02/06/20: Organizers behind Flashpoint laid out plans for the new CS:GO league

 

 

 
 

Thursday February 6, 2020

Good morning! This is your weekly Esports Briefing.

Flashpoint is open for business.
Described as the world’s first Counter-Strike: Global Offensive league owned and run by team organizations, the new league made its launch official, set to be played offline in a live studio environment with two seasons annually. The prize pool will top $2,000,000 this year with FACEIT tapped as league operator.

The league is founded by a heavyweight roster of teams that include MIBR, Cloud9, OverActive Media, Gen.G, Dignitas, and c0ntact Gaming, who have structured the league to provide the highest revenue share potential to teams of any major esport league. In addition, the league touts that players will receive the highest revenue share in esports, the largest revenue guarantee in CS:GO, and will have equal representation to the teams on the league’s Board of Governors.

Duncan “Thorin” Shields will act as Creative Director and on-air talent while Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles will be making his CS:GO casting debut in addition to the return of Auguste “Semmler” Massonnat. The talent lineup also includes Dan “DDK” Kapadia and James Bardolph, as well as Freya Spiers, Jason “moses” O’Toole, Anders Blume, and Sean Gares.

COMPETITION

Evo 2020 announced its lineup of games for its annual gathering
, with a roster that will include the return of Marvel vs Capcom 2 for a special celebratory “tournament of champions” on its 20th anniversary where eight of the game’s greatest players will compete. Making the cut this year will be: Street Fighter 5 Champion Edition; Super Smash Bros. Ultimate; Tekken 7; SoulCalibur 6; Dragon Ball FighterZ; Samurai Shodown; Under Night In-Birth; ad Granblue Fantasy Versus. Evo 2020 takes place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas from July 31-Aug. 2.

Call of Duty Challengers announced plans for dangle $1 million in prizes for the first season of the amateur series. The sister competition to Call of Duty League features three major Challengers events, running Feb 29-March 1 (Paris), March 21-22 (Toronto) and May 21-24 (Atlanta), in addition to smaller tournaments.

Esports Arena is launching a “semi-professional gaming ecosystem,” a new series that will provide gaming contracts and sponsorships to forty individual competitors and titled Esports Arena Series E. The slate debuts in May 2020 with qualifiers starting today. Additionally, Esports Arena will expand its footprint of competitive video gaming facilities in select supercenters, opening eleven new in-store arenas by April 2020 with the support of Xbox. The inaugural season of Esports Arena Series E will feature game titles Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. All locations will have their own professional player in both game titles who will compete live across all twenty Esports Arenas throughout a 20-week series. Players contracted by Esports Arena will represent a premier brand, including: Cheez-It, G Fuel, Intel, MTN DEW AMP GAME FUEL, Nerf, Pop Tarts, Pringles and Rice Krispies Treats.

DreamHack is hosting Madden 20 tournaments over the course of its three-day festivals in Anaheim (Feb. 21-23) and Dallas (May 22-24). The events will be open for any competitor over the age of 16 attending DreamHack Anaheim or DreamHack Dallas with prizes totaling $25,000. “We are so thrilled to include this event in our Anaheim debut in February, and for our return to Dallas in May,” said DreamHack Co-CEO Marcus Lindmark. “Both of these cities have such great passion for both esports and traditional sports, which will make these epic events.”

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, NetherRealm Studios and Intersport are beefing up the fatality roster, with the Mortal Kombat 11 Pro Kompetition championship finale, Final Kombat 2020, set to take place on March 8. Finalists will square off at Chicago’s Park West theatre and bring together the top sixteen Mortal Kombat 11 players from around the world, including regular season tournament winners from North America, Latin America, Europe, Australia and the Middle East, along with one finalist from the Last Chance Qualifier event to be held on March 7 at the Ignite Gaming Lounge in Skokie. All sixteen Kombatants will then compete in Final Kombat for their share of the $100,000 prize pool.

