It’s the end of the road for Rick Fox with the esports team he co-founded in Echo Fox. Newsweek reports that Fox agreed to a private settlement agreement with Echo Fox shareholder Vision Esports, that will end lawsuits from both Fox and Vision Esports, after accusations of mismanagement from both sides. Reports suggest that Fox will now shift his attention to launch Twin Galaxies International with longtime associate Jace Hall.
“I have chosen to leave Echo Fox, the esports company that I founded, as a method to end the turbulent fighting and instead just continue to advance my visionary interest in being involved in a number of forward-thinking opportunities in the video game space with other strong, credible partners that share my values,” Fox told the publication.
He added, “On the court and in the business world, teammates are everything and there must be unity and a shared sense of purpose in order to succeed. In the case of Echo Fox, the significant difference of values, ethics and commitment to integrity was very problematic and damaging. I have shared my thoughts on this in my past statements and court filings, and sincerely hope that my experience can help provide further insight for people who should of course make their own judgements and determinations. I have learned some very painful lessons, and am relieved to now be moving on towards more positive business experiences.”
The 2019 League of Legends World Championship continues to deliver upticks through the group stage. Esports Charts reports that – to date – this year’s tournament is averaging over a million people for its matches, topping last year’s average of 626,000 at this point, up 59%. Viewership peaked at a mark of 2,044,000 during the SK Telecom T1 and RNG.
Meanwhile, Twitch served up an analysis of its viewership for TwitchCon 2019, reporting 592,406,844 minutes watched during this year’s event, with nearly 67 million viewers, and over 10 million unique. Meanwhile, its Twitch Rivals competitions scored nearly 39 million minutes watched.
Collegiate StarLeague announced plans to add Gears 5 to its roster of leagues for the 2019-2020 season. This marks the first time university students will have the opportunity to play the game via official collegiate league competitions. The 2019-2020 season of CSL will culminate in the Grand Finals in Spring 2020, with collegiate teams and players heading to the Championships live event to play for scholarships, prizing and bragging rights. “We firmly believe that collegiate-level esports is a vital component of the competitive gaming landscape and for many, serves as an introduction to the burgeoning esports realm,” said Wim Stocks, CEO and General Manager of WorldGaming and Collegiate StarLeague. “We’re always working to broaden our league offerings, and with the addition of the hugely popular Gears 5 to the CSL family, we’re confident both players and spectators will be in for an incredible season of competition.”
More details for the upcoming Call of Duty League, as Blizzard laid out plans for the length of the CDL season as well as how home-and-away play would be handled with the slate opening in early 2020 with a 28-week season that includes a summer and spring split divided by a midseason event and concluding in a championship tournament; the teams with the best win-loss records advance to the postseason. Teams will be traveling in a home and away system, with each team hosting two series in its home city in a venue of its choosing. The season will also see the debut of Call of Duty Challengers, serving as CDL’s path-to-pro league designed to showcase grassroots talent. CoD Challengers will feature a prize pool over $1 million for players all around the world.
Epic Games posted news about competitive play in Fortnite Chapter Two, detailing plans for the Fortnite Champion Series. Starting Nov. 1, competition will see three-round Squads event each weekend across four weeks with a $5 million prize pool across all regions and competitions. The top teams from each region will then qualify to compete in the Chapter Two, season one final. The season finals will be held online for each region from Dec. 6-8.
DreamHack announced that a DreamLeague Season 13 Dota Pro Circuit Major will be held during DreamHack Leipzig (Germany) in January 2020. This will mark the third time DreamLeague has been chosen to host a DPC Major, featuring a $1 million prize pool for 16 of the best Dota 2 teams in the world with play starting Jan. 18 and leading to the live finals from Jan. 24-26, 2020.
