02/13/20: ESL extended its course with both the BIG EAST and West Coast Conference

 

 

 
 

Thursday February 13, 2020

Good morning! This is your weekly Esports Briefing.

ESL is shoring up ESL Collegiate
, locking in a three-year agreement with the BIG EAST Conference while extending its partnership with the West Coast Conference for the Spring 2020 Season, where participating teams will compete in League of Legends. With the BIG EAST deal, the conference will be integrated into each season of ESL Collegiate programming to expand participating schools’ broadcasts, create additional on-campus events, and add new game titles to the program. Participating BIG EAST schools include Butler University, DePaul University, Georgetown University, Marquette University, Providence College, Seton Hall, St. John’s University, and Villanova University. Competition for League of Legends will kick off on February 22. The WCC’s ESL Collegiate Spring 2020 season will begin on February 16, concluding with the broadcasted playoffs on March 29.

COMPETITION
Meanwhile, Collegiate Rocket League is returning to the Final Four as part of another Spring Season, with play running live on Twitch every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 8p through February 19. In addition to League Play, the Spring Season of CRL will feature the first-ever Conference Clash on February 24 – 26 where the Eastern and Western Conference will face off. Playoffs will go down after Spring Break on March 16-18 with the top three teams from each conference advancing to exhibition matches live at a special fan activation held by ELEAGUE within the NCAA Final Four Fan Fest presented by Capital One in Atlanta on April 4-5. ELEAGUE’s live streaming coverage will be available across digital platforms, with a one-hour documentary highlighting the best moments set to air on TBS in the days following the activation.

Germany’s Bundesliga is expanding its eFootball tournaments across the world with the launch of the Virtual Bundesliga International Series 2020. As part of the competition, online and offline tournaments will take place in multiple countries as they aim to identify the top players from Asia and the Americas. The finalists will win a trip to Germany to compete in the VBL International Final. The VBL International Series will kick off with Regional Qualifiers hosted in several countries including Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Brunei, the Philippines, Cambodia, Singapore, East Timor and Vietnam in Asia, as well as Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, the USA and Canada in the Americas region.

Intel Extreme Masters returns to the Australia in August with IEM Melbourne, the IEM tournament that sees sixteen teams compete for a $250,000 prize pool on Aug. 22 and 23. As well as being part of the new and exciting ESL Pro Tour, IEM Melbourne 2020 is also part of the Intel Grand Slam, a race between some of the top teams in the world to be the first to win four or more ESL and DreamHack Masters-level tournaments.

As DreamHack prepares to descend upon Anaheim next week, the festival announced a range of 122 exhibitors for the three-day weekend, starting Feb.21. DreamHack Anaheim also announced additional entertainment for the three-day festival at the Anaheim Convention Center. Included in the festivities will be a major hockey game competition live on stage with partners the NHL and North America Scholastic Esports Federation; a D&D speedrunning game debut in collaboration with Wizards of the Coast Dungeons and Dragons; celebrity esports / entertainment hosts and judges. “I cannot express our excitement at bringing DreamHack to the great city of Anaheim for our first-ever West Coast festival weekend — especially because it comes on the heels of our 25th-anniversary celebration,” said DreamHack Co-CEO Marcus Lindmark. “This debut event in Anaheim will be a not-to-be-missed experience for fans of esports and all things gaming.”

ELEAGUE is gearing up to host an esports competition featuring a roster of pro athletes ahead of NBA All-Star 2020 in Chicago. The event will take place on Feb. 14 as part of the festivities, and ELEAGUE will hold a special television taping including the celebs as they play a basketball-themed video game to raise money for charities. Turner Sports’ NBA analysts – including former NBA players – will contribute to the production. More info is expected to be announced later today.

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PUBG is taking precautions as a result of the coronavirus, announcing plans to postpone April’s PGS: Berlin event with the dates and times of regional qualifiers also subject to change. The company affirmed that the plan to host four PUBG global esports events in 2020 remains unchanged, the company is exploring options for when a replacement event can be held. “We will provide updates once we have a better understanding of the best options for esports fans, players, and staff. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this situation,” the company said in a statement.

PlayVS will become a multi-year partner Riot Games to serve as the exclusive provider for competitive League of Legends leagues for high school competition around the country. Each year will consist of two competitive seasons with playoffs to declare a state champion at the end of each. “PlayVS’ unique approach combines the recognition of state-sanctioned sports with an innovative technology platform, providing a great value for student competitors and a sustainable business model to ensure a stable future for high school esports,” said Matt Biris, Scholastic Program Lead at Riot Games.

