09/14/17: Amazon is taking Mobile Masters to Sin City

It’s Thursday September 14, 2017 and this is your weekly early morning eSports & Gaming briefing.

Amazon continues to beef up its esports offerings, announcing – following the inaugural Mobile Masters New York event in June – a new stop in Las Vegas. Mobile Masters Las Vegas will run on October 14-15 at the Millennial Esports Arena at Neonopolis with an offering that will mix different games and bring together professional players from all over the world to compete in popular mobile titles, for a share of an $80,000 prize pool. MMLV’s roster of titles includes Vainglory, Critical Ops, Power Rangers: Legacy Wars and World of Tanks Blitz. With competing teams that include TSM, Fnatic, SK Gaming, Echo Fox, Imperials and more. The event will be presented in partnership with eSports Productions and ESL, with Maria Ho, professional poker star, as the host of the tournament. Following the tournament and livestream, fans can view a special broadcast of both Mobile Masters tournaments on CBS Sports Network.

The 2017 League of Legends World Championship has its groupings locked in for this year’s tournaments. Worlds will swell from 16 to 24 teams this year, as every major and minor region will be represented at the game’s biggest yearly event with twelve teams vying in the play-in stage, and the top four teams moving on to join the dozen teams that have already qualified for the group stage. Group A now stands with ahq e-Sports Club, SK Telecom T1 and EDward Gaming. Group B sees Longzhu Gaming, Immortals and GIGABYTE Marines in contention. Group C will be anchored by G2 Esports, Samsung Galaxy and Royal Never Give Up. Finally, Group D features TSM, Flash Wolves and Misfits. The play-in stage begins on Sept. 23, and following its conclusion the group stage runs Oct. 5-15.
Speaking of which, Riot laid out the on-air talent for the upcoming League of Legends 2017 World Championship, with the play-in stage set to start on Sept. 28. Handling play-by-play this year will be Aaron “Medic” Chamberlain, Clayton “CaptainFlowers” Raines, Daniel “Drakos” Drakos, David “Phreak” Turley, Devin “PiraTechnics” Younge, Julian “Pastrytime” Carr, Matthew “Fish” Stewart, Max “Atlus” Anderson, Trevor “Quickshot” Henry and Rivington Bisland III.
Blizzard Entertainment has reportedly locked in deals with its next two Overwatch League buyers, with rights for the cities of Houston and Philadelphia going for $20 million each, ESPN reports. Comcast Spectacor, the sports branch of cable company Comcast and owner of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, purchased the spot in Philadelphia. Landing the spot in Houston is OpTic Gaming, which closed an investment deal with a group led by Summer Energy CEO Neil Leibman, a co-owner of MLB’s Texas Rangers.
Tomorrow! Two tickets left. New speaker! Hear from GMR Marketing’s Matt Ungaro as he breaks down the elements of esports activation. See you then at Barclays and (in case you haven’t yet) get your tickets to the Cynopsis Esports Master Class and register today!

Bethesda Softworks is teaming up with Collegiate Starleague to launch a new Quake Champions tournament for college students. The two will offer $100,000 in prize money for players, who will also be competing for scholarship funds, with the top eight qualifying for a QuakeCon 2018 final. Play will formally begin in February 2018, although CSL will host smaller monthly Sacrifice tournaments through the end of the year.
The new ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017 is experiencing an influx of new tech designed to improve the viewing experience. Among the tech injections will be the addition of biometrics, the use of VR and the use of advanced analytics. ELEAGUE is partnering with Dell Gaming to bring eye-tracking technology developed by Tobii to the competition for the first time. This biometric data is analyzed on Alienware PCs and used to create an immediate gaze overlay highlighting precisely where the player is looking throughout their play. On the VR side, the company is partnering with SLIVER.tv, where audiences will be able to access live coverage of Premier matches in 360-degree cinematic virtual reality stream and supported across web, iPhone, Android, Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Daydream and Google Cardboard platforms. Finally, leveraging Dojo Madness’ Shadow.GG platform, ELEAGUE will offer viewers advanced data visuals including heatmaps, smokemaps and pathmaps, along with tactical and statistical replay views. Shadow.GG will provide ELEAGUE’s analysts and viewers with a data-based method to identify teams’ strategic tendencies, strengths and weaknesses.
Speaking of which, ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017 action continues with Group B play on Friday at 10p on TBS with four teams – Fnatic, Immortals, Mousesports and Team North – battling for two playoff spots. Live digital coverage starts at 6p on Twitch, ELEAGUE.com and YouTube and continue on Saturday at 2p on those digitla platforms.  


