08/15/19: Wizards of the Coast is expanding its esports plans for Magic

It’s Thursday August 15, 2019 and this is your weekly early morning Esports briefing. For additional longer-form esports news plus jobs, a team directory, glossary, calendar and data, check out our new esports hub updated daily: http://cynopsisesports.com.

Wizards of the Coast is stepping up its game for Magic: The Gathering esports, announcing that the 2020–2021 season will see “an evolution in the four building blocks of our competitive program that open up more ways for players to qualify, provide high-quality broadcast spectacles, and create a clear path to pro and the World Championship for aspiring competitors.” Magic Tabletop will introduce the Players Tour, a regional tournament system that will increase global play and qualification opportunities, with over $2.5 million in prizes.
Meanwhile, the Magic Pro League will return for 2020–2021 joined by a new Rivals League that will support grassroots talent and provide high-level competitors a clear path to pro. The MPL will showcase the top deck-building strategies and highest-level of competition as players vie to stay atop the rankings, while Rivals will serve as a talent-development league that provides opportunities for new challengers to secure a spot in the next MPL season.
Finally, the Magic World Championship will serve as the culmination of the competitive season and bring together the top players from all platforms and leagues to compete for a chance to call themselves “The Best Magic Player in the World.”

FIFA and Electronic Arts Inc. announced that the FIFA eWorld Cup 2019 scored another uptick in total viewership and landed new record figures, with more than 47 million views across online platforms during the three-day event, up 60% over last year’s event to rank as the most viewed event ever of the EA Sports FIFA 19 Global Series. The series itself generated more than 140 million total views across the 2018/2019 season since kicking off in October 2018. “Competitive FIFA viewership growth has skyrocketed,” said Todd Sitrin, SVP and GM of the EA Competitive Gaming Division. “This growth was fueled by an expanded EA SPORTS™ FIFA 19 Global Series which now includes millions of competitors, 17 football league partners hosting top-flight leagues, and dozens of licensed events being executed throughout the year.  We’re very happy with the results and the fact that the esports industry has recognized this franchise as a tier one esport.” 

Speaking of numbers, ESL is reporting growth across multiple metrics for major ESL tournaments this year. Over the course of the first seven months of 2019, average minute audience is up 90%, hours watched up 190% and video views up 55% for ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters and ESL Pro League tournaments. “This growth in viewership and interest is humbling to see,” said Ralf Reichert, CEO at ESL. “ESL’s open ecosystem enables us to work with a variety of games that allows ESL to build standout, innovative properties such as IEM Katowice, ESL One Cologne and Birmingham and see them thrive and grow over the years.


The fourth season of the Call of Duty World League, Presented by PlayStation 4, heads toward its conclusion in LA this week starting with elimination play for 32 teams and every contest carried on MLG.com, Twitch and even in-game inside Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. “This season of the CWL has been thrilling to watch and the Call of Duty community has responded as viewership continues to grow this year,” said Johanna Faries, Commissioner of Call of Duty Esports. “After months of storylines, drama and outstanding competition, we’re about to see who is the best Call of Duty Esports team in the world.”


Super League Gaming inked a partnership with Tencent Games to bring PUBG Mobile content and experiences to gamers throughout the US. Super League will work with Tencent to build local and digital communities for the title via amateur leagues and competitions, live stream broadcasts, and original video-on-demand content. Super League’s new PUBG Mobile experiences will include local, social gameplay nights, as well as a “City Champs” league.

