Cynopsis Esports 12/14/23: E3 shuts down; game-changing moves from Fortnite; G2 and iG team up

Medias First Morning Read

 

Thursday December 14, 2023

Good morning! It’s Thursday and this is your early morning Esports and Gaming brief.
The Entertainment Software Association announced it’s shutting down E3, once the largest gaming industry event on the planet. After years of adaptations of the conference and efforts to revitalize E3, the challenges of competing with digital events held by publishers and developers opting to control their own showcases were too much for the former highlight of the calendar year.

What does this mean for gaming events? Not much, depending on the positioning. E3 was designed almost solely around publisher’s needs to show off the future of their products, which became an entirely digital venture during the COVID-19 pandemic. The success of those events led to an understanding that reaching consumers directly, at a lower cost and with fuller control of their messaging, was far more effective than a once-a-year touchpoint.

This setback for the ESA says nothing about the future of consumer-focused events like PAX and DreamHack; E3 made the shift to welcoming the average fan too late in its life cycle, and the pandemic stifled those efforts for years as well. With a focus on fandom moving forward, other B2B and B2C festivals can adapt and thrive – it’s all about recognizing the addressable audience and how to capitalize on that group.

COMPETITION AND GAMING NEWS

Newly released title The Day Before had a cataclysmic launch, resulting in developer Fntastic shutting down just four days after the title’s release. Excitement for The Day Before, built over a multi-year development cycle for the multiplayer post-apocalyptic open-world survival game, came crashing down when a borderline unplayable mess released on Dec. 7. The game received a 1/10 from IGN, and publisher Mytona has said that all customers who purchased The Day Before will receive refunds if requested.

Following a successful first run in Las Vegas, the TFT Open will return in 2024, Riot Games confirmed during the event Dec. 8-10. This year’s TFT Open welcomed 512 Teamfight Tactics players, from pros to aspiring competitive players, to compete for a $308,500 prize pool. The open structure was a hit with fans and competitors, and Michael Sherman, the global head of TFT, Legends of Runeterra, and Project L esports, confirmed they’ll run it back in 2024. “Players from North America, you will have to travel a bit farther,” Sherman said, though Riot can’t reveal details quite yet. “We’re excited to do this in another part of the world.”

Dota 2 event ESL One is heading to Birmingham, U.K., from April 22-28, with a $1 million prize pool on the line for the ESL Pro Tour event. Twelve teams will compete at the international tournament, which will also issue qualifying points for Dota 2’s The International, the game’s world championship.

REV/XP PRESENTS
The final episode of 2023 features the entire rEv/XP team: Julia, Theo, Ben, Tony and Chris. The team talks best activations, big moments and more to recap 2023. They also share what they are most looking forward to in the gaming biz in 2024.

Happy holidays!!

SPONSORSHIP & ACTIVATION

LEGO and Epic Games’ Fortnite have changed the gaming landscape dramatically via a partnership that brought the brands together for a fully integrated new game title. Recent advertising for the game once known for its battle royale product says it all: “Explore and survive in LEGO Fortnite, blast to the finish with Rocket Racing, headline a concert with Fortnite Festival or be the last player standing in Battle Royale and Zero Build,” the copy reads. “Find it all in Fortnite!” From user-generated content to new game modes, unprecedented scale, and touchpoints across music, entertainment, and several core gaming audiences, Fortnite is even more relevant than when the game hit the mainstream in 2018, and that’s saying something.

Video content creation platform Allstar.gg has closed a $12 million Series A funding round, the company announced. The product, which automates the production of video highlights for creators across multiple formats and social platforms, will use the additional funds to drive more partnership opportunities and build awareness of its capabilities.

STREAMHATCHET
Lego x Fortnite Collab Boosts Lego’s Brand Presence on Twitch

The recent partnership between Lego and Fortnite for the innovative new game has been nothing short of a marketing triumph. Released on December 6th shortly after its announcement during the notable Big Bang event, the game quickly turned heads, propelling Lego as the most mentioned brand on Twitch chat.

Amazon often sees the most mentions in Twitch chat, garnering 70-80K messages daily. This isn’t an anomaly, however, for the live-streaming platform’s parent company. Often, creators have Twitch chat commands enabled on their channel to send viewers a link to their Amazon account, or linking to their Prime subscription command.

On the day that the Lego Fortnite game was released, “Lego” became the most-mentioned brand in Twitch chat with 150K mentions, almost 50% more than Amazon’s total that day. Day 2 saw 190K mentions, and still, days after the release, Lego is generating more mentions than Amazon.

The collaboration’s success is quantified by over 1B impressions for Lego, a staggering number highlighting the effectiveness of integrating a well-loved brand into a popular gaming universe. This feat is particularly impressive considering the diversity and volume of content on platforms like Twitch.

Read more about the Lego x Fortnite crossover at Stream Hatchet’s blog.

Cynopsis Sports Media Awards 2024

THIS YEAR’S WINNERS

The Sports Media Awards recognizes the best across production, marketing and technology in the industry. Entries are now live, so take a look at our previous winners:
Activation at a Live/Virtual Event
Chipotle x The Famous Group x NHL
Documentary Series
New York Jets – One Jets Drive
Want to join the list of winners?

ENTER NOW

YOUGOV LIVING DATA INSIGHTS
Factors American gamers consider when buying gifts

Asked about the factors that govern their gift-giving choices across a variety of categories, US gamers show distinct preferences in what matters to them when choosing video games vs other categories. When it comes to video games as gifts, gamers are most likely to rely on word-of-mouth or recommendations (20%) – the highest share among all categories. Discounts (17%) and brand reputation (14%) played a smaller role with respect to gaming gifts. It is also worth considering that 37% of these US gamers simply don’t buy video games for gifting purposes. By contrast clothes and electronics are far more popular choices even among gamers, with just 22% and 28% respectively saying they wouldn’t consider those options as gifting options.

TEAMS

Former OpTic Gaming Halo competitor Bradley “aPG” Laws will be joining Native for 2024, the former World Champion announced. The 28-year-old has been on the Halo esports scene since the mid 2000s, highlighted by a 2022 world title with OpTic and two top finishes in 2023’s Halo Championship Series events. OpTic fell short at this year’s Halo World Championship and finished as runners-up to FaZe Clan in that event. aPG will hope to turn Native, a fellow World Championship qualifier, into a contender this coming year.

G2 Esports and Invictus Gaming have partnered to form a Chinese Dota 2 team, known as G2.ig, the programs announced. The move gives G2 its first-ever Dota 2 squad and its first local roster in China. “Both China and DOTA have been at the forefront of our minds for a long time but until now, we haven’t found the right fit that would work in the long term,” G2 CEO Alban Dechelotte said in a statement. “We know partnering with iG – who have a Worlds trophy and an Aegis, will enable us to build the best team and we can bring the G2 way to yet another region and a new esport.”

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What is the name of the title that won Game of the Year at The Game Awards this year? (Email [email protected] with your answer, and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Rockstar Games is the developer of GTA VI. Who is the publisher of the game? Answer: Take-Two Interactive. Kudos: Tom Moore | Kalt Productions, Los Angeles; David Westberg | SAG•AFTRA Federal Credit Union, Burbank, California

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