Esports learning platform Estarz locked in a new, exclusive partnership with NRG Esports and their Rocket League team to release what is described as the first professional coaching courses for Rocket League. The partnership sees NRG Esports create a slate of advanced videos that showcases their best strategic and skill-based content each month while also giving users exclusive access to live chats with the team to get personalized feedback and talk directly with the pros. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Estarz! The Rocket League roster loves to connect with their fanbase and this is an incredible new way for us to achieve that. The Estarz platform is a great way for players to really take their talents to the next level,” said Brett Lautenbach, President NRG
But coaching videos aren’t all sunshine and roses this week as Boomeo, the CS:GO platform overseen by WME/IMG, had seemingly closed its doors following the departures of its core esports team over the summer. Entering the website address for Boomeo hands users a DNS address error while Boomeo’s YouTube channel is also dark. The platform had partnered with talent from teams such as Astralis, SK Gaming, Cloud9, CLG, G2 Esports, and compLexity Gaming to provide the Counter-Strike community with pro player-made content.
Yet another self-made bad week for Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg, who used a racial slur during a recent livestream that caused Sean Vanaman, developer on Firewatch and co-founder of Campo Santos, to state that he would be filing copyright issue takedowns of any video Kjellberg posted that used his studio’s present and future games. “I’m disappointed in myself because it seems like I’ve learned nothing from all these past controversies,” Kjellberg said in an apology video posted two days later. “It’s not like I think I can say or do whatever I want and get away with it, that’s not it at all — I’m just an idiot. But that doesn’t make what I said or how I said it OK. I’m really sorry if I offended, hurt or disappointed anyone with all of this. Being in the position I am, I should know better.
Blizzard’s BlizzCon Virtual Ticket is getting an upgrade. The platform, which is designed to showcase the company’s annual two-day gaming convention in Anaheim on Nov. 3-4, will now offer more show coverage than ever before with Virtual Ticket holders gaining access for the first time to every stage at BlizzCon, a new all-access channel, and special events featuring streamers, voice actors, and community creators. “BlizzCon is a celebration for our entire community, including those joining us from their homes around the world. With that in mind, we’ve updated this year’s Virtual Ticket experience to cover even more of the show—including expanding our live coverage to all the stages,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re excited to bring people closer to BlizzCon than ever before, and we can’t wait for everyone at home and attending in person to join us.”
A new report from Limelight Network finds that U.S. males ranging in age from 18 to 25 prefer watching eSports over traditional sports and TV shows. Limelight’s latest “State of Online Video” report digs into consumer preferences for different types of video content, including the rise of eSports and online gaming against other, more traditional media. Also among the findings: 22% of American millennial males watch eSports regularly.
The doors are officially open for esports wagering app eFTW, designed to be the first 100% free fantasy platform for the industry available for iOS and Android. eFTW offers players “a bankroll of free coins that they can use to wager on real esports matches” for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) , DOTA 2, League of Legends, Hearthstone, Starcraft, Overwatch and other events from all over the world and lets fans watch esports matches in real-time on their phone. “As esports fans, we wanted to bring the excitement of esports to mobile and let everyone show off their expertise,” said Erik Swanson, CEO of esports For The Win. “eFTW captures all the suspense and thrill of esports in a mobile app. Fans can easily win in-game prizes no matter where they are and challenge friends in the ultimate free mobile esports app.”
Skillz unveiled the world’s first eSports streaming ticker building on the recently announced Skillz video broadcast patents, delivering automated play-by-play commentary including stats, facts and real-time matchup information. The ticker is a scrolling text bar inside a video broadcast that offers dynamic facts about the tournament, competitors, streamer and Skillz system trends.
Engagement and analytics platform Maestro announced the close of a $3 million Series A financing. The round is led by Hersh Interactive Group with additional investors Rubicon Venture Capital and the Stanford-StartX Fund. This brings the total capital raised by the company to  $5.8M when added to the previous $2.8M Seed funding. The Maestro platform enables a new category of live experiences that facilitates two-way interactions between streamers and their audiences with polls, commerce, contests, share prompts, and giveaways triggered in real-time, which significantly increase watch time while capturing a robust set of user data to understand audiences and data-drive decisions.
Australian esports media company GAMURS locked in a $3.5 million round of funding led by Aura Funds Management. The company, which owns Dot Esports, will reportedly maintain GAMURS for another fourteen months.