Speaking of mobile, Supercell’s Brawl Stars World Championship is locked and loaded, with three stages and a live finals taking place in South Korea and offering a $250,000 prize pool for the eight best teams from around the world in November.
DreamHack is hitting California for the first time, announcing its debut with the launch of DreamHack Anaheim. The festival will run Feb. 21-23, 2020 for a 24-hour-a-day weekend that will feature pro esports tournaments, amateur and varsity gaming tournaments, as well as its traditional bring your own computer LAN party, cosplay championship, panels, art, activities, expo, screenings, live music and more. Tickets will go on sale on Sept. 20.
Major League Baseball, Little League International and ESPN partnered to again host and broadcast a special Home Run Derby VR video game competitive tournament, live from Williamsport today at 11a. The 2019 Home Run Derby VR Little League Challenge, featuring one player from each of the 16 U.S. and International teams participating in the 2019 Little League Baseball World Series, will be available free via live streams on the ESPN app and the official MLB channel on Twitch. In addition to the live streams, a 30-minute special highlight recap will air on ESPN and the ESPN app on Aug. 18 at 4p.
Twitch Rivals is beefing up for TwitchCon, announcing its biggest live event yet with three days of competition from four top games and more than $1,000,000 awarded to streamers, with the event running Sept. 27-29. The format will see four games played with one day dedicated to each game. Opening day will kick off with a Fortnite competition taking place during primetime. Day Two of TwitchCon will feature League of Legends, bringing back the Rumble on the Rift from TwitchCon San Jose as well as the rivalry between North America and Europe from the showmatch at TwitchCon Berlin. Day Three will conclude with a $500,000 Apex Legends tournament with custom lobbies on LAN. Five Stream Teams will take to the stage to prove themselves, while 45 Twitch Partners will take a seat to challenge them in each match.
FACEIT detailed plans for Season 8 of the Esports Championship Series, its CS:GO competition. The season kicks off later this month with Open Qualifiers, followed by the Pinnacle Cup before the regular season kicks in starting Sept. 16. FACEIT will be partnering with Caffeine on exclusive content throughout ECS, including the return of ECS After Dark. Season 8 will also see the return of the ECS Community Caster Challenge, exclusively on Caffeine, inviting up and coming commentators to stream their commentary.
PUBG execs locked in the dates and location of for this year’s PUBG Global Championship. The group stage will run Nov. 8-10 in LA, followed by the semifinals from Nov. 15-17. The Grand Finals will then move to Oakland, taking pace Nov. 23-24.
GungHo Online Entertainment announced the release of TEPPEN, a card battle game for mobile from the joint development team of GOE and CAPCOM, in Asia. Details on TEPPEN’s competitive plans were shared with the reveal of the TEPPEN World Championship, the first worldwide tournament in which representatives from around the globe will face off in the Ultimate Card Battle for a cash prize, taking place in Tokyo this December. Also announced were the PAX West Invitational Tournament, Tokyo Game Show Cup, and other events.

PlayerUnknown’s: Battlegrounds was the first battle royale to break through to the mainstream through live gaming content. In efforts to drive prolonged engagement, the publisher turned to esports, and has worked with tournament organizers from around the world. This week, Stream Hatchet’s insights focus on a 1-year analysis, measuring the viewership trends associated with PU:BG’s esports initiatives.
  • PU:BG AMA vs All Esports: PU:BG’s average minute audience is approximately 22.8k viewers lower than the average AMA of the 360 esports events (48.8k) Stream Hatchet identified year over year.
  • Publisher Backed vs Tournament Organizer: events organized by the publisher netted an AMA that was 26.6k viewers more than the sample average. Additionally the publisher’s events accounted for 27% of the games total esports hours watched.
  • Hours Watched vs Prize Pool: The average hour watched per prize dollar for PU:BG is $4. Tournaments organized by Mineski Events reached a max at $5.91, and tournaments organized by MET represent the min value at $1.95. 
For more information on how to leverage esports data into strategic decision making, visit our blog at: blog.streamhatchet.com

Xbox Game Studios is partnering with the Esports Business Summit for the launch of their highly anticipated new Gears of War title, Gears 5, lining up a special event that will take place at the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas on Sept. 10 with a showcase match to support Gamers Outreach. The match will pit two of the world’s best Gears teams- Ghost Gaming and Reciprocity against each other in a best-of-three escalation match. The teams will be playing for a custom Gamers Outreach GO Kart, to be donated to a hospital of their choice. “We have worked with their team in the past and are excited to reconnect again to support kids in hospitals. Through a gracious donation, The Coalition is funding a GO Kart, which will go to the hospital of choice for the winning team. It is a great opportunity to once again show what the gaming community can do!” said Gamers Outreach Development Manager, David Fraser. Click here for info and tickets!


The emergence of ‘audience graph’ within the OTT space (similar to what FB relies on or what’s in existence on the Data Management side) will be the single most impactful enhancement to audience measurement. 

