11/07/19: Breaking down Halo’s esports plans ahead of Halo Infinite release

 

Thursday, November 7, 2019
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.

 
With the next edition of Halo slated to hit players next year, organizers of the Halo Championship Series unveiled its vision for the series and Halo esports overall as we approach the Halo Infinite era. With an eye to grow the player and team base for next year, both in the US and internationally, the company stated that it would be locking in and announcing a full 12-month esports roadmap so that, before competition starts, all cities, dates, venues, rules, handbooks, formats, and more for those first 12 months will be publicly available and promoted. In addition, HCS will look to “secure top teams with large fanbases, diversifying and investing in new content creators” moving forward.
 
“Overall, our goals are simple,” the company said in the announcement. “We want to grow viewership for Halo esports tournaments, as well as viewership for players, teams, and content creators. We want Halo esports to act as a platform that teams, players, TOs, sponsors, and more can invest in and see a return in. We want to have epic moments where the broader gaming community can’t help but take notice. Finally, alongside the players, fans, and partners – we want to create a movement. We want everyone to feel like they’re a part of the same community and something larger than themselves.”
 
COMPETITION

 
FIFA unveiled its 2020 plans with the next editions of both the FIFA eNations Cup as well as the FIFA eClub World Cup. The two events will be part of the nine-month competitive Road to the FIFA eWorld Cup 2020 which will also feature an increased number of tournaments. The FIFA eClub World Cup returns for the fourth time as world’s best teams in competitive FIFA will compete for the title, battling it out against rivals in a unique format including 1v1 and 2v2 match-ups from Feb. 7-9. This year, FIFA is introducing a tiered online qualification over six-weeks – making this the biggest club team competition on the Road the FIFA eWorld Cup 2020. The FIFA eNations Cup, meanwhile, will see the top  eNational teams represent their country in 2v2 match-ups from May 22-24. The eWorld Cup, meanwhile, will take place in July 2020 where the EA SPORTS FIFA 20 champion will be crowned.
 
A slate of games industry organizations united in a set of principles for esports engagement. Associations include the ESA, the ESAC, IGEA, ISFE, and UKIE, with an eye toward developing in a collaborative effort and form a set of values designed to impact the global esports environments via: safety and well-being, integrity and fair play, respect and diversity, and positive and enriching game play. “Our esports community includes the game publishers and intellectual property owners whose games are at the core of the esports ecosystem as well as the players, teams, and tournament organizers who bring this vibrant community to life,” the associations said in a statement. “As members of this community, we created these guiding principles to foster an esports environment that is vibrant, engaging, fair and fun for everyone. As esports continues to grow, collectively we support an ecosystem of play that can be enjoyed by all members of the community – from international competitions to local community events.”
 
BlizzCon wrapped up in Anaheim, not only flush with game announcements and winners that included Team USA in the Overwatch World Cup and Xiaomeng “Liooon” Li making history as the first woman to win a championship at the convention courtesy of Heathstone, but also for announcing new plans on the Overwatch League front. The league detailed plans for a new midseason tournament that will take place during All-Star Weekend in addition to changes to regular season competitive play, including all games next season set to be played to three map victories, eliminating the need for a fourth map if the outcome had already been determined. With a shift to the Homestand format in 2020, the league will now offer a new midseason tournament that will feature the top four teams in the standings, including the division leaders. The league also maintained its desire to reach about 28 franchises around the world, despite not expanding for its third season.
 
A G2 Esports/SK Telecom T1 battle to cement a slot in the League of Legends World Championship finals clocked 3,985,787 peak viewers for its fourth and final game across multiple platforms worldwide, not including China. Esports Charts reports that average concurrent viewership nearly hitting 2.5 million, clocking 11.5 million hours watched.
 
The Le Mans Esports Series will return for season two, dangling an increased total prize fund of $200,000 for contenders.  The series, a joint venture between the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, FIA World Endurance Championship and Motorsport Network, drew over 215,000 live viewers and 6.4 million social media impressions at last season’s “Super Final” at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 2019. The new season will feature both a “Pro” Team qualification championship and a “Pro-Am” championship for individuals to earn their place on the grid in June 2020 for the Super Final. The season’s racing will continue to take place on Forza Motorsport 7, available on PC and Xbox One.
 
