10/13/16: Newzoo’s new research sees eSports on par with baseball and hockey among millennial males.


It’s Thursday, October 13, 2016, and this is your weekly early morning eSports & Gaming brief.

Newzoo unleashed it latest report on the habits of eSports fans, with the research firm finding that 76% of eSports enthusiasts have altered their viewing habits in the space at the expense of traditional sports. In fact, according to the report, among US male millennials (age 21 to 35), eSports now ranks on par with baseball or hockey with 22% of the demographic tuning in. In fact, the report notes that there were six million eSports fans in the US that do not watch baseball, hockey, basketball, or American football at all.

"The huge interest in eSports from sports celebrities, clubs, media companies, and brands alike illustrate how games are leading the media and entertainment business towards a new future that has more in common with games than not,” said Pieter van de Heuvel, Head of Esports at Newzoo. “Games bring innovation in tech and consumer business models, and have a unique ability to engage with and actively involve the younger generations. Traditional and digital media and sports companies bring experience in providing advertisers with an effective communication platform. There clearly is a natural, strategic and commercial fit."

The report also lays out the consumer habits of the native eSports enthusiast, finds three reasons that brands should want to get involved in the space. The research shows reasons that include “reaching the unreachables,” “games have become a global spectator sport,” and that eSports are a multi-billion-dollar business in the making.” Click here for more details.


ESL One New York’s Brooklyn stop drew 20 million unique online viewers, according to the league. Over the course of three days, online viewership peaked at more than 450,000 concurrent and 6 million unique viewers, with the event drawing over 8 million hours watched on multiple online streaming platforms. In addition, the company drew than 122 million impressions generated on its Twitter and Facebook channels, with more than 7 million fan engagements. “ESL is committed to showcasing legendary gameplay in the context of amazing event experiences,” said ESL Vice President of Pro Gaming Ulrich Schulze. “We are proud that ESL One New York delivered on this commitment, sparking worldwide conversation from thousands of attendees live from Barclays Center and millions of online viewers.”

Thanks to the power of in-game purchases, the League of Legends World Championship prize pool swelled $2 million to top the $4 million mark, courtesy of 25% of all purchases directly added to the tally. The first place team at the tournament will take home 40% of the final prize with the runners up grabbing 15%.

Meanwhile, Ultimate Media Ventures added more info to yesterday’s news about the Battle on the Strip in partnership with FACEIT. The Vegas event, which takes place at the SLS, will run from October-December, offering Pro-Am eSports competition, cosplay contests and EDM music. Beginning with Dota 2, Battle on the Strip will use a rotating online bracketing system, featuring a different IP from top competitive video game titles each month.

Skillz unveiled data that shows that adding its eSports elements with its game developer partners pushed titles to claim more than eight times the mobile gaming industry’s average revenue per daily active user and nearly two times the average time spent in game. The company noted that by implementing competitive eSports tournaments, developers were able to increase revenue, attract new users and better engage their existing players with developers generating $0.92 in ARPDAU, which is over eight times the industry average of $0.11. “From a developer standpoint, we’ve seen that implementing eSports tournaments is one of the most powerful tools for increasing engagement, retention and revenue,” said Yonatan Erez, CEO and founder of Ilyon Dynamics. “With the superior product provided by Skillz, we were also able to increase day one user retention by 21% and day 30 retention by 19%, leading to a thriving and immersed community.”

Team Liquid has a new partner courtesy of a partnership between Monumental Sports & Entertainment and NBC Sports Group. The deal includes an investment by NBC Sports Group in Monumental Sports Network, which in addition to owning the Wizards, Capitals, Mystics and Valor, is also co-owner of aXiomatic, which has a controlling interest in the esports franchise.
Team Huma is being rebranded as Paris Saint-Germain eSports, according to ESPN. The move comes after Webedia and its subsidiary company Bang Bang Management purchased Team Huma’s League of Legends European Challenger Series spot from previous owner Behdad Jaafarian. Webedia then announced that it had received a license to build an eSports franchise using the name, logos, images and brand of France’s largest soccer club.

Meanwhile, Argentina’s River Plate sports club is also buying into the industry, signing pro FIFA player Franco Colagrossi, who will now compete as part of the club’s eSports division. The team is also hosting a tournament to sign a second player.