Albert Thompson – Walton Isaacson
(Featured speaker at That Big TV Conference on Sept. 9 – 10 in NYC)
Sponsors: Gamut – Sinclair – NY Interconnect – FriendMTS – iSpot.tv – ListenFirst Media – NCC Media – TV Time – Tubi – a4 – Simpli.fi – TVsquared


Riot Games gassed up another major partnership, this time with Honda which will serve as the exclusive automotive partner for the LCS. Honda also has alliances in esports with Team Liquid and Twitch, but the new deal makes the brand the first automaker in North America to sponsor both an esports league as well as a team competing in it, according to the announcement. Activation kicks off with the Summer Split Playoffs, which begin in Los Angeles on Saturday and the Finals, which will take place in Detroit on Aug. 24-25.
FaZe Clan welcomed royalty to their abode, partnering with Burger King to promote the nationwide release of the Impossible Whopper. The team made the announcement with players such as Thomas “Temperrr” Oliveria, Jack “Cizzorz,” Jarvis “liljarviss“ Kaye, and Danny “Dubs” Walsh

Twitter unveiled its latest insights into the gaming community, noting that there were more than 500 million gaming Tweets in the first half of 2019 for a rise of 20% YoY from 2018 and nearly 700 million gaming Tweets overall into August, up 30%. Of note: Top 5 Tweeting countries for the Fortnite World Cup – US, Japan, France, UK and Argentina. Top 5 Most talked about Games in the US- Fortnite, Call of Duty, Zelda, Overwatch and Kingdom Hearts. Most mentioned esports teams in the past 30 days: FaZe Clan, the Shanghai Dragons, TSM, 100 Thieves, Team Liquid, Ghost Gaming, G2 Esports, MIBR, Cloud9, and Fnatic.
Team Liquid and Newzoo entered a partnership that will see Team Liquid’s daily operations and strategic decision making based on Newzoo research. “One of the first things I learned during my time as a professional StarCraft player was the importance of scouting,” said Victor Goossens, Team Liquid Co-CEO. “If you know what’s happening around you, you can react appropriately and make the right calls for the situation at hand. This lesson has served as a basic principle for how we run our team; with the right knowledge and information, we can put Team Liquid in the best position possible for success both in and out of the server.”
Prize Payments announced its launch to offer a “streamlined, efficient and economical solution to esports prize payment process” and reduce time and costs for publishers and tournament organizers. With an estimated $300 million in prizes expected to be distributed in 2019, Prize Payments can complete the payment process and can handle 115 currencies across 180 countries whilst ensuring each payment is compliant with taxation and GDPR requirements in each country.

Echo Fox’s sale of its LCS team to Kroenke Sports and Entertainment is on ice, due to a lawsuit from Sentinels co-founder and CEO Rob Moore that caused the Kroenke group to withdraw its agreement, per ESPN. Last month saw the company agree to pay $30.25 million to acquire Echo Fox’s slot. Echo Fox confirmed that decision in a statement. Meanwhile, Riot Games confirmed that it will now be selling the LCS slot that Echo Fox owns. 

Echo Fox released a statement about the decision, writing “The Echo Fox organization is proud to have worked so closely with Riot Games and the LCS these past few years, we made the decision to consent to the Riot process as it would allow a fair outcome for all parties involved. However, in addition to our support for our LCS team, we have long shown our commitment to growing and nurturing our teams in fighting games and battle royale games, and will continue to seek out and participate in the ever-expanding universe of esports competitions — both domestic and international. We would like to thank Riot and Chris Greeley in helping us through this transition.”

15-time NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett became the latest high-profile name to announce an investment in esports, locking in a deal with Triumph Esports through his experiential event management and production company, Big Ticket Sports. “Our relationship with Triumph Esports is a natural fit as we look to showcase and elevate shared lifestyle experiences through competition, content and live events,” Garnett said in a statement. “Our vision is to create unique experiences that impact our fans across a variety of passion points.”
N3rd Street Gamers announced a partnership with Fairleigh Dickinson University to bring a professional-grade esports team room to FDU’s Florham campus. NSG will provide the design and build for the room and advise the University on the creation of their esports team and program slated to launch in 2020.


Black Ridge Acquisition Corp. officially closed its business combination with Allied Esports International to make Allied Esports and WPT become wholly-owned subsidiaries of BRAC. As part of the transaction, Black Ridge changed its name to Allied Esports Entertainment. “Today marks the beginning of a new category in gaming – esports entertainment – that brings together the best of this burgeoning industry, including fans, streamers, professionals, entertainers and brands, to create experiences and content around the world across all communities,” said Frank Ng, incoming CEO of Allied Esports Entertainment. “This growing ecosystem, anchored by our three-pillar strategy, will allow us to serve the industry as a whole as we move forward into an exciting and promising future.”
Mark Your Calendars!

The 7th Annual 
Cynopsis Digital Awards
 will take place on Friday, November 8th at Tribeca’s ThreeSixty in NYC.
Finalists will be announced in mid-September and winners will be celebrated at the ultimate party for digital media’s leading teams and individuals.
Entries close @ midnight tonight. Click 
 to get started.

