Allied Esports is diving deeper into its partnership with HyperX, announcing that the brand signed a multiyear naming rights agreement for Allied’s mobile esports arena, which is now named the HyperX Esports Truck. The truck, formally known as Esports Arena DRIVE, made its debut during CES 2018 and will return to the event next month at the Sands Convention Center to make its first 2019 appearance under the new moniker. During CES 2019, HyperX will be showing new products including gaming headsets, mice, keyboards, RGB memory products, and its first HyperX USB microphone for streamers, influencers and casters. HyperX will announce a new gaming headset designed in collaboration with a Southern California headphone manufacturer, featuring fully immersive audio capabilities. The products will be demonstrated at The Venetian press suite and CES Unveiled and Pepcom Digital Experience press events.
Long-time partners Intel and ESL are strengthening their bonds, announcing a $100 million extension that will be invested by the companies to shape the future landscape of esports via “innovative technology, tournaments, and events, marking the biggest brand and technology esports partnership in history.” In addition to kicking off Season 14 of the Intel Extreme Masters, the longest running pro esports circuit in the world, the New Year will see the partnership encompass support of ESL’s premier live esports circuits, including ESL One powered by Intel and the CS:GO Pro League, in addition to the $1,000,000 Intel Grand Slam. The investment will also introduce esports to new regions of the globe, including the hosting and introduction of large scale esports events in certain countries within the APAC region.
Cynopsis Esports, Chief Marketer, Event Marketer, and parent company Access Intelligence announced dates for the 2019 Esports Business Summit, taking place in year two at MGM Las Vegas from Sept. 10-12, 2019. Registration is now open for Esports Business Summit 2019 at discounted rates for a limited time. The full 2019 program will be released in early Summer 2019. Tempest Awards Call for Entries will open Spring 2019.
Socios Esports’s new battle royale sponsorship program designed to assist small to medium-sized teams in gaining a foothold in the competitive scene saw over 15,000 votes from fans that resulted in sponsorship money for Conquer Gaming, Copenhagen Flames and 3DMAX Gaming. Sponsor funds must be used to cover the costs of running a PUBG or Fortnite team. Uses include player salaries, coaching costs, marketing or other activities that will help the team and its members build their brand and profile in battle royale esports.
Esports organization Immortals saw its collaboration with heritage sneaker and lifestyle brand K-Swiss come to life on Friday when the shoe Immortals Icon was made available to consumers for $110 at kswiss.com/immortals. The sneaker sports Immortals branding and comes with two pairs of shoelaces in Immortals colors of black and teal. “Esports is exploding, and we’re excited to be at the forefront,” said Barney Waters, K-Swiss’ brand president. “Immortals is a great organization to be partnered with as we explore together the intersection of sneakers and esports. As shown in the Immortals Icon, this creative zone is one we continue to focus energy on.”
DreamHack is celebrating the end of the year via partnership with Lights All Night – described as the longest running end of the year party – and will offer a video game experience and lounge onsite at this year’s festivities at Dallas Market Hall in Dallas on Dec. 28-29. This marks the first partnership of its kind for DreamHack, which will bring a 50-person freeplay zone featuring a variety of games, including popular titles like Fortnite, Rocket League, PUBG, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and many others. This news also corresponds with the announcement that the first-ever DreamHack Dallas will take place from May 31-June 2 in downtown Dallas.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is partnering with Immortals for a “first-of-its-kind” alliance to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Immortals, and its Overwatch League franchise team, the Los Angeles Valiant, committed to raising a total of $500,000 over two years to support the St. Jude mission. Among the activations to raise money, the team will utilize a unique digital fundraising activation in esports, the LA Valiant will launch a campaign where fans can donate based on the outcomes and achievements of the LA Valiant team and players during the Overwatch League season.
Speaking of Immortals, founder Noah Whinston is shifting gears, moving from CEO to Executive Chairman of the esports organization. Ari Segal will now take over as Immortals CEO. “Excited for the opportunity to elevate [Ari Segal] and give him more autonomy in his running of the Immortals organization,” Whinston posted on Twitter. “If it was anyone else, this decision might have been harder for me, but Ari has been the best CEO in esports long before his title reflected it.”
MLB executive Chris Park is departing to serve as CEO of Gen.G. Park had been serving as executive vice president of product and marketing at MLB.
Denial Esports appears poised for a comeback, with new executives seemingly taking on the franchise. The team once had a lineup of contenders, but financial trouble see players and fees go unpaid, spawning legal action. Zach Smith, CEO of MoneyMatches, and Patrick ‘BlackBeardAP’ E. Smith Sr. both tweeted that they had worked out debt settlements and would be reviving the Denial banner.
The Twitch Holiday Spectacular hit streamland recently as a special edition of Twitch Weekly that featured guests from the community and highlighted key moments and milestones from 2018. The company reported that the number of partner and affiliate streamers who can generate revenue on Twitch grew more than 86% from 2017 to 2018, with more than 248,000 streamers gaining Affiliate status and more than 7,800 streamers becoming Partners. Meanwhile, the number of streamers per month increased, growing from 2 million in 2017 to more than 3 million in 2018 with now close to a half a million streamers going live every day and – at any given time – an average of more than a million people are on Twitch. 2018 also saw the overall minutes watched increased to 434 billion (YTD). Other highlights:
- Ninja set the all-time record for highest concurrent viewership on an individual’s channel with more than 667,000 concurrent viewers in April at the opening of the Las Vegas Esports Arena, setting the highest concurrent viewership on an individual’s Twitch channel ever.
- ELEAGUE’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Grand Final match set a record with over 1 million concurrent viewers on a single organization’s channel.
- E3 in June set the record for the highest concurrent viewership across all of Twitch with more than 2.9 million tuning in, surpassing the previous record set in January 2018 of 2.5 million.
Speaking of Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, the streamer will be hosting a New Year’s Eve countdown event from New York City’s Times Square beginning December 31 at 4p where he will stream live for 12-hours straight. The event can be seen at www.twitch.tv/ninja.
Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six: Siege is hitting theaters courtesy of a new documentary titled To Win It All: The Road to the Six Invitational, which will run in Cinemark theaters next month. The documentary, which debuts on Jan. 24, follows three teams and three players as they prepare for the Six Invitational: Team Liquid, Penta Sports, and Evil Geniuses.
Discord made its move to leave its mark on the new game store wars, announcing that next year will see developers keep 90% of all revenue from their games made through the Discord Store. In addition, Discord will open developers’ access to its storefront through a self-serve game publishing platform. “No matter what size, from AAA to single person teams, developers will be able to self publish on the Discord store with 90% revenue share going to the developer,” the company said in a post. “The remaining 10% covers our operating costs, and we’ll explore lowering it by optimizing our tech and making things more efficient.”
The NPD Group announced that Nintendo Switch now ranks as the fastest-selling video game system of this hardware generation through 21 months on the market, selling more than 8.7 million units in that span. In fact, the report states that Nintendo hardware unit and dollar sales for 2018 are at their highest annual totals since 2011, while Nintendo eShop sales have grown 105% over that span.
The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences announced its 23rd Hall of Fame recipient, Bonnie Ross, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Head of 343 Industries which oversees the Halo franchise. Ross has been integral in the vision and expansion of the Halo franchise that has continued to excite generations of fans, generating nearly $6 billion in worldwide sales to date and has transcended video games to grow into a global entertainment phenomenon. The 2019 Hall of Fame Award will be presented to Ross during the D.I.C.E. Awards ceremony on Feb. 13 by Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President and Head of Gaming at Microsoft.