03/28/19: GameStop strikes esports deals

CynopsisESPORTS
It’s Thursday March 28, 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.

GameStop announced a lineup of strategic partnerships in the esports space that marks a move into the culture of games. “We are aiming to become the official minor leagues of esports where GameStop provides fun and unique cultural experiences for player development while preparing the next generation of professional gamers,” said Frank Hamlin, Chief Marketing Officer for GameStop.
 
The deals include an alliance with Complexity Gaming, with GameStop serving as the title sponsor of the team’s new state-of-the-art headquarters at The Star in Frisco, Texas. The11,000 square foot center will house a public gaming area for fans and sponsors, as well as cutting-edge performance training via data analytics, enhanced gaming equipment, a video studio and a merchandise wall, and will share a location with the Dallas Cowboys headquarters. GameStop is also teaming with the Houston Outlaws to develop in-store content and experiences, bringing Overwatch instructional content to stores within Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and surrounding cities through Gaming Clinics featuring the Outlaws. And in a partnership with OpTic, GameStop will be developing Gaming Clinics, a mix of live and virtual events. Professional teams GameStop is collaborating with include Complexity Gaming, Infinite Esports and Envy Gaming.
 
 
COMPETITION and VENUES

 
ELEAGUE and Psyonix detailed plans and participants for the first-ever ELEAGUE CRL Spring Invitational taking place during Final Four weekend in Minneapolis, on April 7 at 3p. Teams competing for the Collegiate Rocket League Spring Invitational will be: University of Central Florida, University of Akron, University of Redlands and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, hosted by Albert “Halorin” Haley, with analysts Jack “Corelli” Collier and Joey “Jorby” Ahrens. Meanwhile, the ELEAGUE x Rocket League Game Zone presented by AXE – part of the NCAA Final Four Fan Fest presented by Capital One – will offer fans experiences that include Rocket League Game Stations, AXE Skills Workshops and Showcase Matches: The University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
 
Meanwhile, N3rd Street Gamers inked a strategic partnership with Esports Stadium Arlington in a move designed to provide amateur esports athletes across the country with increased access to high-quality tournaments by integrating NSG’s National Championship Series into ESA’s Strike League. ESA’s Strike League is an open tournament league in which teams will compete across four different esports titles at local LAN tournaments hosted at Esports Stadium Arlington. At the end of each quarter, winning teams and players will qualify for the Strike League Season Finale, Final Strike, where they will compete on stage for $15,000 in prizes. Strike League qualifiers will begin in Arlington, TX on March 30.
 
Blizzard opened the doors to voting for the Overwatch League All-Star Game Powered by Intel, taking place from May 15–16 at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles between Stages 2 and 3 of the Overwatch League’s 2019 season. Teams will compete in a series of custom games pitting Atlantic and Pacific All-Stars against each other on May 15, followed by the main event on May 16. The highest-voted players in the Atlantic and Pacific Divisions (maximum two players per role) will start the game. Fans can vote from now through April 28 by visiting OverwatchLeague.com. All-Star starters will be unveiled in early May, and reserves will be announced shortly thereafter.
 
Collegiate Starleague announced that the 2019 North American Collegiate Grand Finals will be hosted in Atlantic City, NJ at the historic Boardwalk Hall. The season-culminating event will be held from April 26-28, 2019 and feature hundreds of collegiate esports teams and players from the U.S. and Canada competing for more than $100,000 in scholarships. Featured partners and sponsors include: Twitch Student, GameStop, Capcom, 2K Sports, Ingame Esports and CRDA. Individual and team titles will be awarded across the breadth of CSL collegiate leagues, including NBA2K, Street Fighter 5, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends Junior Varsity League as well as invitational and showcase events for Super Smash Bros Melee & Smash Ultimate, Apex Legends and Fortnite. 
 
Don’t miss your spot! Seats are filling up fast! Lock in your invite to the 2019 Esports Upfront on April 15 in NYC. Partnerships this year include heavyweight brands such as Activision Blizzard, Endeavor/Fortnite, Riot Games, WorldGaming, TSM, theScore and Cloud9, who will lay out partnership opportunities with their organizations. In addition, special speakers from brands such as Mastercard, Jersey Mike’s and Alienware will breakdown their own lessons in esports activation. Hurry and request your invite today by clicking here.
 
