|Thursday January 13, 2022
Good morning! It’s Thursday and this is your early morning Esports brief.
Amid a bevy or rumblings and rumors about the upcoming Call of Duty League season, league officials released a community update, confirming or denying various reports while addressing concerns about the future of the esport. The league confirmed plans to revert to the original format of all 12 teams competing at each Major, while shifting to a predetermined schedule for the upcoming season. The CDL denied that there were plans for Warzone t serve as the third game more, noting that Control would be tapped.
Meanwhile CDL GM Daniel Tsay addressed complaints that the start of the league season so far from when the game hits stores was hurting interest. He acknowledged that the lag since the launch of Vanguard was an issue that the league would fix going forward. “We don’t like the lag between the game release and the start of our season either,” Tsay said in the announcement. “We got to move that and get our competitive gameplay much, much sooner. It’s important to align with the start of a new game, be in all the excitement, amplify the excitement that comes with that time period. We didn’t do that this season. We need to fix that. That’s going to be the north star going forward.”
The Call of Duty League’s first live LAN event for the year is set to kick off on Jan. 21, 2022, with the Kickoff Classic at Esports Stadium Arlington.
Valve pulled the plug on the first Dota 2 Major of 2022, noting that the Omnicron surge made the decision necessary. “As the Winter Tour of the Dota Pro Circuit 2021-2022 season draws to a close, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel the first Major,” Valve said. “While hopes were high that we could host an international LAN event, the discovery and spread of new strains of COVID-19 and the resulting increase of travel restrictions has made it unfeasible for all qualified teams to gather for a LAN tournament.” The Major will not be rescheduled and the DPC Points which would have been distributed to the teams during the event have instead been redistributed across the remaining two Majors.
January means that League of Legends esports are back in the fray, as leagues around the world gear up for the 2022 season. Stateside, over the next three weeks, all ten LCS teams will open play with the LCS Lock In Tournament, battling through a winner-take-all tournament. The Knockout Stage is an eight-team, single-elimination bracket with best-of-three quarterfinals and best-of-five semifinals and finals. The Lock In Champion will receive $150K in prize money. Fans can watch on lolesports.com, Twitch and YouTube. Although, the LCS will allow Watch Parties for specific parts of the season — such as Lock In, Super Weeks, and Playoffs.
Meanwhile, the League of Legends European Championship Spring 2022 has its talent lineup locked and loaded. Anchoring as desk host will be Eefje “Sjokz” Depoortere, with play-by-play handled by Trevor “Quickshot” Henry, Daniel “Drakos” Drakos and Aaron “Medic” Chamberlain. Color will be offered by Marc “Caedrel” Lamont, Andrew “Vedius” Day, and Mikkel “Guldborg” Guldborg, while Laure “Bulii” Valée serves as Interviewer. League of Legends teams will launch the 2022 LEC Spring Split remotely, playing from their training facilities due to the pandemic. “Due to the ongoing restrictions as a result of COVID-19 and the rising number of cases in Berlin since the beginning of the year, teams will compete remotely for the start of the 2022 Spring Split regular season,” league said in the announcement. “Our first and foremost priority is always the health and well-being of the players, coaches, team personnel and our staff.”
ESPN’s X Games are revving up for the Rocket League Championship Series to kick off the Winter Split in North America tomorrow with the X Games Open. The event runs through Jan. 16, and will be streamed live on the ESPN App and Rocket League’s Twitch and YouTube pages. The X Games Open will be an official X Games Aspen event, where the top two North American teams earn X Games Open Medals.
Think you are S-Tier? Then come compete against the heavyweight pillars of the sports industry! The doors are open! Nominations for the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards are now being taken for their year’s ceremony, taking place on April 19, live (hopefully) in NYC. New categories are seeking champions! Have a gander by clicking here.
ESL Gaming is celebrating 10 years of Intel Extreme Masters with the return of IEM Katowice and a combined $1.5M prize pool at the event. In addition to CS:GO, IEM Katowice 2022 will host the StarCraft II EPT Championship. To celebrate the unique anniversary within the esports landscape, ESL Gaming is launching a dedicated campaign: “X Years of IEM Katowice — Celebrate the heroes” to commemorate ten years of the franchise. “Thinking back to when this place held an Intel® Extreme Masters tournament for the first time, what followed would not have been imaginable. This event represents a dream come true to everyone that wanted to build esports into something bigger and unforgettable memories shared by fans and players,” said Michal “Carmac” Blicharz, VP Product Development at ESL Gaming. “We are proud to be coming to Katowice again as an in-person competition and we are so looking forward to celebrating the commemorative anniversary together.”