TRENDS
One of the oldest and most influential game titles in streaming and esports is World of Warcraft. A unique aspect of the game’s social impact is the incorporation of PVE dungeon raids as a competitive experience.
This year, two esports organizations Method and Complexity hosted shoutcasting channels and influencer co-streams as several guilds raced to be the first to finish the raid. Here are this week’s insights on the Race to World’s First:
· While Complexity won the race, Method won the eyeballs: Method generated 70% of the total competition Hours Watched.
· UGC vs Premium Broadcast: While co-streaming has emerged as a popular format for audiences to consume content, WoW viewers were focused primarily on premium (non-UGC) channels – 63% of the total audience.
· Complexity UGC impact: While the larger audience watched primarily on premium channels, Complexity fans consumed most of their content through co-streams – 66% of the Complexity audience.
For more on audience analytics and streaming, visit www.StreamHatchet.com.

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ACTIVATION
Pringles is stacking its activation plans on the LEC, signing on to serve as the Official Savoury Snacks Partner for the spring split. Pringles will once again run an exclusive promotion via can codes through May 5, with fans only competing against the fans who entered a code that exact day. Prizes are set to include: Hextech Skins EUR 50 Riot Point Vouchers; and Hextech Chest & Keys. In addition, the LEC partnered with Pringles to offer 10 winners an exclusive money-can’t-buy experience at the LEC Studios in Berlin featuring a behind the scenes tour, tickets, meet and greets and more.

Gillette and Twitch are bringing back the “Gillette Gaming Alliance,” a team of five Twitch streamers from around the world who will partner with Gillette to create content for their fans, selecting: Dr Lupo, NateHill, DogDog, Alanzoka, and Elded. In addition, members of the Gillette Gaming Alliance will support the “Bits for Blades” program, which offers fans the opportunity to earn Twitch Bits. As a result, Twitch users who buy Gillette products through Gillette.com will enter a unique promo code at check out and will receive an email code following their purchase to redeem their Twitch Bits. This year’s program brings a leveled-up value proposition for consumers, including 2,000 bits for $10+ spent, 5,000 bits for $25+ spent, and 10,000 bits for $50+ spent.

DreamHack and ESL North America recruited the US Navy for a joint partnership that will see the military branch designated an Official Festival Partner at DreamHack Anaheim on February 21-23 as well as DreamHack Dallas on May 22-24. Within the U.S. Navy’s experiential activation onsite, the US Navy will host a LAN station, where fans can challenge Naval officers and veterans to compete in a variety of game titles. As part of this partnership, the US Navy will serve as the first-ever Presenting Partner of BYOC at both Anaheim and Dallas and will be integrated with all aspects of the platform, complete with a dedicated Navy row, Navy-sponsored BYOC tournaments, and officers engaging with BYOC-ers all weekend. In addition, there will also be Naval IT/Engineers available onsite to assist with BYOC set-up and take-down.

On the team front, Overwatch League franchise Philadelphia Fusion locked in a partnership with the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute in a five-year deal that will see the institute become the official medical provider of the team and a sponsor of the Fusion Arena. Philadelphia Fusion’s players will be monitored by a team of physicians to ensure good health.

Envy Gaming announced a season long partnership with Greyhound. The deal will see Greyhound provide exclusive intercity bus transportation onboard its fleet to Envy’s professional esports teams during the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League matches played in North Texas in 2020. “When looking at the esports industry, we realized that our brands align in many ways: modernizing entertainment, utilizing new technologies, and delivering a product that’s accessible and convenient to the greatest number of people,” said Lourdes Brown, Director of Marketing at Greyhound. “We’re proud to be partnering with Envy Gaming and excited to provide fans across North America a better, more affordable travel option to see their favorite teams this season.”

Omen by HP unveiled a partnership with esports host Eefje “Sjokz” Depoortere, with multiple collaborations in the works. “We are thrilled to announce we’re teaming up with celebrated League esports host @sjokz!” the company Tweeted. “We’re planning some pretty snazzy collaborations this year, so follow her and stay tuned…”

Twitch Rivals is playing up NBA All-Star Week with an NBA 2K All-Star Showdown on Friday in Chicago. Twitch announced that both the US Army and MTN Dew Game Fuel would serve as sponsors of the event.

