Esports in a Nutshell | July 15, 2016

Pokemon GO has more daily active users than tinder and is nearing Twitter’s numbers as users found it was more enjoyable catching Pokemon over STDs.

Welcome to Esports in a Nutshell I’m Mark Register.

  • WestBallz signs with G2 Esports.
  • WME-IMG purchases Ultimate Fighting Championship for $4BB.
  • Reunited uses MasterOverwatch’s rankings to recruit Eric van Hoorn “2Easy”.
  • Poker Player Fedor Holz wins $5MM while touting a Team Envyus jersey.
  • Twitch opens up an Austin Office with Ken Demarest leading the three man team.
  • Working with ESL, Mountain Dew & ESEA create an amateur league for Call of Duty.
  • French tournament organizer ESWC announce plans for a Clash Royale (with cheese) Tournament.
  • SK Gaming defeats Team Liquid at ESL One Cologne winning $500k, Liquid takes home 150k bills to dry their tears.
  • Nintendo announces their UK Splatoon tournament, The Great British Splat-Off will take place in London’s Gfinity Arena.
  • A Florida mother files the second class action lawsuit against Valve on behalf of her son, you know you’re in trouble when you’re mom files a lawsuit for you.
  • TSM’s Leffen will not compete at EVO this year due to not obtaining a Visa in time. Once he finishes this round of Visa application he says he’ll be set for 2 years. Maybe he should change his name to Sorry, Lef-my-Visa.
  • The Winklevoss Twins’ cryptocurrency company Gemini becomes a sponsor for  Echo Fox in hopes to integrate BitCoins in the the Esports ecosystem.
  • Sportsbet launches Australian Esports streaming and betting service website Respawn touting the fastest ESL stream in Oceania, with live stats, odds, and complementary shrimps on your barbies.
  • Na’Vi creates a competition for fans to create their new mascot, fans are submitting drawings, descriptions, and stories of their mascot creation, the deadline is July 29th. They said they want a quote “cool” mascot like a traditional sporting team that can quote “protect our players in the battles, bring them luck and victories, as well as please our fans with his presence.” Na’Vi McNaFace is leading the polls.
  • G2A launches their developer support system starting July 29 where developers can apply to receive a 10% cut off all sales, verify sales, volume, and timing to tracking the lifecycle of every key and identify illegal practices. G2A is also making new sellers verify themselves by means of a social media account and phone number.
  • The Federal Trade Commission nails Warner Brothers for not disclosing payment to YouTube users like Pewdiepie to play and review their video game Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor giving them strict instructions of how to promote it and not say anything bad about it all while making it look like their personal unbiased opinion.
  • Rocket League takes a page from Valve’s Counter Strike and Dota by introducing crates containing cosmetic skins that can be unlocked with keys you can buy for real world money which part of the revenue will go towards tournament prize pools. They will not integrate with the Steam marketplace so they don’t get tangled into the skin betting conundrum and you can opt out of the experience by selecting the “pdffff jog on” button.
  • KonKwon retires from League of Legends saying he’s quote “not good enough” to play at the highest level. “KonKwon, those negative thoughts are your critical negative voice saying those things to you and I want to replace those negative thoughts with something positive, a daily affirmation. Now look in the mirror. That’s it. Say Hello KonKwon. I don’t have to be a great videogame player. I don’t have to click the mouse fast or cast the spell into the nexus. Because all I have to do is be the best KonKwon I can be. Because I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggonnit, people like me.
  • Will Green at Esports Betting Report pulls a quote from Ryan Rodenberg associate professor of sports law analytics at FSU saying quote “With several acronym-friendly entities now emerging, it is reminiscent of tennis about 10 years ago when the ITF, ATP, and WTA all kept to themselves, before finally putting their difference aside to create a quasi-independent integrity unit after a major gambling scandal” end quote. If that’s true, we’re screwed because Tennis is still fraught with match fixing as the New York Times reported back in January. As they say if you can’t beat em, be bitter, join forces, and be useless.
  • Valve shuts off the money Valve for the Counter Strike gambling market with a statement from Eric Johnson saying quote “In 2011 we added a feature to Steam that enabled users to trade in-game items as a way to make it easier for people to get the items they wanted in games featuring in-game economies. Since then a number of gambling sites started leveraging the Steam trading system, and there’s been some false assumptions about our involvement with these sites. We’d like to clarify that we have no business relationships with any of these sites. We have never received any revenue from them. And Steam does not have a system for turning in-game items into real world currency….Using the OpenID API…to run a gambling business is not allowed by our API nor our user agreements. We are going to start sending notices to these sites requesting they cease operations through Steam, and further pursue the matter as necessary. Users should probably consider this information as they manage their in-game item inventory and trade activity.” end quote. Twitch releases a statement saying quote “As a reminder, per Twitch’s Terms of Service, broadcasters are not permitted to stream content that breaks the terms of service or user agreements of third-parties. As such, content in which the broadcaster uses or promotes services that violate Valve’s stated restrictions is prohibited on Twitch.” end quote. So to all the CSGO Skin Betting sites…Shut it down, shut it down, shut this down, shut it down, shut it down, shut this down.