ESL Gaming revealed the full tournament schedule for its ESL Pro Tour in StarCraft II, spanning from May 2022 to February 2023. The circuit features three core ESL competitions: DreamHack SC2 Masters in Valencia, DreamHack SC2 Masters in Atlanta, and culminating at Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2023 where the official World Champion will be crowned. Current plans will see the return of fans at the DreamHack festivals, with a mix of online and LAN tournaments across the schedule. There will be prize pool of over $1.3M up for grabs across the whole tour, while also features the introduction of partner tournaments that will see ESL Gaming working closely with TakeTV and Team Liquid as their tournaments – Home Story Cup 21, TSL 9, and Home Story Cup 22 – now join the ESL Pro Tour.
Riot Games laid out the roadmap for the first official Wild Rift Esports season, which will see the creation of eight new regional leagues as well as the game’s first official global tournament, set to take place in the summer of 2022 in Europe and pit 24 teams from around the world. Regions will include: Wild Rift Champions Korea, Wild Rift League China, Wild Rift Champions SEA, the Wild Rift Cup Japan, Wild Rift Championship EMEA, the Wild Rift North America Series, Wild Rift Latinoamerica Open and Wild Tour Brasil.
Pokémon UNITE producer Masaaki Hoshino revealed that the multiplayer online battle arena game will debut at this year’s Pokémon World Championships. According to multiple reports, at Worlds, Pokémon UNITE will join mainstays like the trading card game and the video game championships, currently hosted on Pokémon Sword and Shield versions
The pandemic is once again wreaking havoc on the Capcom Cup. The publisher announced that they would be cancelling the event once again due to a rise in COVID-19 cases with the massive spread of the Omicron variant. “Please know we share your frustrations, as we wanted nothing more than to have this event return in a big way, but the health and safety of the players and everyone involved is our highest priority,” the statement read.
The 24 Hours of Le Mas Virtual is expanding its roster as the event prepares for its 2022 run. Overall, 50 teams will compete with new contenders that are set to include Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports, The W Series, Veloce Esports and more. In total, eight LMP teams and four GTE teams will fill the field for the conclusion to the 2021-22 Le Mans Virtual Series season.
STREAM HATCHET INSIGHTS
Fortnite, Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone continue to generate massive audiences on streaming platforms, amassing 608 million combined hours watched in Q4 2021. While each game provides its own unique take on the battle royale genre, it’s crucial for marketers to understand the loyalty of each fan group. This week, Stream Hatchet investigates the registered viewer overlap of Fortnite, Apex: Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone.
· Fortnite viewers are the most loyal: Across the period of Q4 2021, an average of 21% of the total Fortnite audience watched either Warzone or Apex, at least 8 percentage points less than the other game titles.
· Fortnite popularity appears to be trending upwards with BR fans: The overlap percentages for both Apex and Warzone fans significantly increased in December fueled largely by the Chapter 2 finale, and release of the new season.
For more on how to use streaming analytics to level up your gaming activations, visit us at: www.StreamHatchet.com.
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SPONSORSHIP AND ACTIVATION
Fnatic locked in a partnership with L’Oréal Men Expert to “develop and deploy engaging and creative content, as well as co-branded product activations, through the lens of the shared #PrepToPlay concept” L’Oréal Men Expert will also feature as the sole partner on the back of each Fnatic team’s jersey. With the alliance, the beauty and personal care brand will be involved in teams’ pre-game social media content, with a further #PrepToPlay content series planned to build hype leading up to some of the biggest moments in the esports calendar and will also sponsor Fnatic’s resident League of Legends content creator Rhobalas’ online web series, “The Rhobalas Show.”
Team Vitality continued its barrage of deals, capping the week with an announcement that the team was partnering with adidas for the League of Legends Open Tour 2022. Th deal will see the org launch a semi-pro team titled Yellow Stripes to compete in the tournament, while adidas will provide a professional mentor for the team and design its jersey. Team Vitality also secured a partnership with blockchain network Tezos, which will now become technical partner of the organization. The alliance will offer new fan experiences designed to also reward and educate fans on blockchain and its benefits.