Epic Games mapped out rules and formats for the upcoming Fortnite World Cup, with the first week of Online Opens launching on April 13 with Solo competition, followed by a week of Duos tournaments. Every Saturday, players who have unlocked the Online Open will have a designated three-hour window of time (according to server region) to play in up to ten matches and score points. At the conclusion of the three-hour window, the top 3,000 players in each server region will advance to the Online Open Finals. Players will then face off during a designated three-hour window of time to play up to ten matches and score points. After the three-hour window closes, winners will be verified and the top performing players will be notified of cash prizes earned from a $1,000,000 prize pool.
 
Tencent Esports is rebranding its Tencent Games Arena series to a new moniker, TGA Tencent Esports Games, which spans over 30 games titles. In addition, the tournament series will partner with TGA Network to create Honor of Kings competitions for women, separate from the current King Pro League, per TEO.
 
With Overwatch League teams slated to begin hosting home games next season, Comcast Spectacor, which owns the Philadelphia Fusion, will build a $50 million arena for the team. The company plans to break ground this summer on part of the 47-acre stadium complex site that Comcast Spectacor leases in South Philadelphia. The venue will seat 3,500 and be located next to Xfinity Live!. The building, however, will not be ready until the 2021 OWL season, with the team seeking a temporary home in the area during the 2020 season.
 
The World Showdown of Esports announced the March 30-31 WSOE 5: Hearthstone – The Return of Jia, as its latest event with four invited competitors competing for the chance to face reigning champion Jia from WSOE 2. Day 1 of WSOE 5 play will be a double-elimination, Last Hero Standing tournament format to determine which player will challenge Jia for the title. Day 2 will feature the debut of our preliminary card: a series of 1 on 1 matches between competitors and special invitees before the main event.
 
Hearthstone Grandmasters competition will feature three regions – Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific – with 16 players each. Each region will be randomly separated into two divisions of eight players each; players in each division will play a double round robin using the best-of-three Specialist format. After all matches are finished, players will be ranked within their own division according to the number of wins they accumulate, and divisions will be unveiled at the HCT 2019 World Championship in Taipei on April 28 before the Grand Finals. Players will be invited to join Hearthstone Grandmasters in its inaugural year by Blizzard Entertainment based on criteria including lifetime earnings, points earned during HCT 2018, seasonal points leaders, contributions to the Hearthstone community, and more. The top three players in each division at the end of each season will play in a six-player Grandmasters Seasonal Playoff, with the finalist from each region for both 2019 seasons, plus two players from the China Gold Series – a total of eight players – competing in the Hearthstone Global Finals at the end of the year for a $500,000 prize pool.
 
 
INSIGHTS
 
 
Twitch Streamers often post their PC setups in the tile section of their Twitch Profiles. Stream Hatchet captures this data as text or sponsored links to understand the impact that brands have with Twitch influencers. This week, Stream Hatchet explores the Brand Impact of top gaming peripherals:
  • The rise of HyperX: Although HyperX was found in 47.2k less unique channels than Logitech, it was the only peripheral brand in our sample to experience a positive change in monthly hours watched. Increasing by 9.34% from December to February.
  • Razer experienced the steepest viewership decline: Despite a 3% increase in the number of unique channels using Razer products, its monthly hours watched decreased by 26%.
  • More Channels does not equal higher Viewership: Corsair experienced the greatest increase in unique channels from December to February (6.81%), however its monthly hours watched decreased by 4.49%.
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ACTIVATION

 
Nissan signed on to become the first automaker to partner in a double deal with both FaZe Clan and OpTic Gaming. As part of the agreement, the Nissan logo will appear on the FaZe Clan and OpTic Gaming competition jerseys while team members will have access to Nissan vehicles to integrate into social and digital content. Vehicles involved will include the Nissan Armada, Altima, Kicks and the all-electric Nissan LEAF.
 
Lazarus Esports, a division of Tiidal Gaming, unlocked a partnership with SheIS. The joint venture will look to drive awareness for women in sports/esports. Lazarus Esports women’s teams CS:GO and League of Legends will join the growing list of athlete ambassadors that make up the SheISCollective that bring together leagues, organizations, athletes and business leaders to grow the awareness and support of women in sports.
 
Allied Esports and CBS Interactive inked GameSpot to serve as sponsor of the premiere episode of PlayTime with KittyPlays, which debuted Sunday. The Allied Esports original production will be streamed in front of a live studio audience at HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas and saw GameSpot branding featured throughout the arena and on the live stream of the event as well as across Allied Esports and HyperX Esports Arena’s digital and social platforms.
 