PUBG Corporation laid out full details for the 2019 PUBG Global Championship, which represents the culmination of PUBG Esports’ first official season. The event will take place across three weekends, starting with a Group Stage (Nov. 8-10) and Semifinals (Nov. 15-17) held at the OGN Super Arena in Manhattan Beach. The competition concludes with the Grand Finals (Nov. 23-24) in Oakland, as the top teams face-off at the Oakland Arena for a piece of the guaranteed $2 million prize pool and a chance to be crowned the 2019 PUBG Global Champions. Starting Nov. 5, fans will be able to purchase exclusive in-game items, with 25% of net proceeds from total item sales being added to the overall PGC prize pool. An additional 25% of item sale revenue will be awarded to participating teams via the PGC ‘Pick’Em Challenge’ Event.
Virtuix, developer of the Omni Arena virtual reality esports attraction, is offering a prize pool of $100,000 for the 2020 Omni Arena esports series, doubling the current prize pool of $50,000 and making the Omni Arena esports series the largest VR esports competition in the world. “Our 2019 esports contests exceeded all expectations,” said Jan Goetgeluk, founder and CEO of Virtuix. “More than 1,000 players in over a dozen countries participated. Given the success of the series, we are thrilled to double our prize pool for 2020.”
Riot Games is celebrating 10 years of Runeterra with the announcement of modifications to League Legends and the announcement of several new game titles, including the highly anticipated FPS, Project A. This week, Stream Hatchet investigates the publisher’s growth on Twitch year over year, focusing in on the first days of October. Here are the insights:
- Riot is showing strong growth on Twitch: Looking at Oct. 18 to Oct. 19, Live H. Watched within the first 19 days of the month has increased by 25%.
- League of Legends remains Riots crown jewel: LoL accounted for 83% of the live H. Watched in Oct. 19, and accounted for 11% of the publisher’s growth YoY.
For more insights, infographics, and thoughts on live streaming, visit our blog at: blog.streamhatchet.com.
Enthusiast Gaming Holdings unveiled a partnership with Hanesbrands Inc.’s Champion brand to create custom apparel for Luminosity Gaming. Luminosity+Champion custom apparel will be available exclusively on Luminosity’s website and through the organization’s social media channels.
ESL and SAP detailed activation plans for ESL One Hamburg 2019, with features that include: Advanced Data Analysis, providing innovative analytical formats for both the fans and commentators to make sense of player’s in-game decisions; exact evaluations of each player and team’s recent games, which will then be shown live to help spectators get into the minds of the pros; and In-Memory Technology SAP HANA allowing game data to be processed on the SAP Cloud Platform. Meanwhile, the brand-new SAP Esports Showcase, which will summarize all aspects of SAP’s involvement in Dota 2.
Envy Gaming landed Jack Link’s Protein Snacks in a sponsorship deal. The multi-year agreement between the two brands will involve collaborations on fan activations, live events and a custom content series with the snacks serving as The Official Protein Snack of Envy Gaming. Activation will see the Jack Link’s logo featured on all Team Envy jerseys, and Dallas Call of Duty team jerseys while Jack Link’s products will be available to the professional players and staff of the Dallas Fuel, Dallas Call of Duty team and Team Envy at the organization’s new training center. In addition, the duo announced that Jack Link’s activations will take place 2020 Overwatch League and Call of Duty League events hosted in North Texas. Custom content videos will also be developed with Envy for social and digital platforms.
A podcast, produced in partnership with Situation Interactive.
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ReKTGlobal added Fullcube, a platform and playbook provider of fan-based Insider programs, to its inventory. ReKTGlobal and Fullcube previously launched the Rogue Nation fan membership program together. “Through our acquisition of Fullcube and its premier technology, we’re going all in on the enthusiastic fanbases through the creation of loyalty programs and monetization by bringing best practices from the sports, media and entertainment world to esports,” said Amish Shah, Founder and Chairman of ReKTGlobal.
Nerd Street Gamers announced that NBC Sports Philadelphia will air a full, 10-episode season of FTW Philly, focusing on the world of competitive gaming across the Philadelphia region from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Atlantic City, New Jersey. New episodes will focus on the traditional live-action sports that are partnering with esports, provide an inside look at some national tournaments being held in the Philadelphia region such as Harrisburg University Esports Invitational, and showcase the stories that are helping drive the industry. “The interest in esports is spurring fandom across the Philadelphia region,” said NBC Sports Philadelphia Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives Todd Berman. “By creating FTW Philly, we can provide a home so that gamers and non-gamers alike can rally behind the exciting stories that are sure to pique the interest of all sports fans.”