Oxygen Esports inked a deal with drinkware brand Ice Shaker. The company now becomes the official Performance Bottle and Shaker Partner for all Oxygen Esports rosters and will will offer performance consulting services to the org. Both entities revealed that the cooperation is an extension of the partnership between Oxygen Esports and the Gronkowski family.
Global esports organization Gen.G and Mobil 1, the Official Motor Oil of the NBA, have teamed up to launch The Tune Up, a program designed to help NBA2K players tune up their skills and tune up the community. The program runs through May 31 and will launch with a NBA2K tournament, giving gamers the chance to compete for cash prizes. “We are incredibly excited to work with Gen.G to create connections across the NBA ecosystem and deliver a one-of-a-kind experience for fans,” said Jeremy Blair, Mobil 1 brand strategy and communications advisor. “In the same way the Mobil 1 helps you tune up your car, The Tune Up program is all about finding ways to take the NBA2K experience to the next level, both in-game and out.”
Riot Games announced that LG UltraGear is now onboard as its Official Gaming Monitor Partner for the League of Legends European Championship 2022 and 2023 seasons. LG UltraGear joins as the Main Partner in the Official Gaming Monitor category, will be sponsoring all-important segments in the LEC such as Replays and Match of the Week. “We are thrilled to be partnering with LEC and to announce that LG UltraGear will be playing such a pivotal role in what is genuinely one of the world’s most popular esports competitions,” says Seo Young-jae, senior vice president and head of the IT business unit of LG Electronics Business Solutions Company. “We also look forward to seeing our monitors put through their paces by the league’s top players, and to getting to spend some time with LEC’s growing fanbase.”
Panda Global locked in a new partnership with electronics retailer Adorama that will have the duo extend their partnership to continue hosting charity esports cups and broaden its cooperation with events and digital content while Adorama will become the official retail electronics partner for the esports organization.
Twitter Gaming reports that Q4 2021 was the biggest quarter ever for gaming conversation on the platform, capping a year that saw more than 2.4 billion Tweets about gaming, up 14% year over year and marking a more than 10x increase from 2017. Among the rankings, the most talked about esports athlete was Mongraal, while the most talked about esports team was LOUD Esports.
Esports Teams with the Most Video Views:
1. FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan)
2. G2 Esports (@G2esports)
3. 100 Thieves (@100Thieves)
4. TSM FTX (@TSM)
5. LOUD esports (@LOUDgg)
Most Talked About Esports Leagues:
1. CBLOL (@CBLOL)
2. Call of Duty League (@CODLeague)
3. Valorant Champions Tour (@ValorantEsports)
4. Overwatch League (@OverwatchLeague)
5. League of Legends Championship Series (@LCSOfficial)
G2 Esports is getting into new waters, announcing plans to get into the music industry through a record label and unveiling its debut single, titled ‘Our Way’. The expansion makes G2 the first esports org to launch its own record label. “Epic Power Metal is my favorite genre,” said Carlos ‘ocelote’ Rodriguez, Founder and CEO of G2 Esports. “I don’t care about its marketability. It’s coming from the heart like everything else we do. 20G2 is our year. This song is its anthem. We are the number one esports organization in the world, and now, we are setting the stage to entertain everybody beyond just competitive video games. This is the beginning of an insanely fun ride.”
Riot Game is reportedly investigating Team SoloMid founder and CEO, Andy Dinh, who has been accused of “verbally abusing and bullying” employees, according to Wired. Riot Games, which operates the League of Legends Championship Series in which TSM competes, launched an investigation late last year into Dinh’s behavior. TSM also told the site that the team launched its own investigation into the accusations.
The New York Islanders announced the launch of the Isles Gaming Team (Isles GT) on Thursday, marking the organization’s first foray into the esports space. Isles GT will be made up of six professional gamers, who will compete in one-vs-one and six-vs-six National Hockey League esports tournaments. The six players will also create gaming content for the team and represent Isles GT in NHL club competitions.
Take-Two Interactive Software added Zynga under its umbrella in a blockbuster deal valued around $11 billion deal, according to reports. The cash-and-stock deal announced Monday serves one of the videogame industry’s biggest acquisitions with Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick noting that the purchase of Zynga would strengthen its position in mobile.
Andbox named author and businessman James Frey as the org’s CEO. Frey will oversee and drive the organization’s growth, helping the company become “New York’s next major entertainment brand and the leading esports organization in the world,” according to the announcement.
