07/23/20: Mobalytics got major investment for its technology

 

Medias First Morning Read
Thursday July 23, 2020

Good morning! This is your weekly Esports Brief.
Gaming analytics platform Mobalytics raised $11.25 million in Series A funding, led by Almaz Capital and Cabra VC. Other investors participating in the round include HP Tech Ventures, General Catalyst, GGV Capital, RRE Ventures, Axiomatic and T1 Esports. The fresh capital will allow Mobalytics will expand into further development of its gaming assistant through better analytics and personalization. The company also plans to increase its engineering force, and hire additional product experts in the next six months. Mobalytics has built resources to assist players in four different game genres: MOBA’s, Auto-battlers, trading card games and first-person shooters. Mobalytics has established relationships with Team Liquid, Golden Guardians, T1 and helped professional teams as a scouting resource.

“All of our players, coaches, and teams across the T1 portfolio rely on in-game analytics, which is why we thought it was so important to invest in Mobalytics,” said Joe Marsh, CEO of T1. “We are especially excited to collaborate with the Mobalytics team to help build new training programs and tools for Valorant.”

COMPETITION
The Esports Racing Team Association opened its doors, after sim racing took center stage amid the pandemic. The organization will feature 12 founding members with the objective to give teams in the esports racing landscape, “their own voice and lend them more weight in the collaboration with sim platforms, game developers, race series, car manufacturers and drivers. Among the founding members will be: ad hoc gaming, Altus Esports, Biela Racing Team EURONICS, BS+COMPETITION, Buttler-Pal Motorsport, CoRe SimRacing, MSI eSports, Race Clutch, Red Bull Racing Esports/G2 Esports, Redline, SimRC.de and Williams Esports. “With sim racing becoming ever more professional in many regards we find the structural framework in the background is lacking behind the more recent developments,” said Nils Naujoks of Red Bull Racing Esports/G2 Esports. “By aligning on positions across teams, I am sure ERTA can play in important role in advancing sim racing and making it a more regulated esport.”

More details for the Fortnite Champion Series tournament for Chapter 2 – Season 3 as Epic’s third-ever official Fortnite Champion Series event will utilize the solo format with $5 million up for grabs. The tournament is open to all players who reach the Champions division in Arena Mode. Players will have four qualifiers to compete in, starting on Aug. 1 and set to include both console and PC players in separate tournaments.

ESPN detailed plans for this week’s ESPN Esports Rocket League Invitational Sponsored by Psyonix, with play starting Friday at 2:30p each day. Teams are set to include include NRG, G2, Rogue and Spacestation Gaming with competition produced in part by Bento, live on the ESPN Esports Twitch channel and the ESPN App.

Epic Esports Events and WePlay! Esports teamed up to launch the Omega League, a $590,000 Dota 2 event debuting this week and running through the first week of September. According to Reuters, organizers are looking for the Omega League to “fill the void left by the cancellation of this summer’s Dota Pro Circuit.” “We decided to work together as a coalition of organizations, driven by our commitment to the fans, our love for this game, and the will to create a more sustainable competitive ecosystem around Dota 2,” teams representatives said in a release. “Omega League is the first tournament coming from this partnership and everyone involved has poured their hearts into making it worthy of those mythical weeks in August.”

The NBA 2K League announced that the remainder of the regular season will be played online, including all remaining in-season tournaments. The postseason will begin on Aug. 19 and runs until Aug. 29. Two in-season tournaments remain in Season 3 and both will also be contested online: THE TURN, which takes place July 22-25, and THE TICKET, running Aug. 13-15.

Ubisoft unlocked a new initiative for its Rainbow Six Circuit. Partnering with FACEIT, the company is launching the Rainbow Six Collegiate Program for registered students across the US and Canada. Each Collegiate Club starts with a Club Leader, who will work with our Community team to help cultivate a Championship League and Recreational Teams within their school; more details on the leagues below. Each club has a chance at earning prizes from Rainbow Six and Ubisoft as well as with the program’s Collegiate partner, CORSAIR.

Who will pick up the first-ever award for Best Brand Presence on Twitch at the Tempest Awards? Think your activation has the right stuff? Then get those Tempest Award submissions in ASAP! Time is running out. Click here to get them in before the July 30 deadline.

Golf’s The Open is opening the doors for The e-Open, with Mastercard on-board as a presenting partner. The tournament will leverage Topgolf’s World Golf Tour, a free online gaming platform that will enable its 28 million users to play for a chance to win an exclusive trip to The 149th Open in 2021 with flights, hotels, and tickets fully compensated.

