12/06/18: Mountain Dew is bringing its new Amp brand to the esports world

CynopsisESPORTS
It’s Thursday December 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.



MTN DEW AMP is gunning for new audiences, locking in deals with the Call of Duty World League and OpTic Gaming for its new beverage brand, titled Game Fuel. The PepsiCo brand will be officially launched on Jan. 14 with four flavors while the can will feature a no-slip grip that “mirrors the design of accessories and hardware in gaming” along with a resealable lid. Mountain Dew AMP will activate at CWL Las Vegas this weekend.
 
“MTN DEW AMP Game Fuel shares our vision for growing the audience for esports, and will help us deliver unique experiences for fans at each Call of Duty World League event this season, as well as help create exceptional content for viewers online,” said Brandon Snow, Chief Revenue Officer of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. “CWL looks forward to working closely with the MTN DEW AMP Game Fuel team to develop the most exciting season in Call of Duty World League history.”
 
 
COMPETITION and VENUES

 

The BIG EAST and Riot Games locked in a partnership to launch the spring 2019 BIG EAST League of Legends Championship. Seven of the BIG EAST Conference’s 10 schools will participate in the competition with teams that include: Butler, DePaul, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova. Following a regular-season, which will launch in January, the top four teams will compete for the BIG EAST League of Legends championship title with the winner and runner-up earning berths to the League of Legends College Championship Play-in, with a chance to reach the League of Legends College Championship. “As the BIG EAST enters its second year of competitive esports, we are very excited to further our involvement with Riot Games and our League of Legends competition,” said Vince Nicastro, deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of the BIG EAST Conference. “Interest in esports on our campuses continues to grow and we are proud to be able to provide the opportunity for Big East students to compete on the national stage.”

 
With Overwatch League’s 2019 season set to return in two months, Blizzard announced on its Overwatch League preview show that teams will – for the first time – be able to play in their home arenas. While the company didn’t go deep into the news, several road contests will take place this season, with a full city-play structure expected for 2020. The season will kick off on Feb. 14 at 7p ET, with four matches on deck, beginning with the Fusion/Spitfire.

ELEAGUE picked up year-over-year audience growth for its latest edition of Rocket League play, announcing that the ELEAGUE Cup: Rocket League scored gains of 12% in video plays and 20% in overall time spent for the three day tournament. In the US alone, the event saw a 23% rise in video plays.
 
Amid a jammed esports invasion in Las Vegas this weekend that includes Call of Duty and League of Legends, the Madden NFL 19 Championship Series is also back in action this week with the Madden Classic running Dec. 6-8 in the city. Competitors will play for a chance at the $165,000 prize pool and title of Madden NFL 19 Champion. Play can be seen on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and Mixer.

Game Insight revealed plans for Guns of Boom’s second esports season in partnership with ESL. Beginning in early 2019, Guns of Boom Season Two will introduce Gods of Boom, a new stadium-level series of tournaments that will be part of the world’s biggest esports events. The first Gods of Boom competition will take place at the IEM Expo in Katowice, Poland, with the final match taking place on the main stage. Game Insight also revealed that their Pro League will be welcoming players from Latin America and Southeast Asia to compete for the first time.
 
Blizzard is reshuffling its esports plans for Hearthstone ahead of the 2019 season, dealing out more than $4 million in prizes in the new year, up from the $2.8 million that will be paid this year, with the bulk of tournaments shifting to digital platforms. The current version of the Hearthstone Championship Tour will wrap up in the spring with the HCT World Championship, where the best Hearthstone players in the world will compete for $1,000,000 in prizing. Afterward, a new three-tiered competitive system will be implemented, consisting of qualifiers, live global tournaments, and an exclusive top tier. Blizzard will then host three invite-only tournaments around the world, with more planned for 2020 pitting the top Hearthstone players who will compete for $250,000 per event.

 
Allied Esports announced that its tournament brand, Esport Superstars, will make its debut in China with the third edition of Esport Superstars: Hearthstone on Dec. 15-16. The event will take place at Lianmeng Dianjing Tianjin Arena, one of Allied Esports’ ten global Property Network members, and will be broadcast live on China-based streaming platform Douyu and across Allied Esports’ platforms on Twitch.
 
