02/25/21: HP announced that it had acquired HyperX


Medias First Morning Read


Thursday February 25, 2021

Good morning! This is your weekly Esports Brief.
HP Inc. unveiled a definitive agreement to acquire HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company. HyperX’s product portfolio includes a range of gaming peripherals, including headsets, keyboards, mice, mouse pads, USB microphones, and console accessories.

“HyperX is a leader in peripherals whose technology is trusted by gamers around the world and we’re thrilled to welcome their outstanding team to the HP family,” said Enrique Lores, President and CEO, HP Inc. “We continue to advance our leadership in Personal Systems by modernizing compute experiences and expanding into valuable adjacencies. We see significant opportunities in the large and growing peripherals market, and the addition of HyperX to our portfolio will drive new sources of innovation and growth for our business.”

Under the terms of the agreement, HP will pay $425 million, subject to customary working capital and other adjustments, to acquire HyperX’s gaming peripherals portfolio. Kingston will retain the DRAM, flash, and SSD products for gamers and enthusiasts.

The National Hockey League is partnering with DreamHack Sports Games to produce online and live esport tournaments under the NHL Gaming World Championship umbrella. As part of the multiyear relationship, DreamHack Sports Games will now be charged with producing the league’s esport events through production of content, live streams from tournaments, and influencer-driven competitions. The parties will collaboratively approach the sponsor market and lean on DreamHack Sports Games’ relationships with brands, including those in the endemic categories and across international territories. The 2021 NHL Gaming World Championship, which is expected to launch in March, will have a new look this year as it expands on the Hockey Ultimate Team format and aligns more closely with the League’s on-ice product.

Speaking of which, DreamHack Sports Games also revealed a new, long-term collaboration regarding eAllsvenskan, beginning in 2021 that will serve as part of the EA SPORTS FIFA Global Series. SEF represents the 32 football clubs in Sweden’s top two football divisions — 17 currently have active teams in the virtual league, eAllsvenskan.

BlizzConline saw the Overwatch League reveal its course for the 2021 season, which will feature 208 matches during the regular season, in addition to four tournaments. Play for the two divisions will launch April 16 with the Outlaws/Fuel and the Shock/Gladiators. The league is altering its broadcast times to better cater to its fans, as all live broadcasts featuring teams playing in the West will now start at noon PT, while broadcasts featuring teams playing in the East will start at 5p China Standard Time. This season a total of $4,250,000 is up for grabs, with prizing split between tournaments and the playoffs.

Ubisoft updated plans for its Rainbow Six Siege 2021 esports structure, and announced that the postponed Six Invitational will now take place in May. The Six Invitational will now replace the Season 2021 Six Major Of May with a prize pool of $3 million.

Game developer and publisher Garena plotted the 2021 Free Fire ‘esports roadmap’ where the Free Fire World Series returns this year with two editions that will take place in April and November. In addition, the slate will now include a new event called Free Fire All Stars. The slate begins with the play-ins on April 24.

Next month, the EBS team is producing the Esports Business Summit University: 2-day virtual conference focused on the business of collegiate esports. We’ll go inside topics such as sponsorships, scholarships, recruitment, funding, and so much more. Hear from the West Coast Conference, CSL Esports, EGF, Learfield IMG, Skillshot Media, WWSEF/NASEF, Mountain West Conference, BoomTV/AVGL, NIRSA, NACE, FACEIT, Nerd Street Gamers, Twitch and a keynote from former NFL Pro Bowler Ahman Green from Lakeland University Esports Program. It’s going to be an incredible learning opportunity and we hope you’ll join us. Ticket prices increase one week from today (March 1), so don’t delay – register now!

VALORANT Esports Team launched VCT Game Changers. The new program will supplement the competitive season by creating new opportunities and exposure for women and other marginalized genders within VALORANT esports. It consists of two core initiatives. VCT Game Changers Series, a set of top tier competitions taking place in multiple regions around the world during 2021, kick off with the North American event in March. VCT Game Changers Academy includes monthly tournaments giving players more opportunities at the semi-pro and grassroots level.

