05/31/18: A new study projects that one in ten people in the world will be fans of esports/let’s play videos by 2022

CynopsisESPORTS
It’s Thursday May 31, 2018 and this is your weekly early morning Esports briefing. 
 
 

A new study from Juniper Research projects that viewership of esports competition and “let’s play” content will hit 858 million by 2022, up from 630 million this year. That number would be equal to around 1 in 10 of the global population by that year. The new research, titled Esports, Let’s Play & Watch Play: Monetization & Engagement Strategies 2018-2022, found that growth in viewership will be driven by a surge in popularity of Battle Royale titles, forecasting continued spikes in Let’s Play viewership, topping 12 billion hours on YouTube alone. Meanwhile, non-endemic brands will continue to boost sponsorship of major tournaments and streaming events, with advertising revenues forecast to reach $2.2 billion by 2022.
 
COMPETITION and VENUES


Blizzard appears set to swarm six new markets for season two of Overwatch League, as Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues CEO Pete Vlastelica told German site Handelsblatt that the company was looking to add six more teams to the league: two from the Americas, two from Asia-Pacific, and two from Europe and the Middle East, according to PC Gamer. Vlastelica said Blizzard is focusing on Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, and in Scandinavia, noting “We want a team in Berlin. We hold many discussions and, without being able to reveal details, we will have a team there at the latest next year.” Vlastelica also noted that the second season of the league will once again be held in Los Angeles, with an eye to bring games to home markets beginning in season three.
 
The High School Esports League announced that Fortnite will be added to the Summer Open Season, courtesy of a partnership with NRG eSports, which will see the grand prize winner of the tournament provided with two hours of playtime against Svennoss, a professional Fortnite player for the organization. That’s in addition to a Respawn Gaming Chair and items from HSEL. Qualifiers are now running with the regular season starting on June 18.
 
The North American League of Legends Championship Series will now be carried on newly launched streaming service ESPN+ starting with the Summer Split in a multiyear deal. The nonexclusive agreement will not affect services that currently broadcast League of Legends such as Twitch, YouTube and Riot’s in-game player. According to ESPN, Riot Games stated that the new ESPN+ partnership will replace the previous deal between BAMTech and Riot Games, which was a seven-year agreement beginning in Dec. 2016 in which BAMTech agreed to pay Riot $300 million through 2023.
 
Hi-Rez Studios announced the launch of a SMITE PS4 League this summer, open to teams in both North America and Europe. Teams will earn points as they participate in the open bracket with the top 4 from each region making the cut for the PS4 League in the Fall. Content will run on Mixer.
 
Nintendo released new details about its two competitive gaming tournaments taking place at E3 next month: The Splatoon 2 World Championship and Super Smash Bros. Invitational 2018, running June 11-12 at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. The Splatoon 2 World Championship will be called by sportscaster and Nintendo World Championships commentator Jordan Kent, senior editor at CNET Ashley Esqueda and Splatoon 2 U.S./Canada Inkling Open 2018 announcer Nine. All the Super Smash Bros. action will be called by announcers Jordan Kent, VikkiKitty, Vish and TKbreezy.
 
Speaking of E3, Epic Games released the third set of celebrity-streamer duos who will contend during the Fortnite: Battle Royale Pro-AM competition in June. A total of $3,000,000 is being donated to charity over the course of the event, with the new duos set to include: CDNThe3rd and Xavier Woods; Lachlan and Robbie Amell; Muselk and Liam McIntyre; LOLiTOFDEZ and Ron Funches; IIJERiCHOII and Dillon Francis; Cizzors and Reggie Jackson; NoahJ45 and Madilyn Bailey; Skyyart and Nathan Kress; SypherPK and Tarik Cohen; and Izak Live and Drezo.
 
FIFA and Electronic Arts announced that London will serve as host for the FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final 2018, from August 2-4. The event will see 32 finalists who will have qualified for the event through the EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs now competing for the ultimate Grand Prize: the FIFA eWorld Cup title.
 
