10/22/20: Gen.G is launching its own cryptocurrency

 

Medias First Morning Read
Thursday October 22, 2020

Good morning and this is your weekly Esports Brief.
Global esports organization Gen.G is getting into the currency biz, announcing a partnership with Rally to create GG Strike Coin and marking the first time an esports organization has announced a digital currency. Launching next month, the new digital currency will “engage and reward Gen.G fans in a number of unprecedented ways including direct access to players, coaches and staff, exclusive merchandise and more, all while earning rewards for simply holding the coin.” Benefits at launch will include private chats, a vote on team decisions, merch pre-sales as well as the opportunity to write suggestions and receive feedback.

“The GG Strike Coin is the perfect way to verify our biggest fans and create a regular cadence of rewarding them with exclusive merchandise, and unmatched access to their favorite teams and players, “ said Arnold Hur. “Given Kevin’s track record of innovation in the esports team space, Rally is the perfect partner to engage our fans on a deeper level.”

COMPETITION
The group stage of LoL World Championship 2020 continued to push rising numbers for the series, wrapping up with average viewership of 1,076,272 according to Esports Charts and Mobalytics. Overall, the event tallied over 56.7 million hours watched, anchored by Group C, which saw the collective of Gen.G, Fnatic, LGD and TSM reel in 15.1 million hours watched.

Meanwhile, Riot Games laid out more details about its first regional-based VALORANT tournament, First Strike with First Strike NA slated to run Dec. 3-8. As part of the qualification process, Nerd Street Gamers and Engine Media will host one open qualifier and one qualifying tournament EACH with the top four teams from the two tournaments moving on. qualify for First Strike NA. The competition will begin on October 26 with the first open, 128-team tournament, produced by partner Nerd Street Gamers. The second open tournament, produced by partner Engine Media (UMG), will start November 11.

FIFA revealed new plans for its esports events played on EA SPORTS FIFA 21, announcing a new FIFAe tournament structure created to “unify and highlight three clear and distinct narratives of competitive FIFA: players, clubs and nations.” In addition, the FIFAe World Cup and the FIFAe Nations Series both now feature a $500,000 prize pool, with the FIFAe Club Series putting $350,000 on the line. In addition, another $3 million in prizes will be distributed by EA across Qualifiers, Regional Playoffs, the eChampions League, and CONMEBOL eLibertadores as part of the EA SPORTS FIFA 21 Global Series.

BLAST Premier Fall Series 2020 booked its European tickets this week, with the Oct. 26-Nov. 4 tournament delivering 12 of the world’s top teams, divided into three groups. Matches will be best-of-three in a double-elimination format using a winners’ and losers’ bracket. Group 1 will consist of Natus Vincere, Evil Geniuses, OG and Ninjas in Pyjamas. Group 2 will include Team Vitality, BIG, FaZe Clan and Complexity. Group 3 will have Astralis, FURIA Esports, G2 Esports and MIBR.

VENN, MTV’s “Vote For Your Life,” and the non-profit org Gamers.Vote are unleashing “Fall-o’-Ween,” a five-hour show and celebrity Fall Guys tournament designed to encourage gamers to cast their ballots. The live-streamed event will be hosted on VENN’s network starting tomorrow with the inaugural “Early Voting Day” On Oct. 24. Chrissy Costanza and Daniel ‘dGon’ Gonzalez will host and cast the event. Teams participating will compete for $40,000 in prizes that will go to a charity of their choice.

ESPORTS BUSINESS SUMMIT
Next week! Don’t miss the biggest esports business event in the world with EBS coming to your computer from Oct. 27-29. Hear first-hand from global brands, league commissioners, all-star investors, collegiate officials, celebrity content creators and more about how this industry can benefit your business. Click here to get your tickets now and check out the latest schedule!

The Tempest Awards will be open for all audiences this year, carried on Fandom’s Twitch channel on Oct 28 at 6:30p ET. ESPN’s Arda Ocal hosts, with a lineup of special guests as presenters, along with sponsors Bud Light, Twitch and Pro Esports Gaming. Don’t miss it!

New content! Have some fun with the others sides of the esports industry, as we serve up special content that will include merchandise unboxing videos from talent and content creators GlitterXplosion and SUP3RSoN1K, who will open product from some of the biggest companies in the space. (Thanks to all the companies that contributed!) In addition, Kate Sisto offers viewers a look into her cosplay work and offers tips for Halloween participants. In addition, America’s Test Kitchen brings celebrity chef Julia Collin Davison to offer cooking tips designed to boost the brain for gaming.

