04/01/21: The Call of Duty League cemented a new deal with Zenni


Medias First Morning Read


Thursday April 1, 2021

Good morning! This is your weekly Esports Brief.
Online eyewear retailer Zenni drafted a multi-year deal with Call of Duty League designating the brand as the Official Eyewear of the Call of Duty League. The partnership will feature Zenni’s signature Blokz blue-blocker lenses. Partnership assets include Zenni featured as the presenting partner of two major tournaments: the 2021 Season April Major to be held on April 7-11 and the 2022 Season Kick-Off Classic. The Call of Duty League. The Call of Duty League and Zenni will also collaborate to create original content with a Call of Duty League pro player to be named later, and Zenni will showcase its eyewear at future Call of Duty League events.

“Just a few years ago, fashion and gaming were rarely used in the same sentence. Today, these worlds intersect regularly. Call of Duty League pros are some of the most followed, most influential esports personalities in the world, and they demand form and function in anything they wear – especially when it comes to their eyes,” said Jack Harari, Vice President, Global Partnerships at Activision Blizzard Esports. “We believe the Zenni product line will resonate strongly with our passionate community. We look forward to working closely with Zenni for years to come, kicking off with Zenni as the presenting sponsor for Call of Duty Major II, which will showcase for fans the culmination of some of the most competitive action we’ve ever seen in the Call of Duty League.”

Airwaves Media Group is launching Airwaves Games Network, described as a multi-platform esports media and production company dedicated to live esports. The Airwaves Games Network will feature “a proprietary esports tournament platform that will allow for the creation of live esports tournaments and leagues to be produced in a cost-effective manner in their LA based studio.” Additionally, AMG signed a memorandum of understanding with VSPN Korea, the largest esports company in the world, producer of the 2021 LCK Challengers League, the Crossfire Stars 2020 Grand Final, and the PUBG Continental Series 2 ASIA/APAC. AMG and VSPN Korea will work together to further develop the global esports market.

ESL Gaming mapped out a new mobile esports ecosystem for North America, Europe/MENA, and Asia-Pacific beginning with ESL Mobile’s inaugural 2021 Spring Season starting April 12th with a $650,000 prize pool and touching over 80 countries. The company partnered with Gameloft, Riot, Supercell, and Tencent for titles that will include Asphalt 9: Legends, Brawl Stars, Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Legends of Runeterra, PUBG Mobile, and League of Legends: Wild Rift. Each season will offer two competitive tiers, ESL Mobile Open and the new ESL Mobile Challenge.

GCN and Van Wagner announced a tournament series described as “the most-comprehensive, large-scale national esports tournaments to reach the collegiate marketplace” and featuring teams from 10 NCAA conferences, with the top two finishers of each conference tournament advancing to play into a national tournament to crown an overall champion. The participating conferences will be America East Conference, Big South Conference, Big West Conference, Colonial Athletic Association, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Southland Conference, Sun Belt Conference, West Coast Conference, Western Athletic Conference and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Van Wagner is the exclusive multimedia rights partner for each of the participating NCAA conferences and will be working to secure corporate sponsorships for these events as part of year-round efforts with each respective conference.

With Major League Baseball opening today the league unveiled details of Major Fest, which it described as a first-of-its-kind event for fans to celebrate Opening Day with Jeff Eisenband on deck to host the six-hour stream on MLB’s Twitch channel starting at 12:45p. Special guests will join the stream over the course of the day to discuss the top players in the league, which hosts will compete in games, and an MLB The Show season simulation to predict how teams will fare during the 2021 season.

Twitch detailed plans for the AT&T Annihilator Cup, a multi-genre game competition featuring 20 of Twitch’s top content creators – including Shroud, Lirik, Yassuo, GoldGlove and Mizkif – competing for a grand prize of $100,000. The competition will be streamed on AT&T’s Twitch starting Friday at 4p and will span five weeks and five games: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Mortal Kombat 11, Halo 3, Apex Legends and Among Us.

DreamHack Sports Games and Elkjøp Nordic AS unveiled a three-year partnership with eSuperliga and eAllsvenskan with their two brands Elgiganten SE and Elgiganten DK. Both leagues returned to competition this week. The new agreement makes Elgiganten SE and Elgiganten DK the Official Partner of the eSuperliga and eAllsvenskan.

Geoff Keighley will host this year’s Esports Brand Activation Event, as companies such as ESL, The Game Awards, Twitch, 100 Thieves, Super League Gaming, RekTGlobal, Belong/Vindex, Subnation, and GCN showcase the newest opportunities for partnerships. Brands are invited to attend this is a can’t miss event to reach the elusive demo! Request an exclusive invite to the Cynopsis Sports & Esports Brand Activation Event now.

