07/19/18: YouTube star Preston Arsement is taking a piece of Envy Gaming

It’s Thursday July 19, 2018 and this is your weekly early morning Esports briefing.

YouTube star Preston Arsement is picking up a piece of Dallas-based Envy Gaming, where he will now serve as an investor with plans to produce content featuring the Envy brand across his video and social media channels. Arsement launched a YouTube presence in 2010 and has built a social media following of more than 11 million fans.
“Preston embodies the core values and brand pillars of our organization. The authentic connection to fans and the path he took in becoming a premier gaming celebrity is just incredible. Preston is arguably the biggest gaming personality in Texas but has stayed humble and committed to his craft. We are thrilled to have him onboard as a partner in our organization and know Preston will help Team Envy grow significantly,” said Mike Rufail, owner and CEO at Envy Gaming.
“Having one of the most respected esports organizations in the world located in my backyard in Dallas is really special. I’m very selective of where I attach my brand but with Envy I have known and respected what they stand for since I first started playing Call of Duty,” said Arsement. “My goal has always been to inspire my viewers, fans, and my family and friends with quality content that shows a passion for what I do – and I’m excited to take that to the next level with a world-class organization like Envy that shares my love for gaming.”


Hi-Rez Studios saddled up its esports plans for battle royale title Realm Royale, formally launching two major competitive series that will be played on a weekly basis – the Realm Royale Invitational as well as 100K Thursday tournaments. Both competitions will be produced by Skillshot Media with the Thursday endeavor serving as a partnership with Daniel ‘KEEMSTAR’ Keem. In a video released by Hi-Rez Studios, the company stated that the Realm Royale Invitational will be held every Wednesday starting at 3p, with each offering dangling a prize pool of $10,000. The other competition will be held every Thursday starting at 4p. Both series will be live-streamed by Skillshot Media hosts and casters on the Realm Royale Twitch and Mixer channels, as well as the participating broadcasters on their personal channels.

In late news, Epic Games will reportedly host a $500,000 Fortnite tournament for solos, according to a report from Rod Breslau, tomorrow. The competition will play host to pro players and streamers but running opposite KEEMSTAR’s popular Friday Fortnite tournament. He also reports that with Epic’ tournament not yet officially announced, Friday Fortnite will continue as planned.  

Introducing the newest esports business hub in CynopsisEsports.com, featuring data, news, calendar, team directories, video and a slate of partnerships that will be rolling out over the next couple of weeks, offering white papers, thought pieces, how-tos and more!