CSMG announced two key appointments to its executive team: Jim Connelly as its Chief Revenue Officer and Angela Bernhard Thomas as its Executive Vice President for Esports. CSMG also hired DKC as its agency of record for public relations, social media and digital strategy, and branding. “We are pleased to elevate Jim and Angela as they bring a wealth of experience and leadership to help drive new opportunities and grow our existing portfolio across NIL, esports, media rights, valuation and licensing,” said Michael Schreck, CEO and co-founder of CSMG. “We are thrilled to align with DKC as our agency of record based on their long-standing history and expertise in areas of strategic growth for CSMG.”
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According to Guinness World Records, what was the first game to be played in outer space? (Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
According to IMDB, this famed actor, staple video game voice and taco titan holds the record for most all-time on-screen deaths, getting clipped in his career at least 65 times by actors that include Charles Bronson, Robert DeNiro, Willem Dafoe, a two-headed shark, Adam Sandler, and Val Kilmer. Who is he? Answer: Danny Trejo. Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Networks/NY; Heather Allen-WWE Corporation/Stamford; Kevin McIntyre-EsportsU/Boston; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clement; Phil Ranta-Wormhole Labs/LA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA
BROADCAST MANAGER >>
AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB/NYC, NY: Primary contacts for AKC.tv & AKC productions. Manages the production calendar, including national broadcasts, livestream events, weekly shows, & studio productions. Tracks & monitors the process with AKC clubs for televised events, including contracts & payments. 2+ yrs of exp in broadcast management, communications, marketing, or related field. Full info HERE (1/28)
DIRECTOR III, SALES >>
NEXSTAR MEDIA GROUP/CHAMPAIGN, IL: Provides leadership for the broadcast/digital sales teams. Makes decisions regarding hiring, evaluating, promoting and terminating of employees. Manages recruitment, Training, evaluation, and development of sales professionals. Develops and cultivates client relationships alongside Account Executives. 3+ yrs exp in selling TV, Video and Digital. Full info HERE (1/28)
COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS COORDINATOR
Manage the delivery and arrival of VOD commercial content and copy editing. Manage the delivery and arrival of commercial content and resolve any conflicting traffic instructions. Oversee maintenance of E-faxes and storage of client files. BA in a related field or 2+ yrs of experience in Broadcast Cable Log Operations. Full info HERE (1/27)
SENIOR ANALYST, TV AUDIENCE RESEARCH
E.W. SCRIPPS COMPANY, ION & BOUNCE
Report & evaluate existing metrics, develop new metrics and reports, & provide strategic recommendations to assist with driving decision-making & measuring performance for key stakeholders. Perform analyses for network programming & competitive analysis for programs on other networks. Minimum 3+ yrs Media and/or TV audience research experience. Full info HERE (1/27)
ACQUISTITIONS SPECIALIST >>
VIACOMCBS/LOS ANGELES: Forecast & develop delivery schedules & confer with creative teams, management & production company production personnel to handle special requests & production scheduling issues. Collaborate daily with program suppliers to coordinate the delivery of program content. Min 3 yrs in acquisition and delivery of media assets used to produce marketing. Full info HERE (1/27)
DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMING
Development, as well as enhancement, of workflows for a linear broadcast, and FAST/AVOD OTT channel. Establish the goal setting and success of the long-term programming analysis and moving Circle Media towards a “rated” channel and ensure successful and timely program delivery. Point of contact for all live events in the Linear and OTT feed. Full info HERE (1/24)
SR. DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL, LEGAL & BA
NY or REMOTE
Focus on international commercial transactions, including content sales, program license, output agreements as well as international compliance, regulatory matters. Provide counsel on formation, structuring, maintenance, of JVs and partnerships. 7+ yrs legal exp including IP, domestic/int. content licensing, linear/on-demand rights and distribution. Full info HERE (1/24)
SENIOR SALES PLANNER >>
REELZ, NY: Create/revise upfront/scatter media plans, account stewardship & serve as agency liaison. Should be comfortable presenting and cultivating agency relationships. A min. 5 yrs ad sales/agency exp. Strong written and verbal communication skills, strong media math skills. Proficient in Wide Orbit, MS Suite. Full info HERE (1/24)
JUNIOR SALES PLANNER >>
REELZ/NYC, NY: Create upfront/scatter media plans, account stewardship & serve as agency liaison. Maintain agency accounts including upfront and scatter order entry, campaign changes, and product allocations. Assist Account Executives and work closely with the Director of Inventory Control. A min 2 yrs ad sales/agency exp. Proficient in Wide Orbit, MS Suite. Full info HERE (1/24)