Vivo announced a partnership with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile to serve as title sponsor of the upcoming PUBG MOBILE Club Open 2019. Vivo will provide the official smartphones for the PUBG MOBILE Club Open 2019, which players from ten regions across the globe will be leveraging to battle their way through the Spring & Fall Split, for the total prize pool of $2.5 million.
 
 
INDUSTRY

 
Apple became the latest major company looking to drive the gaming industry forward, announcing at an Apple Special Event a new game subscription service for iOS devices titled Apple Arcade. The service will look to focus on games that would otherwise be premium releases, working alongside the regular App Store for games in its own dedicated tab. At launch, it will include over 100 new titles that will be mobile-exclusive to the service with launch titles coming from studios that include Annapurna Interactive, Bossa Studios, Cartoon Network, Finji, Giant Squid, Klei Entertainment, Konami, LEGO, Mistwalker Corporation, SEGA, Snowman, ustwo games, and more. Apple Arcade will launch in fall of 2019 in over 150 regions.
 
Electronic Arts announced that the company was laying off around 350 people from its workforce around the world. “We took some important steps as a company to address our challenges and prepare for the opportunities ahead,” stated company CEO Andrew Wilson. “As we look across a changing world around us, it’s clear that we must change with it. We’re making deliberate moves to better deliver on our commitments, refine our organization, and meet the needs of our players.”
 
Aquilini GameCo raised over $25 million in a move to add Luminosity Gaming under its umbrella via a reverse takeover of J55 Capital Corp. Completion of the acquisition is subject to a number of conditions. Luminosity also manages and provides support services to Overwatch League’s Vancouver Titans.
 
Twitch launched Twitch: Squad Stream, which allows up to four creators to simultaneously stream together in one window. It’s perfect for showing off every awesome moment in a battle royale match, saving a virtual seat at the table for tabletop streams, catching every second of speedrunning head-to-heads, and so much more that we can’t wait for all of you to show us,” said the company in a blog post, noting that unlike hosting or Raids, Squad Stream lets streamers actively team up with other creators. Squad Stream is available for Partners first; viewers will be able to opt-in to the Squad Stream from the channel page.
 
Digital lifestyle festival DreamHack will return to Atlanta for three days, from Friday, November 15- Sunday, November 17. “Featuring all things gaming under one roof, this year’s festival is bigger and better than ever,” said DreamHack CEO Marcus Lindmark. In addition to the Hi-Rez Expo, where fans can experience the SMITE and Paladins World Championships, DreamHack will offer the 24-hour LAN party, professional esports, live music, celebrity-hosted Cosplay Championship, and more.
 
 
ROSTER MOVES

Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer said Johanna Faries will serve as commissioner for the franchised Call of Duty World League. She initially joined Activision Blizzard in October as head of the CWL with oversight of the strategic leadership, business operations, and product development for the league.

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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 the industry forward.
 
Nominations are due April 16. Honorees will be celebrated at the
Cynopsis Top Women in Media Awards August 1 in NYC.
 

ON THIS DAY in 2007: Sega and Nintendo jointly announce Mario and Sonic At The Olympic Games for the Nintendo Wii and DS.
 
 
Trivia: The game X-Men Origins: Wolverine featured a secret hatch (pictured above) that paid homage to which ABC television drama? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Call of Duty: Black Ops featured a replica of a famous house from which 70s sitcom? Answer: Brady Bunch. Kudos: Chris Davies-Virgin/London; Jason Valluzzi-Active International/NY; Luke Watson-Essential TV/NY; Scott Jenkins-Gracenote/NY; Michael Brown-UEG/NY; Rob Casalaina-ITN/NY; Brendan Lokes-Carhartt/Detroit; Mike May-PHIT America/Wellington; James Stuart-NBC Sports/Stamford; Rick Dascher-Turner Studios/Atlanta; Kelsey Schroeder-KemperLesnik/Chicago; Matt Keske-CSP Mobile Productions/Chicago; Pam Spankowski-CHW/West Allis; Victoria Horsley-NACE/Kansas City; Leah Eubanks-Trimble Inc /Westminster; Paul Cambria-Echo Entertainment/LA; Andy Babb-Super League Gaming/Santa Monica; Peter Steckelman-Tennis Channel/Santa Monica; Brandon Cuy-USC/LA

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

Later — Chris

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ACCT EXEC, SALES DEVELOPMENT (Consumer Tech)/ION MEDIA/NY: Seeking sales professional to generate new advrtg accts and revenue for ION’s linear television platform.  Dedicated category focus on companies which specialize in consumer technology, social media, e-commerce and OTT. Self-starter with 8-10yrs of TV selling or related adv sales exp. Full info HERE (4/5)