ON THIS WEEK in 2017: StarCraft: Remastered released worldwide.
Trivia: In which game would you eat a cherry, strawberry, orange, apple, melon, Galaxian Starship, bell, and key, not to mention an occasional ghost? (Email chris-sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What type of restaurant serves as the home of the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise?  Answer: Pizza. Kudos: Julie Reuther/Sydney; Tim Bickford-Concord/NY; Randy Romero-NBC Universal/Miami; Glen Ross/DC; Danny Araque/NY; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

For more news and coverage, check out: http://cynopsisesports.com (updated daily).

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell
Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Roberta Caploe

Cynopsis Ad Sales
Mike Farina

Albert Nassour
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
Trish Pihonak
Director of Operation
CYNOPSISJOBS – For More jobs, please visit Cynopsis.com


Canada International

Maximize revenue across Canada for all Fremantle Int’l proprietary programs towards the achievements of targets. Proven/ demonstrable exp of Sales exp w/in TV licensing enviro, either working within brdcst or wider ent industry/competitor. 
Full info 


Hallmark’s Home & Family/LA: Tech-savvy, self-starter professional, exp’d in SM to support strategic social media initiatives set in place. Able to multi task many projects; 1-2yrs SM exp w/previous writing/editing/creating exp; strong knwlg SM platforms & social community mngmnt. Full info HERE  (8/29)

Fremantle, Canada International:
 Maximize revenue across Canada for all Fremantle Int’l proprietary programs towards the achievements of targets. Proven/ demonstrable exp of Sales exp w/in TV licensing enviro, either working within brdcst or wider ent industry/competitor. Full info HERE (8/28)

GSN/Santa Monica: 
10+ yrs. Lead & manage infrastructure & applications teams. Active Directory, Azure, VMWare, AWS, SQL Server, Citrix, Telephony, storage, networking. OS: Server 2012, 2016, Windows 10, Mac OS. Manage SOX-404 audits. This is a hands-on technical position. Full info HERE (8/23)

MLB/Secaucus NJ: 
Spearhead affil tech/operational efforts (incl launch authorizations, blackout implementation, VOD & TV Everywhere +) for MLB & NHL Networks. Able to work w/prod, engineering & brdcst depts; Min4-6 yrs exp cable affil sales & mktg, sports media, &/or media ops req’d. Full info HERE (8/23)



A+E/NY: Manage the day-to-day recruitment function for a defined set of clients to identify, acquire, assess and hire candidates to fill roles required to meet company business goals. 5+ yrs hands-on recruiting exp, preferably within a media environment; strong HR network of recruiters  Full info HERE (8/23)

Exceptional candidate with broad, hands-on operational skills to lead our US company through our next stage of growth. Min 10+ yrs of operational exp; proven operational success in gaming, sports or technology sectors a +. Strong written/comm skills. Full info 
HERE (8/22)


Work w/Business Operations & Strategy group & impact new rev generation across the NBCU portfolio by identifying growth opps; 8 yrs work exp; this could incl professional services (e.g., consulting, investment banking) or media exp at a large network/publisher/agency. Full info HERE (8/22)

 Design/execute strategic sales initiatives in the NBCU Digital Partnerships team along w/the wider Ad Sales org. Min 2 yrs exp @ either a leading investment bank, mngmnt consulting firm or in strategy/finance role at a major TMT corp. Full info HERE (8/22)

Trifecta Entertainment/NYC:
 Dynamic individual to focus on developing new and growing business among major agencies via strong relationships and superior client service. 5+ yrs sales exp w/syndication, national cable, broadcast ad sales or media buying background req’d. Full info 
HERE (8/21)


Overtime/NYC: Applicants should have a min of 2 yrs filming 
doc and/or reality content. Exp functioning as a one-person-band is 
mandatory since it will be a standard part of the job. Full info HERE (8/21)

Gamut – Cox Media/NYC:
 Lead data-driven rsrch projects that align w/sales objectives & client needs. Thru analysis of mult rsrch sources, he/she will support the media ad sales team to consult clients on their ad strategies. 6-9 yrs of exp in a rsrch or insights role at a media agency. Full info 
HERE (8/20)

Gamut – Cox Media/NYC:
 Perform data runs & analysis through the use of multiple rsrch sources to support the media ad sales team & consult clients on their media plans. 1+ yr exp in a rsrch or insights role at a media agency, brdcst/dig co., or media rep firm. Full info HERE (8/20)