Torque Esports Corp. and UMG Media entered into a binding letter of intent for Torque to acquire UMG in move to “create a significant esports company that has operations in a number of the key verticals of the industry, including racing, first person shooter, and sports titles” with UMG’s broadcast capabilities leveraged to enhance events currently produced by Torque, including World’s Fastest Gamer, while allowing UMG to better utilize its studio operations.
Competitive gaming platform nicecactus.gg (formerly Esport-Management.com) announced the closing of its $ 5.5 million Series A round and the launch of a new product, the Nicecactus Grassroots Esports Fund, to pursue its next chapter of growth. The round was raised by a group of private investors and will be put towards building and refining the platform’s product offering, attracting top talent and scaling the business.
DreamHack and ESL struck a deal with TV2 Denmark, which picked up the Danish rights to the companies’ joint Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament circuit, ESL Pro Tour. The agreement will run as a three-year deal starting in 2020 and expiring February 2023.
Riot Games entered a new partnership with Panasonic Avionics to allow North American League of Legends fans to watch the LCS and NA Academy teams on more than 2,400 commercial flights spanning the country. Riot and Panasonic Avionics haven’t confirmed which airlines will be airing any of the content.
The Call of Duty League saw multiple announcements from its upcoming teams. Its New York franchise will be known as the New York Subliners as the league prepares for a 2020 launch. Owned by Andbox, the Subliners’ name, colors and logo were showcased in the reveal. According to the announcement, “Subliners is born from the grit and chaos of the underground. Like our city, our team is built from the ground up to be a movement that challenges the mainstream and the status quo. Our name resists definition, but it stands for all who subvert the rules and play the game their way. We thrive on high pressure, high stakes, and high intensity.”
Meanwhile, two more teams revealed their monikers for CDL. Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, the owner of the Overwatch League’s Los Angeles Gladiators, announced that their team name would be the Los Angeles Guerrillas and feature the same color scheme as the Gladiators—purple, black, and white. Dallas then became the third Call of Duty League franchise to officially introduce its team name and logo as Team Envy revealed that its franchise will be known as the Dallas Empire, with black and beige serving their primary colors.
READYUP GAMES OF THE WEEK
POWER PLAYERS – Colin Smith
Last night saw the conclusion of the eNASCAR Heat Pro League season, as Team Penske Esports, Stewart-Haas Gaming, Leavine Family Gaming, and JR Motorsports battled it in the studios at NASCAR Productions in Charlotte. The eNASCAR Heat Pro League, a collaboration between NASCAR, RTA and 704Games, served as NASCAR’s first-ever esports league on consoles. In its first year, the league featured 14 teams and 28 gamers, each owned and operated by prominent NASCAR race teams with each team fielding two drivers. Cynopsis asked Colin Smith, President of 704Games, about the debut season.
Smith on the biggest takeaway: With this being our first significant step into the esports space, we weren’t exactly sure what to expect. We knew there was a large online racing community that had an appetite to compete, but I don’t think any of us knew how passionate this community really was. I also don’t think we really knew how many people and partners would have a shared interest in learning about this community of gamers, and how they perceive their fandom of NASCAR. It’s been an incredible journey with NASCAR and the Race Teams in building the league from the bottom up, and it’s taken lot of work from a lot of people to make it happen.
On what surprised him: I would say how knowledgeable and tactical the gamers are when it comes to racing online (car set-ups/tuning, fuel strategy, racing lines, etc.). A lot of the gamers that registered for the Pro League were former racers that for one reason or another had to give up their passion, and this is one way of staying competitive and fueling that fire. We will break down a race with the winners each week and it is amazing to see the time and hours they have committed to fine-tuning their strategy and runs. Esports within the racing genre is incredibly interesting as there are so many 1:1 ratios of characteristics that help make great drivers in both the real and virtual worlds.