ESL announced that the 2020 ESL One Cologne CS:GO event will go online. “After a thorough evaluation we’ve concluded that ESL One Cologne 2020 powered by Intel will transition to an Online Tournament.” the company stated, “The decision was made after extensive research and understanding of global travel regulations and individual national guidelines.” They event will now be split into four separate regions, Europe, North America, Oceania, and Asia with the $500,000 prize pool proportionally split into each of the regions.

STREAM HATCHET TRENDS
Every Monday, the Stream Hatchet team highlights the top sponsored live stream activations across the major streaming platforms. The latest edition of #Ads of the Week featured sponsored streams that generated over 100k hours watched in just a few short hours. TimTheTatman, Agraelus, and Letshe were able to bring massive viewership for their partners while each streaming a different game. Brands that leverage both the audience of the streamer and the game being played will often see the most success in total reach.
· TimTheTatman participated in the Chipotle Challenger Series Finals this past week as teams competed to take home $25,000 and free Chipotle burritos for one year.
· The #ad that ran on Tim’s stream while playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare generated about 113k hours watched while averaging just under 40k viewers over 3 hours.
For more case studies on how to activate with influencers in live streaming visit us at: https://www.streamhatchet.com/insights/

ACTIVATION
The U.S. Army appears to be pulling back on its sponsorship and outreach with the esports community. After receiving backlash for reportedly banning viewers for asking about war crimes on its Twitch channels and sending viewers to a recruitment page as a guise for a giveaway, multiple reports – first broken by Rod “Slasher” Breslau – the Army’s esports team has paused social activity, streaming on Twitch, and official activations with Twitch including participating in upcoming Twitch Rivals events,” with the chance they would not resume these marketing efforts until 2021. In addition, Vice reports that U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will file a measure that would prevent the military from spending money to recruit through services like Twitch or through esports.

ESL locked in their third partnership with retail group EURONICS International. The global cooperation will be expanding on the already existing partnership and landmark sponsorship of ESL One Hamburg in October 2019 and ESL’s signature major, the Intel Extreme Masters as retail partner. Furthermore, Euronics will for the first time be presenting sponsor of the “Instant Replay” segment and in addition feature on the in-game banner in the English main broadcast

The Virtual Cynopsis Sports Media Awards: AUG 12 | 2PM ET
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PLATFORMS
VENN continues to move toward launch, announcing Part Two of their programming slate, with additional shows that will include: Grey Area, with Sasha Grey and Jon Park; The Download featuring Emma Fyffe, Erin Ashley Simon, Matt Morello, Jimmy Wong and Daniel Gonzales; VENN Arcade Live with Emily Mei, Tehya Johns and Daniel Gonzales; Proximity featuring the EDM music collective and distributor; and a self-titled show featuring Bernie Su.

Riot Games gave an overhaul to LoL Esports, delivering a new logo for the brand with an emphasis on regional leagues and global events. The facelift touches the overarching League of Legends competitive and was officially announced on its Twitter account. In addition, the platform will serve up additional content that includes three new series: Weekly Rundown; The Penta, a “Top Five” plays format; and Champ Select, a bi-weekly show featuring guests from regional leagues advocating for standout players, launching July 23.

Live stream and on-demand platform LiveXLive Media is teaming with Allied Esports to develop an entertainment program that merges live music and competitive gaming. The new show concept will use Allied Esports’ mobile esports entertainment facility as the production studio and main stage as chart-topping artists – including Trippie Redd, who will star in the pilot – and DJs who face off in music-based battles and then face off in a gaming showdown. Battles will span different music genres and feature top talent from Rap, EDM and Hip Hop to Country, Latin and more. As part of the deal, LiveXLive will also produce ancillary content from the show for its streaming platform and will promote the format across its other existing original programs like LiveZone, Music Lives ON and the recent virtual Spring Awakening Music Festival 2020.

Mission Control, described as a rec league gaming platform that allows community centers, recreation departments, and other groups to conduct their own esports leagues, announced the closing of a $1.75 million funding round led by Dundee Venture Capital, in addition to M25, Cultivation Capital, and MATH Venture Partners. Mission Control’s platform expansion will allow for more groups to gather and grow their communities using esports.

Mixer is officially unplugged, ending its run this week after announcing a month ago that the steaming platform would be closing its doors as corporate shifted to Facebook Gaming.

