Mastercard unlocked a multi-year partnership with Riot Games to become the first global sponsor for League of Legends esports. This first-of-its-kind global agreement signifies Mastercard’s support of the esports community and further diversifies the technology company’s world-class sports and entertainment portfolio. As the exclusive global payment services partner for League of Legends global esports events, Mastercard will focus on three annual global tournaments – the Mid-Season Invitational, the All-Star Event, and the pinnacle of all esports events, the World Championship. Mastercard will curate Priceless experiences and offers across onsite event activations, priceless.com and through other various promotions to bring fans closer to their passion and everything they love about League of Legends events. The first live-event activation will take place at the League of Legends World Championship this fall in South Korea.
German squad PENTA Sports entered a partnership with 20th Century Fox in a deal that will see the team promote upcoming movie releases. According to the team site, films will include titles such as Alita: Battle Angel and the X-Men movies. Furthermore, 20th Century Fox branding will be applied to a segment of the PENTA Sports Performance Center in Berlin.
The past week saw more sponsor activation involving Ninja. Samsung will promote the Galaxy Note9 and the Galaxy Tab S4 through a new contest and promotion for fans of Fortnite. The promotion will see Ninja look for someone new to join him on the Galaxy squad in Fortnite with the grand prize winner getting to play the game alongside him and receive the “ultimate Cross-Platform Gamer Pack.”
Meanwhile, TwitchCon 2018 will see Doritos in the trenches, with the announcement of the Doritos Bowl on Oct. 27 in San Jose. The event will feature top gamers competing in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s new battle royale mode, Blackout, anchored by Ninja, Shroud, CouRage, and DrLupo. Team Ninja will see him joined by JoshOG, Gold Glove and Fearitself. Shoud’s group will include Just9n, Chocotaco and Chad. Team CouRage will add Karma, TeePee and Hysteria. DrLupo’s squad will bring Anne Munition, Mad Ruski and Ninja with no L to the table.
Red Bull Media House is renewing ties with Acer for the duo’s content partnership, according to TEO. The agreement will include exclusive content production, product placements, event partnerships, and media activations. In addition, two documentaries, Prism and part two of Part of the Game are also in the works.
This week FanAI digs deeper into the relationships of different communities within the esports audience. Previously it was found that genre-based esports communities were separated in distinct audience segments, with 81% of Twitter followers only following their preferred genre. Unsurprisingly, it seems this same pattern is found in the audiences of popular streamers. Three top streamers who specialize in different titles also have highly distinct audiences. Shroud is known for CS:GO, PUBG and other FPS, FaZe’s TFue plays Fortnite, and Imaqtpie is a former League of Legends pro player and fan favorite. Only 0.3% of their combined twitter audience follows all three streamers. The most overlap is seen with Shroud and TFue who both specialize in the FPS genre. For brands looking to sponsor, engage in product activations, or otherwise market through streamers this data shows that to maximize the reach of a campaign a variety of personalities should be involved.
YouTube announced an upgrade for YouTube Gaming. The standalone app for gamers will now be shifted to the main YouTube experience. In a blog post, the company announced a new home for gamers on the platform at youtube.com/gaming, offering personalized gaming content based on what a user prefers to watch. In addition, users will see top live games and the latest gaming videos from subscriptions, in addition to building dedicated shelves for live streams and trending videos. Fans of a particular game can now find gaming videos from all over YouTube, related to that specific game on new game pages. These include popular videos, live streams, and other games from the same publisher or developer.
Skillz announced today that the company has doubled its revenue run-rate from $200 million in February to $400 million as of the end of July. The company now runs over two million tournaments a day, double the volume from its last financial announcement in April, with competitions for 13,000 game studios and more than 18 million players.
FACEIT continues to spread its wings ahead of the London Major, teaming with ODEON cinemas and Barcraft United to allow CS:GO fans around the world to watch the finals of the FACEIT London Major. On Sept. 23, fans across the UK can experience the event in a cinema, with 14 locations around the country carrying the Grand finals. In addition, FACEIT is also teaming up with viewing party organizers Barcraft United. In addition, Sky Sports is picking up rights to carry the FACEIT London Major in the UK and will broadcast the final matches from the UK’s first CS:GO Major. The partnership marks the first time Sky Sports has ever broadcast competitive CS:GO.
Millennial Esports Corp. announced that the company’s Stream Hatchet business unit locked in deals with three esports/gaming brands in PUBG Corporation, management agency Machinima, and influencer agency Bent Pixels. “Companies like PUBG and Machinima are on the cutting edge of their industries, which means that we also need to stay ahead of the competition if we are to continue to bring them value,” said Stream Hatchet co-founder Eduard Montserrat. “That is why we put such an emphasis not only on the quality and uniqueness of our product, but on our personalized approach that ensures we are giving each client the specific metrics they need to be successful.”
OpTic Gaming is teaming up with Singapore-based JET8 to launch OpTic Snap, described as a mobile social media app designed to connect OpTic’s fan community, aka the Greenwall. The OpTic Snap app allows the team’s fans to share their favorite moments in picture or video format across major social media platforms, and offers rewards for doing so, as they earn JETS currency for in-app likes, comments, and shares, which can then be redeem discount vouchers up to 20% off and official OpTic Gaming merchandise, including an OpTic Pro Hoodie, Player Jacket, Pterodactyl Scallop Tee, and more.
NRG is going deeper into the streaming realm, announcing a deal to bring The Click Crew under its umbrella. The group is a collection to top streamers that include Muselk, Loserfruit, Crayator, BazzaGazza, Prestige, Lazarbeam, and Lachlan, who will all now stream under the NRG banner. Terms of the deal were not disclosed