The NBA 2K League struck a partnership with Panera Bread ahead of the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft, which will be held Saturday, Feb. 22 at 6p at Terminal 5 in New York City and livestreamed on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels. The partnership marks Panera Bread’s first with a professional esports league and the NBA 2K League’s first with a restaurant partner. As part of the partnership, Panera Bread will deliver food to NBA 2K League hosts, broadcasters and players during live broadcasts. In addition, each week during the season on the league’s livestream and social media channels, the NBA 2K League will present “Rookies Who Deliver Presented by Panera Bread.” The series will tell the stories of the 2020 NBA 2K League rookie class on and off the virtual court while highlighting standout rookie performances throughout the season.

Immortals Gaming Club named the Southern California Toyota Dealers Association as the Official and Exclusive Automotive Partner of Immortals, IGC’s League of Legends brand. As part of the agreement, the Southern California Toyota Dealers Association will receive prominent logo placement on all Immortals LCS players’ jerseys, host extensive and novel onsite Toyota-branded fan experiences at Immortals LCS matches, and work with Immortals to promote Toyota’s full line of cars, trucks and SUV’s. The Southern California Toyota Dealers Association will also collaborate with IGC to develop and distribute “Inside Immortals,” a behind the scenes, multi-episode docuseries detailing the personal and professional lives of the Immortals players, coaches and staff.

G2 Esports announced a partnership renewal with Logitech G. “G2 is all about creating immersive and memorable experiences for fans through collaborations with our partners,” said Carlos ‘ocelote’ Rodriguez, CEO of G2 Esports. “We are excited to expand our partnership with Logitech to provide entertaining activations and products for the #G2ARMY and our players. 2020 is going to be a year to remember for G2 Esports and we are excited to keep winning with Logitech.”

Monumental Sports & Entertainment and the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates allied for a partnership focused on the “growth and inclusivity of esports on a global level.” As part of this global partnership, MSE will amplify the message of UAE-USA United, an Embassy initiative to foster and promote the deep bilateral relationship and cultural connections between the two nations. UAE-USA United will also serve as the presenting partner of a Caps Gaming Esports Tournament as well as the MSE Weekly Esports Show. The initiative will also have brand recognition within Twitch, virtual in-game signage, branded content, and practice facility signage for Wizards District Gaming. In addition, UAE-USA United will sponsor a unique esports tournament.

PLATFORMS
Upcoming esports reality show Gamemaster announced that Wil Wheaton will serve as the Commissioner and host of the series, which will debut on a streaming service in the spring. The nine-episode show spotlights 12 amateur esports contestants from across the country who will live together in a house while competing across more than two dozen video games until the final two battle it out at the finale to grab the $100K cash prize and claim the title. “Gamemaster takes the love of gaming and elevates it to a whole new level through the first immersive, multi-platform, head-to-head competition for both casual and diehard gaming fans,” said show creator and executive producer John Colp. “Our players won’t play the same game from noon to night. They will play different games throughout and, at the end, the person who has the best cumulative score will be crowned the champion.”

Method, a global esports team and esports content creator, announced the launch of a continuous, 24 hours per day, all year round Twitch broadcast. Method will utilize their Twitch channel twitch.tv/method to broadcast non-stop entertainment, including tournaments, shows, podcasts and guest streams. Method Mayhem will feature a number of Player versus Player (PvP) competitions to be broadcasted exclusively on the platform with kick-off events that will be two World of Warcraft 5v5 Arena tournaments, for the European region (February 14 & 15) and North American region (February 15 & 16).

TaKeTV and Blizzard Entertainment are teaming up to produce the 2020 Overwatch Contenders season in Europe and North America, with TaKeTV producing and broadcasting European and North American matches live on YouTube. “Overwatch has been dear to us ever since we produced the first-ever offline tournament after the game’s official release in 2016, so this means a great deal,” says David Kugelmann, CPO of TaKeTV. “We’re happy to see the growth of Overwatch both as a game and as an esports title, and we’re looking forward to an exciting year with thrilling matches, great talent, and an amazing community.”

Livestreaming organization Team Kitty raised $10,000 to donate to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Funds were raised at the culmination of a two week-long streaming campaign, starting on January 23, with a livestream from Team Kitty founder Kristen “KittyPlays” Michaela, and concluding on February 4, World Cancer Day. The campaign saw over 7,200 hours of watched content. In addition to livestreaming, Team Kitty also partnered with BCRF to design and sell exclusive merchandise, including clothing and PopSockets, that support research with each sale.