In other international news, Spanish outlet Mediapro picked up a majority stake of videogame outlet Fandroid in a move to bolster eSports within the country. Fandroid founded the Spanish Liga de VideoJuegos Profesional and featured 250,000 registered users in Spain. According to Mediapro, the new acquisition will see the mother company offer technical, planning and strategic expertise to the development of content, additional sponsorship and marketing opportunities.

Lock in your calendars! Nov. 17 will see our next eSports webinar “How Marketers and Sponsors Can Maximize and Monetize eSports,” while last year’s SRO event, the Cynopsis World eSports Summit returns to NYC in April with a legendary meeting of the minds between league Commissioners, team owners, brands, media executives and more! Hope to see you there.


A recent alliance between Ubisoft and Facebook found three different types of gamers, with the publisher targeting specific ads to each, according to an article in Adweek. Ubisoft’s upcoming game Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands leveraged creative to each of the three, which are described as tacticians, competitors and explorers. “Tacticians were identified as people who love science and technology, while competitors like adrenaline and action. Explorers are more likely than other groups to respond to entertainment and games that let them explore and move around,” according to the article.” The result saw activations such as – in the creative targeting tacticians – a drone appearing in the intro of the clip, while competitors saw an explosion.

Research and Markets has lofty expectations for the video game ad market, with its newest report forecasting the market to grow at a CAGR of 13.71% during the period 2016-2020. The study pointed to notable trends in the sector, such as the increased social media for advertising of video games and over 90% of social media enthusiasts playing at least one video game in a period of 30 days. Meanwhile, improved measurement standards will be a key driver for market growth.

Speaking of ads, the eSports Ad Bureau announced plans for its free eSports Advertising Summit, set to take place on Oct. 27 in NYC. The event will look to offer attendees a snapshot of the environment and the premium advertising opportunities that are available in the space with registration available at https://esports-advertising-summit-tickets.eventbrite.com.


FloSports is looking to redefine the eSports experience for audiences at home and has developed its Arena platform to allow people to get the POV from all the consoles (beginning with this weekend’s SoCal Regionals of the Capcom Pro Tour for Street Fighter) at home instead of being limited to the mainstage. Audiences can also follow brackets that are updated in real time, allowing audiences to use the brackets to gauge matchups and immediately watch that match. You can learn more here.

More media heavyweights are moving into the eSports space. Vivendi and CANAL Group are partnering with ESL to shore up eSports exposure in France, with the deal set to launch the first official eSports leagues that will be based on the existing ESL Championship National. The events will then be shown on the CANAL Group channels, which will join forces with ESL for the development and promotion of eSports in France by co-organizing in the country major international events as part of the leading global circuit. CANAL Group will also be the first major national broadcaster present at the Paris Games Week from October 27-31.

In other international news, Spanish outlet Mediapro picked up a majority stake of videogame outlet Fandroid in a move to bolster eSports within the country. Fandroid founded the Spanish Liga de VideoJuegos Profesional and featured 250,000 registered users in Spain. According to Mediapro, the new acquisition will see the mother company offer technical, planning and strategic expertise to the development of content, additional sponsorship and marketing opportunities.

ESL opened the doors worldwide to the ESL Play app for Android and iOS devices, allowing users to have access to a lineup of ESL Play competitions, with tournaments and cups in 50 different gaming titles. The platform also allows gamers to find and sign up for tournaments, report results, and upload additional media right from the app. "After responding to community feedback and adding team functionality during the public beta, we are happy to officially release the ESL Play App today,” said Philip Heltweg, Product Owner ESL mobile. “It will make signing up and playing matches on ESL Play easier than ever before, especially for mobile games. We will continue to improve the experience by providing better push notifications and profile management in the near future before expanding to include other league types like ladders."

Speaking of ESL, the company tied up a five-year deal with South Africa’s Kwese Sports to distribute eSports action, with events set to include the Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and a selection of ESL Pro Leagues.