The PUBG Global Series laid out its plans for the first of four PUBG esports events, PGS: Berlin, will take place at Messe Berlin from March 31-April 12. A total of 32 teams will compete at each of the three PGS events. The top four teams from the most recent global competition will automatically qualify for the next event. The remaining 28 slots will be filled by teams who participate in regional qualifiers in one of the six regions, including Korea, China, Japan, Europe, Americas, and Asia Pacific. To crown the 2020 PUBG World Champions, 16 teams will battle it out at PGC 2020. The top four teams from the third PGS event will automatically qualify for PGC. The remaining 12 spots will be filled by the highest ranked teams based on the sum of points scored in the Grand Finals from all three PGS events. Finally, building off the $6 million prize pool and crowdfunding efforts from PGC 2019, the first three PGS events will feature a prize pool of $500,000 each, while PGC will award $2,000,000

The Rocket League World Championship is gassing up for a trip to Texas where the event will take place this year at Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, from April 24-26. A dozen teams will compete, with two full playoff bracket and best-of-seven elimination games.

It’s deadline day and you have until midnight tonight to join the most respected B2B sports awards program. Enter The Cynopsis Sports Media Awards and make plans to join us as we celebrate finalists and announce winners on April 23rdin NYC at an awards breakfast of champions. Click here to throw your hat in the ring!

Multiple reports, including VPEsports, have a potential new structure for the 2020-21 Dota Pro Circuit that would see Valve eliminate Minor tournaments and decrease its slate of Major tournaments from five to three, and subsequently open a two-tiered regional league system. The new-look league would then feature a tier-one and tier-two bracket, with relegation and promotion systems in place.

Torque Esports Corp.’s tournament and broadcast operations group, UMG Media, announced an official partnership with Xbox Game Studios to operate and broadcast the Gears 5 Esports Challenger Series Finals. As part of the deal, UMG’s studio team is streaming the official Gears Esports Challenger Series Finals every Wednesday for both North America and Latin America. Broadcasts began on Jan. 22 and run through to the end of the season. “UMG’s commitment to the Gears community made them the ideal partner for this production,” Roddy Adams, Director of Partnerships at Microsoft said. “Our goal is to create a home to showcase the up-and-coming talent in our game through this weekly stream. Their group possesses the background knowledge and expertise to make this broadcast a success for our players and viewers.”

TRENDS
The first month of the year offers strong indicators into trends that will follow in later months. Already, YouTube has secured major media rights for both the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League, and Twitch partnered with the NFL for an activation around the Superbowl. This week, Stream Hatchet analyzes the top 10 peak moments on Twitch and YouTube Gaming in January 2020.
· While the competition is close, the top YouTube channel pulls ahead of the top Twitch channel: Free Fire Brasil (YouTube) generated 16.2K more peak concurrents than the Grefg (Twitch).
· Esports vs Influencers: Esports Tournaments continue to attract larger audiences in comparison to influencer events. 6 of the top 10 peak channels were from esports and competitive gaming broadcasts.
· Nintendo’s Opportunity: The popular gaming publisher’s titles accounted for 30% of the peak events. Epic follows Nintendo with 20% of the peak channels.
For more insights, analysis and live streaming data, visit us at: www.StreamHatchet.com

Here’s to Top Women in Media!
May we
know them.
May we
be them.
May we
NOMINATE them.

You don’t have to be a woman to recognize the
extraordinary women moving our industry forward.
NOMINATE YOUR COLLEAGUE TODAY

Nomination deadline= Thursday, April 16.
(sponsored by Turnkey Search)

ACTIVATION

Coca-Cola signed on with NASCAR in a multi-year entitlement sponsorship
for season 11 of the eNASCAR iRacing esports series, which returns on Feb. 11. The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will offer an increased prize pool of more than $300,000 this season, with the return of live telecasts on NBCSN. On TV, the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will return to NBCSN this season for six races during the series’ Playoffs, with the winner snagging $100,000. The new season will also now see the 40 drivers and 20 teams competing in the series will earn cash prizes throughout the season. The season kickoff takes place at the virtual Daytona International Speedway on Feb. at 9p across Facebook, Twitch, YouTube and eNASCAR.com.

The Washington Justice tied up a deal with DreamSeat LLC and its affiliates, Zipchair and ZipchairGaming, to serve as the official gaming chair supplier of the team. DreamSeat will supply the Justice with its Xpression gaming chairs in the Justice’s new practice facility and on the stages of The Anthem and the Entertainment and Sports Arena, where the Justice will compete against other city-based Overwatch teams at its five homestand weekends this 2020 season. The Justice will kick off its homestands February 22-23, 2020 at The Anthem.

