08/12/21: Cxmmunity and Twitch detailed plans for season two of HBCU Esports League


Medias First Morning Read


Thursday August 12, 2021

Good morning! This is your weekly Esports Brief.
Cxmmunity and Twitch are officially launching season two of the HBCU Esports League, and announced partnerships with Verizon and Discover for the coming year. The 22-week schedule to be aired on Twitch.tv/cxmmunity will begin on Aug. 18 at 7p and conclude on April 6, 2022, featuring 25 HBCUs who will compete in Madden and NBA2K.

“We’re incredibly proud to bring the HBCU Esports League back for its second season with the support of Twitch, Verizon and Discover,” said Ryan Johnson, co-founder and executive director for Cxmmunity. “This will continue building competition and galvanizing the community across our partner colleges and universities.”

“While 83% of Black teens play video games, opportunities are scarce for them to pursue careers in gaming, esports and STEM when they enroll in college. We hope our Esports League will further their passion and desire to engage in these areas as they navigate their academic journeys at their respective schools,” said Ryan Johnson, co-founder and executive director for Cxmmunity.

Participating HBCUs include Alabama A&M University, Claflin University, Clark Atlanta University, Coppin State University, Delaware State University, Fayetteville State University, Fort Valley State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Johnson C. Smith University, Langston University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, Morris Brown College, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, Oakwood University, Shaw University, South Carolina State University, Southern University, Tennessee State University, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore and Wilberforce University.

Verizon returns as a season partner, which includes its owned branded segment and a Celebrity Pro-Am Tournament to be determined in the coming weeks. Discover, meanwhile, joins the season as a new partner and will present the first-ever “Discover Bowl,” a Madden tournament to be held during the collegiate football bowl season. Along with the “Discover Bowl,” Discover will also sponsor its own branded segment, “Discover’s Cxmmunity Leader of the Week.”

Multiple reports and sources shot down an article claiming that Overwatch League would be taking a year-long hiatus due to an apparent delay in the release of Overwatch 2. Dot Esports refuted the original article, stating that OWL “is assessing its options for 2022, including a potential extended offseason following the 2021 season and interim events that could include non-season-based tournaments.” Overwatch League VP Jon Spector also knocked the original GGRecon report, tweeting that the league has not determined its start date or plans for 2022 and does “not plan to take a ‘year-long hiatus.’”

The next major event in PUBG: Battlegrounds esports sees Krafton deliver the PUBG Continental Series 5 to North America, Europe, Asia, and Asia-Pacific regions with play spanning Sept. 16-Oct. 4 and a prize pool of $1 million. The top 16 teams competing for their share of $250,000 per region and the title of PCS5 Regional Champion.

The NBA 2K League will see the inaugural NBA 2K League All-Star Game held on Sept. 25 at 7p and carried on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels. Rosters for the 2021 NBA 2K League All-Star Game will consist of seven players from each of the Eastern and Western conference, and will be determined by a vote of fans, current NBA 2K League players, head coaches and general managers, and a media panel. The 2021 NBA 2K League All-Star Game will be a 5-on-5, best-of-three series with players competing on PS5 consoles in NBA 2K22’s Pro-Am mode. The NBA 2K League will award a $25,000 prize pool with the winning and losing team receiving $18,000 and $7,000, respectively.

Bandai Namco began rolling out plans for the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Championship with a new circuit. Online qualifiers, called the DBFZ World Championship Tenkaichi Online Challenge, will be made up of a slate of community tournaments around the world that will will award players with performance points that will decide who makes it to the Regional Finals, which take place in the United States, Europe, and Japan. The top players from those regional events will earn a spot at the DBFZ World Championship.

The EA SPORTS Madden NFL 22 Championship Series returns with some tweaks as top players compete in four MCS marquee tournaments closely tied in to key NFL season moments. The MCS 22 features the largest prize pool in franchise history with $1.65 million on the line and the Ultimate Madden Bowl season finale, played live in Los Angeles, dishing out $1 million of the season purse. Ultimate Kickoff begins the action from Aug. 21-Sept. 8, followed by Ultimate Thanksgiving from Oct. 2-Nov. 24 and Ultimate Wild Card, ending Jan. 14. The Ultimate Madden Bowl will then run Feb. 1-13.