On the evolution from the season: We learned so much from Season 1, and we are now in the process of bringing the three stakeholder groups (704Games, the Race Team Alliance and NASCAR) together to build the road map for Season 2. At the top of the list is creating a prize pool that awards weekly podium finishes, bringing 1-2 new teams into the league, securing an entitlement partner that can be a part of helping create that road map and bringing more awareness to the league, and of course continuing to drive growth in our audience numbers. We expect to bring some noticeable changes to the league in terms of schedule, structure and how the championship is determined, with our eyes on making the league more entertaining and fun to watch week-to-week.
On feedback from NASCAR, its teams and partners: That everything is perfect and to not change a thing. Just kidding. Like many others wading into the competitive gaming space for the first time, we really didn’t know what to expect for Season 1. We are walking away from the Championship event with our heads held high, but knowing we have a lot of work still to do. The race teams and NASCAR have been great partners and everyone wants to see the Pro League grow and expand. Everyone realizes and agrees that the NASCAR Heat game and the Pro League are platforms that can help speak to and help cultivate the next generation of NASCAR fans and possibly even future racers.
Former Zynga CMO Doug Scott joined Twitch to serve as CMO of the organization. “Doug has deep experience extending brands into new markets across games and entertainment industries, making him the ideal fit to lead Twitch’s marketing strategy,” said Twitch COO Sara Clemens. “As Twitch continues to grow, Doug will play an integral role in extending the brand beyond endemic audiences, supporting our incredible creators and expanding our presence in global markets.”
Kroenke Sports & Entertainment reportedly hired former YouTube and Riot Games staffer Alex Rubens as well as ESPN senior editor Ryan Garfat to lead esports operations for the Los Angeles Gladiators of the Overwatch League and the Los Angeles Guerillas of the upcoming Call of Duty League, per ESPN. The report states that Rubens and Garfat are the first hires in the new front office for the Kroenke’s esports ventures.
Misfits Gaming appointed Matt Bailey to Senior Director, Sponsorship Sales and Services where he joins a team responsible for the organization’s global sales and partner relations. The appointment marks Misfits Gaming’s first senior commercial team hire in Europe – home of Misfits Gaming’s League of Legends team, competing in the League of Legends European Championship (LEC). Bailey joins Misfits Gaming from InCrowd Sports.
Tencent took over majority control of Supercell, after upping its investment in the consortium that owns a majority stake in the mobile developer, raising its stake in the consortium from 50% voting interest to 51.2% by acquiring $40 million worth of shares as part of a convertible bond, according to a filing at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, per MCVUK.
The University of Kentucky announced a partnership with global esports company Gen.G to build a “first-of-its-kind” global gaming and esports program. The partnership will emphasize access to opportunities for all University of Kentucky students and they will look to develop wholly new pathways for student recruitment, classroom and internship opportunities; research avenues for scholars across a variety of colleges; and professional development for alumni.
Mix and Mingle With Digital’s Elite
The 7th Annual Cynopsis Digital Awards
NOV 8 | 8:30 – 10:30AM | NYC
The beauty of digital is that change is the only constant, and because of that there never seems to be enough time to applaud the developments spearheaded by these trailblazing companies (view finalists here). That’s why we created the Cynopsis Model D and Digital “it List” Awards. Register before OCT 28 and be in the room as winners are announced, and Digital “It List” Honorees are awarded.
REGISTER BY OCT 28
ON THIS DAY in 2017
FIFA 18 is released.
How many different-shapes are there in the tetrominoes used in Tetris? (Email email@example.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
What is the name of the Pokemon pictured last week? Answer: Snorlax. Kudos: Chris Davies-virgin/London; Joe Grippo-MSG/CLG/NY; Jason Valluzzi-Active International/NY; Allison Weiner-MMSI/Warwick; Gabrielle Pedro Fredrick-National Geographic/DC; Travis Wacker – Good Karma Brands Milwaukee/Milwaukee; Jason Morrow-Toyota/Houston; Amy Levis/Dallas; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Greg Dudsic/Venice; Julie Thompson-SBV Talent/LA
Later ~ Chris
Interested in advertising in this newsletter? Contact Frank Fazio.
|EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT 9 Story Media Group
Provide administrative support to two executives in a collaborative, creative, fast-paced environment working in production of current series and development of new properties. Candidate must be organized, detail oriented and self-directed, with strong verbal and written comm skills.
