile, Battlefield 5’s entry into the battle royale genre will be titled Firestorm and pit 64 players on the series’ biggest map, developer DICE said in a new video. The post noted that Firestorm will use a squad-based structure, lining up 16 teams of four players to battle it out together. The game hits stores on Nov. 20.
 
Gameworks saw FxWorks Capital assume full control of the chain, Concurrent with the change in corporate ownership, Philip N. Kaplan was named chairman and chief executive officer. In this capacity, Kaplan will lead day-to-day business operations and direct the Company’s growth and expansion and replaces Greg Stevens, who served as GameWorks’ chief executive officer for six years.
 
Esports law firms Morrison/Lee and ESG Law released a joint statement on Twitter accusing shuttered Denial Esports team CEO Robby Ringnalda of player exploitation. “Morrison/Lee and ESG Law are normally on opposite sides of the table – today we stand shoulder to shoulder,” the lawyers said. “Player mistreatment is an unacceptable part of this industry, and we are committed to eradicating such behavior wherever possible.” They accuse Ringnalda of issues such as unpaid salary, unpaid housing expenses, and unreimbursed tournament entry fees.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
CALL FOR ENTRIES
The 2nd Annual Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival
 
The Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival is searching for the most cutting-edge creatives from individuals and teams worldwide, including: production companies/studios, producers, networks, composers, lyricists, animators, video game developers/producers, website developers, mobile & app developers/producers, marketing companies, PR firms and more . Submissions will be judged by a panel of industry experts and finalists will be announced in mid-November.
 
 
ON THIS DAY in 2005 – Ubisoft releases Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Lockdown for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube in the US.
 
Trivia: Which video game franchise features races that include Asari, Drell and Salarian? (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: In 2013, this game was the best-selling game of the year, ending a four-year run for the Call of Duty franchise atop the charts.  Answer: Grand Theft Auto V. Kudos: Chris Davies-Virgin/London; Jorge Tatto-Wasserman/Toronto; Will James-Midan Marketing/Mooresville; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA
 
 
For more news and coverage, check out: http://cynopsisesports.com (updated daily).

Later — Chris
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JOB OPENING: SCHEDULING SPECIALIST, NETWORK OPERATIONS/TV One/Silver Spring MD: Maintain operational modules of programming database; assist in mngmnt of all the inherent processes of receiving/approving/preparing program material for air. 4 yr of Brdcst Ops  exp a must. Full info/apply HERE (9/14)

 
JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, SCHEDULING & ACQUISITIONS/TV ONE/Silver Spring: Implement scheduling strategy across linear & non-linear platforms. Dvlp schedules & stunts that achieve ratings goals, assist in ntwrk acquisition strategy & meet both internal & ad sales goals. 5 yrs TV exp req’d cable ind pref’d. Full info/apply HERE (9/14)

JOB OPENING:  MGR, NON-SCRIPTED DEVELOPMENT/JUMA ENTERTAINMENT/Bucks County PA: Exc opp for show dvlpr who wants to help grow co while in trenches of show. Support dvlpmnt team. Mult yrs exp non-scripted rsrch, casting, & writing req’d. Strong editing skills a+. 3+ yrs exp unscripted TV dvlpmnt &/or prod. Full info/apply HERE (9/14)

JOB OPENING: SR RESEARCH ANALYST/CAA/LA: Support rsch team in efforts to provide internal/external clients meaningful analysis and presentations on prgrm performance using various Nielsen systems. Min 3 yrs working exp in a TV research det Syndication, Broadcast or Cable network experience pref’d. Full info/apply HERE (9/13)

 
JOB OPENING: DIGITAL AD SALES RESEARCH (ANALYTICS) MANAGER/Outdoor Sportsman Group/Denver/Chicago/NYC: Any one location. Experience leveraging a DMP to drive ad sales for our digital properties Min 1-3 yrs progressively resp exp dig. rsrch, dig. ad sales, web analytics or other new media rsrch. Full info/apply HERE (9/13)
 
JOB OPENING: TV PLANNER/BUYER/Blue Plate Media/Summit NJ: Prepare/execute/steward media plans & revisions. Negotiate ntwk buys on upfront & scatter. Agency exp a must. 2-4 yrs’ exp in active TV plan’g/buying on nat’l level. FT/Flex. Full info HERE Res w/salary hist to info@blueplatemedia.net, Reference Cyn (9/13)

