eSports Week In Review | Biggest eSports On TV Weekend, Discord Valued At $700M+, Asia Beating US In Collegiate eSports

ESPORTS WEEK IN REVIEW | BIGGEST ESPORTS ON TV WEEKEND, DISCORD VALUED AT $700M+, ASIA BEATING US IN COLLEGIATE ESPORTS

eSports Week In Review (Photo: CC License)

eSports Week In Review (Photo: CC License)

TNL Take: I could probably leave this as the opening line to every Week In Review based on the current pace of eSports investment across the board "What a week."

This week we looked at Why Discord Is Valued At $700M+, 2 new Feature Writer's for The Next Level, the biggest weekend for eSports on TV and how Asian Collegiate eSports are dominating the US. 

 

MONDAY 07/17

Why Discord Was Able To Raise ~$50M At A $700M+ Valuation

Discord Raises ~$50M (Photo: Discord)

Discord Raises ~$50M (Photo: Discord)

The Next Level's New Feature Writers (Photo: The Next Level)

The Next Level's New Feature Writers (Photo: The Next Level)

EVO 2017 Finals (Photo: EVO, Robert Paul)

EVO 2017 Finals (Photo: EVO, Robert Paul)

Promotional Image for Tencent's 2015 Campus Series (Photo: Tencent)

Promotional Image for Tencent's 2015 Campus Series (Photo: Tencent)

 

Have a great weekend!

eSports Week In Review | Auto Brands Race Into eSports, TNL Podcast 021

WEEK IN REVIEW | AUTO BRANDS RACE INTO ESPORTS, TNL ESPORTS PODCAST 021: BEYOND THE WHISTLE INTERVIEW

An eSports Event (Photo: alistdaily)

An eSports Event (Photo: alistdaily)

TNL Take: It was a short week on The Next Level in preparation for this week's 3 big Exclusive stories:

/01 Incredible eSports and March Madness Brand research study in conjunction with a top global Ad Agency Wunderman, part of the WPP Family

/02 An analysis of Morgan Stanley's "research" on their Year 1 revenue estimates for Activision-Blizzard's Overwatch League aka the NFL for eSports

/03 Every Brand involved with EA Madden's NFL's Club Series with Pro Teams

and maybe something even more....

 

Here's what we covered this week:

 

MONDAY 4/24

TNL ESPORTS PODCAST 021: BEYOND THE WHISTLE INTERVIEW

TNL eSports Podcast 021: Beyond The Whistle (Photo: The Next Level)

TNL eSports Podcast 021: Beyond The Whistle (Photo: The Next Level)

TNL Take: These are the best Podcast show notes I've ever seen so it's a direct copy from the McCants Sports website  run by President Odell McCant's and was a fantastic chat. Hope you enjoy it.

TNL Take: Last June, I wrote in The Next Level 012 about the lack of eSports investment from Auto Brands, considering the massive amount the category spends in overall Advertising and Sponsorship to the exact demographic that eSports reaches: Young Males.

Outside of the partnership that Turtle Wax did with OpTic Gaming - and GEICO's ownership of the Insurance space within eSports - almost no other spending had been done. 

Turtle Wax First Partnership With OpTic Gaming (Photo: Turtle Wax)

Turtle Wax First Partnership With OpTic Gaming (Photo: Turtle Wax)

Ford and Forza (Photo: Turn 10 Studios)

Ford and Forza (Photo: Turn 10 Studios)

Things are only accelerating - no pun intended - in 2017.

Audi signed a rumored $750,000 to sponsor Danish team Astralis - although that price tag is probably overestimated - it's still a big move for the Auto industry and Audi's 2nd eSports investment year-over-year.

Audi and Astralis Sponsorship (Photo: Astralis)

Audi and Astralis Sponsorship (Photo: Astralis)

In a super smart move, Audi also picked up the team in their cars on the way to the ELEAGUE Major.

Astralis Getting Picked Up In Audi's (Photo: Audi)

Astralis Getting Picked Up In Audi's (Photo: Audi)

Based on TNL's 2017 Q1 Brand Tracker report, in addition to repeat Brands like Audi and Geico, Turtle Wax re-signed their deal with OpTic Gaming  and new Brands like NAPA Auto Parts took part in the EA Madden Club Series.

TNL Infographic 032: Q1 2017 Brands and eSports (Source: The Next Level, Graphic: Jordan Fragen)

TNL Infographic 032: Q1 2017 Brands and eSports (Source: The Next Level, Graphic: Jordan Fragen)

[Ed: In an Exclusive Research study between Wunderman and The Next Level to be released shortly, there's extraordinary data that reinforces the ROI and reason that Auto Brands should invest further in eSports]

 

NEXT WEEK ON THE NEXT LEVEL
 

  • EXCLUSIVE: WUNDERMAN AND THE NEXT LEVEL ESPORTS AND MADNESS RESEARCH
  • MORGAN STANLEY'S "RESEARCH" ON THE OVERWATCH LEAGUE
  • ALL BRANDS THAT SPONSORED EA MADDEN'S CLUB SERIES
  • 2017 COLLEGIATE ESPORTS REPORT: PART 3

And more.......

TNL eSports Podcast 021: Beyond The Whistle Interview

TNL ESPORTS PODCAST 021: BEYOND THE WHISTLE INTERVIEW

TNL eSports Podcast 021: Beyond The Whistle Interview (Photo: The Next Level)

TNL eSports Podcast 021: Beyond The Whistle Interview (Photo: The Next Level)

TNL Take: These are the best Podcast show notes I've ever seen so it's a direct copy from the McCants Sports website  run by President Odell McCant's and was a fantastic chat. Hope you enjoy it.

