02/21/19: Motorsport Network is adding to its esports lineup with Codemasters deal

It’s Thursday February 21, 2019 and this is your weekly early morning Esports briefing. For additional longer-form esports news plus jobs, a team directory, glossary, calendar and data, check out our new esports hub updated daily: http://cynopsisesports.com.

Motorsport Network
continues to gas up its lineup of esports titles, this time announcing a new partnership with Codemasters, whose games include the likes of DiRT, GRID, ONRUSH and F1. The partnership revs up with the launch of DiRT Rally 2.0 on Feb. 26, offering 50 of “the most powerful off-road cars ever built to tear through real-life off-road environments from New Zealand, Argentina, Spain, Poland, Australia and the USA, plus eight official circuits from the FIA World Rallycross Championship.” The title, according to the announcement, will serve as the starting point between the companies to create, promote and manage an esports program across Codemasters’ future owned-IP racing games portfolio.
Codemasters is a trailblazing publisher that, by common consent, has defined racing games,” said James Allen, President, Motorsport Network. “Through this formidable alliance, we plan to put Codemasters’ iconic titles at the heart of a new, global esports programme that we can deliver to the very heartland of motor racing’s fan networks.”

As crowds hit Poland for IEM Katowice, ESL announced talent for Fortnite Katowice, the first major event supported by Epic Games and will see all major regions compete for the first time. Taking on microphone duties for the event, which runs through Feb. 24, will be Adam Savage, Mark “Onset” Hatcher, David “Zaccubus” Treacy, Arten “Ballatw” Esa, James “Stress” O’Leary, Martin “MartinCreek” Andersson, Marcos “SpeedyGonzales” Gonzalez, Jason Kaplan and Jakub “Lothar” Szygulski.  
Meanwhile, festival organizers at IEM Katowice detailed plans to bring mobile esports into the equation for the first time there with The Gods of Boom Kick-Off 2019. Competition will mark the first event of the game’s Season 2, will offer a $500,000 prize pool, and culminate in the Gods of Boom event in the summer. Play begins March 1 at noon on the main stage. 
Wizards of the Coast tied up its schedule for this year’s Magic: The Gathering 2019 esports slate, with the year divided between tournaments for physical and digital products. Play begins with The Mythic Championship I on Feb. 22, with other events in England, Spain and Richmond, all leading into the $1 million Magic World Championship in December.
Save the date! The 2019 Esports Upfronts will be held in NYC on April 15.
The NBA 2K League is beefing up its prize pool this season to $1.2 million on the line in 2019, and four opportunities throughout the season for teams to win prize money: three tournaments and the 2019 NBA 2K League Playoffs: The Tipoff tournament with $120,000; The Turn and The Ticket, each with a prize pool of $180,000; and the 2019 NBA 2K League Playoffs with prize pool of $720,000, with the NBA 2K League champions receiving $360,000 from that pool. In addition, the season will now have three types of player contracts for all players who were retained from season one or are drafted in the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft: returning veterans at $37,000, first-round selections in the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft drawing$35,000 and players who are selected in the second round or later of the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft being paid a $33,000 base salary.
StarLadder is officially on deck to host the CS:GO Major at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin. The StarLadder Major will mark the 15th in the game’s history.The main event will run Sept.5-8 at the venue. 

Last week, the Overwatch League commenced its second season which featured 8 new expansion teams from across the world. The rebranded LCS has also been in full swing with 10 of the top esports franchises competing to become the top team in North America. This week, Stream Hatchet leve
rages our historical viewership data to analyze league growth year over year. Here are the insights:
  • Concurrent Viewership for both leagues has declined: Both the OWL and LCS have experienced a decline in avg ccv by at least 10%.
  • OWL is currently more popular than the LCS: Both the OWL’s 2019 peak (20K) and avg (52K) audiences are higher than the LCS.
  • More Teams = More Hours Watched: Although OWL’s peak and avg ccv have declined this season, hours watched increased by 13.5%. The 30% increase in airtime hours from more weekly matches is most likely responsible for the increase.

