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A record-breaking Riot: Riot Games announced record-breaking viewership for the 2019 League of Legends World Championship that renders the games the most watched LoL esports event in history. The final alone garnered an average minute audience of 21.8 million, up from 19.6 million in 2018, and 44 million peak concurrent viewers. In addition to the finals viewership, viewers clocked more than 1 billion hours during the five-week, 120-game event played in Berlin, Madrid and Paris. The finals were broadcast in 16 languages and across more than 20 platforms.
Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment are priming the launch of the Apex Legends Global Series, a slate of online and live events for PC players who will compete for a prize purse topping $3 million. The Apex Legends Global Series initially will open with 12 global live events, either operated by EA and Respawn or produced by notable esports tournament organizers PGL and GLL. Online competition will be powered by Battlefy with registration for the first event opening in early January. The first three Majors each will feature 100 three-player squads from around the world. The fourth Major, the Apex Legends Global Series Championship, will serve as the grand finale. The first Apex Legends Global Series competition will serve as an Online Tournament taking place on January 25. Players can earn Apex Legends Global Series Points and an invitation to the first Major on March 13-15, 2020 held at Esports Stadium Arlington in Arlington, TX, based on their Online Tournament performance.
BLAST revealed the dozen teams that will partner and participate in its BLAST Premier CS:GO circuit. The first event is set to be hosted in London in January 2020 with commitments from: 100 Thieves, Astralis, Complexity Gaming, Evil Geniuses, FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, MIBR, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, OG, Team Liquid, and Team Vitality, who will battle for a prize pool of $1.5 million. “Our platform has entertained millions of esport fans around the globe,” said Robbie Douek, CEO of BLAST. “The new BLAST Premier format is even more engaging, fast paced and easy to consume. We are excited by the world class team lineup, and can’t wait to kick off in January.”
The Capcom Pro Tour is getting a facelift in 2020. The company will open an additional eight qualifier spots as well as a split leaderboard that will keep track of two online seasons leading up to Capcom Cup 2020 in Paris. The season kicks off in March, with a points reset in July halfway through the season. In addition, starting in August, local events dubbed World Warrior Challenges will launch, with 22 winners from these events qualifying for the Capcom Cup in 2020.
Riot Games laid out its successes in 2019, noting the LCS welcomed new partners—from Honda to Alienware—in addition to welcoming more than 53,000 live fans from its LCS studios to Detroit and St. Louis, partnering with host cities and boosting the local economy, including a contribution of $5.44 million in Detroit alone. The company also noted LCS now ranks as the third most popular major professional sports league among 18-34-year-olds in the US.
ESL announced the ESL Pro League Season 10 , which concluded December 6-8 in Odense, Denmark, broke several viewership records. With 22.6 million hours of content watched (excluding China), it’s the most successful season in Pro League history. The average-minute audience increased by 38.94 percent to 52,140 fans tuning in across the season compared with season 9. ESL Pro League is the longest-running professional league for CS:GO. In the grand final, Mousesports defeated the opposing team, Fnatic, 3-0 in a best-of-five series to win their first ESL Pro League Championship and the majority of the $750,000 prize pool and one point toward the Intel Grand Slam.
The 2019 F1 New Balance esports series recorded its largest-ever audience, drawing an online audience of 5.8 million, an uptick of 76 percent YoY in F1’s third season of the Formula 1 series. The online viewership number alone surpasses 2018 Series’ total online and TV viewership numbers of 5.5 million, and the series also notched 169 million social media impressions (66 percent YoY growth).
ONE Esports, a subsidiary of Asia’s ONE Championship , announced the ONE Esports Singapore Major, scheduled for June 20-28, 2020. The Dota 2 competition, organized with PGL Esports, will take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. A purse of $1 million and 15,000 Dota Pro Circuit points will be up for grabs for participating Dota 2 pro teams.
Turner Sports’ ELEAGUE and Electronic Arts announced a new EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series on The Road to the FIFA eWorld Cup2020 tournament partnership, in addition to a premium esports content collaboration. ELEAGUE will now produce three EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Ultimate Team (FUT) Champions Cup events—the most of any EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series tournament partner—across North America and Europe throughout 2020. The first ELEAGUE produced event begins January 17 at ELEAGUE Arena in Atlanta. Additionally, the collaboration makes ELEAGUE on TBS the exclusive English-language domestic television partner of the EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series on the Road to FIFA eWorld Cup.