Evo confirmed plans to return to Las Vegas once again in 2020, announcing that Mandalay Bay will once again host the event. Evo 2020 will run July 31-Aug. 2. Titles will be announced at a later date.
 
The 2019 Clash Royale League World Finals are heading to LA next month, taking place at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall where six teams from around the world square off for a share of the $400,000 prize pool. The top two teams from each of the three CRL regions—Asia, China, and West—will take part starting Dec. 7. The tournament is hosted by Supercell in partnership with OGN and is presented by Google Play
 
The London Spitfire unveiled the locations for the team’s homestand matches for the upcoming 2020 season, announcing plans for SSE Arena, Wembley and a to-be-announced Birmingham location for its two weekends. London Spitfire will first welcome Paris Eternal and Toronto Defiant at the SSE Arena on March 28th and 29th. San Francisco Shock and Los Angeles Gladiators will then head across the pond on June 6th and 7th to join London Spitfire as they all go head-to-head in Birmingham. “We are excited to finally unveil that we will be hosting our UK fans at two iconic venues,” said Dan Fiden, President of London Spitfire. “With The SSE Arena, Wembley already playing host to some amazing esports tournaments, we can’t wait to make our homestand weekends an unforgettable experience.”

DreamHack is partnering with Nintendo to announce that the 2019 edition of DreamHack Winter, running Nov. 29-Dec. 1, will host the Nordic finals of the European Smash Ball Team Cup. The best teams from the qualifiers in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden will battle it out in the Nordic finals at DreamHack Winter, Sunday, December 1. The winners of these finals won’t just win the honor of being the best team in the Nordics, they will also be granted a spot in the European finals.
 
TRENDS

 
This week, Stream Hatchet investigates viewer behavior related to the former core Twitch audiences of Ninja and Shroud, tracking which streamers this cohort consumes now that both streamers have gone to Mixer. Core audience is defined as a group of registered Twitch profiles who regularly return to a channel to consume content.   
  • TimTheTatman is gaining significant market share with the Mixer acquisitions: 7.4% of Ninja’s and Shroud’s core audience are now viewers of his channel.
  • Shroud’s audience consumed FPS focused Streamers: DrDisrespect, Skadoodle, and Scump are all primarily FPS streamers but play a variety of games from CoD: MW to Apex Legends to CS:GO.
  • Shroud’s Audience is more decentralized: While 34.5% of Ninja’s core viewers moved to the top Fortnite channels, 73.3% Shroud’s viewers watch other influencers across a variety of games.  
For more insights on game streaming and esports, visit our blog at: blog.streamhatchet.com.
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ACTIVATION

 

 
HyperX cemented a partnership to sponsor the PUBG Global Championship 2019, in a continuation of their partnership with PUBG Corporation, following their sponsorship of the PUBG Nations Cup 2019. HyperX will provide gaming headsets, keyboards, mice for the tournament, with the partnership brokered by Lagardère Sports. The PUBG Global Championship represents the culmination of PUBG Esports’ first official season and will take place across three weekends, beginning with a Group Stage (8 – 10 November) and Semifinals (15 – 17 November) held at the OGN Super Arena in Manhattan Beach, CA. The world’s best teams will then battle for the inaugural season-ending championship title at the Grand Finals (23 – 24 November), taking place at the Oakland Arena in Oakland, CA.
 
Honda will serve as entitlement partner for Riot Game’ LCS Scouting Grounds, which will now be known as the Honda Scouting Grounds. The event runs Nov. 11-16 with 20 amateur players competing at the LCS Arena. Honda Scouting Grounds will see the top two players in each role from North American solo queue to join the 10 players from the FACEIT circuit. From there, they will take part in one week of professional-level training before the four teams go on to compete at the LCS Arena.
 