Full info HERE (11/2)
SALES PLANNER >>
The Weather Group/NYC: Dvlp sales plans/packages for clients that meet the needs of the network, clients & sales staff. 2-3 yrs of ad sales ind exp (agency and/or sales) Media math req’d. Potential growth into Sales position Full info HERE (11/7)
DIRECTOR of DEVELOPMENT >>
Thriving NYC production company: Dvlp/generate internal ideas. Identify & Skype talent. Exp preparing and pitching ideas directly to the networks. Oversee shoots & sizzle reels. In-depth knwldg of unscripted prgring & exp in a similar, sr level development role. Full info HERE (11/7)
SALES ASSISTANT >>
UP/NYC: Provide sales support to AEs, Sales Planners & Pricing & Inventory. Establish relationships w/agency buyers. Act as a liaison w/agencies & internal depts. Strong orgnztnl skills, att to detail, ability to work in a fast-paced envir. Prior internship exp in media a +. Full info HERE (11/5)
INVENTORY MANAGER >>
UP/NYC: Support VP, Pricing & Planning. Mng all aspects of channel inventory, oversee flighting & shift requests. Mng day to day bus processes w/sales assistants & sales planners. Provide support for stewardship, deal approvals, and pricing. Strong analytical skills, quick learner and problem solver. Full info HERE (11/5)
DIRECTOR, TECHNICAL & DIGITAL OPERATIONS >>
NBC Sports/Stamford CT: Oversee the design, development, deployment, and support of state-of-the-art sports content management systems, web services and API’s. Full info HERE (11/2)
Jr PUBLICIST >>
NBC SPORTS/Stamford CT: Publicize and promote NBC Sports Group programming in accordance with the overall strategy and brand positioning. BA degree. Min 2yrs exp working in PR and/or Sports industry. Full info HERE (11/2)
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT >> 9 Story Media Group/NYC: Provide administrative support to two executives in a collaborative, creative, fast-paced environment working in production of current series and development of new properties. Candidate must be organized, detail oriented and self-directed, with strong verbal and written comm skills. Full info HERE (11/2)
MULTI-PLATFORM MARKETING MGR >>
SNY/NYC: Reinforce/solidify SNY’s positioning as the Home for NY sports in a breakout way. Using proper creative and marketing strategies, this position will leverage best practices in marketing, social media, digital promotions, mobile marketing, and technology. Min 5yrs mktg/advertising exp sports/media. Full info HERE (11/2)
MGR, DIGITAL CONTENT (NIGHT SIDE) >>
NBC SPORTS/Philadelphia: Mng a team of NBC Sports Philadelphia’s content producers, ensuring that timely, relevant content is properly published to the website, app and social media accts. Min 7yrs working in digital content prod, incl 2-3yrs managing a team or unit. Full info HERE (11/2)
FREELANCE PROJECT MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR >>
Nickelodeon/NYC: Resp for project mngmt/coordinating social media creative for Nickelodeon’s fan-first, adult-targeted social accounts. Understanding of production methodologies across video, graphics/design & social media platforms. 1-2yrs managerial exp. Full info HERE (11/2)
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE >>
NYC-based television production: Work closely with the VP and SVP of Finance in all aspects of production accounting/finance Overseeing production accountants & mngng show cash flows to ensure staying on budget. Min 5 yrs exp cost reporting as a production accountant. Full info HERE (10/29)
PROMOTION PRODUCER >> WTTG/WDCA TV Fox 5 TV/Washington DC: seasoned creative services producer to conceptualize, write and produce dynamic promotional spots that promote our programming while reinforcing and expanding the stations brand and image. 4 yr degree & min 3 yrs brdcst exp in a top 50 market. Full info HERE (10/29)
SR ANALYST, RESEARCH & STRATEGIC INSIGHTS >>