Objective unlocked! Entries are NOW open for the 2018 Tempest Esports Business Awards, honoring the industry’s most innovative companies, personalities, campaigns, and executives. With categories that span production, marketing, talent and technology, your team’s work in the space will not go unnoticed. Enter before July 19 to save.
 
The six remaining participants of the 2018 NHL Gaming World Championship are set to collide in Las Vegas next month as two finalists each from Canada, the European Union and the United States square off on, June 19 at the new Esports Arena Las Vegas in a round-robin style tournament. Two gamers will emerge from the round-robin play to face off in a best-of-three final round to determine the 2018 NHL Gaming World Champion. The Champion will receive a $50,000 USD cash prize, take home the inaugural tournament trophy and attend the 2018 NHL Awards presented by Hulu.
 
The Call of Duty World League has announced the four fan-voted players from Division A who will participate in the CWL Anaheim All-Star Game, with Patrick ‘ACHES’ Price of Evil Geniuses, Martin ‘Chino’ Chino of Team Envy, Kenny ‘Kenny’ Williams of Team Kaliber, and Matthew ‘Skrapz’ Marshall of Red Reserve representing the division. The battle will take place at the $200,000 CWL Anaheim Open to benefit the Call of Duty Endowment.
 
Aston Villa FC announced the launch of a gaming/esports division, which will begin by participating in FIFA 18 tournament. AVFC will host seven, weekly qualifier tournaments on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, each awarding pro points to top competitors.
 
 
INSIGHTS


Stream Hatchet now offers our customers a biweekly report featuring viewership information on the top events in esports and gaming. In our most recent report, we tracked the viewership of both the NBA 2k League and the NHL Gaming World Championship. Our insights focus on traditional sports as disruptors in esports.
  • Overwatch League showed strong numbers this week with 7 million viewers, over 2 million more than the rest of our sample combined.
  • Both the NBA 2k League and the NHL Gaming World Championship were able to generate higher total views than Call of Duty World League.
  • Despite less overall viewers, the CWL audience consumed more content (hours watched) than the NBA 2k League and NHL Gaming World Championship
For more insights, and a breakdown of other espo rts tournaments last week, visit our blog at: blog.streamhatchet.com
 
 
ACTIVATION


Grizz Gaming inked a sponsorship with FedEx that will include presenting entitlement for the team’s virtual court and FedEx presenting custom-branded digital content features to be pushed through social and digital channels, along with a weekly social-based feature among other opportunities. “Esports and competitive gaming are rapidly evolving and offer engaging digital opportunities for the FedEx brand to reach new audiences,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, senior vice president of Integrated Marketing and Communications, FedEx. “We’re proud to be able to enter this new dimension in sports sponsorship by building on one of our most successful sports sponsorships and teaming up with the Memphis Grizzlies and Grizz Gaming for its inaugural season.”
 
In other partnership news, SteelSeries tied up a deal with FaZe Clan that make the company the exclusive peripheral partner of the team and includes sponsorship of all eSports teams including Counter-Strike Global Offensive, Call of Duty, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege and FIFA.
 
Turtle Beach announced a new multi-year partnership with Overwatch League outfit the Houston Outlaws that will see the team will use Turtle Beach’s Elite gear in training, streams, and practice, and the two organizations will collaborate to bring Outlaws fans closer to the pro players with behind the scenes content and activations.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
NEW CATEGORIES & EXPANDED COVERAGE
Cynopsis Imagination Awards
Celebrating the Best in Kids, Tween and Teen Media
Innovations and evolutions in the kids, tween and teen media sectors call for a bigger and better awards program to capture this exciting space. This is the perfect time to shine a light on everything your team has accomplished this past year with a call for entries that covers every aspect of the young media consumer’s experience.
 