The Super Smash Bros. World Tour is looking to return in 2021 after cancelling plans a year ago. The setup will blend online qualifiers with offline invitational tournaments this Spring. Circuits for both Smash Ultimate and Smash Melee will conclude in the Smash World Tour Finals at the end of the year. The Finals will include a $75,000 prize pool for each game in addition to $60,000 in prizes during the various Regional Finals events.

This week, Stream Hatchet measured the top live stream genres across Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming. The top genres were Battle Royale, First-Person Shooter, and MOBA. Popular titles like League of Legends, CS:GO, and Call Of Duty fall into these various categories. Over the past six months, these genres have combined to fall over 3% in total hours watched. The MOBA genre was the only one to increase while the other two each dropped over 5%. Their total viewership decreased from 1.35B hours watched in August 2020 to 1.30B in Jan 2021.

The recent surge of strategy, party, and open-world games likely contributed to the viewership falloff from the top genres. Content on live streaming platforms is as diverse as ever causing audiences to spread across many genres. However, titles like COD: Warzone or VALORANT provided sustained spikes in viewership for certain categories. Heading into Q2, trendy games like Valheim, and previously Among Us, may be susceptible to major decreases if they can’t produce new content regularly. This could push more viewership back to top genres like Battle Royale, First-Person Shooter, and MOBA.

To keep up with the latest trends of live streaming genres, please visit www.streamhatchet.com/insights.


Call for Speakers Now Open
We’d like to hear your ideas on program content + invite you to submit a speaker proposal.

Key focus areas: Brand activation & working with sponsors, Content & streaming, Capitalizing on lifestyle opportunities, Data & Technology, Diversity & Inclusion, Experiential engagement, Future forecasts, HS/collegiate & amateur esports, Investment opportunities, Licensing, Production, Teams & Leagues, Venues and more.


Twitch Rivals North America and Dunkin’ are forming a combo, naming Dunkin’ as the Official Fan Fuel of the competitive gaming series, launching custom activations and competitions for Twitch Rivals tournaments, including custom Twitch extensions that allow viewers make predictions and win prizes, sponsored streams and a speedrunning Twitch Rivals event. The alliance is already off and running with the launch of Twitch Rivals: VALORANT Series 1. “We’re always looking for new and unique ways to connect with our fans and we’re excited to tap into Twitch’s existing Rival’s fanbase to engage a passionate audience of dedicated gamers,” said Keith Lusby, Vice President of Media and Partnerships. “As the Official Fan Fuel of Twitch Rivals, we unlock unparalleled opportunities for Dunkin’ to reach and reward both streamers and viewers.”

Team Liquid announced a multi-year partnership with IMC on a range of activities aimed at engaging fans and supporting the community. It includes jersey logo placement and support of the StarCraft II competition Team Liquid StarLeague. The companies will also collaborate on a fundraiser livestream to benefit Room to Read, a literacy charity.

Team Liquid also tapped a deal with Bud Light to become the official beer of Team Liquid League of Legends. In addition to team members making appearances on Bud Light League Lounge, the weekly recap show streamed live on Twitch, Bud Light will also host (21 and older) virtual tailgates featuring Liquid talent and casters before matches, as well as live games and giveaways on the Team Liquid Discord channel. Finally, Team Liquid is launching a slate of new shows and content in partnership with the brand that will include Coaching After Dark, a podcast style show and other LCS-related streams throughout the year.

HyperX named WNBA player and Team Liquid member Aerial “POWERzSURGE” Powers as its latest brand ambassador. Under the new sponsorship, Powers will use HyperX headsets while streaming and gaming. As the official gaming audio sponsor of Aerial Powers, HyperX marks its first foray into the WNBA. “I am extremely excited to officially join the HyperX family. Anyone who games, knows that hearing an opponent coming before they see you is key to winning. With my HyperX headphones, I have been able to see a big difference in my gameplay and an increase in my number of ‘dubs,’” said Powers. “Rocking HyperX is what will continue to keep me at the top of my game. I am so honored to receive the Heroes treatment and I can’t wait to share with the world the sick creation that we come up with!”

