03/05/20: ESL and DHL extended their partnership for ESL One

 

 

 
 

Thursday March 5, 2020

Good morning! This is your weekly Esports Brief.
ESL and DHL extended their partnership for ESL One with DHL set to continue as sponsor and logistics partner in 2020. In addition, this year, is the “ESL Academy – delivered by DHL” with a goal to develop, promote and elevate young Dota 2 talent on the verge of going pro. In a live draft at the ESL One tournament in Los Angeles, being held from March 20-22, coaches will select the Academy talent for the first season of 2020 from competitors who previously qualified online.

“With this partnership, we are very successfully addressing a young target group that can hardly be reached through traditional marketing channels,” said Arjan Sissing, Head of Brand Marketing at Deutsche Post DHL Group. “As digital natives, esports fans naturally have a strong affinity for e-commerce, and for us as a logistics operator, e-commerce is a mainstay of our business. However, they are attractive to us not only as customers, but also as potential employees.”

COMPETITION
With venue audiences prevented from attending as a result of coronavirus safety decisions, IEM Katowice 2020 nevertheless delivered big viewership audiences, according to Esports Charts. The company reports that the amount of hours watched of IEM 2020 grew 84% with average viewership of 273,057 and peaking at 1,002,132, with nearly 18 million hours watched.

ONE Championship’s ONE Esports unveiled the official schedule for the next ONE Esports Dota 2 Indonesia Invitational running Nov.23-29. Year one of the event drew 88 million global views, with over 464,000 peak concurrent views and 24 countries represented. “The success of the ONE Esports Dota 2 Singapore World Pro Invitational is only the beginning and we want to continue our investment in the Dota 2 ecosystem,” ONE Esports CEO Carlos Alimurung stated. “I’m excited to announce another Invitational in Indonesia in November 2020 after the Singapore Major in June. As always, we will bring together the world’s best pro teams to compete and fans can look forward to exciting matches, meet-and-greet sessions, cosplays and the best experiences at our event.”

Super Smash Bros. is getting a global circuit, with plans in place to launch the Smash World Tour around the world and featuring both Super Smash Bros. Melee and Ultimate. Players will be ranked based on their performance at select tournaments, and the top 31 players moving on to play for $250K. CEO Dreamland will serve as the first tournament listed on the schedule, with over 25 community events on the docket.

DreamHack is moving its winter festival to Madrid, where the new DreamHack Madrid will run Dev. 10-13 at the IFEMA. DreamHack Madrid will host a number of international esports tournaments, including the last DreamHack Open stop of the year. DreamHack Open is a part of the ESL Pro Tour, which was announced by DreamHack and ESL in 2019. DreamHack Open Madrid will have eight top-level CS:GO teams competing for the $100,000 prize pool and will be broadcast through official DreamHack streaming channels as well as through media partners throughout the world. The Madrid festival will also feature the last stop of the Hearthstone Masters Tour with a $250,000 prize pool.

The NBA 2K League is moving the NBA 2K League Studio to Manhattan for the 2020 season, announcing the schedule for the year. The new venue will now occupy a 13,600 square-foot space located at 508 West 37th Street in Manhattan with a capacity of 200 people, offering revamped audience seating that reflects the circular competition format unique to the NBA 2K League, larger screens, a mic’d stage, the Bud Light VIP Lounge, a streaming pod for guest streamers, and an additional studio for content capture. Season three tips off March 24 with The TIPOFF powered by AT&T. Weekly regular-season matchups at the NBA 2K League Studio will begin at 7p on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays with each team playing a total of 16 regular-season games. Every Friday, the NBA 2K League Studio will host a “Game of the Week.” In addition, and new this season, select NBA 2K League teams will host rivalry matches and round-robin events in their local markets.

The National Hockey League iced in its plans for the 2020 NHL Gaming World Championship, which will offer its largest prize pool in NHL gaming history, topping $150,000, prizes awarded during Round 2, and an expanded World Final that will see three finalists from each Region advance to battle it out. US Regional Finalists will compete at NBC Sports studios in Stamford on May 22. The World Final be played during the week of the 2020 NHL Awards.

Meanwhile, WorldGaming Network is powering the 2020 Blackhawks CHEL Tournament. Over the next two weeks, players will take to the ice in online matches to test their skills against the best ‘Chel’ players in the Chicago area. Competition runs march 7-8 for PlayStation 4 and March 14-15 on Xbox One.