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CONTENT MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR/TV ONE/Silver Spring: Create workflows/procedures for submission of Salesforce orders req’d for all on-air content prior to transmission to the uplink facility. 3+ yrs exp working in Commercial Ops, Post Prod, or Cable TV Ops envir. Exp using SF, Broadway, or SIMS is pref’d. Full info/apply HERE (9/12)

JOB OPENING: MGR, NON-SCRIPTED DEVELOPMENT/JUMA ENTERTAINMENT/Bucks County PA: Exc opp for show dvlpr who wants to help grow co while in trenches of show. Support dvlpmnt team. Mult yrs exp non-scripted rsrch, casting, & writing req’d. Strong editing skills a+. 3+ yrs exp unscripted TV dvlpmnt &/or prod. Full info/apply HERE (9/12)

JOB OPENING:
P/T DIRECTOR, CLIENT SOLUTIONS/The Weather Channel/NYC: This is a job share, resp for the pre-sell function (strategy/execution) for AdSales Mktg team. Work closely w/prgrmng to identify opps for ad sales client sponsorships/partnerships/integration. 5+ yrs exp ind or similar role. Full info/apply HERE (9/12)

JOB OPENING: MARKETING ASSOCIATE/The Weather Channel/NYC: Help grow existing/new bus across our newly expanded portfolio through organizing client events and writing sales proposals. Also propose, plan & execute annual branded premium & client mailer strategy. BA deg 2-3 yrs exp similar role. Full info/apply HERE (9/11)

JOB OPENING: STRATEGIC SALES PLANNER/ACCOUNT MGR/MIRRIAD/NYC: Act as main connection for all bus. groups for US commercial sales/operations teams, supporting revenue generation & activation. 3+ yrs acct mngmnt exp across Dig/TV buying/plan’g & inv mngmnt. Good understanding of video ad ecosystem. Full info HERE Resume to: matthew.angus@mirriad.com (9/11)

JOB OPENING: PRODUCER/Spectrum News/Columbus OH: Produce assigned newscasts/news inserts making decisions on story lineup, video/audio elements, graphics and timing to construct show. BA Deg broadcast journalism. 3 yrs TV news exp. Strong brdcst news writing ability. Full info/apply HERE (9/11)
OTHER JOBS OF INTEREST

 

Gather design inputs from various sources and translate input into engineering requirements.
Electrical Design Engineer
Cyber Coders
West Chester PA
 
Use AI/ML platforms, technologies, techniques (e.g. TensorFlow, Apache MXnet, Theano, Keras, CNTK, scikit-learn, H2O, Spark MLlib, etc).
Lead Data Engineer
Cyber Coders
Malvern PA
 
Collaborate closely with designers, artist, and engineers, to design, implement, and iterate game systems (e.g. combat, AI, quests, items, etc.).
Senior Gameplay Programmer
Daybreak Game Company
Austin TX
 
Use best practice to implement new and improve existing features of the engine in response to requests from other development disciplines.
Engine Programmer
Daybreak Game Company
Austin TX
 
Creating stunning visuals effects for the FPS genre using proprietary real time particle systems.
Senior VFX Artist
Raven Software
Middleton WI
Collaborate with creative directors, art directors and level leads in the development of level lighting to establish a compelling, cohesive look.
Senior Lighting Artist
Raven Software
Middleton WI
 
Developing audio tools and features as part of one of Valve’s game development teams.
Audio Programmer
Valve
Bellevue WA
 
Sculpting high-resolution props and hard surface models in Zbrush, 3D Coat, Modo or similar software.
3D Environment Artist
Valve
Bellevue WA
 
Developing groundbreaking multi-channel work for an incredible lineup of marquee brands.
Creative Director
Ayzenberg Group
Pasadena CA
 
Manage multiple production project simultaneously, while optimizing changes to project scope and schedules daily.
Social Media Manager
Ayzenberg Group
Pasadena CA
 
Helping to define and develop user experiences that delight the customer.
Senior Software Engineer
Sony
San Diego CA
 
Working with designers and artists to make gameplay fun and compelling.
Senior Gameplay Engineer
Trion Worlds
Redwood City CA
 
Direct the development, planning and execution of product marketing and promotional campaigns for assigned games..
Brand Manager
Trion Worlds
Redwood City CA
 
Tackle several interesting and meaningful problems working on compilers for state of the art technologies.
Senior Software Engineer – Complier
Nvidia
Santa Clara CA
Strong mathematical fundamentals, including linear algebra and numerical methods.
HD Maps Software Engineer
Nvidia
Santa Clara CA
 

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