ESL ordered up a partnership with Grubhub, the online and mobile food delivery marketplace, dedicated toward ESL Collegiate and designed to enhance collegiate esports player and fan experiences. This marks the first official partner for the ESL Collegiate platform. In addition, the BIG EAST Conference will also return for the ESL Collegiate Fall Invitational, with new collegiate conferences to be announced in the coming days. Grubhub will serve as the official food delivery partner of ESL Collegiate for competing conferences. As part of this partnership, fans can vote each week on which food the analysts and shoutcasters eat during the event in a segment called “Cast & Chat Chowdown.” Students in participating college conferences will also get access to exclusive discounts on their first Grubhub order.
 
LAMO tapped some heavyweights for the launch of its new game, LAMO The Game yesterday. The free-to-play online multiplayer competitive game tapped the talents of streaming personalities such as Ninja, summit1g, TimTheTatman, LIRIK and Shroud, who were also “highly involved” in its development as eight players battle it out in the fully destructible party arena to be the last LAMO standing. “We saw there was a true need for snackable gaming content and with LAMO, fans will now have a game to play in between the games and interact with the streamers they love across platforms,” said Lax Chandra, CEO of LAMO.
 
Worldwide Asset eXchange signed on as a partner for Momentum Studios, Inc.’s Celebrity eSports Challenge, the 10-week video gaming series featuring celebrities, esports enthusiasts, and social media influencers that debuts tonight at 7p on YouTube, Twitch and Mixer. Disney’s Daniel Curtis Lee hosts.
 

Scuf Gaming announced its collaboration with the global charity Movember for #SCUFMO, now in its second year. Together with an esteemed list of professional gamers and content creators, Scuf Gaming and Movember will present a slate of livestreams aimed at raising awareness about the importance of men’s physical and mental health. In addition, Scuf Gaming will donate a portion of its controller sales to the charity throughout the month of November.

PLATFORMS


 
Professional streamer Jack “CouRage” Dunlop is going all in on YouTube, and will now stream exclusively on the platform via his YouTube channel. He will kick off his first ever YouTube live stream today. The former esports commentator and gaming content creator boasts over 37 million stream views and over 271M video views. “YouTube uniquely offers CouRage the ability to focus on both live streaming and VOD in a way that no other platform can and we think his YouTube community will be excited he’s now combining both of these content formats in one place,“ said Ryan Wyatt, Head of Gaming, YouTube.  “We are continuing to invest in our live business in gaming in many ways and bringing Jack over is just another way of bolstering our presence in this space.”

 
Juked is open for business, announcing the launch of its open beta for the San Francisco-based esports startup in a move to “create a better way to discover, watch, and engage with the best events and content from across the global esports community” and featuring over 20 esports titles. Features include aggregating and indexing every esports broadcasts (live, upcoming, and VOD) and related data (brackets, standings, schedules, results, player profiles, and teams) into one viewing app, so fans can easily stay on top of their favorite games, teams, and players.
 
TEAMS

 
All 12 franchise monikers have now been revealed for the upcoming inaugural season of the Call of Duty League. The final announcement for names and branding elements was for the Paris Legion. “Defenders of liberty and innovation have always found refuge in Paris,” the team explained in the announcement. “We will be worthy of our city’s traditions: fighting, conquest, and fraternity.” They will join the London Royal Ravens, Los Angeles Guerrillas, Dallas Empire, New York Subliners, OpTic Gaming Los Angeles, Toronto Ultra, Atlanta FaZe, Florida Mutineers, Minnesota RØKKR, Seattle Surge, Chicago Huntsmen. The inaugural season of the Call of Duty League will begin on Jan. 24.
 
Fnatic announced a new partnership with Sanrio’s Hello Kitty, tweeting out the news and showcasing Hello Kitty wearing Fnatic gear while gaming on a PC. The site shows news that Fnatic and Hello Kitty will offer a new gaming collection on Nov. 15.
 
A new report from Forbes ranks the “most valuable” esports franchises, listing the top 12 in its estimates, and led by a tie between Cloud9 and Team SoloMid, with each valued at $400 million. They were followed by Team Liquid ($320,000,000), FaZe Clan ($240,000,000), Immortals Gaming Club ($210,000,000), Gen.G ($185,000,000), Fnatic ($175,000,000), Envy Gaming ($170,000,000), G2 Esports ($165,000,000), 100 Thieves ($160,000,000), NRG Esports ($150,000,000), and Misfits Gaming ($120,000,000).
 