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference is set to become the “first Division I NCAA Conference to hold its esports championships concurrently with its men’s and women’s basketball championships” when the New Jersey Army National Guard 2020 MAAC Esports Championships opens on March 13-14 in the Adrian Phillips Theater at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Seven MAAC schools – Canisius, Manhattan, Marist, Niagara, Quinnipiac, Saint Peter’s and Siena – will compete in four different games: League of Legends, Overwatch, as well as Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate presented in partnership with the Electronic Gaming Federation.

High School Esports League announced key dates for their upcoming seasonal gaming tournaments, the HSEL Spring Major and the Winter Open. The HSEL Spring Major is an eight-week gaming tournament for North American high school esports clubs that are partnered with HSEL and will start March 23. The list of HSEL Spring Major esports titles includes Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, FIFA 20, Fortnite, Hearthstone, Minecraft, Overwatch, Rainbow Six: Siege, Rocket League, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Super Smash Bros: Ultimate, Madden 20, and NBA 2K20.

TRENDS
Stream Hatchet announced that it has officially released its 2019 Game Streaming Report, featuring insights from thought leaders across the industry. Analysis is focused on the top gaming influencers, game releases, esports audiences and the impact of streaming platforms.

With 2020 esports revenues expected to reach upwards of $1B, influenced primarily by the media rights of esports leagues and tournaments, KPIs related to viewership are in the spotlight. This week, Stream Hatchet presents last year’s top events, with insights powered by Doug Watson, Senior Manager of Esports Analytics at Riot Games.

· The average AMA for the top 10 esports events is over 250K just across four platforms, which speaks to the incredible accessibility and reach of the different leagues and tournaments. For some of these global events, these platforms only represent a portion of the total hours watched by fans. As these numbers continue to climb, esports has the very real potential to redefine the sports experience for the generations of fans to come.”

To access the full report, visit this link and hear what other thought leaders have to say about trends in the industry: https://www.streamhatchet.com/insights.

ACTIVATION

Tespa announced that the US Army signed on as title sponsor for its Call of Duty collegiate Series Spring Duos tournament this year. The duo will host eight standalone tournaments, starting on March 18, to find the top Collegiate Duos teams in North America! Each week’s winning team will be invited to compete at an invitational to conclude this season’s Spring Duos tournament. There, more scholarship prizing will be on the line, in addition to the scholarships outlined on each tournament page.

Newborn esports league FLASHPOINT unveiled its first sponsor in betting operator Pinnacle, which signed on to sponsor pre-show activities for featured matches and offer match odds for in-play betting, in a move “to give CS:GO fans engaging interactivity during the season” beginning with the Pinnacle Open – a LAN qualifier consisting of eight teams competing at FACEIT’s Los Angeles facilities. “We are pleased to partner with Pinnacle who views our dream for a competitive, successful, fan-built CS: GO league,” said Kent Wakeford, co-founder of Gen.G, a founding team in the league. “We are confident that we will have one of the most exciting talent and players in the world.”

MSI extended its partnership with ESL for ESL Pro League Seasons 11 and 12. As the Official Gaming Partner of ESL Pro League, MSI will sponsor Seasons 11 and 12 with gaming hardware, owning the monitor, PC, including motherboards and graphic cards, and laptop categories, and will work to captivate fans through engaging onsite activities, in addition to reviving the Mystery Box Segment, where ESL talent will quiz two audience members with esports trivia questions onsite at the ESL Pro League Season 11 Finals in Denver, CO, on April 10-12 and subsequent Season 12 Finals.

Twitch streamer Herschel “Dr Disrespect” Beahm locked in an exclusive partnership with ROCCAT, with the company becoming his exclusive provider of mice, keyboards, and mousepads. To celebrate the deal, ROCCAT redesigned their social media outlets and site with red and black, in tribute to the streamers color scheme.

Cynopsis Sports Awards Breakfast
April 23, NYAC-NYC | Sponsored by: Twitch
Join your peers as we raise a glass to a year marked with intense competition, historic telecasts and exciting new ways to cover/view the games. Finalists will be announced next week (stay tuned), but we are excited to announced a few of our luminary honorees:

BRAND OF THE YEAR AWARD: Doritos
NAVIGATOR AWARD: Mark Silverman Fox Sports
SENTINAL AWARD: Titus O’Neil – WWE

PLATFORMS
Twitter revealed its most-talked about teams for March, with G2 laying claim to the top spot, followed by FaZe Clan, Fnatic, 100 Thieves and Team Liquid.