The LCS Proving Grounds Powered by Verizon are locked and loaded, as the nearly month-long gauntlet looks to determine who will take the title of North America’s best League of Legends team outside of the LCS. Nerd Street Gamers to operate the majority of the LCS Proving Grounds competitions while Riot Games will operate the last best-of-five competitions starting April 22, including the LCS Proving Grounds Championship on April 25. Games are underway running each match day at 6p.

Ubisoft revealed viewership surges for the beginning of the 2021 Rainbow Six Siege esports season. The North American League kicked of Wednesday, notching over 115,000 concurrent viewers, for a 318% uptick over its most viewed playday during the 2020 season. Overall, the regional leagues each scored record-breaking peak concurrent viewers and average minute audience results with North American leagues’ retention metrics also up versus the 2020 season seeing an AMA increase of 337% with 94K.

Apex Legends Global Championship plans are finalized and set to wrap up the game’s first Global Series season on June 13. EA and Respawn announced that the event will feature a franchise-record $1 million prize pool for teams across North America, South America, Asia-Pacific North and South, and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

FaZe Clan and Nissan revealed the third tournament in Practice Server’s Elite Cup Series, which will feature some of FaZe Clan’s top Fortnite players including FaZe Nate Hill, FaZe Bizzle, FaZe Cented plus Bugha, Clix and previous Elite Cup winners. The 3-day tournament kicks off April 9 and will include a 1-day qualifier, with the top six trios earning the opportunity to compete with 27 pre-selected trios in the 2-day finals tournament. FaZe Clan will host giveaways throughout the broadcast with prizes.

UMG Gaming will debut a new tournament series in UMG Champions. Initially, the slate will focus on the competitive esports scene for Fortnite. “Champions” tournaments will later expand to other popular titles. Finals will be live streamed from the UMG Gaming Twitch channel which will also serve as the unveiling of WinView Games’ newest audience play-along experience, enabling fans to get closer to the action through a native Twitch Extension where viewers can answer predictive questions on how the tournament will unfold for points within the same viewing screen.

Beat The Bomb announced the Pro League Open, the company’s first competitive tournament. “Esports is exploding in popularity but needs a format that retains both the physicality of traditional sports, and also the focus on team collaboration,” said Beat The Bomb CEO Alex Patterson.“

This week, Stream Hatchet gathered the most watched live stream sessions of March. Single streams can often reach millions of hours watched, especially on popular channels. Two Garena Free Fire official channels and xQc generated the top five most watched sessions. Although Twitch often produces top viewership numbers, both the Free Fire channels were from YouTube Gaming. Not only has YouTube Gaming grown in market share, but it has done exceptionally well in mobile game viewership. Because of this, games like Free Fire have seen impressive results on stream.

On the other hand, xQc has been dominating Twitch. He’s become a variety streamer but his GTA V sessions catapulted him even higher in March. All three of his sessions noted were during GTA V gameplay on the NoPixel RP server. Combine the biggest streamer of 2020 with one of the fastest growing trends in live streaming and it’s a recipe for success.

For more live streaming session data and insights, please visit www.streamhatchet.com/insights.

Red Bull Racing Esports has teamed up with global gaming seat company Playseat in a move that will see Playseat equip the state-of-the-art Red Bull Racing Erena with six Pro Formula rigs, as well as the top-of-the-range Playseat Formula Intelligence.

100 Thieves cemented a multiyear partnership with beverage brands Truly Hard Seltzer and Twisted Tea Hard Iced Tea to become the official hard seltzer and hard iced tea of the team. 100 Thieves will now integrate Truly and Twisted Tea across platforms to produce co-branded content, social challenges, livestreams and giveaways to interact with fans across gaming, entertainment, sports and beyond while the brands will collaborate with 100 Thieves on new content broadcasted across team and brand channels to engage with the passionate gaming community.

Misfits Gaming Group revealed details of its renewed partnership with SoFi. The partnership features an Activision-Blizzard first: an in-game jersey patch activation during Call of Duty League broadcasts. SoFi also becomes the presenting sponsor for the Florida Mutineers (MGG’s Call of Duty League franchise) and the Florida Mayhem (MGG’s Overwatch League franchise). They will collaborate together on original content on personal finance and financial literacy. Content will be published across team channels and MGG influencers.

Evil Geniuses notched a partnership with Elysian Brewing to become the first official craft beer of Evil Geniuses. The deal will span across multiple Evil Geniuses properties, including social media and content channels, as well as EG’s “Live Proud” platform. One of the marquee activations will be a custom video content series called ‘Open Space,” a multi-part episodic series showcasing talent from across EG’s diverse rosters of champion esports competitors.

ONE Esports locked in new partnerships with Foodpanda, Shopee, Tinder, and TikTok, in time for the ONE Esports Dota 2 Singapore Major Presented by PGL, which kicked off this week. They join the likes of JBL, TUMI, DBS, Logitech, and Secretlab as partners of the year’s event.