Gamut – Cox Media/NYC:
 Lead planning/execution of multi-channel mktg strategies designed to drive ad sales revenue for the co. Must possess a demonstrated ability to comm & collaborate with all levels of the org; 5+ yrs of exp in Ad Sales Marketing at a Media, Brdcst or Ent co. pref’d  Full info HERE (8/20)

AMI Entertainment Group/NYC: 
Secure digital advertising from a diverse list of Entertainment, CPG, Beauty, Fashion and misc.  Strong knwldg NY based digital advertising mkt. 2+ yrs of exp selling online advertising; recent online sales req’d. Full info/apply HERE (8/20)

 Work cross-functionally w/FX leadership team, while also being resp for creating models, performing analyses around talent term deals, orig prgrmng costs, back-end profit participations, ancillary rev streams, content windowing & AdHoc projects. 5+ yrs relevant exp. MBA req’d. Full info 
HERE  (8/17)


Analyze existing business processes & systems functionality; propose new or updated solutions to changing business needs; be an active member of Technology Team. 5+ yrs exp working w/applications & technology solutions that are vendor supported, strong analytical skills, project mgmt exp, detailed oriented, strong communication skills, exp w/HTML, CSS or WordPress preferred. Apply HERE (8/17)

This position is responsible for providing sales and analytical support to the Direct Response sales team for Crown Media Family Networks: Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama. Must have a minimum of 1 years of industry-related experience. Apply HERE (8/17)

NHNZ: Generate and maximize sales for NHNZ in the USA through proactive, business orientated, results driven client management. Self-starter with a clear creative vision and an understanding of all things TV. Full info 
HERE (8/17)

Fuse Media/NYC:
 Play a critical role in the design, development, planning & execution of our comprehensive product & services pricing strategy. 10+ yrs ad sales exp w/strong understanding of pricing a variety of inventory, within the NY mktt (Nati’l Broadcast/Cable ntwrk) Full info HERE (8/16)

REELZ/NY: Responsible for providing service to clients on a daily basis, maintaining sales orders and supporting Account Executives and the Management team. BA/BS & Wide Orbit experience preferred. Full info/apply HERE (8/16)

Momentous/Remote: Responsible for building relationships with professional teams, colleges and universities, coaches, trainers and dietitians to sell our products on a long-term basis. 3+ yrs of team sales exp, preferably in food or supplements. Full info/apply 
HERE (8/16)


Facilitate communication and planning across project teams and sub-teams..
Lead Producer
Electronic Arts

Provides level 3-5 day-to-day support for all console and mobile game development requests, and production system environments running in all hosting platforms.
Senior Systems Engineer
NetherRealm Studios
Chicago IL
Collaborate with UX designer to determine functionality and usability requirements.
Senior UI Designer
NetherRealm Studios
Chicago IL
Work closely with ETL and Development team to provide business logic and perform gap analysis.
Lead Developer, Business Intelligence
Create innovative and engaging designs and prototypes while maintaining EA SPORTS’ high standard of quality.
Senior Game Designer
Electronic Arts
Orlando FL
Own, evolve, and implement testing strategies to inform business decisions on site and channel roadmaps.
Senior Web Analyst
Redmond WA
Guide the development and implementation of KPIs to measure performance, presenting actual product performance versus objectives.
Principle UX
Redmond WA
Manage multiple concurrent projects. Estimate, plan, and slice projects to deliver frequent value to production.
Senior Engineering Manager, Payments
San Mateo CA
Attend and participate in production-related discussions concerning relevant feature pipelines and roadmaps.
Senior Combat Designer
Santa Monica Studios
Work with Senior Product Manager to manage budget, timelines, and day-to-day strategies and tactics supporting the title.
Product Marketing Manager
Square Enix
El Segundo CA

Serve as main stakeholder driving MMO division innovation and campaign awareness programs.

Senior Manager
Square Enix
El Segundo CA
Work closely with our Digital Sales team in planning Playstation, Xbox and Steam promotions as well as upcoming platforms such as Stadia.
Senior Digital Marketing Specialist
San Francisco CA
Responsible for managing effective, innovative, and cost-efficient marketing campaigns in North and South American territories.
Senior Brand Marketing Manager
San Francisco CA
Understand the high level vision of the game and be able to translate the vision into gameplay systems designed that can be used by everyone to build all of the experiences in the game.
Senior Multiplayer Game Designer
San Francisco CA


Collaborate with the design team and technical leads on game features.

Senior Engineer Gameplay
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