Astralis’ newest sponsorship deal is with European menwear brand JACK & JONES, in a partnership which grants the company exclusive rights to outfitting the team and includes a unique design collaboration of the “first ever performance optimized esport jersey, a wide range of activation initiatives and a merchandise collection co-designed by JACK & JONES and Astralis.”
SteelSeries inked a deal with Danish Counter-Strike team North for a sponsorship and collaborative partnership. In addition, SteelSeries and North will work together as partners in innovative product design and in elevating both brands in gaming and esports “SteelSeries has played a crucial role in driving the esports industry forward. Our partnerships with players and organizations that compete at the highest levels, and that embody the fundamentals on which our brand was built are what set our standards higher than others. They drive our need for constant innovation and inspire our award-winning products,” says Ehtisham Rabbani, SteelSeries CEO. “Counter-Strike is where our brand began; it’s at our core. We are incredibly happy and proud to announce our partnership with North.”
Blizzard detailed plans to help victims of the two hurricanes and other recent disasters by offering a $10 pet in World of Warcraft, Shadow the Fox. 100% of proceeds will go to disaster relief with Blizzard stating, “For every Shadow fox adopted between now and December 31, 2017, 100% of the $10 USD adoption fee will be donated to both American Red Cross Disaster Relief and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Disaster Relief Fund. Your donation will be split equally between both organizations: for the American Red Cross to help people affected by disasters big and small in the U.S., and the IFRC to help Red Cross Red Crescent Societies respond to disasters through their Disaster Relief Emergency fund.”
What’s hot this week…

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Google opened the curtains on Infinite Deviation: Games. The initiative – created by Google Computer Science in Media and Ideas United in order to tackle issues of representation by bringing creativity and computer science together in unexpected ways – will look to ensure that representations of computer scientists are inclusive of women, people of color, the LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups. The program hands game designers the chance to pitch an original mobile game concept and have it developed, published, and promoted in partnership with Google Play. The top three ideas will be selected by a panel of industry experts and designers and receive the resources and support they need to bring their games to life.
Elsewhere, esports startup Taunt closed a $1.75 million seed financing round, led by Foundry Group. Taunt is the fifth spinout of Pioneer Square Labs with Ben Gilbert serving as the interim CEO of the new venture. As part of the financing, Brad Feld of Foundry Group will be joining Galgon and Gilbert on the board. The company plans to continue growth in the esports and gaming landscape while expanding into new verticals as “enterprises worldwide seek to create engaging, authentic experiences driven by data.”
POWER PLAYERS – Adam Rosen, Blizzard

Blizzard Entertainment is unlocking Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, described as “a cutting-edge live-event destination for pro players, esports fans, and everyone else who loves premier competition.” The venue will be based in the legendary Burbank Studios, with the studio at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles custom-tailored and set to open on Oct. 7, featuring multiple sound stages, control rooms, and practice facilities. Early events at the facility will include: the Overwatch Contenders Season One Playoffs on Oct. 7-8; the Hearthstone Championship Tour’s Summer Championship on Oct. 13; while the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship (HGC) Finals and World of Warcraft Arena Championship will be held at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles in late October.
Cynopsis asked Adam Rosen, Sr. Business Operations Manager, Blizzard Esports, about the venue and the company’s plans for it.
Rosen on creating the arena: We’ve envisioned creating a destination like this in North America for a long time. Blizzard Arena represents the culmination of years of planning and hard work to fulfill that vision for our community. Blizzard has more competitive esports events happening across more franchises than ever before, and this arena gives us a central location that’s been custom-designed to give fans and pro players the Blizzard esports experience they deserve.
On necessary elements: Providing fans and pro players with an epic place to experience Blizzard esports was the driving force. And, given that we have so many different games and esports, flexibility was key. Spread across 50,000 square feet, the Blizzard Arena is a multi-use facility that can be configured to host everything from intimate Fireside Gatherings for Hearthstone fans to worldwide broadcasts of championship Overwatch events. We have two control rooms, two sound stages, two insert stages and multiple player lounges and practice facilities that provides us with the opportunity to produce multiple concurrent broadcasts, seven days a week.
On production values: Our goal is to introduce what we believe to be a world-class facility that’s representative of high production value and the quality that Blizzard represents, and make our esports organizations, players, and fans proud. Compelling content is key to our esports business. The facility will allow us to create better, more engaging content than ever before, deepening the narrative around our players and leagues.
On expectations: Blizzard Arena presents players with an opportunity to interact with us year round. Rather than waiting for championship events or BlizzCon, local Blizzard fans will be able to get the Blizzard experience throughout the year. On game days we’ll also have an on-site Blizzard Store, featuring the latest in Blizzard apparel and accessories.