Gen.G secured investment from NYC-based Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, according to TechCrunch. The funding from ERA, according to the report, will allow Gen.G to grow its foothold on the East Coast and gives the esports org “a strategic partnership with ERA, which invests in super early-stage tech startups.”
 
The University of Kansas announced the formation of a varsity level esports team that will begin in Jan. 2020, when KU begins competing in League of Legends. The KU Memorial Union will provide program support and coaching as part of their ongoing efforts with student programs and events, with the school announcing plans to join NACE.
 
READYUP GAMES OF THE WEEK

 
INDUSTRY

 
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate officially took home the heavyweight belt after announcing that the game has now sold 15.7 million copies to rank as the best0selling fighting game of all time. Digital Trends report that Street Fighter II previously held the record at 15.5 million. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was released on December 7, 2018.
 
Rogue Games inked a deal with Super Evil MegaCorp to become the new publisher of record for Vainglory. “We’re longtime fans of Super Evil and Vainglory, so we’re honored to be entrusted with the game and eager to get started,” said Mike DeLaet, Founder & CEO of Rogue Games. “Many people on the team have worked on MOBAs or games-as-service titles before and we appreciate how important the community is to the game itself. We’re working very closely with Super Evil and bringing along the current community managers to make the transition as smooth as possible and safeguard the quality of the Vainglory experience.”
 
A report from NPD stated that US consumers spent nearly $30 billion on video game products and services so far in 2019, hitting $27.9 billion for an uptick of 1%. The company’s Q3 2019 Games Market Dynamics: US report says that spending for Q3 hit $9.18 billion, also up 1% year-on-year, with double-digital percentage growth in spending on mobile, subscription services and digital console content.
 
Gaming chair manufacturer Respawn Products inked a deal with Epic Games to launch a line of Fortnite-branded chairs. “Respawn Products is currently focused on evolving within the gaming, esports, and streaming space to continue offering our high-quality products at affordable prices to all gamers whether they’re aiming to compete at the highest level or play a couple of hours a week casually,” said Alex Gonzalez, Sponsorship and Promotional Lead at Respawn Products. “As the industry continues to develop and evolve we are hoping to pursue a strong focus within esports and continuing to collaborate with unique and meaningful partnerships, sponsorships, and activations.”
 
Meanwhile, Blizzard Entertainment is now working with SecretLab to launch two new officially-licensed gaming chairs with Overwatch branding. “Overwatch today is loved and played by millions of gamers around the world—both competitive and enthusiasts—for its fast-paced, dynamic game mechanics, as well as for its thematically-rich lore and characters,” said Secretlab CEO and co-founder Ian Alexander Ang. “We took every detail of Overwatch’s incredible aesthetics and married them with the award-winning features of the 2020 Series—giving all Overwatch gamers a high-performance sitting experience, which will support even the competitive rigors of this lightning-paced game.”
 
Esports Arena has eyes for Nashville and Kansas City, announcing new venues that will open in those cities with two new locations inside Walmart stores: Overland Park, KS and Hendersonville, TN. With these two new arena openings, Esports Arena, LLC will now have a total of nine locations. Two stand-alone Arenas, Santa Ana and Oakland CA, and adding two more in-store Walmart Esports Arenas for a total of seven: Roseville CA, Spokane Valley WA, Colorado Springs CO, Tulsa OK, Fort Worth TX, Hendersonville TN and Overland Park KS, in addition to its flagship venue in Las Vegas.
 
Nov. 22 brings the Science of Gaming Summit, taking place at the new OS Studios venue in NYC, with an eye to dissect the intersection of gaming and science, featuring pro players, scientists, team managers, clinicians, human performance experts, and professional coaches will share their insights, learnings, and their vision for the future.
 