Valve is making IEM Katowice the host of its 14th CS:GO Major in 2019 where the top 24 teams from around the world will compete across a three week span starting Feb. 14 with a prize pool of $1 million on the line in addition to the IEM World Championship. The Championship Stage kicks off on Feb. 28 and runs through March 3.  “IEM Katowice has grown to become one of the most iconic esports tournaments in the world,” said Michal Blicharz, Vice President of Pro Gaming at ESL. “I expect that coupling the heritage of IEM with the gravity of a Valve Major Championship will elevate the tournament to what will be the most incredible IEM event in history.”
The East Coast Conference is poised to introduce League of Legends as a sport and host its own seasons in 2019 and 2020. In addition, the Peach Belt Conference will also be bringing three more seasons of College League of Legends to their players in the 2019, 2020, and 2021 seasons. Starting next January, schools from both conferences will compete in their own respective conferences in a regular season before advancing into their own conference championships.
Speaking of collegiate esports, the American Video Game League is launching the first Fortnite esports league at the university level, starting with four online pre-season tournaments before the league officially opens its doors in the fall. The format for the league will be 2v2 in a double elimination bracket. The Fortnite Fall league will add to the portfolio of over 20 online college esports leagues that the AVGL has launched across game titles with 1,200 colleges.
OpTic Gaming and Infinite Esports & Entertainment is enrolling with the High School Esports League in a move to “support aspiring young esports athletes” with OpTic Gaming itself adding $25,000 of scholarship funds for the prize pool. The High School Esports League features competition in games like League of Legends, Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and others. The “Powered By OpTic Gaming” program will incorporate competitive titles that reflect OpTic Gaming’s invested interests – including DOTA, CS:GO, Call of Duty, League of Legends, Gears of War, Fortnite Battle Royale, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
Across the Atlantic, the British Esports Association unveiled plans for its first full competitive gaming Championships for schools, colleges and alternative provision schools, unlocking a partnership with Twitch Student to grow the British Esports Championships and “help give students support and opportunities. The British Esports Championships is for students aged 12-19, with each school or college allowed to enter teams for three different games with the first confirmed game being 5v5 League of Legends. Play begins on Oct. 10 and will run for two seasons, the first consisting of eight weeks of fixtures with breaks for half term and the second running in the New Year. The first six weeks will feature a Swiss tournament format, with Playoffs taking place during the remaining weeks.
Blizzard is now dealing up another round of The Hearthstone Global Games, with teams competing and representing as a nation.  The tournament will stream on the official Hearthstone Twitch channel every week with the company lining up casters Simon “Sottle” Welch, Alex “Raven” Baugley, Neil “Lorinda” Bond, Dan Falcone, Dan Gaskin, and Darroch Brown to call the action. Overall, 48 teams will compete in this year’s edition with each team sporting four players with play now underway. This year’s format will now see all countries competing in one Swiss bracket, playing six rounds and going against teams with the same record after a first set of random pairings. The top sixteen will then advance to a double elimination group bracket.
ELEAGUE serves up a match between two previous ELEAGUE Major champions as Astralis (Denmark) takes on Cloud9 (USA) to launch the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2018. Live tournament coverage will begin Saturday at 2p on the ELEAGUETV Twitch channel, and will also be available free of charge on B/R Live. In addition, live coverage will be available through ELEAGUE’s Game Command mosaic video player, which gives viewers access to thousands of different in-game viewing angles. A multi-part feature series revisiting the tournament’s best moments will be presented starting Aug. 24 on TBS.,
Esports Arena DRIVE, North America’s first and only mobile esports touring arena, is teaming with HyperX to bring Comic-Con International: San Diego 2018 attendees two days of gaming action with an event the will run today from 9a-9p. The event is free and open to the public and takes place at Park at the Park Wiffle Ball Field at Petco Park. The state-of-the-art, 80-foot, 18-wheel, 35-ton semi-trailer, which transforms into a mobile esports stage, production studio and rooftop lounge will host a total of 21 hours of action-packed competition featuring Street Fighter V.

Last Sunday, France defeated Croatia 4 – 2, winning their second FIFA World Cup. Our insights focus on the Twitch discussion during the match.
  • France was the most popular team during the event, generating four times as many mentions as Croatia.
  • Teams were a more popular topic than players. France and Croatia were mentioned more than Griezmann, Mbappe and Modric.
  • Griezmann celebrated his first goal with a dance emote from Although this appealed to the broader gaming audience, Mbappe was mentioned more times across more channels.
For more info on this week’s data, visit the Stream Hatchet blog.
October 1-3 | Caesars Palace, LV
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As Overwatch League veers toward is Grand Finals at Barclays Center on July 27-28, the org is offering perks to viewers that include the opportunity to earn four new in-game sprays as well as double League Tokens for watching the action. Sprays can be unlocked by watching a given amount of time and linking their accounts to the league’s Twitch and other digital platforms and include:
  • Match’s On! with Hanzo, Zarya, Sombra, and McCree
  • Watchparty: Gibraltar with Moira, Tracer, Winston, and Mei
  • #1 Fan with D.Va
  • Living Room with Brigitte, Reinhardt, Torbjörn, and Bastion
Meanwhile, Overwatch League has also partnered with Spotify to deliver playlists to mark the playoffs and Grand Finals. The Party on the Payload playlist saw Overwatch League tap the tastes of players from playoffs teams with four more also set to be unveiled: OWL Cool Down, Playoff Feels, OWL Around the World, and Overtime.
Nintendo is giving EVO attendees a taste of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, bringing the demo to this year’s championship before it hits the public on Dec. 7. EVO will run Aug. 3-5 this year and will again be hosting a pair of Smash Bros. tournaments in its lineup.
Activision reportedly wrapped up a creative review by opting to retain 72andSunny as its creative agency of record. “We are excited to continue our positive and productive relationship with Activision. We know we can do great things together and look forward to taking this franchise to new heights,” 72andSunny founder and creative co-chair Glenn Cole said in a statement, per Adweek. Activision spent just under $70 million on measured media in the U.S. last year, according to Kantar Media.
Razer begins its annual Razer Experience Tour today in San Diego at Comic-Con, with stops also set for Rooster Teeth in Austin, Quake Con in Dallas, Wizard World in Chicago, and Music Midtown in Atlanta. Several campuses including University of Miami and University of Texas will also be visited before concluding this year’s road trip at UCLA. Interactive demo stations will feature Razer’s newest gaming mice, keyboards, headsets and console products.
Giant Food, a greater Washington D.C. regional grocery chain and the official grocery store of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, locked in partnerships with several brands for the inaugural season of Wizard District Gaming and the NBA 2K League, including Proctor & Gamble and their brands Old Spice, Gillette and Tide, Nestlé and its owned brand Outsiders Pizza, and Chobani. Giant Food and its partners will look to support the team and activate via unique products, interactive live streams, and live games on Twitch.
Luminosity Gaming landed a deal with Universal Music Canada, marking the first time that a music label and esports organization have exclusively partnered together to formally connect music and gaming, according to a team announcement. The deal was announced by Universal Music Canada President & CEO Jeffrey Remedios and Luminosity Gaming Founder Steve Maida, and will open a “new platform for Universal Music artists to share their music and connect with listeners on a global scale and for Luminosity followers to get closer to their favorite artists with exclusive contests, breaking news, sneak previews, events and more.” Universal Music is also introducinga new playlist designed for gamers to stream while they play – the Gaming Hip Hop playlist.
Esports production, marketing and talent management firm eGency Global, in collaboration with SMU (Southern Methodist University) Guildhall, announced that funds raised at OP Live Dallas, will directly benefit local children through Children’s Health. The money will be donated to Extra Life, a charitable organization founded by video gamers in 2008 and dedicated to “Playing Games to Help Local Kids.”

