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Pringles extends ESL sponsorship for more competitions

Niji Narayan

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Pringles extends ESL sponsorship for more competitions
Photo Source: martechtoday.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Pringles, the US-based potato and wheat-based snack chips brand, has extended its sponsorship of ESL events to include eight more competitions.

The extension of Pringles’ deal will begin with IEM Katowice 2019. The other events that come under the purview of extension include ESL One Cologne, ESL One Hamburg, ESL National Championship SEE, ESL Meisterschaft Deutschland, and the German stream for the European Masters Fall Split. The snack-brand, owned by Kellogg Company, started sponsoring ESL One Hamburg in 2017.

“Pringles’ esports strategy is a prime example of agility in the light of new opportunities,” said Toan Nguyen, Executive Strategy Director and Associate Partner for Hamburg-based marketing agency Jung von Matt, which will continue supporting Pringles in its partnership with ESL. “They started small-scale in 2017 and expanded quickly over many international events in 2018. In 2019, Pringles will cover 8 events with not just Northern Europe, but also the CEE region as its new pillars! This strategy perfectly shows how brands can employ an open mindset combined with curiosity and dedication.”

In addition to logo presence, product placements, and an activation area including an esports fan edition on live competitions, Pringles’ extension with ESL will include a variety of other undisclosed activations, which were designed specifically for fans.

Dominik Schafhaupt, Kellogg Company’s Marketing Manager Snacks Northern Europe, said in a statement: “2018 was a very successful year for Pringles in Northern Europe. Especially in the field of esports we see a great development of brand perception and get very positive reactions from the community. Therefore, we decided to expand our foot print together with the ESL not only geographically but also qualitatively. At the moment we are finalizing new concepts with which we would like to address the community with even more relevant communication and activations, on-the-ground at events but also digital.”

Niji Narayan has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. He reports gaming industry headlines from all around the globe.

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eSports

What to expect from esport in 2019

George Miller

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Esports have grown to a massive industry in just the past few years, and 2019 is predicted to be even bigger. Many industry analysts predict global esport revenue to surpass $1.1 billion USD in 2019. Expected revenue breaks down as follows:

esports revenue 18

 

Obviously, this means huge tournament prizes and team earnings for competitors this year.

2019 Esport Games

We’re going to see game genres mixed up a bit more in 2019 esports. While RTS and MOBA games have traditionally been the most popular esport games, a handful of fighting and shooter titles are slated to be rising stars in 2019. Of particular interest are the rise of battle royale games, which we’ll touch on briefly.

The games anticipated to do most hotly in 2019 global esports are as follows:

Overwatch
Fortnite
Dota 2
League of Legends
CS: GO
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
PubG
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Clash Royale
Magic: The Gathering Arena

A dark horse also arose early in February, Apex Legends. Many of the 2019 esport predictions were made at the end of December 2018, or early January 2019. Apex Legends was released early February, with zero marketing behind it – Apex Legends literally came out of left field (American slang meaning “totally unexpected”, for you global readers).

The reason Apex Legends is worth mentioning is that the game hit 25 million players only a week after being released. It also became the #1 live-streamed game on Twitch, ending February with an average 217,997 viewers, or around 11% of Twitch’s total audience. This is no small feat for a game that was released completely unannounced into the wild west of the battle royale genre.

twitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Apex Legends continues the popularity trend, it could also become a hot item in 2019 esports.

Of course you see some old staples on the list of games. Dota 2 and League of Legends are certainly not going anywhere, being the most popular MOBAs on a global scale.

Also of growing interest are racing and sport games (oh, the irony of playing sports games in esports). There are a number of smaller esport leagues dedicated exclusively to racing games, such as the F1 eSports Series, and the GT Championships.

There is also potential for more indie and browser-based titles in smaller esport leagues. Mobile Esports, for example, partnered up with Blayze Games, the developers of the popular browser-based first-person shooter Bullet Force and offers tournament grand prizes of $500. Other popular browser games have good Twitch and Youtube stream followings – Slither.io for example has 17,307 followers on Twitch.

Indeed, this game could be a cool niche for the browser based esport racing scene. As for sports, games like NBA 2K and FIFA have serious dedicated leagues as well. Especially the latter, as many enjoy playing soccer games particularly in Europe.