Gen.G and Toyota announced “Toyota Sienna Dream Builds,” a week-long Minecraft build competition centered around the theme “Let’s Go Places in Your Dream Ride”. The theme of the build competition encourages players to build their ultimate dream ride heading to their favorite destinations with builders who embrace creativity and think outside the box being rewarded. “I’m excited to be a part of the Sienna Dream Builds competition, and it’s so awesome to see companies like Toyota recognize the value that gaming has to connect such a broad audience,” says Gen.G Creator Jessica Kim, who will host a live stream exploring the Sienna Dream Builds world in Minecraft with her viewers.”

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Esports linear channel ESR 24/7 is now available on SLING TV, courtesy of a new deal. Programming includes exclusive college esports tournaments with 150 of the best esports teams competing in 12 gaming titles; NBA2K Draft, Rainbow Six and upcoming tournaments; Age of Coronavirus: GameStop Won’t Stop & College Edition. “Esports is a global phenomenon. SLING TV is smart to offer ESR’s extensive esports content free to watch to an exploding esports audience. Our high-quality but down-to-earth, home-brew entertainment will connect with ordinary gamers and non-gamers alike,” said Wendy Wang, CEO of ESR.

Overwatch League is upgrading the viewing experience for fans, revealing that games will now be offered in 4K for the first time with live and on-demand 4K matches available on its YouTube channel, website, and the mobile app. Other new initiatives include clip functionality as well as access to player cameras. Also, beginning with the Overwatch League Flash Ops Experimental Card Tournament broadcast on March 27-28 and continuing through the 2021 season, fans who watch live matches can earn rewards directly on the Overwatch League YouTube channel as well as on overwatchleague.com and the Overwatch League mobile app for League Tokens.

PrizePicks announced the addition of premier esports titles Call of Duty, Rocket League and Valorant to its marketplace, where they join titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends. “Esports was an important offering for us in early 2020 when the pandemic shut everything down, but not only did our monthly esports handle stay strong when the NBA, NFL and college sports returned, it actually grew in unison with our traditional sports over those last six months of the year,” said PrizePicks CEO Adam Wexler. “These are franchises with fan bases that span decades in some cases and they’ve historically been underserved by sportsbooks and fantasy platforms. We’re thrilled to offer this variety of playable options.”

Evil Geniuses is counting on POINT3 gaming gear for its new merch, announcing a capsule collection that will offer POINT3’s patented ‘DRYV®’ technology. Founded in 2010, POINT3 established its roots in the basketball space but recently launched a collection of performance gaming apparel as sweaty hands are a known issue for competitive gamers.

US Soccer announced that the 2021 U.S. Soccer eNational Team will be determined during the U.S. Soccer eNT Open, a fully online qualifying tournament which will be played from April 1-9. The 2021 U.S. Soccer eNT Open will be the first, official selection tournament to select the U.S. eNational Team representatives that will compete in the FIFAe Nations Online Qualifier 2021, which will occur later this spring.

The NBA 2K League recognized outstanding achievement in team marketing and business operations for the 2020 season when the league presented its NBA 2K League Team Business Awards. Raptors Uprising GC won three awards – the Partnership of the Year Award, Digital Campaign of the Year Award and Business Influencer Award – while Wizards District Gaming was honored with the Pitch of the Year Award and Hawks Talon GC was presented with the Best Livestream Award.

Nielsen is reportedly readying to shut down its SuperData gaming division, according to TEO. The global measurement and data analytics company completed its acquisition of the research firm formerly known as SuperData Research in late 2018.

CSL Esports is partnering with Access Alliance for Education to become the provider of esports curriculum, esports career pathways workshops, modular coursework, and STEM education solutions for CSL Esports. The AA4E/CSL Esports partnership will also help schools establish and develop “strong academically focused esports clubs/community organizations, develop and offer over 20 full high school CTE aligned esports courses, offer more than 30 esports workshops to esports clubs/team organizations, create academic and technology-focused state-wide/national esports leagues, foster an esports and STEM career opportunities pipeline from high school to college to professional.”


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1976: Apple is founded
In which game universe would you encounter King Boo? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
John Kramer is the primary villain for which movie franchise and game? Answer: Saw. Kudos: Heather Allen-WWE Corporation/Stamford; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

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Manage multiple aspects of paid campaigns, assist in monitoring and reporting on paid Digital, Programmatic, Search, and Social performance and provide an active voice communicating optimization opportunities and challenges. 5+ years of work experience in integrated and/or digital media planning/buying required. Full info HERE (4/14)

Develop a unique, authoritative voice for CoinDesk products; write and edit quickly, cleanly and succinctly, and they must be a master of shaping copy and social-native content to match the voice of different social networks. 3-5 years of experience managing social media for a media company or comparable organization. Full info HERE (4/13)

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