Engadget released Game Fnatic: Search for a Legend on its site yesterday, spotlighting the eSports franchise with a 10-episode series, produced by digital entertainment company Studio71. The series follows the team as they look for “the next great gamer to join the pack” and follows five amateur gamers as they are challenged mentally, emotionally, and physically in a series of skill tests and extreme gaming competition.

Most streamed titles for the week ending Oct. 9, according to Gamoloco, with Worlds giving a boost to League of Legends’ lead…



Activision Blizzard announced that Overwatch has topped the 20 million player mark around the world in less than a half-year. That marks the company’s fastest rising game of all time.

Valve announced that the company now offered more than 10,000 games through Steam. The lineup on the distribution platform includes more 600 VR titles, according to VentureBeat, while the adoption of SteamVR Tracking has seen over 300 licensees planning to incorporate the technology.
Capcom reports that remasters of Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6 have shipped more than 1.5 million units worldwide, with North America accounting for over 1 million units. The franchise represents Capcom’s highest selling series with more than 69 million total units sold to date.

Nitro Circus inked a multi-year deal with Saber Interactive for a new licensing partnership to create a new video game property. Preliminary design for this AAA title is under way.  “We are thrilled to announce a partnership with one of the world’s leading game developers, Saber Interactive,” said Peter Maule, Nitro Circus’ Global Head of Licensing. “This is consistent with our long term consumer products strategy of aligning with the best in class in each product category. Gaming in particular is of utmost importance as we expand our global licensing footprint. It is absolutely critical for us to deliver authenticity, which Saber can do better than anyone. This is a perfect fit for Nitro Circus and our fans.”


Do you have what it takes to be on the Leaderboard?
is now accepting entries for the 2016 LEADERBOARD.
Open to any organization that utilized its social media platforms to promote its product to sports fans throughout 2016. From global brands to local stations, million-dollar campaigns to viral-on-a-budget, social media has proven to be the great equalizer.
Showcase your talent and ENTER TODAY.


Machinima announced that Gary King and Dave Pullano are joining the company as Directors of Development where they will be charged with developing content designed to drive viewership and engagement for Machinima’s multi-platform programming service and coordinate programming in conjunction with Machinima’s Marketing, Production and Talent teams. King joins from Disney/ABC Cable Networks Group while Pullano spent the past year as a consulting showrunner and executive producer for the company.

GameCo, Inc. expanded its management team and announced the opening of a second office in Las Vegas. New hires include: Rich Maryyanek as Head of Global Business Development; Tommy Florio as Vice President of Sales; Eli Weissman as Head of Production; Patricia Morelli asVice President of Regulatory and Product Compliance, and Joe Galante as Vice President of Operations and Field Services. Maryyanek, Florio, and Weissman are based in the company’s New York City headquarters while Morelli and Galante run the Las Vegas office.

Game Trailer of the Week: Star Wars: The Old Republic

EA’s BioWare and Lucasfilm go old school with the world premiere of the new ‘Betrayed’ cinematic trailer this past week, offering fans a peek at the prequel story for the upcoming expansion Star Wars: The Old Republic  Knights of the Eternal Throne. The new digital expansion will be available for download on Dec. 2, with players having the power to make their mark on the Galaxy based on their light and dark side choices. Click here to watch.

ON THIS DAY in 2009: Sony releases Uncharted 2: Among Thieves for the PlayStation 3.
Trivia: In Overwatch, what country do Junkrat and Roadhog hail from? (Email [email protected] 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 pig-tailed protagonist in Candy Crush Saga? Answer: Angelina Jolie. Kudos: Linda Lieberman-WME/IMG/NY; Eric Wright-D S Simon Productions, Inc./NY; Luke Watson-Roker Labs/NY; Ray Hughes-Food Network/NY; Eddie Dunn-La Salle University/Philadelphia; Amanda Thornton-Red Arrow Industries/Knoxville; Glen Ross-YouTuber/DC; Julie Schell/Charlottesville; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Rosemary Cunningham-Weigel Broadcasting/Chicago; Carly Dasso-Saatchi & Saatchi/Oakbrook Terrace; Jason Morrow-Toyota/Houston; Peter Steckelman-Tennis Channel/Santa Monica; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Joey Olson-Lowe’s/Manhattan Beach.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | eSports @VegasandVine

Roberta Caploe: Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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