READYUP GAMES OF THE WEEK
 

TEAMS

Overtime acquired Evade, a leading Fortnite organizations, and announced that the company formed a new team, Overtime Gaming, that will serve as the home of Overtime’s esports and gaming-related initiatives. According to the announcement, the moves “gives Overtime a formidable roster of YouTubers, streamers and pros with an audience of more than 10 million followers. Overtime Gaming will now rank as one of North America’s top 10 teams in the FNCS power rankings, based on players’ individual pro points.” Overtime Gaming will also create lifestyle content via OvertimeTW, a team Overtime formed in December to create content around gamers who play the 2K video game.

INDUSTRY
After 25 years, video game industry personality and Game Awards founder Geoff Keighley is bowing out of E3, which is once again taking place in LA this June. Keighley had been the face behind the event’s popular E3 Coliseum, and stated that “I’ve debated what to say about E3 2020. While I want to support the developers who will showcase their work, I also need to be open and honest with you, the fans, about precisely what to expect from me. I have made the difficult decision to decline to produce E3 Coliseum. For the first time in 25 years, I will not be participating in E3. I look forward to supporting the industry in other ways and at other events in the future.”

Riot Games selected EverHive and IES to manage its contingent workforce program, WOAR (Workers On Assignment at Riot). EverHive will now oversee Riot Games’ overall contingent workforce function to “ensure greater time and budget efficiencies as well as strategically grow its program.” “IES is excited to partner with a company that paves the way for its contingent workers by creating a positive corporate culture of diversity and inclusion for all workers, contingent or not,” says Kara Hertzog, president of IES. “Riot knows how to connect with and retain its contingent workforce talent by ensuring those workers feel just as valued and engaged as their employees.”

Nerd Street Gamers tapped Populous, the global architecture firm behind some of the world’s largest sporting arenas and esports venues, as its architect for the nationwide expansion of Localhost esports facilities. Populous will serve as the design partner for future Localhosts, helping to create an exciting and social atmosphere for fans and competitors alike. “Populous has the vision the industry needs to create exciting, world-class experiences for players and spectators,” said John Fazio, Founder and CEO of Nerd Street Gamers. “We’re incredibly excited to unleash the incredible talent of this team of artists as they help create inclusive spaces for the esports community.”

Beat The Bomb unveiled the launch of a second set of games, as well as the expansion of its flagship NYC location, and the announcement that the company is expanding in 2020 to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. “Beat The Bomb is reimagining the intersection of technology and human social connection,” said company founder Alexander Patterson, the former Chief Marketing Officer of obstacle-event series Tough Mudder. “Technology can be very isolating. Our goal is to use it to bring people together.” The one-hour experience, see players suit up in hazmat gear and progress through 4 hi-tech game rooms, to earn time on their “Bomb Clock” in the 5th and final room, The Bomb Room as part of its “’live action esports” experience.

ROSTER MOVES

Estars Commissioner Christian Bishop departed the company to serve as Chief Revenue Officer for Method, where he will look to increase the team’s roster of influencers and employees while overseeing the division.

Events DC hired Neil Johnson as Director of Esports. He joins after serving as Director of Global Sales for MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas.

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SALES DIRECTOR >>
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INTEGRATED MARKETING MGR >>
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DIRECTOR, PRICING STRATEGY & INVENTORY >>
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WRITER PRODUCER EDITOR >>
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SPECIALIST, MUSIC & MEDIA CLEARANCES >>
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DIRECTOR MEDIA RELATIONS >>
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SR DIRECTOR, CONSUMER MARKETING >>
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El Segundo CA

https://square-enix-games.com/en_GB/jobs

Collaborate with cross-disciplinary teams (including Game Designers, Artists, Animators, and Producers) to shape player experiences.
Senior Software Engineer – Legends of Runeterra
Riot Games
Los Angeles CA

https://www.riotgames.com/en/work-with-us/jobs

Partner with project leads and quality leads in defining and grooming high-level user stories.
Senior Software Engineer – Player Platform, Riot SDK (Console)
Riot Games
Los Angeles CA

https://www.riotgames.com/en/work-with-us/jobs

Work collaboratively with the UX team and a team of artists and engineers to carry design from concept into final implementation.
Visual Artist for Game UI
Tencent
Los Angeles CA

https://careers.tencent.com/en-us/home.html

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