 

And now, Virtual Reality. The sequel to that critic and financial flop, your life

 

GAME and Overclockers UK begin installation of a virtual reality pod as well as 10 gaming rigs for their Esports Zone which will start in Manchester. Select pods will allow for 18 and older players to enter their danger zone.

 

The Void partners with Sony to create a Ghostbusters themed hyper reality at Madame Tussauds in New York. The way it works is you wear a computer vest, headset, gun, other objects and walk around in laser tag arena where you experience a real life holodeck mapping the virtual world onto the real world so when you touch things and move around in the virtual world the walls and tangible things are actually there.

 

6 Flags attendees can now ride their VR Rollercoaster in 9 of their parks where the VR headset you wear is perfectly synced up with the position and movement of the coaster eliminating any kind of motion sickness that usually occurs creately a truly unique experience of motion and visuals.

 

Chinese game company Hero Entertainment invests $500k into Virtuix who makes the Omni motion platform and partner together to produce Hero’s game Crisis Action on Virtuix’s Omni motion platform with plans to make tournaments around it. Virtuix is focusing on integrating with HTC Vive first, then expanding. There is a market of 400k internet cafes in China that will soon be incorporating VR into their offerings. Virtuix raised $6MM in seed funding last year and is looking to raise a $7-10MM Series A by the end of the month.

 

 

  • What will be the first Hyper Virtual Reality Esport game?

 

 

When a game developer, hyper virtual reality tech company, and tournament organizer love eachother very much they will make a new Esport. The ultimate threesome…I mean the ultimate game changer…Valve will use their game Counter Strike paired with their Virtual Reality Headset the HTC Vive and partner with The Void to create 2 real life maps where players enter the real life arena with the virtual world mapped out onto real life walls, objects, and surfaces. And ESL will produce and organize it, because they are at the forefront of the tournament organizer industry and have 15 years of innovation in Esports tournaments.

 

But, the baby step to get there will be Hero Entertainment’s Crisis Action played using Virtuix’s Omni Motion stationary treadmill employing ESL to run their tournament. It’s a lot less money, moving parts, and can start tomorrow…and it will pave the way for the more expensive spectacle of virtual reality mapped out on real life arenas.

 

And now Pokemon Go the app that lets you walk into a new augmented world and experience the real life pain of running into things

 

Pokemon Go now has more active users than Tinder and soon will surpass Twitter.

 

Singularity Hub gives us a peek at how the game will evolve by tying the weather to the game so when there’s a thunderstorm Squirle appears, and when you’re near an active volcano Dragonite appears, why would you run towards an active volcano, because you have to catch them all.

 

  • How can Pokemon use their new found success with Pokemon Go to build their Esports audience?

 

They can create Pokecenters at their Pokken tournament’s like this weekend’s EVO. Pokemon Go is the most effective way to get anyone out of their comfy couch and go to an Esports event. So incentivise players to attend by offering them ultra rare pokemon that are created just for that event just like CSGO gives out skins for their events. That’s the easiest step 1. Step 2 allow the top ranked trainers to battle it out in Pokken at the arena for a special Pokemon GO division for cash prizes because they won’t be able to fight on the same level as the pros. Step 3 start cross promotions like what Blizzard does for Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, and other titles, allowing you to unlock game skins and features by playing the other games. You’re welcome Pokemon, you can send me a check or a phone will all of your Pokemon, that will suffice.

 

And now Competitive Call of Duty, the call currently going straight to voicemail

 

Last week we talked about players getting suspended and fined for publicly airing their grievances about the league and unlike Riot, Call of Duty World League does not publically post penalties & Dream Team puts their Call of Duty World League spot and team up for sale.

 

100 Thieves drops their entire Call of Duty Roster. If you happen to find them please pick them up and contact Matt Haag.

 

TSM drops their Call of Duty division which Andy Dinh went on to say quote “they were unable to consistently maintain that level of play, and it is a great shame that the team finished near the bottom of the rankings in the World League Stage 2. And…it’s not me it’s you.”

 

  • Will Call of Duty survive and thrive as an Esport?

 

Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse wouldn’t quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out. Gentleman as of this moment Call of Duty can be that second mouse.

 

That’s the story for most of the pillars in Esports ESL, MLG, Dota, and League of Legends and the list of drowned mice is much longer.

 

They’re still working out a lot of kinks and if they stick with it and create more stability, keep raising their annual prize pool of $3MM a year, and get other tournament organizers to adopt it they will do well.

 

If Activision Blizzard wants Call of Duty to thrive as an Esport they need to provide something unique that no other first person shooter or Esport community provides, and if they figure that out, then COD will truly thrive.

Esports Interview

  • 12:10 – Twitch’s Director of Content Marketing, Ben Goldhaber “Fishstix” gives his guidance for young people wanting to enter the Esports industry.

Esports Highlights

  • 18:44 – League of Legends – TSM vs C9 – NA LCS 2016 Summer
  • 23:24 – CSGO – SK vs Liquid – ESL One Cologne 2016
  • 26:50 – Overwatch – REUNITED vs Rogue – GosuGamers Overwatch Weekly EU
  • 31:33 – Hearthstone – Xieshuai vs Xixo – StarLadder i-League StarSeries S2 Grand Final from Shanghai
  • 36:48 – Dota 2 – Empire vs ESC – Global Grand Masters
  • 41:37 – Injustice USA – Full Tournament

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