CONSUMER SNAPSHOT


FanAI analyzed 271 different esports teams’ social followings and compared them to the followings of 35 different major auto brands to create an affinity index, showing how many of the teams’ fans follow each auto brand.
  • Tesla has the highest affinity with esports teams and fans consistently, which is not due to sponsorship but rather due to their branding and market leading position.
  • Mercedes Benz shows the next highest affinity in relation to all other auto brands, likely a result of their recent sponsorship efforts with ESL.
Source: FanAI.io
 
 
PLATFORMS


ESL and Mixer are forging alliances, announcing a new partnership that will bring over 15,000 hours of programming to the platform, including CS: GO, League of Legends, & Dota 2 with events that include ESL One Cologne and the ESL National Championships in Germany, Poland, Spain, the UK, Brazil, Italy, France, Austria and Turkey.
 
Online tournament platform StriveWire appears to have closed its doors, announcing that players would be unable to recover their funds. “We have applied for insolvency and have stopped the business. No payments can be made at present. Payouts will be resumed once insolvency process kicks in. This might take a few weeks or months,” the company posted. Dot Esports dove deeper into the situation at the site.
 
Overwatch League’s Boston Uprising named Twitch as the official and exclusive streaming service of the team and its players. The partnership with Twitch will provide a global means to foster the growth of the Uprising and its group of team partners, including the opportunity to brand the stream with additional partner logos. “We are excited for the opportunity to team up with an industry leader such as Twitch,” said Chris Loranger, President of Gaming for The Kraft Group. “As the popularity of esports continues to ascend, the importance of a quality streaming service cannot be understated. This deal will serve as an invitation for others around the globe to see more of what the Overwatch League has to offer.”
 
ReKTGlobal unlocked strategic investment in OverPowered Network, an esports company dedicated to promoting the growth of gaming and esports in the Gulf Cooperation Council and greater Middle East and North Africa region. In addition to the investment, ReKTGlobal will work closely with OPN founders and members of the Royal family, Ali Al Khalifa, Ahmed Al Khalifa and Abdulla Hamad Al Khalifa, open an office in the capital and recruit and sponsor MENA-based gamers for ReKTGlobal’s esports organization Team Rogue.
 
RIP to game critic and popular YouTuber John Bain, aka TotalBiscuit, who passed away following a long battle with cancer at the age of 33.
 
 
INDUSTRY


PUBG Corp. reportedly filed a lawsuit against Epic Games, claiming that Fortnite plagiarizes PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. According to The Korea Times, the studio asked a court in South Korea to determine whether Epic Games copied its intellectual property. “We filed the suit to protect our copyright,” the company told the publication.
 
The ESA and E3 are once again teaming up with producer Geoff Keighley to bring the E3 Coliseum to this year’s festivities, taking place at The Novo at L.A. Live from June 12-14. Among the sessions lined up will the “Interactive Magic with Penn Jillette and Randy Pitchford,” “The Future of Narrative,” “Hideo Kojima in Conversation with Jordan Vogt-Roberts,” “Transference with Elijah Wood” and Grim Fandango” on June 12. June 13 will include Call of Duty: Black Ops 4,” Worlds Collide,” and “Tomb Raider.” June 14 sees “Darren Aronofsky in Conversation,” and Cuphead” so far.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
October 1-3, 2018 | Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

Join Cynopsis Esports, Chief Marketer and Event Marketer for three days of networking, education and inspiration.  Every sector of the esports ecosystem will be represented for this incredible opportunity to get ahead of the curve and profit from this rapidly expanding industry.

Register Today
– Group Rates Available
 


ON THIS DAY in 2016: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine is released worldwide.
 
Trivia: In the series Friends, Phoebe buys what video game as a wedding present to Chandler and Monica? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Name the character pictures last week. Answer: Knuckles. Kudos: Chris Davies-Virgin/London; Luke Watson-Essential TV/NY; Scott Jenkins-Gracenote/NY; Danny Araque/NY; Glen Ross/DC; Rachel Eisen-Turner/Atlanta; Joey Olson-Lowe’s/Arlington; Gabrielle Pedro Fredrick – National Geographic/DC; Geoff Goldman-FOX Sports/St. Louis; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank
 
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