Twitch named Wargaming.net’s Rahim Attaba as its new director of commerce for the EMEA region where he will be charged with growing the platform with a special focus on Twitch Game Commerce, Subscriptions for Partners and Affiliates and Cheering and Bits.
Splyce Europe Esports Director Hans Christian “Liq” Durr is departing the organization aheadof the team’s expected move from Germany. In a letter to fans of the team, he noted that “Two months ago, I decided to inform Marty that I will be stepping down from my European Esports Director role at Splyce as soon as the LCS Season is over for us,” he writes, “Because the future of Splyce will not be in Germany and I am simply not ready to relocate in 2018.”

The Rising Star Awards Reception is now
Cynopsis Rising Star Awards
September 15 | Midtown Lofts |NYC
3PM – 5PM
Sponsored by enJoie

ON THIS DAY in 2010: Microsoft Game Studios Halo: Reach
Trivia: How many buttons on an Atari 2600 Joystick? (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: What is the name of the Mario world character pictured last week?  Answer: Shy Guy. Kudos: Chris Davies-Virgin/London; Danny Araque/NY; Glen Ross/DC; John McHugh/Charleston; Chris Kellogg-Sports Innovation Lab/Jamaica Plain; Christian Perilla-Fusion/Miami; Jason Morrow-Toyota/Houston; Daniel Hanson/Vail; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Greg Dudsic/Venice; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank
Later — Chris
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JOB OPENING: MGR SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT /REELZ/Albuquerque: Develop, execute and report social media marketing campaigns for national television network. Engage fans. Relocation offered to Albuquerque, NM. 2 years social media marketing exp. Apply: HERE (9/21)

SR ANLYST RESEARCH & ANALYTICS/SPE/NY: Consumer/Industry/Program insights for SPT Research; supports sales, production and distribution across all platforms of television: Network, Cable, SVOD & Synd. Exp. In TV Research, Nielsen & MS systems. Resume & cover HERE (9/20)

JOB OPENING: MEDIA PLANNER/RPM/NYC: Dvlp overall mktg campaign objectives/strategy along w/internal team members. Monitor, analyze & optimize campaign performance and synthesize into client-facing reporting. 3+ yrs media plan’g exp & digital media planning exp req’d. Client mngmnt exp a +. Resume/cvr HERE (9/20)

JOB OPENING: SOCIAL MEDIA CORRESPONDENT TEMP/IMG/6 Locations: Work w/athletic dept social content teams to grow/engage college sports social/digital aud, while dvlpg new rev driving opps. Mng various social media accts daily. Creative story teller w/min 1 yr exp working in creative prod. Full info/apply HERE (9/20)

JOB OPENING: NAT’L SALES ASSISTANT/UP/NYC: Provide support to ad sales by working with AEs, Sales Plners & Pricing/Inv to service clients. Work w/agency buyers. Maintain order entry, inventory moves & allocations. Strong organizational skills and attn to detail. Send res HERE (9/20)

JOB OPENING: SEGMENT PRODUCER/MAD MONEY/CNBC/NYC: Dvlp/Produce live and taped guest segments. Generate orig content ideas daily, tapping into a broad array of sources. 5 yrs exp booking and segment producing in a live TV environment, with demonstrated writing, research and comm skills. Full info/apply HERE (9/20)

JR ASSOC. SALES CREATIVE PARTNER/Pond5/NYC: Seeking an energetic, driven & entrepreneurial talent to work directly w/customers to make most of our library (world’s largest royalty free). 1-2 yrs sales exp in TV/Prod space, can talk to anyone, lives for above/beyond service. Full info/apply HERE (9/16)

SR RESEARCH ANALYST/TV ONE/SILVER SPRING MD or NYC: Assist Sr. Rsrch, Dir w/interpreting media rsrch results & effectively communicating results. Strong knwlg Nielsen software & 3rd party systems. BA/BS deg & 2+ yrs rsrch expe @ media co., agency or advertiser. Full info/apply HERE (9/16)