The North America Scholastic Esports Federation revealed its lineup of 2019 events, beginning with a season-long tournament for Riot Games’ League of Legends to open the winter. In addition, “Extra Credit” mini-tournaments will be offered in Rocket League and Fortnite. NASEF is also implementing several “Beyond the Game” creative challenges tied to careers, including designing a logo, shoutcasting a game, producing a highlights video, and more.
 
 
INSIGHTS

 
As November comes to a close, Stream Hatchet is looking back at high level trends related to the top influencers on Twitch. In addition to our usual stats, we’re focusing on the ‘followers gained’ metric to show future viewership potential. Here are the insights:
  • Ninja is still the world’s most popular gamer: The face of Fortnite generated 5.7M more hours watched than any other streamer. 
  • Viewership does not equal engagement: Although Tyler1 placed 4th in hours watched, viewers of his channel sent over 1.8M chat messages, 1.3M more messages than any other streamer. 
  • Tfue Rising: Tfue experience a significant spike in followers gained on 11/24 due to hacking controversy during the Winter Royale qualifier. These new followers will likely convert to higher viewership in December.
For more insights, analysis, infograp hics and everything related to game streaming, visit us at: blog.streamhatchet.com.
 
 
ACTIVATION

 
 
The Overwatch League locked in a multi-year deal with sports merchandise platform Fanatics to provide the league’s fanbase with an omnichannel retail experience along with a “significantly expanded” assortment of products. The deal marks the first-ever foray into the rapidly expanding global esports industry for Fanatics and is the first of its kind between a major retailer and an official esports league. The deal will be anchored by Fanatics securing US and international rights to produce Overwatch League jerseys, fan gear, headwear, and hard goods sold across all retail and wholesale channels. Under the new agreement, both parties also will work collaboratively to identify and secure additional world-class companies to grow the overall assortment of high-quality products available to fans. In addition, Fanatics will establish a new global ecommerce and mobile shopping platform and operate on-site retail for all league events.
 
Speaking of merchandising, esports retail and merchandise company We Are Nations inked partnerships with OpTic Gaming, Method, and Blast Pro Series to produce consumer products, including performance wear, fanwear, and accessories. “We are really excited to be aggressively expanding,” said We Are Nations CEO Patrick Mahoney. “Whether it’s a new team or tournament series, our growing roster is opening up all sorts of sales opportunities for all our clients. Between all of our services we can provide for a wide range of clients to be serviced, all around the world.”
 
Justin ‘Fearitself’ Kats signed on to become part of the roster at Abrams Artists Agency, where he will be represented by the Agency’s Alternative Programming, Licensing and Digital Division. According to the announcement, the deal will see his growth “parlayed into high-level gameplay as well as into personality-driven content for various platforms and verticals of entertainment.”
 
100 Thieves is reuniting CEO Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag with former sponsor Red Bull, which sponsored Haag during his playing career. “Together we will push the limits of our teams, creators, and the entire 100 Thieves organization,” the team posted when announcing the news.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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December 6 | 1:30 PM – 3PM ET
Join us for this FREE Cynopsis webinar and learn:
 
How to make it personal: Millennials don’t just want personalized experiences, they expect them. According to Boston Consulting Group, brands that offer personalized experiences by integrating advanced digital technologies and proprietary data are seeing revenue increase by two to three times faster than those that don’t. Hear from Group Nine Media, Vox Media & Oath.
 
 

TEAMS

 
The Aquilini Group is going big to launch Vancouver’s upcoming Overwatch League team, naming the team the Vancouver Titans. The Titans’ colors will be blue (primary), green (secondary), and white (accents) to “represent Vancouver’s greenery surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. The colour shades signify a vibrant, contemporary take on the Vancouver Canucks palette, but still allow the Titans to develop their own West Coast style.” The Titans logo features a sasquatch with the monogram of a ‘V’ in the nose for Vancouver, and a mountain range on the top of its head.
 
Meanwhile, the final expansion team for Overwatch League revealed its branding monikers, as Washington Esports Ventures, led by Mark Ein, announced the official name and identity for the Washington, DC expansion team. The squad will be known as the Washington Justice, flagged by the official team colors of red, white, and blue.
 