100 Thieves
wrangled another key partnership, announcing a sponsorship from Totino’s, with the pizza brand now serving as a founding partner of the team’s Call of Duty squad this year. Activation will include content creation such as a new documentary series that goes behind the scenes to showcase the lives of players.
HyperX signed on as the official peripheral and memory and SSD partner of the inaugural ESL Katowice Royale – Featuring Fortnite. All tournament PCs and PlayStation 4 gaming stations will be equipped with HyperX peripherals, including gaming headsets, keyboards, mice, mousepads, memory, and SSDs. The HyperX Esports Truck will also be onsite in Katowice, Poland, entertaining fans on the mobile esports stage for the first time in the history of the global circuit.
The Overwatch League added a blue chip to its portfolio, announcing just before its new season last week that State Farm had signed on as the official insurance provider for the growing OWL. Other non-endemic sponsors currently with the league include Coca-Cola, T-Mobile, and Toyota.
Activision Blizzard is tapping ULT as its newest official merchandise provider for the Overwatch League. ULT had previously been a partner for OWL’s Philadelphia Fusion franchise and produces its own line of clothing as well as merchandise for eUnited and Gankstars.
ESL is getting a rebrand, revealing a new logo, typeface, and brighter colors, anchored by yellow. “Now we have an identity to join all that up. A simpler, more powerful logo. Our own typeface so we can speak up louder. A visual world, made from hidden worlds that only people in our world can spot,” the company said in the announcement. In addition, the league is reclassified its esports leagues and tournaments, designating an “Open” tier for newcomers, a “Challenger” tier for rising stars, and “Masters” for top competitors.
Berlin International Gaming (BIG) announced a multi-year partnership with Red Bull ahead of its first game in the IEM Katowice Legends Stage. The Austrian energy drink brand and marketing agency’s support of BIG will include joint campaigns and events, with more details to be announced. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival
MAR 6, 2019 | 3:30PM -7:15PM | The SVA Theatre, NYC
Register today to hear panels that address the rapid evolution of short form, led by experts from Attn:, Awesomeness, Bleacher Report, Canvas Media Studios, CNE, Kovert Creative, Hollister, One X Studios, Red Bull Media House, Viacom and Whistle. Click here for a peek at some of the colleagues who will be joining you next month.


ESL and the Big Ten Network will partner to stream the BTN League of Legends Season, an online series as part of Riot Games’ College League of Legends Season. Matches culminate in the BTN League of Legends Championship Tournament, beginning on March 28. Teams from each of the 14 Big Ten schools will compete in the BTN League of Legends Season, with the competition being streamed on Caffeine TV, Twitch and YouTube. Two matches will be streamed each Saturday while five teams will go head-to-head in offline competitions throughout the duration of the regular season for a total of seven matches every week.
SPORT1 and Sportradar, are partnering up this year to showcase the newly launched eFootball.Pro League, picking up platform-neutral media rights for live and highlight coverage of the competition’s current season in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The regular season of the eFootball.Pro League, where the players compete in Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) kicked off in December 2018 and runs through until April 2019.

Apex Legends
is the newest Battle Royale title carving out its niche in a crowded genre. Unlike many other game publishers, Apex Legends’ publisher EA Games, chose to keep the title a secret until just before launch. So far, the compact launch window and influencer-based marketing plan seems to have paid off. From the February 4th launch until February 19th, the game attracted more than 25M unique players, over 635K Twitter followers, and became one of the top streamed games on Twitch. But how does Apex Legends’ popularity compare to that of its competitors? To investigate, FanAI compared the followers for the official Twitter of Apex Legends to the official Fortnite, and PUBG handles. FanAI found that 58% of @PlayApex followers also follow either @PUBG, @FortniteGame or both. The vast majority of the Twitter crossover, comes from Fortnite specifically; 51% of all Apex Legends followers on Twitter also follow Epic’s title on the platform. This suggests that Apex Legends has not yet found its unique dedicated audience, but has instead piggybacked off the large fan base of Fortnite through influencers.

Twitch is bringing year five of its annual TwitchCon event back to San Diego this year, where it will settle at the San Diego Convention Center from Sept. 27-29.
The annual celebration of the Twitch community was previously held in San Diego in 2016. Additional TwitchCon 2019 details will be shared in the coming months, including ticket sales, call-for-content, Partner appearances, exhibitors, programming schedule, and more.
Wicked Cool Toys unveiled a new Ninja product line at the 2019 International Toy Fairs in Hong Kong, London, Nuremberg and New York. The company teamed up with Tyler “Ninja” Blevins to deliver a line of play and display collectible figures and emotes, vinyl figures, plush, mystery boxes, role play, accessories, games, and vinyl augmented reality figures featuring “Ninja” that appeal to both kids and collectors, expected to arrive at retail locations in worldwide markets for Fall 2019.
Ubisoft is teaming with Atlas Entertainment to adapt its upcoming pirate adventure game Skull & Bones into a new series. THR writes that the TV adaptation is billed as a female-driven drama set in “the lawless frontier of the Indian Ocean at the end of the golden age of piracy in the 1700s.” Amanda Segel will write the pilot and exec produce. Atlas’ Andy Horwitz and Richard Suckle also will exec produce.

