01/05/17: The Football Association starts a new Adventure; PEA players opt to GO; CES prepares for gaming swarm


It’s Thursday, January 5, 2017, and this is your weekly early morning eSports & Gaming brief.

The Football Association is bringing back its FIFA esports tournament for another go-around, announcing that the Emirates FA Cup gaming tournament ‘Every Gamer’s Adventure’ will come back in 2017. The one-day tournament will see FIFA 17 competitors play at Wembley Stadium on May 6 for a shot win a VIP experience at The Emirates FA Cup Final three weeks later, pitting 64-players in the mix. “We’re incredibly excited to announce the return of Every Gamer’s Adventure to Wembley Stadium in 2017,” Lucy Roberts-Hartley, The Emirates FA Cup, senior brand manager told The Drum. “Last year’s tournament was action-packed and saw the likes of Bury FC reach the quarter finals, showcasing – much like the real Emirates FA Cup – that truly anything can happen.”


ELeague moved quickly to shoot down a report that players in its CS:GO tournament had not been fully paid for season one of the franchise. "All teams have been compensated per our agreements with them," a spokesperson told TSN in a statement. "We value our relationships with all teams and will continue to provide a best-in-class experience for them." The initial report claimed the Professional Esports Association teams had not been paid for season one and were entitled to an additional $30,000 as an appearance fee separate from any prize money.

Meanwhile, ESPN writes that the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players of the seven teams in the Professional Esports Association voted Wednesday to continue to compete in the ESL Pro League instead of the PEA league. As a result, according to the report, the PEA claimed that it would remove itself from Counter-Strike and work towards other games.

Connecting esports with advertisers and technology in whole new ways. Don’t miss the Cynopsis World eSports Summit on April 12 in NYC. BIG news will be unveiled in coming weeks so register early and keep an eye on the latest news here.

ESL unveiled plans for the Trinity Series, a new Hearthstone team league that will start competition this month with seven weeks of online play, followed by a live final in March at the ESL America Studios in Burbank. Eight teams will be invited to participate, each fielding a roster of 3 players, including Tempo Storm, compLexity Gaming, and Virtus Pro. All matches will be played in a best-of-11 “Last Hero Standing” format with $150,000 in prize money up for grabs, along with full travel costs for teams that qualify for the live final. All games will be streamed exclusively on Twitch.

Seattle-based lawyer Bryce Blum launched what is described as the first esports-only law firm, dubbed Electronic Sports & Gaming Law. "I will be transitioning my existing esports practice to ESG Law, where I will continue to represent industry-leading esports teams, talent, and institutions," Blum told ESPN in a statement.

Superdata Research revealed that its research showed that betting in esports is valued at $58.9m in 2016, anchored by the likes of Pinnacle, Sky Bet, Betway and Bet365.


Source: Superdata


Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wesley Edens and Fortress Investment Group are reading to debut esports brand FlyQuest in the coming weeks, according to ESPN. The team will be focused on one title at launch, the League of Legends team that the group bought from Cloud9 for $2.5 million in December. The team will start competing in the North American League Championship Series on Jan. 20.

The Philadelphia 76ers are putting esports where they’ve never gone before, placing the logo of its recently-acquired Team Dignitas on the jerseys of its D-League team the Delaware 87ers.

Denmark soccer club FC Copenhagen is entering esports, adding the former Team Dignitas CS:GO squad. The team will now go under the moniker North.

Meanwhile, more European sports organizations announced plans for competitive gaming, as Greece’s Panathinaikos AC announced on its website that the group was launching an esports division, in partnership with Greek esports hub and event organizer CowboyTV. The franchise is exploring representation for titles that include CS:GO, Dota 2, FIFA, League of Legends, and NBA 2K. "Panathinaikos AC performs a groundbreaking move that is expected to give the Association substantial benefits and, through this innovation, we turn to Greek players who have already achieved something outside of Greece," said club president M. Dimitris Baltakos, according to IGN Greece. "We now want to give them extra motivation and organizational framework regarding their involvement with eSports."

Next door, two Turkish soccer clubs, Galatsaray and Fenerbahce both picked up League of Legends teams, according to Dexerto.



Our award show continues to spotlight the groundbreaking work created by the sports media industry, don’t let your efforts go unnoticed!

Enter by January 31, 2017

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Today’s guestbook entry comes from rEvXP’s Dan Ciccone who offers his predictions in esports for 2017…
·       Riot will continue to change rules in the LCS as it molds itself after traditional sports leagues
·       Pro teams/players demand unionization
·       Pros will be recognized as pros and not as “influencers”
·       More non-endemic sponsors will participate
·       Broadcast rights bidding wars
·       Fans and teams will demand Valve streamline its CS:GO IP and leagues
·       Countless reports of “the next big eSport”
·       eSports personalities will become household names and make their way into “mainstream” entertainment offerings like TV shows and sports reporting


ELeague has a new partner, locking in a deal with Dell that will see the brand become an exclusive PC hardware provider for ELeague, which will use the Alienware Aurora with Dell 24-inch 144Hz gaming monitor as their competition system, “giving players incredible speed and processing power to easily overcome the most chaotic of competitive moments.” "The world’s best gamers demand bleeding edge hardware that keep them at their best,” said Seth Ladetsky, senior vice president of Sales, Turner Sports. “ELeague is proud to welcome Dell as a key partner, supporting the passionate esports community and delivering the high-performance hardware needed to fuel ELeague’s thrilling competition all year long."