LCS is working with Nielsen to develop the first-ever “live+” measurement system for esports broadcasts. Live+ ratings look at viewership for live broadcasts and related on-demand or replay video afterwards to calculate the total audience for the programming content, still leveraging the new industry standard for viewership reporting – average minute audience (AMA). This metric will “measure live and on-demand LCS viewership more accurately than ever before, and will parallel Nielsen’s live+ TV ratings, which aggregate live and on-demand viewership within a designated time window to present a more complete picture of TV viewership engagement.”

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive platform HLTV.org was acquired by Better Collective, a sports betting media company. The acquisition includes HLTV.org, which serves as a leading publication for CS:GO esports in the industry, as well as Danish CS:GO community platform dust2.dk.

The 7Sports arm of German commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 inked a deal to keep ESL rights through 2022. In addition to owning exclusive television rights in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, 7Sports picked up global digital rights for its esports.com portal, which will be rolled out globally this year.

READYUP GAMES OF THE WEEK
 

LIFESTYLE
VERITAS Entertainment is launching LVL, a Berlin-based esports and gaming entertainment venue with an eye for building community and competition. LVL Berlin will officially open its doors to the public on March 26. Additionally, VERITAS has announced a $10 million in funding, with participation from BITKRAFT Esports Ventures and additional angel investors, to build LVL’s infrastructure, scale the team to manage operations, and expand to additional cities. Ranking among the largest esports spaces in Europe, LVL spans 26,000 square feet across its two floors and provides a centralized and physical location for pro and amateur gamers to connect, train and compete. In addition to a full-stack production studio and VR experiences, LVL is pushing boundaries with a noise-canceling dome that enables the venue to host professional esports matches in the closest proximity to the audience and casters without impeding the performance of the players through sound interference. LVL Berlin will also be the official Berlin venue and Home of G2 Esports

Patriots Place in Foxborough opened its new esports complex, with Helix eSports stating that the new center features over 100 PC gaming locations along with over 30 consoles for use by the public or organized competitive play. In addition, the venue serves as the headquarters for the Boston Uprising.

Upper Deck announced the global launch of 2020 Overwatch League Series 1 Trading Cards. The new release marks the third esports trading card set from Upper Deck and features never-before-seen chase and insert cards from all 20 teams in the league. The new Overwatch League™ Series 1 release includes a 200-card base set featuring 160 players from across all 20 teams and subsets highlighting key moments and special events from the 2019 season. Collectors can find new Star Rookie cards and never-before-seen hits and chase cards such as Championship Fragments, featuring six different player jersey swatches, and Combo cards, showcasing a player autograph and match-worn jersey patch.

INDUSTRY
Riot Games opened the doors to its newest title and likely esports stalwart Valorant, a 5v5 first-person shooter and formerly known as Project A. In addition to a two-minute gameplay reveal, the publisher announced that the title will launch in the summer across “most regions around the world.”

The Game Developers Conference, slated to take place at San Francisco’s Moscone Center in March, was postponed amid concerns about the coronavirus. “After close consultation with our partners in the game development industry and community around the world, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone the Game Developers Conference this March,” the event wrote in a blog post on Friday. No date for a rescheduled event has been shared.

ROSTER MOVES

TSM named Mark Jacobs as Vice President of Digital Sales for Blitz based in New York. Jacobs joins after serving as the Senior Managing Director, Digital Sales for the Robb Report. Before that, he held key sales positions at Vertical Mass, Complex, and Break Media. In addition, he planned and executed multiple high-profile campaigns for MediaCom.

Nerd Street Gamers added Comcast Spectacor’s Tucker Roberts to its board of directors. “Tucker is an invaluable addition to our team as we grow esports infrastructure across the nation,” said John Fazio, Founder and CEO of Nerd Street Gamers. “We recognize the opportunities presented to traditional sport athletes and share the vision of a future where competitive gamers have access to the same level of leagues, facilities, scholarships, education and careers.”

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2001: Nintendo releases Conker’s Bad Fur Day for the Nintendo 64
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