PODCAST LIST

SoundCloud

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher

TuneIn

 

On this episode of the podcast I chat with Manny Anekal, Founder and CEO of The Next Level, which covers the business of eSports and owner of eSports team Versus Sports. Manny is THE guy to discuss what’s happening in the world of eSports. If eSports is new to you, Manny gives a great, quick eSports 101. He and I also discuss the NBA’s investment in eSports, the growth of eSports at the collegiate level, career opportunities in eSports and much more.

eSports is more than gaming. It’s a sport and a growing, $600 million business.

If you wonder why kids will sit watching YouTube videos of another person playing their favorite video game you don’t have to look any further than the money trail. One of the most popular YouTube personalities made between $6 million and $7 million last year. It’s become a very real business opportunity, not just for the players but also for investors. Eight NBA teams, including the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards, have invested in eSports teams. This is in addition to the NBA’s eSports league to launch in 2018 based on the NBA 2K game. On this episode of Beyond the Whistle, Manny Anekal tells us about a wide variety of roles that can be filled in the rising eSports industry and gives his advice how you can get involved in a very successful career in eSports.

 

Minecraft is more than a game – it’s an eSport that builds skills for the real world.

In this conversation with Manny Anekal, he and I discovered something we have in common – we each have a son who absolutely LOVES the game of Minecraft. And while many parents feel that they should restrict their child’s consumption of video games, Manny pointed out how the skills that are developed while playing Minecraft are in high demand in the real world, so much so that many school districts are using it as a curriculum to help kids develop logic and reasoning skills that are needed to fulfill some of the most demanding roles in the world, like computer programming and software development. Listen to our conversation to learn more.

 

The eSports job market and how you can get in.

If you can think of a position or role in the world of traditional sports, there’s likely a counterpart in the eSports world that you could pursue. From players, to sales, to agents, to managers and coaches, the need for individuals with skill sets to fit the demand is rising as the eSports industry itself grows. On this episode, Manny Anekal explains how you can become an in-demand person in the industry and what it takes to get there. Take Manny’s advice seriously. The eSports space is already tremendously crowded so you’ve got your work cut out for you if you want to get into eSports on a professional level.

 

Focus on what you want and make yourself into an expert. That’s how to rise in eSports.

When I asked Manny Anekal what he recommends to those who want to pursue a career in eSports he said it’s like pursuing a career in any industry. Decide what it is that you want to pursue then do everything you can to become an expert at it. So when it comes to eSports that advice applies to being a player, manager, sales person – you name it. You need to learn what is needed to fit the role and the industry and be the best at it. That’s one of the many pieces of advice Manny offered on this episode. So if you’re at all interested in being a part of the rise of eSports, this episode is for you.

 

EPISODE OUTLINE

[0:41] Why eSports is big business and a real thing.

[4:29] How Manny got involved in the eSports business.

[10:01] How are fans consuming eSports contests?

[16:13] The rise of eSports on the shoulders of kids who love Minecraft.

[19:10] Why basketball franchises are leading the way in eSports.

[26:21] The rising job market within the rise of eSports.

[30:37] The role colleges are playing in the rise of eSports.

 

RESOURCES AND PEOPLE MENTIONED

University of Utah eSports

NBA 2K eLeague

Twitch

Vision Venture Partners – Rick Fox’s Private Equity Firm

[Ed: What I recommend to all eSports Athletes on VS Sports to learn about business in general. Disclaimer: VS Sports is part of the Versus Sports company which includes The Next Level ]

 

READ: Machiavelli’s “The Prince”

LISTEN: Jay-Z's "Reasonable Doubt"

WATCH: Gary Vaynerchuck's "Daily Vee"

Big 10 Network and Riot Games Partner For eSports Season

BIG 10 NETWORK AND RIOT GAMES PARTNER FOR ESPORTS SEASON

Big 10 Becomes 1st Conference With An eSports League (Photo: Riot/BTN)

Big 10 Becomes 1st Conference With An eSports League (Photo: Riot/BTN)

TNL Take: In my 3 different 2016 eSports Reviews, I made 5 predictions each or 15 total predictions for 2017.

In the first month of this year alone, 3 have come true with 1 maybe.

Now we can make that 5.

The Big 10 Network agreed to a deal with Riot Games to host a League of Legends season spanning 2 months with 12 schools like Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin participating (The Big 10 Network is a joint venture between the Big 10 Conference and Fox Entertainment Group).

These were the 5 predictions I made in the 2016 Collegiate eSports Review:

/01 The number of colleges offering scholarships will be 25+

/02 A conference will announce an eSports partnership

/03 A collegiate eSports tournament(s) will be broadcast on TV

/04 Major brands will sponsor in the college space

/05 Publishers will invest more

We can scratch 2 and 3 off the list.

What's even more interesting is that in addition to the Championship, 5 games will be broadcast on the Big 10 Network.

BTN League Of Legends Season Broadcast Schedule (Photo: Riot/BTN)

If you're laughing at the Big 10 Network, it's in 60M homes.

Here's how the format for the Big Ten League of Legends Season will work:

  • Schools will be split into BTN East and West
  • Best Of 3 round robin against other schools in their division
  • Once the round robin is finished, the Top 4 top will compete in a playoff with East vs. West in the Championship game
  • The BTN Winner will then play in the national League of Legends College Championship

Back in May of last year, the Pac-12 said they would enter eSports but no announcements have been made since then.

This is a big move in the Collegiate space and kudos to BTN for making this leap of faith with eSports.

It's not even the end of January and 2017 has seen even more growth per capita than 2016 across all of eSports.

 

Let's keep going.