 JOB OPENING: PROMO WRITER/PRODUCER: Seeking innovative promo producer for nationally syndicated talk show in New York. Candidate must be experienced in a fast-paced environment, demonstrate articulate client interaction and direct high profile talent. Apply at studiocity.com/careers (9/16)

JOB OPENING: ASSOCIATE WEB PRODUCER/Crown Media Family Networks/LA: Support Sr. Producer with content updates for consumer web initiatives. Experience using Content Management skills and tools. Cable or Digital Web experience. BA/BS req & Min 2 yrs exp. Apply HERE (9/16)

JOB OPENING: SALES SERVICE EXEC/ONE SOLUTION (CROSS PLATFORM)/NYC: Responsible for helping to generate sales revenue, creating prospect lists & supporting sales teams’ efforts. Min 3-4 yrs exp digital, TV & or radio. Highly skilled PP, Excel, Sales force. Very orgnz’d/detail oriented. Full info/apply HERE (9/16)

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT/BIGBADBOO/NYC: Responsible for daily operational tasks incl assisting executive team ongoing production needs, filing documents, archiving scripts and production related assets etc. 2-4 yrs exp in relevant field. MS Office exp a must. Full info/apply HERE (9/15)

 JOB OPENING: SALES SERVICE REP/Weather Channel/Chicago: Candidates looking to grow career and knowledge supporting AE’s and Dir of Chicago Office. Must have 1+ yrs. current Cable TV media experience to be considered. Go to https://careers.weathergroup.com/ to apply or email jennifer.dalessandro@weathergroup.com (9/15)

SR ANALYST or MGR, AD SALES/AMCN/NYC: 3+ yrs Sr Analyst/5+ yrs Mgr related media rsrch exp (digital exp pref). Provide aud measurement, consumer insights, mktg positioning & strategic rsrch dev. Resp for producing & presenting creative & effective rsrch stories/presentations. Full info/apply HERE (9/15)

AD SALES ASST DR/FUSE Media/NY: Recent grad w/previous ad sales/adv internship exp. to asst ad sales dept. Strong Excel & multi-tasking a +. Good comm, interpersonal & organzt’l skills. Apply HERE (9/15)

JOB OPENING: DEVELOPEMENT DIRECTOR/FUSE Media/LA: Developing ideas from concept through presentation or pilot. Work with internal depts and ext. productions partners, pitches, create and dev. concepts, manage presentation and pilot prod. Good comm, interpersonal & organzt’l skills. Apply HERE (9/15)

Lead and take ownership of critical projects and your own initiatives.
Senior Software Engineer, Baseball Data
Major League Baseball
Collaborate on the development of all visual aspects of our products
3D Art Generalist – Unity
Major League Baseball
Responsible for being proactive in the prevention, identification, and control of hazards and risks leading to occupational accidents, occupational diseases, and fires and explosions.
3D Designer
Under Armor
Baltimore MD
Work with art leads, designers and concept artists to create game environments and props from blockout to “in game assets”.
Senior Environment Artist
Twisted Pixel Games
Austin TX
Guide members of the gameplay team in implementing their tasks
Lead Gameplay Programmer
Twisted Pixel Games
Austin TX
Designing and implementing a core C/C++ component to the overall system.
C/C++ Developer (eSports Industry)
Cyber Coders
Las Vegas NV
Work alongside company founders to help shape the future of online esports entertainment.
Editor/Video Producer
Next Generation Esports
Burbank CA
Coordinate with players and teams to maximize engagement, sentiment, and fair gameplay.
League Operations
Next Generation ESports
Burbank CA
You know how to concept original ideas that are consistent with the core product pillars.
Senior Brand Manager
Daybreak Games
San Diego CA
Design, develop and deliver extensible/sustainable services based on defined business needs.
Java Developer
Daybreak Games
San Diego CA
Define the product roadmap for the subscription service as well as the integration and experience of the gaming products delivered through the service
Senior Product Manager
Electronic Arts
Redwood City CA
Partnering with front-end engineers to define a prototyping system that helps to translate what designers think into what developers build
Senior UX Engineer
Electronic Arts
Redwood City CA
Own the development, delivery, and operational support of the MyFitnessPal Android, iOS, and Web applications and APIs.
Director, Engineering
Under Armor
San Francisco CA
Editing and managing multiple post-production video projects and assets at once while adapting to tight and evolving deadlines.
Video Editor
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Researching social media channels that we don’t have a presence on and determine viability along with implementation.
Manager, Social Media
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