11/21/19: ELEAGUE is tapping Anzu for new ad ops

 

Thursday, November 21, 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

 
ELEAGUE is bringing in in-game advertising platform Anzu.io for a new partnership designed to “elevate advertising in gaming and esports” with Anzu bringing a new format of brand advertising to ELEAGUE across linear, mobile, and console gaming that will reach its more than 50 million fans and offer new opportunities for marketers. Through this partnership, Anzu.io will open its global advertising inventory to ELEAGUE, allowing the esports brand’s sponsors to incorporate various types of advertisements in standard IAB formats, including logos and videos, within Anzu’s range of supported games.
 
“ELEAGUE and Anzu’s partnership is a significant milestone in evolving esports advertising innovation. We are consistently developing new avenues to advance esports advertising and introduce partners to this passionate community. Anzu opens the door for another level of advertising impact combined with personalized content discovery,” said Seth Ladetsky, SVP of ad sales for Turner Sports.
 
COMPETITION

 
ESL is bringing ESL One powered by Intel to LA from March 20-22, 2020 at the Shrine Auditorium in Downtown Los Angeles, marking the first time that ESL will host a Dota 2 tournament on the West Coast. ESL One Los Angeles will also be the first Dota 2 Major in the United States since 2016. 16 teams will compete over their share of $1,000,000. In addition to the competition, fans will have the opportunity to experience side activities, including signing sessions with the teams and talents, a Dota artist area, and more.
 
Speaking of ESL, the company announced a new partnership with the West Coast Conference for ESL Collegiate’s fall 2019 season. This marks the most recent collegiate conference to join the ESL Collegiate platform in addition to the BIG EAST Conference. With gameplay underway through December 8, schools from the WCC will participate as the newest collegiate conference to join The ESL Collegiate 2019 Pre-season Invitational.
 
Electronic Arts recruited South America’s biggest club tournament, CONMEBOL Libertadores , for EA SPORTS FIFA 20 as a free content update in March 2020. In addition, eLibertadores, a new tournament that will continue to expand the EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series, will now offer South American-based players a new way to connect to the CONMEBOL Libertadores through the competition. The Grand Final of the eLibertadores tournament will see the top eight competitors from both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One compete from March 7-8, 2020 for the chance to earn FIFA Global Series Points along with a $100,000 prize pool.
 
GameWorks locked in a partnership with the High School Esports League – a varsity esports organization with over 60,000 participating students across more than 2,100 schools – in which GameWorks’ seven venues will provide HSEL members benefits at its esports lounges, including free practice time for teams and individuals during designated times on weekdays and weekends; competition space for teams; and exclusive offers of food, drinks and time play.
 
eMLS fielded its competitive schedule for 2020, culminating in the eMLS Cup presented by PlayStation during the second weekend of SXSW in Austin. This year’s season will include three new clubs in LAFC, Austin FC and Nashville, to bring the tally up to 25 players who will be competing for the title of top EA SPORTS FIFA 20 player in North America. The season opens in January 2020 with eMLS League Series presented by PlayStation, with each of the two League Series tournaments live streamed, with its own trophy lift and opportunity to win prizes.
 
SMITE esports also fueled up its 2020 vision for Season 7, announcing some changes to the SMITE Pro League next season in addition to two new amateur leagues: the SMITE Challenger Circuit and the SMITE Open Circuit. Skillshot posted that it would be shifting competitive play to weekends and would be platform neutral, meaning that the league would no longer be exclusive to Mixe, saying, “We appreciate the unwavering loyalty that our pro league fans showed throughout the era of Mixer exclusivity, but we’re thrilled to be moving into a new era with more platform choices than ever before.”
 
Riot Games is teaming up with Belgian agency 4Entertainment to “evolve the Benelux ERL and further level up League of Legends esports in the region,” announcing the launch of the Dutch League and the Belgian League. Both will offer paths to qualify to the European Masters each will feature six teams for the inaugural 2020 season, with plans to expand the number of teams down the road.
 
The NBA 2K League continues to spread its wings, announcing the debut of the NBA 2K League European Invitational, the league’s first-ever qualifying event in Europe, running Dec. 13-14 in London. The two-day event, designed to identify elite players from the continent who will become eligible for the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft, will feature 20 players from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Turkey and the U.K. competing across two days of gameplay, including scrimmages and a double-elimination tournament, and participating in interviews with league representatives and team managers.
 