Fnatic and global music streaming service, Deezer, unveiled the new ‘Sound of Fnatic’ experience designed to “bring fans even closer to the tunes that motivate and inspire their favorite players.” The deal will allow fans to discover a variety of tunes from one of the three Fnatic playlist categories – Fnatic Moods, Music Mondays and Player Playlists, which sees 18 Fnatic players from a variety of games personally hand-pick and create dedicated playlists to share with fans.
 
Beasley Media Group’s 101 WRIF-FM will team up with The Detroit Renegades to host the first ever Detroit Renegades ESPORTS Live! on Dec. 9 starting at 1p. The Detroit Renegades Fortnite Team will conduct live game play for fans while also hosting a slate of activities, such as workshops on gaming “like a pro,” question and answer sessions, meet & greets, fan signings and more. Checkpoint XP hosts.
 
 
PLATFORMS

 
Epic Games detailed plans to open its own digital distribution platform, titled the Epic Games Store, offering developers 88% of the revenue that their games generate, up from the 70/30 split offered by Steam. The Epic Games Store will serve a hand-curated set of games on PC and Mac, according to the announcement, but plans are underway to offer more games to more platforms next year. The platform will also offer a “Support-A-Creator” initiative that will reward YouTube and Twitch content creators for showcasing developers’ games.
 
Matchero, an online platform that enables game publishers and tournament organizers to manage esports events announced that the closure of a $2.7 million investment round. The financing was led by Seven Peaks Ventures, with aXiomatic Gaming also joining the round, while existing investors Madrona Venture Group and Vulcan Capital also participated in the financing. The investment will drive the expansion of the go-to-market and platform development teams, in order to support the global ecosystem of game publishers, tournament organizers and global brands that want to engage with massively expanding esports audiences.
 
theScore revealed a new monthly record for view views on its YouTube channel. In addition to topping 500,000 subscribers, the platform generated 15.6 million view views during the period. “theScore has built a large and highly-engaged audience of esports fans and we’re excited by the growth we’re seeing,” said John Levy, CEO and Founder of theScore. “We believe we are only just scratching the surface. As the esports industry itself continues to grow, theScore will be there to cover the stories behind the games and players esports fans love.”
 
Beasley XP’s Checkpoint XP announced plans to provide extensive coverage of the upcoming inaugural 2018 Boston Uprising Collegiate Cup. The live event will take place on Saturday and feature a 6v6 clash between the final four teams at Laugh Boston. The remaining teams are esports clubs from Boston University, Northeastern University, University of Connecticut and Emerson College. Team Checkpoint XP Casters’ Norris Howard and Robbie Landis will offer coverage for the CheckpointXP Channel on Twitch.
 
 
FanAI SNAPSHOT

 
On Nov. 20, Riot Games EU announced the ten team organizations that would comprise the newly re-branded League of Legends European Championship (LEC) as their permanent partners. This follows last year’s franchising of the North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS). FanAI looked into the fan bases of both regions’ partners to see what each brings to the table. When grouped by league, the North American partners have a clear lead over the EU organizations. Of the fans who follow any of the partnered teams, 60% of fans only follow the NA partners. The smaller fan base of the LEC could be a critical factor in the growth of the long-term partnerships. Fewer fans mean that the team organizations must rely more on the social followings of their players to provide a high value to potential sponsors. The small fan base also means that there is a high opportunity for growth, especially when considering how well the EU region performed at the 2018 League of Legends World Championship.
 
 
INDUSTRY

Tonight’s edition of The Game Awards will see more than 10 new games unveiled during the event. In addition, the show will see a lineup of presenters this year that will include Avengers directors Joe and Anthony Russo; Stranger Things showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer; and actors Jonah Hill, Joel McHale, Christoph Waltz, Aisha Tyler, and Phil Spencer. In addition, Hans Zimmer will be join Mission: Impossible – Fallout composer Lorne Balfe who will be conducting the orchestra. This year’s show will be streamed via Twitter, Facebook, Mixer, Steam TV, IGN, GameStop, Polygon, MLG, Caffeine.tv, PlayStation and Xbox. The event will feature 45 distribution partners around the world.
 