2019 Esport Sponsors

A lot of global brands are getting into esport endorsement – in fact, just a few days ago Nike inked its first esport sponsorship deal, following the heels of Adidas and Puma (pun intended). This adds to the growing list of high-profile brands that are sponsoring esports. Esport sponsors fall into the categories ‘endemic’ and ‘non-endemic’. Endemic sponsors are companies that are related to esports in some way, such as selling PC hardware and other technology manufacturers. Non-endemic sponsors are companies that have pretty much nothing to do with esports, like Nike.

Many articles that list esport sponsors put food and drink companies in the “non-endemic” category, but I disagree. Brands like Chipotle, Mountain Dew, and Snickers are every bit as endemic to esports as Corsair, Intel, and MSI. Gamers gotta eat, and we’ve got a reputation for unhealthy diets, right? Other ‘non-endemic’ brands like Gillette, well… you know, some esports players really do badly need a shave. So it fits.

Here are the top non-endemic global sponsors for esports in 2018 / 2019:

  • Adidas
  • Gillette
  • Geico
  • Tinder
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Airbus
  • Nike

The top endemic global sponsors for esports in 2018 / 2019:

  • HyperX
  • Intel
  • Red Bull
  • Monster Energy
  • Mountain Dew
  • Alienware
  • Logitech
  • Corsair
  • Razer
  • iBuyPower
  • Twitch

Honestly I could continue, but it’s a pretty huge list and my editor will think I’m just filling word count. Check out Esports marketing blog, they cover this stuff more in-depth.

p and p

 

 

China Banhammers Like, Everybody
One thing of note is how China plays into the market – or doesn’t play in the market, to be more technical. While many analysts include China in their “global esport revenue” reports, China lately has been taking its ball and playing at home. The country has a massive esport scene that caters to native games, which are not seen on the international level.

China’s biggest esport game is Honor of Kings, also known as Arena of Valor on the international market. It’s pretty much been China’s biggest MOBA for awhile, and has expanded to the Asia-Pacific region. Honor of Kings was released internationally as Arena of Valor, but hasn’t seen the same success its enjoyed in China.

To add to this, mainland China also recently banned a number of highly popular esport games, while putting others on a “watch list”. It’s an effort from their Online Ethics Committee to crack down on ‘vulgarity’ and explicit violence in video games. The most popular esport games banned games in mainland China are:

  • PubG
  • Fortnite
  • H1Z1
  • Alliance of Valiant Arms

Here’s a full list of games that were either banned or put on a watch / review list in mainland China – you’ll notice a few Chinese games are also on the list, including Arena of Valor, the game I just said was China’s biggest esport draw. Tencent, the developers of Arena of Valor, actually skipped off to Hong Kong for laxer laws, tweeting “after everything we did for you 🙁 @XiJingpingreal”. Actually I’m making that up, they didn’t tweet anything. But they did skip off to Hong Kong.

game-reason-action

 

In any case, when you take into considering mainland China’s clamping down on mobile games for their “corruption of youth” potential, then it’s not hard to believe North America will once again be the largest esports market in 2019. America boasted esport revenues of $409.1 million in 2018, and I’m pretty sure we won the most esport trophies. What’s that? South Korea, you say? They don’t count. Their public education was replaced with MOBA training campuses years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m 99% positive these photos are from South Korean elementary schools. Prove me wrong.

 

Author: Katie Green

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Central Europe

KFC to hold its first esports championship in Central and Eastern Europe as part of KFC BATTLE

George Miller

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KFC to hold its first esports championship in Central and Eastern Europe as part of KFC BATTLE
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

This year an international youth project KFC BATTLE will include a tournament for amateur teams from Central and Eastern Europe. This will be the second consecutive esports tournament as part of the large-scale youth project, now in two different esports disciplines – Dota 2 championship for teams from Russia, Kazakhstan, Belorussia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia and a tournament in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for teams from Central and Eastern European countries.