TRENDS

 
With the arrival of Disney Plus, media companies are racing to adopt subscription based models around their content. Twitch offers a subscription model for streamers, where audience members can watch gaming live streams free of ads, and interact with the community in unique ways. This week, Stream Hatchet compares reported subscriptions across OTT platforms. We obtained subscription numbers via reporting from CNBC:
  • Twitch placed 7th: Streamers across the platform generated more monthly active subscriptions than DAZN, ESPN+, and Crunchyroll in October 2019
  • Netflix is the king of OTT: 44.47% of the 335.3M subscriptions in the sample came from Netflix.
  • The Value of Sports / esports: Only 13.3% of the subscriptions in the sample came from platforms with live sports or esports content (Hulu, Twitch, CBS, ESPN, DAZN).
For more insights and analysis around how businesses are tackling OTT and live streaming, visit us online at: Blog.StreamHatchet.com .
 
ACTIVATION

 
Zippo is leveraging some Apex names for its Zippo HeatBank 9s Rechargeable Hand Warmers, the first gaming performance product from the brand and creator of the windproof lighter. The product is available exclusively through the Twitch pages of NRG Apex Legends players Dizzy, Aceu and Mohr and doubles up as a portable charger, powering mobile devices like headsets and gaming. “Zippo has always created performance products that last the distance – from our original Zippo windproof lighters to our new HeatBank 9s Rechargeable Hand Warmer,” said William Kolasa, Senior Director of Integrated Marketing Communications at Zippo. “It features up to 9 hours of heat and can power USB devices like headsets, controllers and phones, all essential to esports and gamers in general. We’re really excited to be working with NRG teammates Dizzy, Ace and Mohr – three players at the top of their game – to launch the limited edition NRG x Zippo HeatBank 9s Rechargeable Hand Warmer. This is the first step in a bigger commitment to providing gamers with the ultimate accessories to power their play.”
 
LG Electronics USA is teaming with Twitch and some high level streamers to showcase its LG UltraGear Gaming monitors, with recruiting anchored by Imane “Pokimane” Anys, who tapped other streamers, including Celine “Starsmitten” Cheung, Angela “AriaSaki” Don, and Alena “AngelsKimi” Kim to face off with opponents for a live-streamed, two-hour broadcast. “Gaming has given people from all walks of life the chance to both learn and express themselves through a unique outlet like no other,” said Michelle Fernandez, head of home entertainment consumer marketing at LG Electronics USA. “This is why LG UltraGear, in association with Twitch, is excited to have Pokimane show streamers how their monitor can provide an ultra-immersive gaming experience that allows personal expression to be displayed through this game-changing display.”
 
PLATFORMS

 
AT&T announced that North America’s first-ever 5G-enabled esports event live coverage took place at DreamHack Atlanta over the weekend, with fans watching the DreamHack CS Twitch channel live stream of the tournament seeing content delivered by AT&T using a deployable dedicated 5G network provided by Ericsson at the Georgia World Congress Center. “What really matters with 5G is what you do with it, and that’s why we’re putting it in people’s hands and working with industry leaders like DreamHack and ESL to create first-of-their-kind experiences that thrill fans even more,” said Shiz Suzuki, assistant vice president, Sponsorships & Experiential Marketing for AT&T Communications. “Through our relationships across the gaming and esports ecosystem, we’re able to show how 5G will eventually enable content creators to capture higher-quality live-streaming video at a faster rate, get it to the end user more quickly and create new fan and event experiences.”
 
Popular streamer Ewok, a member of FaZe Clan, announced that she was moving her streams exclusively to Mixer, joining other recent names that include Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins and Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek.
 
Performance sponsorship data platform FanAI closed of its $8 million Series A funding round led by Japanese business conglomerate, Marubeni Corporation, in a move to support FanAI’s expansion and growth. The latest injection, which also saw participation from Allectus Capital, CRCM Ventures, Courtside Ventures, GC Tracker Fund, M Ventures, Sterling VC, and GFR Fund, brings the total raised capital to over $12.5 million for the Santa Monica-based data analytics firm.
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TEAMS

 
The Houston Outlaws finally have a new owner, as Immortals Gaming Club announced the sale of the Overwatch League franchise to Beasley Media Group. “The acquisition of the Houston Outlaws significantly expands our growing esports platform,” said Caroline Beasley, Chief Executive Officer. “The Houston Outlaws represent a rare investment opportunity, as there are only 20 Overwatch League teams in the world, and the transaction partners Beasley with Blizzard Entertainment and its parent company, Activision Blizzard, a leading global developer and publisher of interactive entertainment content and services.”
 