OverActive Media‘s Call of Duty League franchise Toronto Ultra is launching exclusive partnership with snack brand Jack Link’s. The deal sees the company become the ‘official meat partner’ of the squad and they will be featured on the franchise’s social media graphics alongside being the named partner of a tournament that will be broadcast on the Ultra’s YouTube channel.


eFuse picked up $6 million in funding from a consortium of esports and gaming influencers and professional athletes. The ‘LinkedIn for gamers’ announced plans to leverage the new capital to fuel product development, user acquisition, and make key hires. “eFuse is redefining how gamers network,” said eFuse CEO Matthew Benson. “Gamers communicate and showcase differently than traditional professionals and need a purpose-driven platform to help them find the right opportunity. At eFuse, we’re committed to helping all gamers get discovered.” Notable investors include Seth Curry (Philadelphia 76ers, NBA), Denzel Ward (Cleveland Browns, NFL), Ezekiel Elliot (Dallas Cowboys, NFL), and Chase Winovich (New England Patriots, NFL).

Virtual production software developer Zero Density and Peach Maria Productions are entering a strategic partnership. The agreement makes Peach Maria Productions — producers of the upcoming reality competition series, GAMEMASTER, — the largest Reality Engine virtual production operation in the world by the end of 2021. With a 10,000 square foot, purpose-built virtual production sound stage, the new studio will include 13 computing engines, 12 cameras, and real-time rendering. Accompanying support space will include audio and video editing bays, broadcast studios and offices. Peach Maria will oversee the space, including booking it for third party productions beginning in the fall of 2021.

The BBC is partnering with Electronic Arts to air live coverage of the FIFA 21 Global Series in a deal that will see the broadcaster stream the series’ European regional qualifiers and playoffs live via its digital platforms, including BBC iPlayer, as well as the BBC Sport website and app. Coverage will continue to be available on the EA Sports FIFA Twitch and YouTube channels.


Esports org OverActive Media revealed its plans for a new 7,000 seat esports and entertainment venue that will be located at Exhibition Place in Toronto. The new venue is set to be completed in 2025, serving as the home for the company’s Call of Duty League (CDL) and Overwatch League (OWL) franchises. In addition, the $500 million project will include a theatre-style entertainment venue and hotel complex, with an eye to host more than 200 events a year.

Valuates Reports released a study on the esports market, projecting that the industry will hit $1.86 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 15.1% during the forecast period 2021-2026.


ESPAT Media Group named veteran sports and entertainment executive Matt Hill as the company’s CEO. Hill, whose background includes PR/communications and business development roles at the National Football League and Major League Soccer, joins ESPAT Media Group as the company increases its focus on boosting user experience on the ESPAT B2B licensing platform while developing custom, data-driven products for various esports and gaming industry stakeholders.

Skillz revealed that film and television producer Jerry Bruckheimer has joined its board of directors. “Skillz puts the excitement and competitive drama of esports into the hands of billions of people around the world,” said Bruckheimer, “and I’m excited to join the company defining the future of interactive entertainment.”

This Week the Winner’s Will be Named

The most prestigious names in the industry, unveiled.


The Cynopsis Best Of The Best Awards Virtual Gala
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Sponsored by Crown Media Family



Ninja Gaiden is released
In which franchise would you find the villainous Team Rocket? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Who starred as Guile in the 1994 movie version of Street Fighter? Answer: Jean-Claude Van Damme. Kudos: Rob Casalaina-ITN/NY; Luke Watson-Entertaining Concepts/NY; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Andy Babb-Super League Gaming/Santa Monica

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