10/29/20: 2020 Tempest Award winners announced

 

 

Medias First Morning Read
Thursday October 29, 2020

Good morning! It’s Thursday, October 29 and this is your weekly Esports Brief.
Capping the second night of the annual Esports Business Summit, a newly-virtual 2020 Tempest Awards once again paid tribute to the hard work and innovation from the industry’s business community drastically impacted by the pandemic. Hosted by ESPN’s Arda Ocal and produced in partnership with Super League Gaming, this year’s honors once again brought in some of the biggest names in the business, from long-time pioneers to the new generation of executives and personalities who will be driving the business in the years ahead.

Multiple category winners this year included ESL, Bud Light, 100 Thieves, NBA 2K League, Riot Games, ESPN and FaZe Clan, which also took home the award for Team of the Year. Awards were decided from a slate of judges from across the esports industry.

2020 Hall of Fame Inductees
Team Liquid Co-CEO Victor Goossens
Team Liquid Co-CEO Steve Arhancet
DreamHack President & Co-CEO Marcus Lindmark

Ambassador Award for Personality of the Year
Eefje ‘Sjokz” Depoortere

Sentinel Award
Marcus ‘djWHEAT” Graham

Watch List
Joe Barnes-Bud Light
Nicole LaPoint Jameson-Evil Geniuses
Arda Ocal-ESPN
Madison “Maddiesuun” Mann-Gen.G
Kyle Bautista – Complexity Gaming
Angela Roseboro – Riot Games
Mike Pusateri – Bent Pixels
Christopher Tai – Twitch
Eric Gonzales II – PRO ESPORTS GAMING
John Higgins – OS Studios
Anna Schiraldi – Twitch
Gabriella “LeTigress” Devia-Allen

Top Innovator During COVID-19: FaZe Clan
Top Consumer Media Outlet: ESPN Esports
Best Podcast: The Courage and Nadeshot Show
Top Documentary/Non-Competitive Series: NBA 2K League Locked In Powered by AT&T
Best Social Experience: TSM TikTok Launch
Best Social Driver Team: 100 Thieves
Top Venue Activation: Bud Light for the Bud Light Payload OWL Finals
Best Brand Activation on Twitch: Honda’s 2019 Twitch Takeover
Best Non-Endemic Brand Activation: AT&T DreamHack Atlanta
Best Endemic Brand Activation: Cash App
2020 Brand of the Year: Mastercard
Best Amateur/Collegiate Esports Event:Collegiate StarLeague
Top Mobile Gaming Event: ESL Mobile Open
Best Sports and Sim League: NBA 2K League
Top New League or Series: The Call of Duty League
Top League/Series: League of Legends Esports
Event Production of the Year: The International 2019
Digital Executive of the Year: Eduard Montserrat, Stream Hatchet
Marketer of the Year: Rodrigo Samwell, ESL Gaming
Top Production Executive: Joseph Lynch, Electronic Arts
Top Collegiate Program: Harrisburg University
Team of the Year: FaZe Clan

COMPETITION
Learfield IMG College and EA are launching Level Next, the largest-ever official collegiate esports league. Aimed at unifying competitive play at universities nationwide, the multiyear, multi title program will be available to college students across 2,500 campuses and feature at least one EA esports franchise per season kicking off with Madden NFL 21 on Monday, November 9. The competition, open to all college students currently attending a four-year accredited university, will follow an eight-week format comprising a regular season, playoffs and a championship with one team becoming national champion for their school. “Until now, collegiate esports has been primarily small scale, community-based and fragmented. This program will bring the excitement and camaraderie of college competition to a new level,” said Todd Sitrin, SVP and GM of EA Competitive Gaming Entertainment. “By leveraging EA’s decades of experience at the intersection of traditional sports and esports, and Learfield IMG College’s unprecedented scale and position as the official rights holder for more than 200 universities and conferences, this collaboration will establish a much needed structure within the collegiate esports ecosystem and help accelerate Madden NFL competitive gaming popularity.”

DreamHack Sports Games struck a partnership with L33T-Gaming, making it the official gaming chair partner of the FIFA competition, which begins on Tuesday, November 3. L33T-Gaming will equip the eSuperliga studio and player practice room with professional L33T-Gaming chairs. Mark Bjork, COO of DreamHack Sports Games, said he was “thrilled” with the deal, adding that “with their high-quality gaming chairs, L33T-Gaming will upgrade the experience of the players in the league.”

UEFA is bringing back UEFA eEURO. European football’s governing body has announced the competition will return for a second edition, with the final tournament planned to take place next summer in London. UEFA eEuro 2021 will see participating players compete in the largest national team efootball event, played exclusively on KONAMI’s eFootball PES 2021 SEASON UPDATE. The competition will feature all 55 of UEFA’s member associations. The aim for all contestant countries will be to qualify for the final tournament in London from 9–10 July, scheduled just before the final of the real-world UEFA EURO 2020 at Wembley Stadium on 11 July.

Gfinity has been appointed the production partner for Red Bull Worlds Simplified League of Legends World Championship Final show. Red Bull Worlds Simplified is a new digital show that breaks down the League of Legends World Championship Final into a format that is accessible to people around the world. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the championship, which will be hosted by esports presenter Frankie Ward live from the Gfinity Arena in London on October 31.

ACTIVATION
The third season of Farming Simulator League, from Swiss game developer GIANTS Software, will begin in November with tentative plans for the tractor-based esport in 2021. Dedicated to the game Farming Simulator 2019, it will feature a total prize pool of 250K euros ($283K USD) and be sponsored by Intel, Corteva Agriscience, noblechairs, Deutsche landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft (DLG) and Nitrado. Season 3 runs from November 2020 to November 2021.