A new study from data analytics and research platform Playgroundz found that while women still make up about half of the gaming industry (and are on pace to surpass the number of men as gamers by 2020), only 30% of gamers on YouTube, 22% of esports team members, and 19.5% of gamers on Twitch were women, per MCVUK. In the mobile gaming sector, 68% of mobile gaming revenue comes from women. In addition, since 2016, hours per week gaming for those ages 15-19 has increased by 33%, and adults age 55+ have increased their gaming by 16%.
 
Fortnite is unearthing Fortnite Creative on Dec. 13, a new sandbox mode for the game that allows players to create their own Fortnite island, complete with the ability to create structure. Players who buy the Fortnite: Battle Royale season seven Battle Pass starting today will be granted early access to the mode. Fortnite Creative will also allow players to generate custom scenarios for their battles.
 
Super Evil Megacorp, the company behind MOBA title Vainglory, is launching a strategic partnership with Chinese internet giant NetEase, to support Vainglory’s 4.0 cross-platform launch in China. Super Evil’s strategic partnership with NetEase will support the cross-platform launch in China. In addition to Windows and macOS, the company plans to release Vainglory on console later in 2019.
 
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ON THIS DAY in 1999: Donkey Kong 64 is released.
 
Trivia: What is the name of the primary character in the God of War series of games? (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: Tom Nook is the “friendly” village store owner for which game franchise? Answer: Animal Crossing. Kudos: Chris Davies-Virgin/London; Danny Araque/NYC; Chris Blivin-Lagardere Sports; Glen Ross/DC; Allison Weiner-MMSI/Warwick; Will James-Midan Marketing/Mooresville; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA: David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank
For more news and coverage, check out: http://cynopsisesports.com (updated daily).

Later — Chris

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OTHER JOBS OF INTEREST
 
Lead, coordinate and participate in collaborative, interdisciplinary sub-teams to implement and balance gameplay features from initial design to final polish.
Senior System Designer
Take-Two Interactive
Westwood MA
 
Collaborate with level & game designers to achieve projects visual goals while balancing gameplay and performance objectives.
Level Artist
Gearbox Software
Frisco TX
 
Work with the Lead Game Programmers and Design Team to design and architect major gameplay systems.
Gameplay Programmer
Gearbox Software
Frisco TX
 
Oversee event management life-cycle communicating with stakeholders and coordinating staff coverage to ensure continuity as applicable.
Senior SOC Manager
Take-Two Interactive
Las Vegas NV
 
Working as part of Valve’s core development team, adding web applications and components to our best-of-breed computer games and pioneering e-commerce platform.
Web Applications Software Engineer
Valve Corporations
Bellevue WA
 
Supporting our community of developers and publishers, both one-on-one and through open forums.
Game Developer Support Software Engineer
Valve Corporations
Bellevue WA
 
Communicate and interface with external clients and vendors to ensure visual consistency in production.
Apparel Designer
Team Liquid
Santa Monica CA
 
Define long-term brand & franchise vision, identity, and creative direction to ensure consistency across player experiences on a global scale.
Senior Director, Global Brand Management
Electronic Arts
Redwood City CA
 
Manage team of buyers who are responsible for campaign planning, setup, optimizations, pacing, and reporting across all titles and territories for the Americas.
Programmatic Lead
Electronic Arts
Redwood CA
 
Candidate will track, forecast, and report on business performance and help to set aggressive goals during the planning process.
Content Strategy Analyst
Twitch
San Francisco CA
 
Ensures smooth working efficiency between Operational Partnerships, Broadcast Solutions, and the Programs Ops teams on various projects.
Esports Project Manager
Twitch
San Francisco CA
 
Create product-focused pieces that bring the benefits of the game to life in compelling, authentic ways for players.
Creative Lead, Esports
Riot Games
Los Angeles CA
 
Will work on our League of Legends and Fortnite applications that do game data analytics and user profiles at scale.
Backend Engineer
TSM
Los Angeles CA
 
Ability to create and follow a brand guide and remain cohesive across all assets.
UI Designer
TSM
Los Angeles CA
 
Develop engineering vision and roadmap for products and teams within the big data ecosystem.
Engineering Leadership, Data Engineering
Riot Games
Los Angeles CA
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