BRAVO/OXYGEN/NBCU/NYC: Support in the creation of presentations designed to educate senior members of the network on consumers’ changing ent & tech. profiles. 2+ yrs Media research experience at a broadcast or cable network, agency or vendor. Full info HERE (10/26)
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE DIRECT RESPONSE >>
OPPORTUNITY MEDIA/LI/NY: Seeking an energetic achiever with excellent written & organizational skills for role to assist in growing revenue for dynamic Direct Response Team: BA Degree, Min 2 yrs DR Planning Experience req. Wide Orbit Exp a +. Full info HERE (10/26)
VP, RESEARCH & INSIGHTS (6 month contract) >>
Fremantle/Burbank: Serve as the head of all domestic research. Mng all qualitative/quantitative rsrch across all key depts. Proficient in survey programming/scripting apps. Detail oriented/great orgnztnal skills. Full info HERE (10/25)
ANALYST, GLOBAL RIGHTS >>
A+E/NY: Perform legal review & rights interpretation of content sales agreements & manage the process of capturing the rights & terms into a rights mgmt database. 3-5 yrs exp in legal analysis of prgmg & distribution agreements w/complex media rights & terms. JD a +. Excellent Excel skills. Full info HERE (10/25)
DIR, COMMERCIAL CLEARANCE >> A+E/NY: Ensure ads are in compliance w/both A+E policies & Fed guidelines. Perform S&P and Legal Privacy reviews & decision making for live programming. BA/BS, 10+ yrs exp at a network (cable or brdcst), or agency working in Standards & Practices, Commercial Clearance w/focus on ad review. Full info HERE (10/25)
DIGITAL BRAND MANAGER >>
VENN/NYC: Lead brand manager to run VENN brand social channels, driving comms strategy and brand growth. Prior experience leading brand launch and growth via social required. Deep knowledge of all social platforms. Full info HERE (10/25)
BioWare is looking for an Art Director to join their team.
Crystal Dynamics is looking for a Senior Environment Artist who has achieved excellence in environment modeling, texturing and lighting.
Senior Environment Artist
Redwood City CA
We are looking for a talented Lead Animator to help bring our characters to life in our newly announced AAA title, Back 4 Blood!
Turtle Rock Studios
Lake Forest CA
As Back End Software Engineer – Data Services, you will be responsible for developing software that effectively supports our rapid scaling from a data infrastructure/back end perspective.
Backend Engineer – Data Services
San Mateo, CA
Translates and reviews technical and non-technical documents, web forums, and business correspondences to support the accurate and efficient exchange of information using appropriate cultural relevance and etiquette.
Sr. Technical Translator
We are seeking an imaginative, skillful, and versatile Lead Designer to join our team in Carlsbad, California.
Lead Level Designer
High Moon Studios
Crystal Northwest is looking for a Senior Multiplayer Systems Designer to craft unique shared online gameplay experiences for our Crystal Northwest Studio in Bellevue, WA.
Senior Multiplayer Systems Designer
Hi-Rez Studios is looking for a games-loving Business Development Specialist to work at one of our locations in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Business Development Specialist
The Online Software Engineer is responsible for delivering major online gaming components and features for our EA Sports Franchises.
Software Engineer – Online (C++)
Rockstar New York is on the lookout for talented Manager of Analytics who possess a passion for Business Intelligence.
Manager of Analytics
New York NY
As the lead gameplay engineer, you’ll design, build, and optimize the core gameplay technologies that lie at the heart of our game.
Lead Gameplay Engineer
Super Evil Mega Corp
San Mateo, CA
We have an incredible opportunity for an experienced sponsorship sales professional, who has strong brand and agency relationships to move into the exciting and groundbreaking world of esports.
Director, Corporate Partnerships
Immortals Gaming Club
Los Angeles CA