PLATFORMS

Quibi is gearing up for FaZe Up
, a new interactive series with esports heavyweight FaZe Clan, produced by entertainment and sports media company Whistle. Utilizing its interactive mobile technology, Quibi – along with key members of the FaZe Clan – will open up one potential spot on the FaZe Clan team. Then, Quibi subscribers will uniquely be able to submit a video pleading their case for a chance to join the team. Quibi subscribers will then vote through the Quibi app for six people that deserve a shot at gamer glory. From there, contestants will travel to the FaZe Clan mansion to go through a series of real-life competitions. “Over the past 10 years, FaZe Clan has not only contributed to the growth of the gaming lifestyle and the esports community, but we have broken barriers and are not afraid to disrupt the status quo,” said FaZe Clan Head of Content Oluwafemi Okusanya. “In 2020, we plan to do the same with content creation and media distribution. The ‘FaZe Up’ show represents our next chapter in content creation with our first premium production effort and in collaboration with innovative partners like Whistle and Quibi.”

Ahead of the launch of Overwatch League this weekend, the league has launched Stats Lab, sponsored by State Farm is move to provide fans with access to current and historical data that the game’s producers and statisticians use, segmented into four major categories: Players, Heroes, Matches, and Teamfights. According to the announcement, the Players tool features player-centric statistics that include career ranks, totals and records, while tools in the Matches tab lays out info such as map streaks and records. The Overwatch League’s 2020 season kicks with the New York Excelsior and Dallas Fuel hosting live matches. Fans can watch matches online on YouTube.

READYUP GAMES OF THE WEEK
 

TEAMS
Misfits Gaming Group is opening a $1.35 million, 18,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters in Boca Raton, backed by Palm Beach County’s Business Development Board in cooperation with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and other government agencies. The team will receive over $200,000 in grants and tax refunds from the local and state government to fund the new facility, which will become a training and performance center for its Call of Duty League and Overwatch League teams as well as office space for Misfits and its international startup incubator program MSF/IO. The company will create 30 new jobs with average salaries of $95,500. “Thanks to the state of Florida, we’re excited to be opening our headquarters in Boca Raton next year,” said Ben Spoont, CEO and co-founder of Misfits Gaming Group. “Boca Raton will be our base of operations for our global esports teams, as well as our 2 Florida-based franchised esports teams, the Florida Mayhem and Florida Mutineers. Through these local teams, we’ll be running several large-scale esports events in the state throughout the year, in addition to college tournaments and community events.”

Real Madrid star Gareth Bale announced plans to launch a new esports team titled ellevenesports, announcing on Twitter than the new org would focus on FIFA and adding content creators to the tea. In addition, the new organization was also recruiting new players for as many as 11 different esport titles that range from Fortnite, Apex Legends and PUBG to CSGO, Call of Duty and Overwatch. Other titles include Dota 2, Rainbow Six, Rocket League and Streetfighter.

The Philadelphia Fusion are tapping the talents of Nerd Street Gamers to produce the 2020 homestands for Philadelphia’s Overwatch League team with the Met in Philadelphia and the Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City booked for February and May. NSG will be handling all aspects of production, including in-venue experience, creative, infrastructure, security and staffing.

INDUSTRY
A new national survey from the Entertainment Software Association found that six in 10 Americans believe video games bring joy through play. The data comes with the launch of the Game Generation from the org, a national campaign “highlighting the power of play and the positive impact of video games on players’ lives, their families, and across society.” The initiative will feature the benefits experienced by video game play in homes, classrooms, the workplace, and beyond. ESA’s latest data reveals that 73% of Americans play video games to relieve stress, in stark contrast to trends showing that consumers are reevaluating their relationship with technology in an increasingly ‘always-on’ world. Other findings:
· A majority (73%) of parents view the experience their children have with video games to be beneficial in their educational development.
· Nearly two thirds of Americans (63%) agree that problem solving can be developed or improved by playing video games.
· Games help bring people together, as most gamers (65%) play with others or online.
· 56% of Americans believe that video games can create accessible experiences for people with different physical abilities.
· More than half (52%) of Americans agree that teamwork and collaboration can be developed or improved by playing video games.

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On This Day
2001; Paper Mario is released in North America.

Trivia
Before her stay in Frozen and The Good Place, who voiced the role of Lucy Stillman in Assassin’s Creed II? (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
In what year was CS:GO released? Answer: 2012. Kudos: Chris Davies-Virgin/London; Glen Ross/DC: Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

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