With Delta spiking, Riot announced that all matches for the 2021 LCS Championship will now be held at the LCS Arena in Los Angeles instead of at the Prudential Center this year, noting “We scheduled the LCS Championship as a road show with fans and made the decision to move forward based on the very promising roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Spring. However, over the past month, we’ve been closely monitoring the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases across the United States. Given the current state of affairs, we cannot in good conscience conduct a massive fan event at this time.”

ESL Gaming detailed plans for ESL One Fall: Bootcamp Edition powered by Intel, which will see a dozen participating teams which qualified for The International 10 get a last chance to compete cross-regionally before this year’s event. The teams compete for a $400,000 prize pool, with competition spanning Aug. 21-29. “We are looking forward to giving teams an opportunity to test and sharpen their skills in preparation of TI10,” said Dirk Niemeyer, Senior Product Manager for Dota 2 at ESL Gaming. “But more importantly, we are looking at a highly competitive, US$ 400,000 tournament with top-tier teams and talents. It will be a great Dota 2 show.”

Kris “FaZe Swagg” Lamberson is bringing back Swagg’s Summer Invitational for Call of Duty: Warzone on Aug. 18, competing with gamers that include FaZe Booya, FaZe JSmooth, FaZe Santana, Aydan, Mutex, Tommey, newbz, almxnd, Jukeyz, Teepee and more. The event is produced by Boom.tv with a total prize pool of $100k and will be carried on FaZe Clan’s Twitch channel.

Launch Esports, a joint venture between Mainline and Steel Planet Esports, announced the first slate of Division II and NAIA conference competitions and invitationals, designed to bring structure and continuity to conference-level play for small college conferences and schools across the country for Division II, Division III, NAIA and community college conferences and universities, including KCAC, Mid-South Conference, Conference Carolinas, Sooner Athletic Conference, and Red River Athletic Conference. As part of its offering, Launch Esports provides professional broadcasting and on-air talent services to its member conferences.

FaZe Clan announced the upcoming Summer Tip-Off event presented by Corona Hard Seltzer hosted by Druski. The event will take place on Aug. 13 at Resorts World Las Vegas, and will see Grammy-nominated rapper Jack Harlow headline the event with a special performance at Ayu Dayclub following a gaming exhibition with FaZe talent including FaZe Swagg, FaZe JSmooth, FaZe Santana & FaZe Booya and NBA stars including Damion Lee, Eric Paschall, Josh Hart and more.

Rally Cry revealed plans for season two of Air Force Gaming League, with USAA signed on a presenting sponsor. The global 12-week league will span 80 bases for three game titles. Currently AFG has over 17.5k verified Airmen (Air Force) and Guardians (Space Force).

One of the biggest growing trends this past year has been the growth of non-gaming live streaming content. When the global shutdown put a pause on live events, music and sports were just some of the industries that utilized live streaming to adapt to virtual audiences. The communal, interactive nature of live streaming provides the audience with real time engagement and a more accessible venue compared to in-person events. A potentially larger audience and easy integration make live streaming platforms a great long-term home for these industries.

Here are key insights:
· Since the creation of the “Music” category on Twitch, the genre has generated over 250M watch hours.
· Non-gaming Twitch channels have produced over 4B hours watched since 2020.
· The “Sports” category on Twitch is the 3rd most popular non-gaming category in 2021 so far. Since 2020, “Sports” has generated over 108M hours watched.

For more on how Stream Hatchet can help marketers keep ahead of trends within the video game and esports industries, visit us online at: www.StreamHatchet.com.

Evil Geniuses announced a partnership with business, travel and performance luxury brand, TUMI, as the official luggage partner of Evil Geniuses that will see EG athletes equipped with signature TUMI product to protect their gear before they compete. In addition, EG players and talent will be featured in photo and video collateral as part of the promotion of TUMI’s professional esports collection.

A number of brands hit pause on activation in Overwatch League, following parent company Activision Blizzard’s recent harassment and discrimination lawsuit and allegations. State Farm and Coca-Cola became two of the latest brands reported to be reevaluating its partnerships, according The Washington Post (although Coca-Cola is still listed on their site as a partner) with State Farm declaring that it was “re-evaluating our limited marketing relationship with the Overwatch League”, while also requesting that no advertisements run during Overwatch matches over the past weekend. Other brands who also appear to have withdrawn, according to various reports, include T-Mobile (which also paused its Call of Duty League activation), IBM and Kellogg’s.