DreamHack, in partnership with the European Tour and Topgolf Entertainment Group, launched golf’s first esports series , the European eTour. Launching at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA in January, the inaugural seasonlong eTour will feature six esports contests held at European Tour tournaments around the world and feature players going head-to-head in the golf game, World Golf Tour by Topgolf. The five tournament winners, along with three wildcards qualifiers, will then contest the season-finale at the European Tour’s own season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, which takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 19-22, 2020.
Ubisoft is tweaking Rainbow Six Pro League , with a new season returning January 6 and the company adjusting its timings with the new year to keep a schedule structure consisting of two play days per week, that will see European teams play Mondays and Wednesdays, North American squads on Mondays and Wednesdays and Latin America matches on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Asia-Pacific Pro League will remain on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. After Season XI, Europe and North America will see some changes with Europe representation growing from eight to 10 teams in the Rainbow Six European Pro League, with no relegations on Season XI. North America will also be expanding our Pro League from eight to 10 teams, also without promotion/relegation.
The World Showdown of Esports is partnering with Call of Duty: Mobile to produce the Call of Duty: Mobile Creator Challenge, a multiregion Call of Duty: Mobile tournament that will see key competitors and influencers compete for the chance to win part of a $30,000 prize pool, the largest purse the mobile game has seen to date. The event saw a draft last Friday with play slated for December 21 and 22. Competition will include a four-team round-robin format featuring Team Deathmatch (TDM) and Domination game modes on Dec. 21 (US and Mexico) and December 22 (Brazil).
The Brawl Stars Championship circuit will dangle more than $1 million in prize money in 2020, with the pool set to climb as fans buy Championship-exclusive items in the game’s shop. Participants will need to compete in monthly challenges to lay claim to a spot in the regional online qualifiers all leading to the World Finals in the fall 2020.
Activision announced that tickets to compete in the first Call of Duty Challengers path to pro amateur tournament of the 2020 season have sold out. Taking place at the Call of Duty League kick off in January, the amateur tournament will feature 192 teams, and is composed of 960 players. Passes were made available on December 11, and within 24-hours, all were sold. Call of Duty League Launch Weekend will kick-off the inaugural season of the Call of Duty League at the Minneapolis Armory in Minneapolis from January 24-26.
DreamHack announced the first DreamHack Masters of 2020, to be held at Kinnarps Arena in Jonkoping, Sweden, during the DreamHack Summer festival in June 2020. DreamHack Masters features 16 of the best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) teams in the world, battling it out for the big share of the $250,000 prize pool.
Save the date and get in now as slots are already being filled! Be a part of the 2020 Esports Upfront, taking place this year on April 21, 2020 at CNVS New York. Last year saw some participants score millions in new business as a result of presenting, so don’t miss your opportunity to lay out your plans in front of an invitation-only audience of leading brands and agencies. Contact email@example.com for details.
Snickers is upgrading its seats for the Madden NFL Championship Series, signing on to become the official Madden NFL 20 Club Championship presenting sponsor for the first time, readying specially curated studio segments, highlight reels, and spotlight moments, such as the Snickers “Moment of the Year” Madden NFL 20 Championship Series award . The Madden NFL 20 Club Championship Presented by SNICKERS will involve all 32 NFL teams as one competitor per team will compete for more than $700,000, tied for the largest tournament prize pool in competitive Madden NFL history. Sponsorship features include: integrated highlight packages and branded studio segments on the esports broadcast akin to a traditional sports production; a special Snickers-branded Players’ Lounge; and a season-long campaign highlighting the top plays of the Madden NFL 20 Championship Series incentivizing competitors to go for blockbuster moments. At the end of the year at the Madden NFL 20 Bowl during the NFL Draft, one player will win the Snickers “Moment of the Year” award voted on by the Madden NFL community.