Xbox and Kellogg’s are teaming up in a move that will see thousands of specially marked Kellogg’s products around the country containing a winning sticker that can be redeemed for a brand-new Xbox One S. Consumers will also be able to customize their Xbox avatar with a limited-edition item from their favorite Kellogg’s character including hats from Snap, Crackle and Pop, Tony the Tiger’s scarf and other add-ons.


The 17th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, set for March 1, unveiled its lineup of contenders, with Playdead’s Inside heading the pack with six nominations, including the categories of best audio, design, narrative and visual art as well as Innovation Award and game of the year. Meanwhile, Blizzard’s Overwatch and Campo Santo’s Firewatch each received five nominations.

The much-hyped Super Mario Run, according to the WSJ report citing Newzoo research, has now notched $30 million in revenue. The report notes that the numbers comes from 3% of the consumers who paid for the full game, which has been downloaded over 90 million times on iOS since launching last month.

Blizzard is celebrating Diablo’s 20-year anniversary with a slate of activations that include a special event dubbed The Darkening of Tristram this month for Diablo 3. Other notables include Diablo-themed goods in the publisher’s other titles, including Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, Overwatch, StarCraft 2 and World of Warcraft.

Steam unveiled its top 100 best-selling games of 2016 based on revenue. Titles making up its top-of-the-list“Platinum” category included: Counter Strike: Global Offensive, XCOM 2, Total War: Warhammer, Tom Clancy’s The Division, No Man’s Sky, DOTA 2, Dark Souls III, Fallout 4, Grand Theft Auto V, Civilization VI, Rocket League and The Witcher III: Wild Hunt.”

Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant film is getting a game-driven VR spinoff, that will be “available as a paid title on major VR platforms,” according to Variety. The experience is being developed in partnership with the Fox Innovation Lab and goes on “a dread-inducing journey into the depths of the Alien universe." The Alien: Covenant movie will release in May.


Early announcements from the 2017 CES in Las Vegas…

Dell is doubling down on its gaming systems, announcing an Inspiron gaming line built for price-conscious gamers who require performance demanded by today’s most popular PC games in addition to its premium Alienware gaming rigs. “The popularity of PC gaming is at an all-time high, with hardware alone forecasted to exceed $35 billion by the end of 2018, thanks to the introduction of VR and excitement created by esports and gaming tournaments,” said Bryan deZayas, Director, Dell Gaming. “We are very proud to continue investing in gamers around the world by introducing a new Inspiron gaming line and partnering with ELEAGUE to power and support the esports community, which is projected to reach 145 million fans in 2017.”

HyperX expanded its lineup of gaming gear with the HyperX ALLOY RGB Gaming Keyboard, the Pulsefire Gaming Mouse as well as two new ALLOY FPS mechanical gaming keyboards with Cherry MX Red or Brown switch options. “Our range of gaming gear makes even a casual gamer feel like a pro. HyperX is used by eSports champions and casual players alike because the products deliver the performance and quality they need to win,” said Daniel Kelley, director of corporate marketing, HyperX. “We are absolutely committed to creating the best gear on the market for all gamers  PC, console or mobile  at an attainable price.” HyperX also announced its “most advanced” gaming headset to date, the HyperX Cloud Revolver S with plug-and-play Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound.

Genvid Technologies is launching a new live demo on the CES floor, showcasing the Genvid SDK and using the game Unreal Tournament Pre-Alpha Season. The demo, using live matches and broadcast to YouTube, allows viewers to click on the video itself to directly interact with the game that they are watching. “Until today, Genvid’s technology was only accessible behind closed doors,” says Genvid CEO Jacob Navok. “No one has done what we’re doing- letting people click a YouTube live-stream and directly interact with the game, dramatically enhancing their viewing experience. For example, our Viewer X-ray mode lets every viewer decide if they want to track players in real-time over the stream. This is only the beginning, and we’re letting the public touch these interactive live-streams for the first time at CES.”

Snakebyte group announced a slate of products and accessories compatible with the upcoming Nintendo Switch console in addition to a new line of accessories compatible with the NES Classic Edition system. Both ranges are expected to begin shipping in Spring 2017. The Switch lineup includes a foldable headset as well as a Nintendo Switch Starter Kit  complete with a carry bag, stereo earbuds, cleaning cloth, screen protector, control caps and game cases.

Enplug and FunWall unveiled a partnership to bring FunWall’s proprietary mobile social gaming platform to Enplug’s digital display technology that gives Enplug’s network the ability to participate in multiplayer tournaments with other gamers in any public location using their mobile phone. "Enplug is always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with digital displays in public spaces. We’re excited about FunWall’s proven capabilities of bringing audience engagement to the next level," said Nanxi Liu, CEO of Enplug.

ON THIS DAY in 2009: Saints Row 2 released for the PC.  
Trivia: Name the character pictured above. (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Later — Chris
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