Activision Blizzard LA and Minesota spots are sold for the upcoming Call of Duty League, Twitch reveals a “subscriber only” stream feature, and The International prize pool exceeds $25M. […]
Missed any of the biggest esports business news last week? The TEO Monday Morning Briefing recaps the top headlines
Activision Blizzard has selected Immortals Gaming Club (IGC) for a Los Angeles, California, slot in the upcoming franchised Call of Duty League (CDL). Immortals’ own announcement stated that the company’s team will compete under the recently-acquired OpTic Gaming brand.
Additionally, Activision Blizzard announced that WISE Ventures, an investment fund launched in late 2018 by Minnesota Vikings owners the Wilf Family, will operate a team based in Minnesota. VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuck will also join the ownership group as an investor.
Twitch’s new Subscriber Stream feature that allows content creators to broadcast exclusively to their paid subscription base may have less of an impact than it was initially speculated to have when it was unveiled last week.
Twitch began beta testing for these Subscriber Streams on June 26. Shortly after testing began though, numerous people in the gaming community began to notice that these subscriber-only streams, which effectively serve as a form of pay-to-view, could be interpreted as a violation of some game developers’ terms of service, which prohibits charging for video content featuring their games. Twitch has not yet responded to a request for comments from The Esports Observer about its new feature.
Dota 2’s The International (TI9) has broken last year’s prize pool record of $25.53M. The current prize pool has exceeded $25.64M, with an almost 1500% increase on the base prize pool of $1.6M. Funded by an in-game item pack known as the Battle Pass, The International is not only the biggest Dota 2 esports event of the year, but has also consistently been the esports tournament delivering the highest prize pool since 2011, when the first TI in Cologne, Germany, awarded $1.6M. At the current rate of increase, TI9 could even overtake the $30M prize pool Epic Games is providing for its Fortnite World Cup this month.
Riot Games has announced the first official tournament for its ranked League of Legends game mode Teamfight Tactics, set to take place July 17-18. The competition will be hosted by Twitch Rivals, Twitch’s influencer-based esports division. Sixty-four Twitch streamers will be invited to participate for a chance of winning a piece of the $125K prize pool. The full roster will be announced on July 8.
Sponsorships and Partnerships
The League of Legends Premier Tour will expand into a new regional league next year, as part of a new partnership between Riot Games , Freaks 4U Gaming, and Lagardère Sports. The multi-year agreement will focus on developing a sustainable ecosystem for German-speaking players, teams, and companies.
Brazilian esports organization FURIA announced a multi-year partnership with global sportswear brand Nike. A co-branded uniform was revealed during ESL One Cologne on July 2, where FURIA competed in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).
Korean organization Team Griffin, owned by STILL8, has signed a deal with Chinese livestreaming platform HUYA to broadcast its streams in the country. STILL8 previously signed similar deals with rival Chinese streaming platform Douyu for other teams competing the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) competition.