Online bookmaker Betway renewed its partnership with esports tournament BLAST Premier, formerly BLAST Pro Series. The alignment builds on the two companies’ 2019’s partnership and will include branding and content opportunities for Betway across the series’ broadcast. The 2020 series will offer a new play-in system that provides teams the chance to qualify for both the Global Final—which boasts a purse of $1 million—and two seasonal finals.
Display specialist and monitor brand AOC extended its sponsorship of G2 Esports , first activated in January 2018. “It’s a great source of pride for G2 to have such strong partners at our side, including AOC,” said Carlos Rodríguez, CEO of G2 Esports. “Their contributions are what let us do what we do best—win trophies in style. None of this would be possible without their support and incredible equipment.”
The Overwatch League announced a collaboration with TeamSpeak , provider of online communication services and tools. In a three-year deal beginning with its 2020 season, the Overwatch League will integrate TeamSpeak’s advanced technology to power all in-game communications as the league’s official voice supplier through 2022.
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Pro streamer Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo is raising the stakes in his second annual 24-hour livestream to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on December 21 at 1p, with an eye to beat his personal fundraising record by topping $2.7 million raised this year for the lifesaving mission of St. Jude. In order to meet his 2019 goal, DrLupo will engage his fans to give back by offering incentives during the livestream, which will be hosted on Twitch. Supporters can also purchase DrLupo’s Build Against Cancer t-shirt, in collaboration with Design by Humans, to help him reach his goal.
Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is launching Esports 30 with Kevin Knocke , the newest addition to Westwood One Podcast Network. Esports 30 with Kevin Knocke will serve as an original podcast covering esports news and in-depth interviews with industry personalities, celebrities, athletes, influencers, and enthusiasts. Initial episodes of Esports 30 have featured Indiana “Froskurinn” Black, Caleb “WavePunk” Simmons, and Alberto “Crumbz” Rengifo.
YouTube powerhouse Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg announced plans to take a break from the platform in 2020. “I am taking [a] break from YouTube next year,” he said in a video uploaded over the weekend. “I wanted to say it in advance because I made up my mind. I’m tired, I’m feeling very tired. I don’t know if you can tell … early next year I’ll be away for a little while. I’ll explain that later but I wanted to give a heads up.”
Blake Broadcasting cemented an agreement with ESL and DreamHack to carry ESL and DreamHack tournaments beginning in March 2020 through July 2023. CBNN, a BBN channel and OTT service, will be the exclusive satellite channel in the United States, Canada, and Asia (excluding China) for the ESL CS:GO Pro Tour and Dota 2 competitions across Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One, ESL Pro League as well as DreamHack Masters and DreamHack Open events. CBNN’s programming strategy will focus on primetime re-airs plus studio shows featuring highlights, news and interviews to deliver unparalleled coverage of esports year-round.
Game.tv, whose primary product is an AI-powered esports tournament platform, closed its $25 million Series A round led by Intel Capital. The company has partnered with social media platforms Discord, Twitter, and Facebook to natively bring its tournament organizer, Tourney, to esports fans within their communities.
Mobile communications company Deutsche Telekom picked up a 25 percent piece of German outfit SK Gaming. ‘With Deutsche Telekom, we intend to further develop the eSports sector, and in some ways to redefine it,’ says Alexander T. Müller, CEO of SK Gaming. ‘In the course of our cooperation in the past, we’ve managed to move forward a lot at many different levels. We’re now looking forward to taking the next steps together.’
Evil Geniuses continue to stir the pot, creating a buzz with the launch of a rebrand for the organization that included a new logo and jersey design. Evil Geniuses was acquired by Chicago-based investment PEAK6 Investments in May, with Nicole LaPointe Jameson named CEO of the team.
American tennis player Taylor Fritz became an investor in RekTGlobal , parent company of professional esports organizations Rogue and the London Royal Ravens. Fritz is the third pro-traditional sports athlete to join the ReKTGlobal team, joining Washington Redskins player Landon Collins and NBA player Rudy Gobert.
Golden Guardians expanded into three new titles and revealed a revamped logo. The Golden State Warriors affiliate, which started in esports as one of 10 long-term partner of Riot Games’ LCS, has now expanded beyond League of Legends and is fielding competitors in Apex Legends, Teamfight Tactics and World of Warcraft with plans to expand into Rocket League through the Rocket League Championship Series in early 2020. Golden State Warriors also has an affiliate team in the NBA 2K League, the Warriors Gaming Squad. Additionally, Golden Guardians retooled its logo, which retains its original primary features and now references the bay bridge and a ‘W’ for its Golden State Warriors affiliation.