Support Production Management team, Production Office support and assist with props for creative segments. Travel Management: Book, track and reconcile daily car services for hosts and guests; flights and car services for guest talent; special event travel for staff for key events. Prior Production Coordinator experience required. Full info HERE (1/17)
BRAND DIRECTOR, FailArmy
Help set strategy for and execute business plan for your brand, define and manage brand voice and tone and hire, train, manage and develop team. Formulate and execute audience growth plan. 8+ yrs in the marketing and packaging of digital video brands, with success in content creation, content and performance marketing, distribution, and management. Full info HERE (1/16)
MANAGER, AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT AND ANALYSIS, SOCIAL
Manage audience development and content strategy. Analyze the performance of all published content, including views, watch time, etc., and establish effective feedback loops with team members. Define and implement best practices for social media channel optimization. 4+ yrs work experience with 2+ yrs in programming and/or audience development. Full info HERE (1/16)
SENIOR DIRECTOR, PRODUCTION RISK MANAGEMENT
LOS ANGELES or REMOTE
Involves evaluating and advising exposures, confirming coverage, and reviewing contractual insurance requirements to manage production related risk. 5 years in high-risk production, extensive knowledge of prod. safety practices, Covid-19 safety, prod. claims and GL & E&O process/renewals. Full info HERE (1/15)
DIRECTOR, FINISHED PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS AND DISTRIBUTION, STREAMING TV
Source and identify finished TV program and digital series acquisitions for Streaming FAST Channels. License our TMB/Jukin original Streaming Channel productions for distribution. This position is responsible for negotiating and closing both inbound and outbound deals. 7 yrs of relevant work experience required. Full info HERE (1/15)
VP, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
NYC, LOS ANGELES
Lead Business Development efforts in the US and beyond. Source, negotiate and close distribution deals for brands like People Are Awesome, FailArmy, Pet Collective, etc. Develop business plans and drive growth around new businesses such as streaming channels, podcasts, self-service licensing platforms, etc. 7 yrs bus. development experience req. Full info HERE (1/15)
TX, TN, NY
Experienced Photo Director 7+ Years experience. Excellent grasp of great visual communication and the ability to stretch creatively with each new project. Full info HERE (1/14)
TX, TN, NY
Expert editor in Avid and Final Cut Pro Software, Premiere CC.Technical, organized, uber creative. 6+ yrs exp. Full info HERE (1/14)
DESIGNER, BRAND CREATIVE
TX, TN, NY
Excellent eye for great design and the ability to stretch creatively with each new project. 4+ years of graphic design experience, preferably within a TV network, studio or agency. Full info HERE (1/14)
VP, DEVELOPMENT >>
VICE TV/BROOKLYN, NY: Know our current slate of on-air series, series under consideration for renewal, projects in the development. Implement a strategic development process while bringing new pitches to larger network group for discussion. Oversee projects from initial inception through production. Proven relationships with producers and production companies req. Full info HERE (1/14)
DIRECTOR SALES RESEARCH
Develop/execute linear, digital and VOD metrics into cross platform measurement system for companywide use. Work on upfront strategy and ongoing client presentations. Liaison with vendors on new product testing/rollouts. Manage team of 3. 6+ yrs national experience. Strong excel, Nielsen, ComScore, Rentrak, MRI. Full info HERE (1/13)
COORDINATOR, AD SALES
Fulfill sales orders through the execution of specific allocations and flowcharts. Serve as the primary point of contact for ad agencies to resolve discrepancies, schedule changes and facilitate make goods. Create flowcharts, input advertiser schedules and revisions. Bachelor’s degree and 2 years of experience in advertising sales. Full Info HERE (1/13)
SENIOR SALES ENGINEER
The Senior Sales Engineer will focus on our international business with a range of WideOrbit products and core WO OMNI solution. 8+ years experience in Broadcast Media required, with a strong preference for applicants with WideOrbit product experience and a strong understanding of the international landscape Canada/Mexico/LATAM. Full info HERE (1/13)
DATA VISUALIZATION MANAGER >>
UP ENTERTAINMENT/ATLANTA GA: Design, build, deploy, and maintain reports and dashboards and preparing data for ingestion into visualization tools to create desired visualizations. Maintain research data systems and sources with regular downloads and ingestions. 5-7 years relevant work experience working with data, reporting insights, and managing projects. Full info HERE (1/13)