PGL CEO Silvui Stroie, whose team recently ran Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major in Antwerp, was SBJ’s guest at this week’s Twitter Spaces “Strictly Business” discussion. Kevin Hitt and I chatted with Stroie about the process of getting a Major within the CS:GO ecosystem, the lessons learned from hosting three Majors, PGL’s steps around COVID and employee well-being, and how PGL has become In a second. largest tournament organizer. I loved our tangent discussion about the Quake game.
Toronto recently hosted the first Call of Duty League Major, and Canada-based OverActive Media, parent company of Toronto Ultra, believes it set a “new standard” for hosting esports events.
“As the first Call of Duty League event to take place in Canada, this was a huge deal for the esports community at large,” OverActive Business Director Alyson Walker told SBJ. “OverActive Media had been hoping to host a LAN event since its launch, but due to COVID restrictions, 2022 was the company’s first opportunity.”
The Ultra said it had roughly 2,000 fans each day from June 2-5, with sold-out shows Saturday and Sunday at the Mattamy Athletic Center (which was the home of the Maple Leafs until 1999). Event sponsors included Bell, EPOS, Kraft Dinner, Nobis, Paradox Customs, Red Bull, Scuf Gaming, TD and Zenni Optical.
As hosts, Ultra led the process of venue selection, ticketing and marketing, sales and partner engagement, staffing, and associated logistics. Esports Engine worked with the CDL team on the production of the broadcast, and Toronto-based Waveform worked with the Toronto team on stage, lighting and floor production.
See the full story on SBJ Esports. — Jason Wilson
The NBA 2K League brags about the success of Wizards District Gaming, and with good reason.
Since the inaugural 2018 season, the esports team owned by Monumental Sports & Entertainment has been the top-earning team with $1.06 million (that’s 19.55% of the $5.4 million tour prize pool). As the only NBA 2K League team with multiple titles (2020 and 2021), the league says that WGD has nearly double the earnings of the second winning team, T-Wolves Gaming ($593,900).
Some other interesting NBA 2K League nuggets:
- Twenty-five of the original 102 players drafted in 2018 remain in the league (including MVPs from all four seasons and two from the four league finals).
- AT&T, Anheuser-Busch, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Google, Coinbase, Mondelēz and Champion Athleticwear remain on board as sponsors. — Jason Wilson
Riot Games Europe will bring live crowds for its League Championship Series (LEC) next week at its Berlin studio. Throughout the pandemic, the league went back and forth between an online format and a partial game live from the studio without an audience.
The LEC Spring Split 2022 Finals marked a first glimpse of pre-pandemic normalcy with a limited number of fans able to attend the event in the studio. For its LEC Summer Split regular season, which starts next week, Riot will have fans available to watch five games live on stage. German home rights require the audience to wear masks when not eating or drinking.
Read the full story here. — tobias seck
- ESL Faceit Group owner Savvy Gaming Group has acquired an 8.1% stake in Embracer Group, a Swedish holding company of game developers with 120 studios and more than 850 franchises in its portfolio, for $1.03 billion.
- An SEC filing from gaming-focused creator and content platform Super League Gaming revealed that three of its investors are looking to unload their holdings, reports Tobias Seck of SBJ.
- Esports organization Valhallan has acquired the North American Esports League, which hosts competitive games for children under 15 and has 100 teams.
- While Activision’s Bobby Kotick has convinced the likes of Robert Kraft and Stan Kroenke to invest in the Overwatch League franchises, one billionaire who “didn’t bite” was Elon Musk. reports Bloomberg.
- ESL Gaming has partnered with mobile developer Legendary Play, bringing ESL-branded leagues and events to the studio’s esports-themed games like Rivals (an esports management simulator).
- French President Emmanuel Macron recently confirmed plans for his country to host large-scale esports events, including The Dota 2 International, the League of Legends World Championship, and a CS:GO Major.
- Tencent-backed Honor of Kings, one of the world’s biggest video games and an esports heavyweight in China, is set to launch globally, reports SBJ’s Jason Wilson.
- Monica Philpott is the new Director of Esports Marketing for 100 Thieves. Philpott was previously the creative and social strategy lead for Riot Games Music.
- The LVL UP conference (hosted by the Esports Awards) is in Los Angeles today and focuses on the impact of creativity and influencers in marketing, with speakers including Brian Mirakian of Populous, Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan of Nixon Peabody LLP and a host of others, notes SBJ’s Kevin Hitt.
- The Apex Legends Global Series Year 2 Championship is coming to PNC Arena in Raleigh from July 7-10, and it will be in front of fans for the first time, reports SBJ’s Wilson.