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MGR, AD SALES PARTNERSHIPS
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Serve as ad sales partnerships resource and thought leader in the sales department, managing ideation and response to RFPs, creating product knowledge one sheets based on assigned network and disciplines, knowledgeable in digital/social marketing products & tools, effectively demonstrating how they can be leveraged in strategic 360 campaigns. Full Info/Apply:  http://www.aenetworks.com/careers (4/4)

 
SR. NEWS DESK ASSOC/E! Entertainment/NYC: Resp for newsgathering for all E! platforms, should be a multi-tasker, have proven editorial judgment, be a forward thinker with a strong work ethic. Passion for pop culture is a must. Self-starter who can work independently and quickly in a fast-pace news environment. Must have newsroom exp and able to handle breaking news while working under tight deadlines. Full Info/Apply HERE (4/4)


COORD, RESEARCH & INSIGHTS/
Endemol Shine North America/North Hollywood:
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ACCT EXECUTIVE/CNN Airport Network/NY: Resp include identifying prospects, generating leads and penetrating client companies/agencies at all levels. Primary function is to drive new business for the network. Req include 5+ yrs in media sales, ability to exceed targets and building sr level client/agency relationships. Team player who works well in a large multi-platform sales organization. Full Info/Apply HERE (3/31)

ACCT DIRECTOR, PARTNERSHIP SALES/GSTV/NY: Ideal candidate must be able to drive aggressive rev targets across multiple GSTV rev opps within WPP Holding Co. by creating solutions for customers. An understanding of nat advtg, digital video and data-driven aud targeting and attribution marketplace. Min of 3+ yrs media exp, including 1+ yrs in sales. Ability to manage multiple high-priority projects simultaneously. Full Info/Apply HERE (3/31)

AD SALES ASSISTANT/Crown Media Family Networks/NY: Provide support to Ad Sales by working W/ Acct Execs to service clients. Including sales orders, move requests and media schedules. Detail oriented w/orgnzt’l skills to keep manage fast paced, time sensitive environment. BA/BS req. Full info/apply HERE (3/29)

 
DIRECTOR, LEGAL & BUSINESS AFFAIRS/TV One/NYC: As secondary mgr, you are responsible for providing business and legal support to all departments of TV On. Structure, negotiate and draft a variety of content acquisition agreements minimum of 7 years of television industry experience pref’d. Full info HERE (3/29)

PRODUCER, DIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA/TV One/Silver Spring MD: Build promotional & original digital content to build the TV One digital brand.Dvlp/prod promotional content (incl articles, videos & any other media) to support our orig. 3+ yrs exp in building, managing, and growing a website for a medium/​large size org. Full info HERE (3/29)

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, MEDIA BUYING & PLANNING/Spero Media/NYC: Organized, detail-oriented team player w/min 1yr of media buying/plan’g exp, interested in actively participating in media buying & plan’g/promotion for variety of sports/ent clients incl: US Open Tennis, NY Jets, Blue Man Group, NY Mets + Full info HERE (3/29)
 

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Architect, develop and scale distributed services and online APIs that power many of the online aspects of every BioWare games.
Platform Engineer
Bioware
Austin TX
 
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Senior UI Artist
Bioware
Austin TX
 
Creation and management of the art development schedule for the environment artists, character artists, concept artists, and weapon artists.
Senior Art Producer
Arkane Studios
Austin TX
 
Work closely with the Design and Art teams to bring ideas and new gameplay features into the game.
Multiplayer Gameplay Programmer
Naughty Dog
Bellevue WA
 
Coordinating, implementing, and owning polished gameplay scenarios, in-game cinematics, and AI behaviors.
Game Designer
Naughty Dog
Bellevue WA
 
Design and implement large amounts of game content: balance and tune secondary quests, develop challenges, and manage open world encounters.
Open World Content Designer
Sucker Punch Productions
Bellevue WA
 
Create props, architecture, and terrain models, textures, and materials.
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Sucker Punch Productions
Bellevue WA
 
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Visual Concepts
Agoura Hills CA
 
Seeking software engineers with experience in gameplay systems including AI, animation, and physics.
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Visual Concepts
Agoura Hills CA
 
Develop strategy to create custom cameras to support the levels and the specific beats of the story.
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Crystal Dynamics
Redwood City CA
 
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Crystal Dynamics
Redwood City CA
 
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Insomniac Games
Burbank CA
 
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Burbank CA
 
Working hand in hand with other developers to take Combat concepts to shipping quality.
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Irvine CA
 
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