REV TV Canada, Canada’s motorsports network, announced that the eNASCAR Heat Pro League will debut on REV TV Canada starting Monday at 7:30p. “With success, REV TV Canada has aired Road to Indy, Mazda MX5 Cup, the Virtual 24 hours of Le Mans and the Virtual 2020 Race of Champions and the eNASCAR Heat Pro League is a welcome addition to our commitment to bring new racing content to our loyal viewers during this unique time” said Mike Garrow President of REV TV Canada. “It has been an honour to once again work with Motorsport Games who have been at the forefront in delivering innovative and compelling content.”

VY Esports is launching a new gaming/esports entertainment platform titled EDGE and designed for casual gamers to showcase the lifestyle and career opportunities in gaming, with American Eagle on-board as sponsor and GameStop and UPROXX signed on as strategic partners. “EDGE brings together pro gamers, influencers, and developers in a new way to share their experiences and give attendees the tools to create a promising future within their local gaming community,” said Oleg Butenko, CEO and founder of VY Esports. “We’re excited to partner with GameStop, UPROXX, and American Eagle to develop cutting-edge content and events.”

LIFESTYLE & LICENSING
Logitech G and Herman Miller unveiled a series of high-performance gaming furniture and accessories, including the Embody Gaming Chair, described as “the industry’s first truly ergonomic chair.” In addition, the companies introduced the Herman Miller Motia, Ratio, and Nevi Gaming Desks as well as the Ollin Gaming Monitor Arm. The Embody Gaming Chair will be available for $1,495; the Motia Desk is available for $1,295; and the Ollin Monitor Arm will retail for $295. “Gamers deserve advanced ergonomic solutions in all aspects of play. We partnered with Herman Miller to evolve their award-winning Embody Chair into a solution that meets the specific needs of gamers today,” said Peter Kingsley, Chief Marketing Officer at Logitech G. “This is the first step in an ongoing relationship, and we’re proud to be working with Herman Miller to find new

Secretlab plotted a partnership with Evil Geniuses that opens the door to the Secretlab Evil Geniuses Edition chair, “equipped with all the features of the award-winning Secretlab 2020 Series, including the upgraded PRIME 2.0 PU leather, patent-pending cold-cure foam, and a wide range of adjustments”. “As one of the original esports organizations, we’re constantly looking toward securing a greater competitive edge, both to honor our storied history and to deliver unforgettable victories for our fans,” said Nicole LaPointe Jameson, CEO, Evil Geniuses. “We’ve found a partner in Secretlab that shares our values and commitment, and we feel like they’ve perfectly captured Evil Geniuses’ roots and ambitions in the Secretlab Evil Geniuses Edition. EG aspires to be nothing less than the very best in all of our ventures. As the global leader in performance gaming seats, Secretlab is set to provide our players with the comfort and support they need to always perform at the highest level.”

INDUSTRY
The ESA released that 2020 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry. The report shows that there are more than 214 million video game players across the United States, three quarters of all U.S. households have at least one person who plays video games, and 64% of U.S. adults and 70% of those under 18 regularly play video games. Large majorities of players say video games provide mental stimulation (80 percent) and relaxation (79 percent).

Twitch landed rapper Logic to an exclusive steaming deal. He announced the deal in an interview with The Verge, with the move coming after his retirement from rap. “I’m blessed enough to have millions of fans and followers,” he said. “So it is a great partnership. I’m going to bring new eyes to their service, they’re going to bring new money to my bank account, and — I’m just kidding.”

Rocket League developer Psyonix announced that Rocket League will become free to play this summer 2020. Players who bought the game before the move will be given “Legacy Status,” which includes early releases and cosmetic exclusives.

ROSTER MOVES

ESL named Craig Levine as Co-CEO of the company, where he succeeds David Neichel. Levine previously served as Chief Strategy Officer for the organization and, prior to that, served as CEO of ESL North America. “I could not be more excited to have Craig step into this role alongside me,” said Co-CEO and Founder Ralf Reichert. “Craig has been part of the ESL and broader esports family for many years, has been a key leader in shaping our growth and developing the organization globally. He loves ESL and esports as much as I do and it is a natural step to appoint him to help us continue driving our vision given his industry expertise, passion for our team and deep understanding of our strategy, products and fans.” David Neichel, meanwhile, will transition to a Senior Advisor to the CEOs.

Subnation made multiple hires, adding Chris Mann as Chief Operating Officer, Carla Rizzo as Head of Brand Partnerships, and Alec Strasmore as Head of Influencer Relations.

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