ROSTER MOVES

 
Counter Logic Gaming hired Stephanie Harvey (missharvey) to serve in a newly created position in which she will focus on engaging with the female esports community to provide a platform for inclusivity-focused esports programming. Harvey, a five-time champion in competitive Counter-Strike and longtime champion of women and girls in gaming, will play an integral role in generating purpose-driven brand engagement with CLG partners and developing resources and initiatives to bring the esports community together. “Stephanie is a legend in the esports industry. Having played professionally for 16 years, we recognize the expertise and innovative mindset that she brings to CLG,” said Counter Logic Gaming COO Dan Fleeter. “As an organization, we are committed to growing esports by empowering all those that play and Stephanie shares in our vision.  Bringing her back into the CLG family to work on these initiatives is incredibly exciting.”
 
Former Houston Outlaws director of partnerships John Spiher is now part of Dignitas, where he will serve in the same role. Spiher also previously worked for Triggerfish Partnerships, Counter Logic Gaming, and DXRacer.
 
Turtle Beach Corporation announced that Ronald Doornink, who has served as the chairman of the Company’s board of directors since 2010, will step down as chairman and to retire from the board at the end of 2019. The board has unanimously appointed current CEO and board member Juergen Stark to succeed Doornink as chairman effective Jan. 1.
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ON THIS DAY in 2008
Gears of War 2 is released.
 
Trivia
Solid Snake anchors which game franchise? (Email
cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
In honor of Halloween, what are the last names of these famous horror movie (and sometimes video game) villains: Freddy, Jason, Michael, Norman, Hannibal & Annie? Answer: Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers, Norman Bates, Hannibal Lecter, Annie Wilkes. Kudos: Julie Moran/Sydney; Danny Araque/NY; Joe Olson-Lowe’s/DC; Rick Dascher-Turner Studios/Atlanta; Jason Valluzzi-Active International/NY; Jason Morrow-Toyota/Houston; Dan Hanson/Vail; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA;
David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Rebecca Kline-Bloom Ads Global Media Group/Woodland Hills

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DIRECTOR, SPORTS INSIGHTS & POSITIONING >>
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Drive research innovation, measurement opportunities and forward-thinking sales solutions for NBC Sports properties. 7+ yrs of exp rsrch, measurement or insights within the media industry, ideally with direct exp in linear TV. Full info   HERE  (11/21)


INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY ENGINEER >>

A+E/NY: Evaluate existing security infrastructure & propose changes that reduce the company’s risk level. Dvlp security standards, procedures & processes. A BS in computer science or IT, 5+yrs exp in cyber security plus 3+ yrs exp in ntwk & platform security, exp w/firewall design & configuration. Apply HERE (11/20)


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Tennis Channel/Santa Monica: 
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DIR OF INTEGRATED MARKETING >>
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DIR OF AUDIENCE INSIGHTS>>
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SR. ANALYST, CROSS-PLATFORM RESEARCH >>
A+E Networks/NY: 
Provide analysis, insights & reporting to the A+E Distribution Sales and Marketing teams with the goal of maximizing A+E subscribers across traditional and emerging Pay TV platforms. Full info HERE (11/13)


PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
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9story Media Grp/NY:  Skg oper hands-on candidate to support Production team on a new animated children’s series. Focus on audio and music prod. Must be organized and detail oriented. 2+ yrs production exp, Audio production exp is a plus. Knowledge of SAG-AFTRA Animation agreements. Full info   HERE  (11/12) 

MGR, AD SALES PARTNERSHIPS >>
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ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY >>

WHEELHOUSE GROUP/LA: Exp (5-7yrs) attorney versed in unscripted prog negotiations, Prod Svc, Co-Prod, Talent and Dev Agrmts. Plus, practical prod exp overseeing and directing prod personnel on prod issues, rights & clearance, risk asmt, and overseeing watch-downs and assoc legal issues. Full info HERE (11/12)
 
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DIRECTOR COMMUNICATIONS >>
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MGR, PRODUCTION ACCOUNTS >>
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DIRECTOR, BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE >>
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VP, ANALYTICS >>
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COORDINATOR, INTEGRATED MEDIA SOLUTIONS >>
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TV AD SALES BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT/SR ACCT EXECUTIVE >>
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ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE >>
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Twitch
San Francisco CA
 
Collaborate with backend video teams like ingest, transcode, replication, and mapping teams to improve the video playback experience.
Senior Software Engineer
Twitch
San Francisco CA
 
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