Esports is a catchall term, but the communities within esports are not one size fits all. To see just how diverse the communities are, FanAI compared the Twitter communities of three popular genres in esports: First-Person Shooters (FPS), Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBA), and Fighting Games (FGC).
To simplify the scope of the project, FanAI limited the included communities to the top 3 games per genre.
  • FPS: CS:GO, Overwatch, Call of Duty
  • MOBA: League of Legends, Dota 2, Heroes of the Storm
  • FGC: Street Fighter V, Super Smash Bros., Tekken
Of the 26.7M unique handles reviewed, 81% followed only games within their genre of choice. With such little overlap between genres, it is key for companies that look to sponsor or invest in esports to carefully consider the different communities and determine which one best fits their brand.

Amazon Web Services announced that video game and software development corporation Epic Games, creator of Fortnite, is continuing to invest in AWS as its choice in infrastructure to build new games and enhance the in-game experiences. Since its inception, Fortnite has been powered by AWS and the game developer runs its worldwide game server fleet, backend platform systems, databases, and websites on AWS, and will leverage the breadth and depth of AWS’s services, including analytics, machine learning, and containers, to continually improve gameplay. “Fortnite’s meteoric rise is a quintessential example of how embracing the cloud and utilizing it fully can significantly impact the trajectory of your business,” said Mike Clayville, Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales at AWS. “Throughout Fortnite’s phenomenal growth trajectory, Epic Games has relied upon AWS to provide gamers with the best gaming experience in the world, and to speed innovation by delivering new items, features, and play modes to the game on a regular basis. Together, we look forward to driving new player experiences, leveraging AWS analytics and machine learning services.”

PUBG Corp.
will utilize Multiplay, a game server hosting service, to host its European server infrastructure. Multiplay will manage the server migration itself. “This partnership with Multiplay will allow us to improve our game server’s performance and deliver a smoother experience to PUBG fans in Europe,” said Chang Han Kim, CEO of PUBG Corp. “Multiplay’s expertise and dedication, paired with the resources that Unity offers have made them key partners we love working with. We look forward to building a long term partnership with the team at Unity.”