100 Thieves named Mike Sepso, co-founder of Major League Gaming (MLG), and former Activision Blizzard SVP, as a member of the team’s Board of Directors. At 100 Thieves, Sepso will focus on helping the company expand its commercial partnerships and media business, while also advising the management team. “Matt and I met about eight years ago at an event of his, and we immediately hit it off. He’s incredibly talented and motivated, and I was really excited when he approached me about being part of the 100 Thieves’ board of directors,” said Sepso. “100 Thieves is the next step in the evolution of esports organizations, and I look forward to working with them to make esports America’s new pastime.”
OverActive Media announced that Mike Armstrong and Paulo Senra would be joining the company, which serves as the parent company of Splyce, Toronto Defiant, and Montreal Rebellion. Armstrong served as Brand Strategy Lead at Google Canada and will now serve as Vice President, Head of Marketing. Senra will be Vice President of Content and Communications following his role of Head of Public Relations at DAZN.
Esports Business Summit
September 10-12, 2019 | MGM Grand Las Vegas
Join us this September in Las Vegas for the Esports Business Summit. The summit brings together all sectors of the Esports ecosystem for three days of networking, education and inspiration. Attend EBS and you’ll meet and learn from key executives from brand marketing, television, sports and technology who are growing their businesses by leveraging the passionate global audience that Esports delivers.

ON THIS DAY in 1983: TV series That’s Incredible! carries the Videogame Invitational competition from the Twin Galaxies Arcade in Ottumwa, Iowa.

Trivia: Dirk the Daring is the main character for which groundbreaking game? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: In the Call of Duty franchise, the voice of Viktor Reznov is delivered by which Oscar-winning actor, tragic wizard and one-time Dracula? Answer: Gary Oldman. Kudos: Ken Gerlinger-Peach Belt Conference/Augusta; Gabrielle Fredrick-National Geographic/DC; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank

For more news and coverage, check out: http://cynopsisesports.com (updated daily).

Later — Chris
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CYNOPSISJOBS – For More jobs, please visit Cynopsis.com
AD SALES PLANNER/SiriusXM/NYC: Motivated, detail-oriented, organized w/ strong communication skills & displays a willingness to learn and grow in a fast-paced work environment. 3+yrs of exp in media advertising (radio and/or pricing & planning/sales analysis a strong +). Full info HERE (3/7)

Help lead a team of Art Dir, Designers & Motion Designers to develop strong visual narratives that unfold over the course of a campaign. 4-6yrs exp (agency preferred; CPG exp a +) Passion for emerging tech & wide-ranging exp w/ classics (Adobe Creative Suite) Full info HERE (3/2)

/Universal Parks & Resorts/NYC: Mng activity for media promotions in top regional US mkts, internat’l business & TV dvlpmnt projects. Oversee daily project management & execution of Global Media Promotions. 4-7 yrs mktg exp req’d; or equivalent combination of education and exp. Full info HERE (3/1)

/A+E Networks/NY:
Establish the strategy & manage the departmental activities for monetizing network content & assets to drive national ad sales revenue for A+E Networks. Full Info/Apply:  HERE (2/28)

ACCOUNT DIRECTOR/TV one/New York: Responsible for selling the brand strength of the TV One and Cleo TV to advertisers and agencies. Knowledge of cable industry (particular as it relates to AA demo). Strong verbal, written comm, negotiation and presentation skills. Knowledge of project mgmt methods and techniques. 20-30% domestic travel. FULL info HERE (2/28)
VP, ORIGINAL SCRIPTED/ION Media/New York: Candidates must be able to solicit orig scripted programming and evaluate new submissions. Manage orig dev including review series bible, outlines and scripts. Oversee all stages of production. Candidate must have a min 7 yrs experience in television scripted series dev with either a prod co/network in dev and producing scripted shows for networks, particularly dramas. FULL info HERE (2/28)
DIR, SALES DEVELOPMENT, DIGITAL INDUSTRY/ION Media/New York: Seeking sales prof with a focus on adv sales on ION’s broadcast TV platform to the Digital Tech industry. Responsible for generating new adv accts and rev for ION Television. Must have 10yrs TV selling or related advertising sales experience, with knwl of consumer-oriented tech companies and strong client contacts. FULL info HERE (2/28)

Sr WEB MGR /Vin Di Bona Productions/LA: Manage and grow VDBP portfolio of web properties. Develop and manage VDBP digital products (email newsletters, merch store, apps). 5+ yrs of work exp specifically doing digital creative project/prod management. Full info HERE (2/27)

/WSNS Telemundo TV/Chicago: Exp’d & dynamic sales person to negotiate/sell multi-platform solutions incl TV, digital & experiential opps. Min 3 yrs exp work in TV sales or other area of Media Sales incl prospecting new clients & negotiating business proposals/closing deals. FULL info HERE (2/27)

DIRECTOR, DIGITAL SALES RESEARCH/The CW Network/NYC: The CW Network seeks a Director, Digital Sales Research for their Media Sales & Planning team. Must have 6+ years digital research experience. Full info/apply HERE (2/27)