Stewart-Haas Racing is revamping its esports team , which will now be called Stewart-Haas Esports and will enter the eNASCAR iRacing World Championship Series in ’20. The team was previously called Stewart-Haas Gaming.
READYUP ESPORTS EVENTS TO WATCH
Tencent is backing the birth of a new global governing body designed to oversee the esports ecosystem, titled the Global Esports Federation. According to a press release, the Federation will be “guided by the values of sport and the principle of harnessing technology and innovation for good.”
CORSAIR agreed to acquire high-performance controller pioneer SCUF Gaming and its patent portfolio. “We are thrilled to greatly expand our portfolio of industry-leading peripherals and enter the gaming controller space to help gamers play at their best,” said Andy Paul, Founder and CEO of CORSAIR. “SCUF leads the market for performance controllers and are a key ingredient to the success of countless esports professionals. SCUF will make an excellent and winning addition to the vast lineup of award-winning CORSAIR and Elgato products.”
DreamHack named Roger Lodewick co-CEO of the company to manage DreamHack alongside current co-CEO Marcus Lindmark. Lodewick succeeds Peter Norrelund, who has been appointed CEO of the new DreamHack Sports Games, a new entity within MTG’s esports vertical. DreamHack Sports Games already has partnerships in place with the Dutch football league, Eredivisie’s esports league eDivisie, and with Swedish Allsvenskan’s eAllsvenskan and Danish eSuperliga.
The Pittsburgh Knights reportedly are separating from co-founder Rob Lee , who departed the organization on December 6. On Twitter, Lee noted that he “decided to step aside from the Knights to pursue other entrepreneurial opportunities.”
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On This Day
In 1977, Nim is released.
The Master Sword has served as a legendary weapon in nine titles of which game franchise? (Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
This game, pictured last week, revolutionized the arcade when it first debuted in 1998. What is the name of the game? Answer: Dance Dance Revolution. Kudos: Luke Watson-Entertaining Concepts/NY; Brian Jacobs-ICM Partners/NY; Erin Allen-WarnerMedia/Atlanta; Gabrielle Pedro Fredrick-National Geographic/DC; Allison Weiner-MMSI/Warwick; Vincente Leone/Dallas; Daniel Hanson/Vail; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore- Kalt Productions /LA; Stefanie Sliger-FanAI/Santa Monica; Andy Babb-Super League Gaming/Santa Monica
Later ~ Chris
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Guide the technical development of complex features under the direction of a Technical Lead.
Senior Software Engineer – Game Services
Develop components, automating infrastructure and development activities.
Senior Software Engineer – Site Reliability
Collaborate with design and other engineers to provide feedback and then create clear and estimable technical designs.
Infrastructure Software Engineer
Develop, enhance, and champion best practices for online technical design and architecture specifications.
Online Software Engineer
Collaborate with related departments to develop and manage other marketing activities such as social marketing, events, and PR.
User Acquisition Specialist
El Segundo CA
Create user flows, wireframes, mocks, and final art for systems and features.
Senior UX Designer
Write and present creative briefs for internal partners informed by the brand partnership, audience needs, and internal goals.
Senior Strategist, Partner Creative and Strategy
Work closely with designers and other specialists to establish a shared vision for compelling UI features.
Senior Software Engineer, UI
Work with other departments to support a user-first player experience.
Senior Gameplay Engineer
Write well structured, maintainable, and performant server code.
Senior Server Engineer
Blend of creativity and analytical skill with a strong results-oriented, metrics-driven approach to problem solving.
User Acquisition Manager
Culver City CA
Design and implement robust, highly-scalable services used by millions of users through web and mobile applications.
Senior Platform Engineer
San Francisco CA
Create compelling and immersive gameplay with innovative, memorable, and impactful moments.
Senior SP Game Designer
Los Angeles CA
Work with design and art to find areas for improvement and help prototype or implement solutions.
Senior Technical Solutions
Los Angeles CA