BLAST Premier and Nubia Technology announced a partnership with the global mobile company sponsoring the company’s Counter Strike Fall Series. The partnership will see in-game branding featuring Nubia’s RedMagic 5S phone. In addition, Nubia will offer fans opportunities to win the new phone and deliver behind-the-scenes access during the tournament as part of various giveaways while all on-screen talent will be given the gaming phone to try for themselves.

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association partnered with Cxmmunity, and the duo will work together to develop the conference’s esports ecosystem through strategic partnerships with industry leaders that focus on providing educational opportunities and career pathways for its students and membership. Additionally, through its HBCU Esports League, Cxmmunity will provide competitive gaming opportunities for CIAA membership, offering participants the chance to earn scholarships, while also assisting the conference with establishing its own branded esports programming.

STREAM HATCHET TRENDS
This week, Stream Hatchet analyzed the top esports organizations in Q3 2020 based on cumulative roster viewership in combination with esports viewership. The esports organization landscape is a balance between creating casual content on stream and video uploads via the influencers on the roster as well as performing at the highest level during esports events and leagues. The data below provides a breakdown of how the top esports organizations have generated their viewership between the two avenues.

—NRG led all esports organizations with over 66M hours watched but was followed closely by FaZe Clan with over 62M.
—FaZe Clan, Cloud9, and Team Liquid generated the largest percentages of esports viewership with around 26-33% of their totals.
—Luminosity had the largest percent of influencer viewership with about 96% of their hours watched coming from casual content.

For more information about live streaming, gaming and esports, please visit http://www.streamhatchet.com/insights.

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PLATFORMS

ESL Gaming extended its partnership with SPORT1, the leading German sports platform. The agreement will see some of the biggest ESL and DreamHack tournaments streamed regularly and live on SPORT1’s new, 24/7, pan-European linear esports channel, eSportsONE, starting Tuesday, November 3, with ESL as central content partner for the region. Broadcasts will include world-class Dota 2 tournaments, the StarCraft II ProTour and the WarCraft III Pro Tour, live.

The Game Diaries, a new podcast about video games and how they’ve impacted our lives, is looking for people to submit their stories. Each week, hosts missharvey and Michele Morrow will discuss the human side of gaming, by sharing the experience of actual people in the gaming community. The pair will read personal letters sent by listeners and friends, as well as discuss stories from the industry at large, give advice and talk about current gaming news and events.

TEAMS

Following the launch of its new Marvel Retro collection, Team Liquid has announced the renewal of its partnership with Marvel Entertainment until 2022. The deal includes the launch of new exclusive merchandise and collaborative content, with plans in place to drop one more piece of Marvel apparel before the end of the year.

FaZeCan teamed with Half Evil for a new merchandise capsule dropping Friday, October 30 at 4:30p on evilfaze.com. The exclusive collaboration introduces fans to gaming’s wicked older brother: gambling. The casino-themed collection features a range of products including multiple tees, a button-up collared shirt, poker chip rugs, a worker’s jacket and more. Fans will have the opportunity to put their poker skills to the test and play to win the complete FaZe Clan x Half Evil capsule.

Gen.G and Bumble have launched a search for an all-women VALORANT team, expanding their “Team Bumble” partnership and furthering their goal to empower women in the gaming community and create a safer environment for them online. Initially launched in 2019, Gen.G Empowered by Bumble established the creation of the first-ever all-women professional Fortnite team. The search for the new team will integrate Madison “Maddiesuun” Man, a key player on the Team Bumble Fortnite team who has been flexing her skills into VALORANT.

The Pistons Gaming Team is set to host its first “Road to Pro” Draft Eligible Tournament presented by the United States Marines. It’s part of the NBA 2K League’s new tryout process for Season 4. The Pistons GT event features a tournament on Xbox set for November 9 and one on PlayStation beginning November 13. “As we continue to grow and evolve the NBA 2K League, we’re excited to implement a new tryout process for our fourth season that will give Draft hopefuls more ways than ever to make the league,” said NBA 2K League Managing Direct Brendan Donohue.

MLS’ EA Sports FIFA League will see two more new teams in the 2021 season, with Inter Miami and St. Louis City SC joining the league. The additions bring the total number of players up to 27. Details on when the 2021 eMLS season, including its start date, will come in the near future.

INDUSTRY

Are gamers familiar with esports? Not necessarily, according to Gaming and Esports: The Next Generation, a YouGov analysis of the global video games and esports landscape. In many markets, especially in the West, this is due to more casual and mobile gamers, who represent a large and significant group of players, but one less familiar with esports. In the US, fewer than two in five (38%) gamers can define esports correctly, while the figure in France (41%), Spain (41%) and the UK (44%) is only slightly higher. However, there are two regions where gamers have much higher familiarity: Scandinavia and East Asia. The figures range from 58% in Norway to 63% in Sweden to 75% in Denmark, and 76% in Taiwan and 79% in China. The data suggests that developers of esports offerings may first need to educate prospective customers – even committed gamers, before they can effectively introduce and scale their esports initiatives.

ROSTER MOVES

Riot announced that Jason Bunge is joining its executive leadership team, where he’ll oversee game marketing, product publishing, and global channel strategy teams as CMO Bunge joins from Electronic Arts, where he served as the SVP of brand management and marketing, working on games like Apex Legends.

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