ACTIVATION
Complexity Gaming entered into an expanded partnership with Miller Lite to create live content for fans as well as enhanced partnership branding across social channels and livestream initiatives. The partnership will see of-age Complexity players participate in a variety of livestream activities to engage audiences and develop a deeper connection to fans. During Squad Streams. Additionally, Complexity and Miller Lite have together refreshed branding across its livestream, social media, and partnership assets.

Verizon, in collaboration with Apple, Riot Games and Twitch Rivals, is hosting a preview event for ‘Wild Rift,” taking place on Oct. 22. The celebrity tournament will be played on the new 5G enabled iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from 9:30-11p on Twitch and simulcast on Twitter. ‘League of Legends: Wild Rift’ is expected to be available in the U.S. in Spring 2021.

STREAM HATCHET TRENDS
This week, Stream Hatchet tracked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s debut on Twitch. The Congresswoman played Among Us with popular streamers like Pokimane, Myth, and HasanAbi which resulted in incredibly high viewership. Compared to other politicians that have streamed on Twitch, AOC generated the highest peak viewership by a large margin with about 439K viewers.
· AOC’s stream reached an average audience of 355K viewers and produced 1.1M hours watched in addition to the peak concurrency during her first ever stream.
· Although the streams from Bernie and Trump were more politically focused, AOC leveraged the Twitch audience to reach the intended viewership while playing games. As streaming and gaming becomes more mainstream, more politicians may try to create content on these platforms.
· Ilhan Omar also played Among Us with AOC and the crew of streamers for her first stream on Twitch.
· AOC, Trump, and Omar generated their highest peaks during their debut streams whereas Bernie had his at a later time.

For more streaming data and insights, please visit www.streamhatchet.com/insights.

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PLATFORMS
VENN, the 24/7 gaming and esports streaming network, locked in a series A funding round that has brought in $26 million to the company. The round was co-led by Seed round investor BITKRAFT and new investor Nexstar Media Group, Inc. Eldridge, WISE Ventures, Alumni Ventures Group, and the majority of the existing Series Seed investor group also participated in the round. Under the terms of its investment, Nexstar secured content and sales category exclusivity for local television broadcasting and has the right to appoint a member to VENN’s Board of Directors. In addition to the Series A, VENN is bolstering its leadership team with the addition of Jeff Jacobs as EVP & General Manager.

As some labels clamp down over the use of copyrighted music during streams, Twitch deleted thousands of videos and clips from streamers’ archives. Rod “Slasher” Breslau reports that hundreds of Twitch partners received emails regarding DMCA takedown notifications. Twitch recently launched the ‘Soundtrack by Twitch’ feature, which gives streamers access to a library of approved music for use in their broadcasts.

TEAMS
CAA continues to land heavyweight esports names and brands, this time locking in 100 Thieves as the agency’s newest client. The agency will now work with org to expand its content business “into new areas and will work with the company across representation areas, including digital content, talent, film, television and podcasts,” per THR, which broke the story. CAA also recently signed Ninja as well as Dr. Disrespect for representation.

Heavyweight content creator Tyler1 inked a deal with famed esports team T1. Tyler1, who specializes in League of Legends content, features over 3.7 million followers on Twitch.

Ghost Gaming was acquired by a group of Atlanta-based investors who will relocate the team’s headquarters and operations to Atlanta. The ownership group is led by Andrew Steinberg, Founder and Managing Partner at Phoenix Capital Ventures and former Chief Revenue and Business Officer for the Atlanta Hawks, and Todd Harris, co-founder of Hi-Rez Studios and CEO of Skillshot Media.

INDUSTRY

A new survey from Dreamhack and Akamai shows that Cyber attacks are an increasing threat in the video game industry. The “Esports: Hacked” report stated that over two-thirds of the respondents stated they have experienced in-game phishing attempts; and 8 out of 10 regular esports contestants have come across hacked accounts or assets being sold online. One of the most notable findings was that 51.8% of gamers have had an account hijacked or hacked, 82% of gamers are either neutral or not worried about account compromises.

Gaming rental service GameFly was acquired by Alliance Entertainment. The new partnership will also seek to boost subscriptions for the postal rental service, by expanding its library of games, according to the announcement. “We’re intensely focused on listening to what our customers are telling us, and then finding ways to give them what they are asking for. Alliance is the largest distributor of physical media in the US, and we’re using our expertise with GameFly’s nearly 20 years of experience in subscription game rentals to imagine new offerings that previously were not doable,” said Alliance co-owner and CEO Jeff Walker, per reports.