The Washington Post is turning to gaming for its next platform, launching a channel with sister Amazon-owned company Twitch that will see live streaming of politicians as they play video games. Overall, two forms of content were announced: live event coverage hosted by Post on-air reporter Libby Casey, as well as Playing Games With Politicians, a series hosted by Post political reporter Dave Weigel, with the first installment set to feature Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).
Speaking of which, Twitch is launching an Ambassador program, announcing fifteen ‘Ambassadors’ for TwitchCon, designed to “embody what Twitch is all about, from games to cosplay to IRL streams and more.” This year’s honorees include:  Avajaijai, Data_Dave, DeejayKnight, DistractedElf, Djarii, Elspeth, ESBC, Gibson, Pokimane, Sequisha, Skybilz, ThatBronzeGirl, UmiNoKaiju, Wish, and Xmiramira,
Disney XD’s new deal with Overwatch League helped propel the channel to an audience of 127,000 viewers on the linear channel alone, pushing the network to the top 150 for original cable and network television programs. The broadcast comes courtesy of a deal between Blizzard and Disney, ESPN and ABC to televise the league.
As Chuck Smolka, a nine-year-old from Staten Island, won the first-ever MLB Home Run Derby VR Tournament Championship, held as part of GEICO All-Star FanFest, MLB reports that his performance in the final round on Monday , which at the time on Monday ranked as the top live streaming video on Twitch.TV with more than 120,500 concurrent viewers.
Meanwhile, Thunder Gaming and tournament organizer 2GGaming saw the launch of new national Super Smash Bros. 4 tournament 2GG: Hyrule Saga reel in more than 185,000 unique viewers, with 215,000 hours watches and average concurrent viewers of more than 9500.

Electronic Arts officially unveiled the Madden NFL 19 and Madden NFL Overdrive cover athlete with Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver Antonio Brown gracing this year’s spotlight. “AB has taken the league by storm the past few years and is arguably one of the best wide receivers to ever play in the NFL,” said Joshua Rabenovets, Sr. Brand Director at EA SPORTS. “His game is hot, he’s got a ton of personality on and off the field – he was an easy choice for the Madden NFL 19 cover.”
Blizzard appears to be burying the Battle Chest, making a change to World of Warcraft will now offer players access to the game (along with every expansion through Legion) via subscription and without additional purchase.
Microsoft announced plans to hold a live stream for new features, news, and most importantly “all-new Xbox hardware and accessories” on Aug. 21.
Chinese news site Shine reports that the city of Shanghai is opening a dedicated business park designed to be home to local and international esports companies. The park would open in 2020 and be built in cooperation with Super Generation Investment and Tencent. Plans include a 6,000 seat esports arena that would host domestic and international competition.
Pokemon Go developer Niantic captured Seismic Games, acquiring the company for an undisclosed fee. Seismic has worked on mobile and VR titles including Marvel: Strike Force and Blade Runner Revelations.

Gfinity named sports and media executive Graham Wallace to the Board of Directors and to the newly created role of Global Chief Operating Officer with immediate effect. Graham will work alongside recently appointed Executive Chairman, Garry Cook, with responsibility for managing Gfinity’s global business operations as the Company focuses on delivery of its strategy and growth targets.
Former Hearthstone game director Ben Brode is launching a new studio, Second Dinner, that will be based in Orange County.
Jeff Karp is headed to Big Fish to serve as the company’s new managing director and president. Karp was most recently the chief executive officer of Sports Illustrated Play, where he lead the construction of various youth sports platforms.
Call for Entries Opening in August
Deadline: October 17
Event: March 2019 (NYC)

ON THIS DAY in 2001: Final Fantasy X is released for the PlayStation 2.
Trivia: Which video game franchise has featured celebrity voices that include the likes of Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, Samuel L Jackson, and Ricky Gervais? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: In honor of Donkey Kong’s 37th anniversary (July 9, 1981), what is the name of the girl that Mario (aka Jumpman) needs to rescue from the famed gorilla? Answer: Pauline. Kudos: Julie Reuter/Sydney; Glen Gale/Adelaide; Chris Davies-Virgin/London; Allison Weiner-MMSI/Warwick; Glen Ross/DC; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Greg Dudsic/Venice; Tak Okajima-JAKKS Pacific/Santa Monica

Later — Chris
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Responsible for setting up meetings with brands, agencies and media buyers.
Director, Sales (esports)
The Score Inc.
Collaborate with the social, marketing, and sales teams to ensure a full understanding of creative objectives and ensuring they are executed accurately.
Motion Graphics Designer
The Score Inc.
Implement secure, fault tolerant, decoupled micro-services on a container-based infrastructure.
Software Engineer
Austin TX
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Creative Director
Austin TX
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Director, eSports
Beverly Hills CA
Lead the team responsible for the global execution of Hearthstone Championship Tour and related programs.
Senior Product Manager Hearthstone, Esports
Irvine CA
Work with lead animator to ensure timely completion of character assets at the desired quality bar.
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San Francisco CA
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Tencent Games
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Los Angeles CA
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Riot Games
Los Angeles CA
Collaborate with the game publishing team to create unique value opportunities in cross-promotion and sponsor integration.
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Riot Games
Los Angeles CA


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