How to Create Culturally Relevant Content


In partnership with Discovery, the Diversity and Inclusion virtual event on September 13 takes a deep dive into how to deliver a message that embraces diversity and shares your business values in a way that resonates with consumers. The best part? It’s FREE to join.

Secure your complimentary virtual pass now.



BoomTV is dialing up Dr Disrespect on a new partnership. The famed personality revealed that he is teaming up with the tournament producer BoomTV to launch a new development studio. He noted that he expects gaming influencers to take part in the development process who will work alongside the developers to “launch their dream gaming title”.

Roblox is partnering with global music company BMG, Proper Loud, and MBA Live to announced that KSI will host his first Launch Party on the Roblox platform. The interactive experience will showcase a performance from KSI and feature songs from his album, All Over The Place. KSI’s first performance starts on Friday with encore performances hourly over the weekend and will be followed by a “first-of-its kind VIP after party experience for fans,” including an exclusive virtual Q&A, on Aug. 14, all on the Roblox platform.

DarkZero Esports is checking into the brand-new Resorts World Las Vegas. That team will bring its athletes, partners, and ‘industry leaders’ to the resort while the Resorts World Las Vegas’s logo will be seen on the left sleeve of the team’s Rainbow Six: Siege and VALORANT team jerseys. DarkZero’s homepage, as well as the social media channels of the organization and its players, will also integrate resort branding.

The Los Angeles Chargers reached a deal for a partnership with Esports Entertainment Group, which now becomes the Chargers’ official esports tournament platform providers. Meanwhile, the Chargers receive an equity stake in Esports Entertainment and co-branded events through the Esports Gaming League.

XSET locked in a partnership with gaming matchmaking platform Partie in a move to promote the platform’s values of safety and inclusivity in gaming. XSET will also drive a slate of in-app programs for the platform that includes community events and tournaments that connect fans to the team’s content creators.




Following the announcement by the Global Esports Federation of the Singapore 2021 Global Esports Games, the Singapore Esports Association announced that formation of the GEG Organizing Committee consisting of the Singapore Esports Association, Razer and Thomson X and led by Her Excellency, Ms Ng Shin. The Organizing Committee will be responsible for the successful execution of the inaugural Global Esports Games, GEFcon and GEFestival in December 2021. The GEG Organising Committee will also enter a consultancy partnership with IMG, a global leader in sports, fashion, media, and events. IMG will work across a range of areas including production of 30 hours of live content, event management, marketing, media distribution and sponsorship rights.

Galaxy Racer announced the appointment of Danny Lopez as Chief Content Officer, where he will lead the development and implementation of best-in-class global content strategy by creating show-stopping entertainment across all areas of the business. Lopez was previously the Director of Brand and Content at Guild Esports.

Special Olympics is launching the inaugural esports experience Gaming for Inclusion presented by Microsoft. Running Sept. 12-14, Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners will compete in Rocket League, Madden NFL 22, and Forza Motorsport 7 on Xbox for the chance to play alongside celebrity supporters of Special Olympics, including Jayson Tatum, Jamaal Charles, and WWE Superstars on Sept. 18. “COVID-19 and the suspension hundreds of thousands of annual in-person events worldwide meant Special Olympics had to pivot to supporting virtual experiences,” said Prianka Nandy, Chief Information and Technology Officer at Special Olympics. “Our digital transformation partners at Microsoft brought their expertise in developing scalable and accessible digital platforms that allow people of all abilities to build connections with others through the universal language of gaming. Together, we’ve shaped an innovative program that will last well beyond the pandemic.”

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These awards recognize outstanding work in Video Content, Ad Tech, Creative Campaigns, Individuals and Teams – the influencers and those working behind the scenes.
But hurry, you can’t win if you don’t enter.



This SNL legend (pictured above) once hit a frenzy in a commercial for Ice Hockey by Activision. Who was he? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
The US Air Force used what gaming console to create a cluster supercomputer? Answer: The PlayStation 3. Kudos: David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

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