Another celebrity investor for ReKTGlobal, parent company for Rogue and the upcoming London Royal Ravens: NFL safety Landon Collins of the Redskins signed on as an investor, joining the likes of Nicky Romero, Lex Borrero, members of Imagine Dragons, and Steve Aoki.  “Esports is one of the most lucrative industries right now and its future is bright,” said Collins. “As a professional athlete and a passionate gamer, I understand and appreciate what ReKTGlobal is doing to further connect the worlds of traditional sports and esports. I love competition and the competitive nature of the gaming industry and I’m excited to enter a new realm of competition through my investment with ReKTGlobal and Rogue.”
 
Cloud9 was fined by Riot Games for being in violation of a rule regarding employee stock plans for the company’s League of Legends competitive league after the team issued equity to seven players. The move was a violation of a rule set forth by the league in November 2017 which prohibits LCS team owners from “acting as players” and players from “owning a portion of the team for which they played.”
 
READYUP GAMES OF THE WEEK

 
INDUSTRY

 
The Game Awards unveiled its 2019 lineup of contenders , including a slate of esports Awards for the public to vote on. Nominees for Best Esports Game include: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve), DOTA2 (Valve), Fortnite (Epic Games), League of Legends (Riot Games), and Overwatch (Blizzard). Best Esports Player contenders include Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf (Immortals, Fortnite), Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok (SK Telecom, League of Legends), Luka “Perkz” Perkovic (G2 Esports, League of Legends), Oleksandr “S1mple” Kostyliev (Natus Vincere, CSGO), and Jay “Sinatraa” Won (SF Shock, Overwatch). Up for Best Esports Teams are Astralis (CS:GO), G2 Esports (LOL), OG (DOTA2), San Francisco Shock (OWL), and Team Liquid (CS:GO). Best Esports Event noms go to: 2019 Overwatch League Grand Finals, EVO 2019, Fortnite World Cup, IEM Katowice 2019, League of Legends World Championship 2019, and The International 2019. Other categories include Best Esports Coach and Best Esports Host.
 
The Atlanta Sports Council launched the Atlanta Esports Alliance , a new division dedicated to increasing “new opportunities for teams, tournaments, venues and esports service providers and partners” to the region. The Atlanta Esports Alliance is a collaborative effort of ASC, MAC, Georgia Game Developers Association, Skillshot Media, and state and local economic development officials. Along with representatives from ASC and MAC, industry leaders across metro Atlanta representing professional team ownership, hardware manufacturers, game developers, media partners, high education and consultants will round out the Alliance’s board.
Save The Date!
Thursday, February 6th at CNVS in NYC
 
Join Cynopsis and your colleagues for an awards show spotlighting the very best campaigns, content and partnerships that are shaping the industry. Awards finalists & Rising Star honorees will be announced in early-December. Winners will be announced live on-stage on February 6th.
 
Questions? Contact Marketing Manager  Cathy Pearson  for more info.
ON THIS DAY in 2004
Nintendo DS is released in the US.
 
 
Trivia
Name the classic game pictured above. (Email
cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
2008 saw Mark Wahlberg star in this film based on the video game series from Rockstar Games. What is the name of that movie?  Answer: Max Payne. Kudos: Chris Davies-Virgin/London; Luke Watson-Entertaining Concepts/NY; Joey Olson-Lowes/DC; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; David Vincent Gagne-Jacket Industries/Santa Monica; Andy Babb-Super League Gaming/Santa Monica.

For more news and coverage, check out: http://cynopsisesports.com (updated daily).

Later ~ Chris
Cynopsis Team

Chris Pursell
@VegasandVine
Kerry Smith
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Roberta Caploe
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Cynopsis Ad Sales
Mike Farina
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SALES MANAGER, INTEGRATED PARTNERSHIPS, U.S.
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SALES MANAGER, INTEGRATED PARTNERSHIPS, U.S.  >>
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MGR, SVOD MARKETING >>
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MGR, PAID SOCIAL MEDIA >>
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TECHNOLOGY COUNSEL >>
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MARKETING & BRAND STRATEGY MGR  >>
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ADVERTISING & SPONSORSHIP SALES MARKETING MGR  >>
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MANAGER, AD SALES MARKETING  >>
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PRE/POST GAME PRODUCER  >>
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MANAGING EDITOR  >>
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ASSOCIATE EDITOR  >>
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Leads a team of software developers and provide day-to-day guidance on development activities.
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Balance the business needs with technical constraints by building deep subject matter expertise for your area.
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