/A+E/LA: Draft & negotiate agreements relating to the development, licensing, and/or prod of scripted programming for A+E Networks portfolio including A+E Studios. 7+ yrs legal exp with a minimum of 3 yrs at a studio or network. Must have scripted exp and be a member of CA or NY Bar(s). Apply HERE (2/26)

/Discovery/LA: Handle deal negotiations, provide legal advice/guidance & draft/review agreements for Discovery Studios prog/prod transactions. 8+ yrs exp working in-house at entertainment company. Full info HERE

LEGAL ADMIN ASST/Reavis Page Jump LLP/NYC: Exp’d admin asst to work w/our attorneys (incl head of entertainment group) fast-paced high-quality collaborative setting. Fast-thinking take ownership type of person for this role to support 2 partners & 1 assoc. 3-5 yrs solid legal support exp a must. Full info HERE (2/26)

LEGAL ASSOCIATE/Reavis Page Jump LLP/NYC: Exp’d associate to work w/head of Media&ent group. Resp for structuring /reviewing/drafting/negotiating transactions primarily in film, TV & new media. 4-6 yrs legal exp and excellent academic history. Full info HERE (2/23)

MGR, DISTRIBUTION STRATEGY/Viacom/NYC: Lead dvlpmnt/implementation of new products & business models that Viacom &/or its distribution partners can pursue to generate value. 2-3 yrs Corp Strategy/Bus. Dvlpmnt, Investment Banking, or Strategy Consulting. Deep understanding/passion for media mkt trends. Full info HERE (2/23)

SR DIRECTOR, SEARCH & PROGRAMMATIC AUDIENCE BUYING/NBCU/Universal City CA: Resp for the planning and execution of all search and programmatic planning and buying. Min 10yrs exp in media/search/paid digital agency, advertising agency, direct marketing, cable/broadcasting or similar media envir. Full info/apply HERE (2/23)

MGR, SEARCH & PROGRAMMATIC AUDIENCE BUYING/NBCU/Universal City: Assist the Sr. Director, Search & Programmatic Audience Buying in the planning and execution of all search and programmatic efforts for NBC. Min 3yrs exp executing programmatic campaigns. HERE (2/22)

/NBC Entertainment/Universal City CA: Assist the Director, Social Audience Buying with the planning and execution of all social planning and buying. Min 3 yrs of exp in media/social/paid digital agency, advertising agency, direct marketing, cable/broadcasting or similar media environment. Full info HERE (2/22)

SUPERVISOR ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT/REV/XP esports/CHI: Help maintain & grow existing business w/current clients; assist bringing new clients on board. Four-six years of agency experience, servicing client accounts on a day-to-day basis. Full info HERE (2/22)


Develop and maintain gameplay systems in a client/server environment.
Senior Gameplay Engineer
Baltimore MD
Supporting, interfacing and cooperating with cross functional teams. Ability to work closely with end users to understand their needs and provide guidance.
Senior Linux Administrator
Austin TX
Expand our robust microservices system using C++, SQL and AWS services.
Lead Server Programmer
Bellevue WA
Make our servers run more efficiently through optimization, automation and monitoring.
Senior Server Programmer
Bellevue WA
Develop identity & access management, account management, eCommerce, game data service, and game launcher, and integrate with 3rd party systems.
Senior Software Engineer
Aliso Viejo CA
Improve the workflows for how we get voice overs and other audio into our existing games.
Audio Software Engineer
Cryptic Studios
Los Gatos CA
Collaborating with other talented programmers, artists, and design teams.
General Software Engineer
Cryptic Studios
Los Gatos CA
Work with other departments to support a user-first player experience.
Senior Server Engineer
Irvine CA
Work with other departments to support a user-first player experience.
Lead Gameplay Engineer
Irvine CA
Help drive content development including but not limited to product messaging and benefits, tech blogs, white papers, case studies, social posts, email copy and videos.
Platform Product Marketing Manager
Niantic Inc.
San Francisco CA
Design and code innovative, scalable, and robust features.
Senior Software Engineer, Core Games
Pocket Gems
San Francisco CA
Provide technical guidance and coaching to the team in software engineering best practices while demonstrating this as an individual contributor.
Backend Software Engineering Lead, War Dragons
Pocket Gems
San Francisco CA
Knowing when to push back on Product decisions that don’t align well around how we monetize cosmetic player content.
Lead Game Designer – League of Legends, Player Immersion & Experience
Riot Games
Los Angeles CA
Design infrastructure architecture for use across Riot.
Senior Datacenter Engineer, Infrastructure Engineer
Riot Games
Los Angeles CA
Build infrastructure to support AWS-based Cloud services and infrastructure, managing the configuration as well as ensuring systems & services are leveraging best practices & standards.
Software Engineer, DevOps
Niantic Inc.
Los Angeles CA

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