READYUP SPOTLIGHT
 

ROSTER MOVES
Ford Models, Inc. signed model and gaming influencer Avori Henderson to its Esports & Gaming division. Amid her success as a model and former Miss America winner, Henderson began creating unique gaming content, quickly establishing a global fan base as a female trailblazer in the gaming world. The move led her to host, create and direct the first-ever All-Female PUBG Tournament, The Girl Gamer Royale, which raised over $10,000 to benefit charities including FredHutch and Children’s Miracle Network. A pioneer in the male-dominated esports industry, Henderson’s goal is to encourage and empower women to embrace their love for gaming.

Loaded, a Southern California management firm, signed Maria “Chica” Lopez, a professional streamer, gamer and content creator with over 1.2M subscribers. Under the pact, Loaded will manage Lopez’s career, including entertainment opportunities, sponsorships, merchandising and more. Lopez, who began her streaming career on Twitch while in college, is also a professional Fortnite player for TSM.

DreamHack Sports Games named Roger Lodewick as CEO. “I’m excited to join DreamHack Sports Games as we provide a unique combination in this field of esports,” he said. “We have already proven to be able to a convert traditional sports brands into relevant and meaningful media esports products enabling both sports IP holders and broadcasters the opportunity to extend, retain and regain the young demographics. I’m thrilled to be part of innovating and growing the esports Sports Gaming industry.”

Beasley Esports named Robyn St. Germain as Executive Director of Sales & Global Partnerships at Beasley Esports. She most recently was the Sales Manager of the Media – Entertainment Enterprise Team at Shutterstock Inc., where the media executive was responsible for managing a team of enterprise sellers licensing content, including stock imagery, video and music to the entertainment category.

CYNOPSIS WEBINAR | BLACK OWNED MEDIA MATTERS
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Thursday, October 29 | 1:00-2pm ET

“Our industry must have true economic inclusion, and this can only start when agency planners guide their clients to include black owned-media in their annual budgets… thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement, for the very first time in our business, there is real accountability.” –Byron Allen, Chairman & CEO, ALLEN MEDIA GROUP

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ON THIS DAY
2008: Far Cry 2 is released.

Trivia
Continuing Halloween’s horror theme, the game Dead by Daylight features two famed villains from the Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises. What are their names? (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
What is the popularized name of the character pictured last week from the Ghostbusters movie and games? Answer: Slimer. Kudos: Scott Jenkins-Gracenote/NY; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; C.J. Bottitta-BPPC, LLC/Apex; Rob Casalaina-ITN/NY; Jason Morrow-Toyota/Houston; Julius Victors/St. Louis; Daniel Hanson/Vail; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Greg Dudsic/Venice

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SR. DESIGNER
NBCUNIVERSAL OWNED STATIONS & AFFILIATE RELATIONS
DALLAS-FORT WORTH

The Arthouse, NBCUniversal’s Owned Stations’/Telemundo Stations’ internal design team who supports newscasts is seeking a Sr. Designer with a broadcast design background, solid conceptual skills and 3D expertise. Min 4yrs exp, must be able to work on individual assign and team projects. Full info HERE (10/29)

REPORTER
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SALES PLANNER
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HEAD of PRODUCTION >>
Half Yard Productions/New York: Reporting to the SVP of Prod & Ops this position is resp for overseeing all Productions and Production Mgmt staff across a wide range of programs. Including supporting the Development Dept in creating budgets/schedules for all new productions. Exp in managing various types of shows for networks/channels. Full info HERE (10/27)

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
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Responsible for designing and building shows, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (10/27)

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER >>
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Write for fast paced news and opinion show. You are an exceptional storyteller with a command of political news and cultural trends. At least 3 years of national or large market local news experience. Full info HERE (10/27)

SENIOR LINE PRODUCER >>
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Responsible for the production and execution of live political news programming, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs experience line producing. Full info HERE (10/27)

PRODUCER >>
Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production of live news & talk show, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs in TV news and/or talk production. Full info HERE (10/27)

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DISCOVERY INC./NEW YORK, KNOXVILLE: Strong strategic & data-oriented individual to partner on new Magnolia Network & oversee research and performance analytics to optimize Magnolia’s linear & digital presence. 5+ yrs analytics exp req’d. Full info HERE (10/26)

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VP, MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
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DIR, LIVE ACTION & UNSCRIPTED SERIES MKTG
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Design and implement APIs that are maintainable and easy to interface with and scale with demand.
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