Six winning teams of KFC BATTLE: Esports will be determined at the project’s Grand Finale to be held in Moscow on July 13-14. Two CS: GO teams and four Dota 2 teams will compete for the prize of a completely covered trip to a major esports championship in their favorite discipline where they can see the world’s leading professional teams play live: the winning Dota 2 team will visit The International 2019, and the winner of the CS: GO championship will go to The StarLadder Berlin Major 2019.

KFC BATTLE is a large-scale international project of the restaurant brand for young talents in different spheres from street basketball and singing to rap and esports. Last year was the seventh time KFC organized KFC BATTLE and the first time the project was accompanied by an esports tournament, signifying the brand’s interest towards young people engaged in a dynamic world of esports. The tournament attracted 4,415 esports enthusiasts from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus etc. The winning team of the KFC Esports Championship, Whites, scored a quota in the Dota 2 finals of the 2018 Russian Esports Cup, held by the Russian Esports Federation, as well as a trip to Europe. The team’s captain Alexander “Ceyler” Popov was also honored as the Cup’s MVP and later received an invitation to play on a professional level by a CIS team The Pango.

This year, for the first time in the history of KFC BATTLE, Central and Eastern European teams will also be able to compete in the esports tournament. To engage as many CEE esports fans as possible, it was decided to hold an esports championship in one of the most popular esports disciplines in the region, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In order to compete in the final stage of the tournament CEE teams will go through a qualifying stage consisting of open and closed online qualifiers on FACEIT to determine two leading teams. These teams will then compete in the concluding Grand Finale in Moscow. Open qualifiers for KFC BATTLE will take place every weekend day from May 11 to June 2. Closed qualifiers both for Central and Eastern European teams and for teams from Russia, Kazakhstan, Belorussia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia will take place on June 7-9. Registration in the tournament for CEE teams is available at this link. The championship is open to any amateur team consisting of players aged 14 to 30, and participation in the championship is free.

Follow the news of this season of KFC BATTLE on the official website.

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Asia

UltraPlay heads to G2E Asia, Macao with BUFF.bet’s eSports betting use-case

George Miller

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UltraPlay heads to G2E Asia, Macao with BUFF.bet’s eSports betting use-case
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Advanced betting solutions provider UltraPlay is partnering up with BUFF.bet to present their successful use-case during G2E Asia, Macao, 21-23rd of May, 2019. How to establish a profitable eSports betting brand will be the focus on the exclusive presentation that will be held by UltraPlay’s CEO Mario Ovcharov, at the company’s booth D909, on May 22nd.

Mario Ovcharov, CEO at UltraPlay said: “То make a profit in a very competitive and specific sector as eSports today, there are certain requirements that should be followed. This applies to both new and well-established betting brands, because they can drop out the race if they do things wrong. That’s why we decided to present the success story of one of our strategic partners – BUFF.bet, and reveal more on the topic: How to establish a profitable eSports betting brand”.

There are certain trends and key elements that need to be considered when entering the eSports betting field. It’s a whole new betting universe combining the rapidly growing eSports sector and the various requirements of entertainment new-age bettors have. A use-case of BUFF.bet, a betting brand that entered the global gambling market a year ago and established a name for an ultimate eSports entertainment place already, will be presented during G2E Asia, in Macao at boot D909.

Besides the exclusive know-how of offering eSports to players and unlocking new opportunities for the betting brands, UltraPlay will showcase its multiple-times award-winning eSports odds feed product as well as the full turnkey solution for online gambling. Moreover, UltraPlay’s team is ready to offer its recently released innovative product – the hybrid eSports live betting model – a complex mixture of Artificial Intelligence and human traders’ interaction. With the enhanced live betting model, UltraPlay is now capable to offer unprecedented package for a next level of betting entertainment, which includes:

  • 28 eSports titles, amongst are the Golden Trio (CS:GO, League of Legends, Dota 2) as well as StarCraft II, King of Glory, Overwatch, PUBG, etc.)
  • Up to 200 live markets on CS:GO (where most of the bets are placed by the eSports punters)
    2500+ in-play events monthly
  • Enlarged number of live markets for all games (not just match winner)
  • Specific in-game objectives markets

Besides, UltraPlay opens up another unprecedented live betting opportunity for the first time. Players will no longer complain about closed markets shortly after the game’s beginning. Esports live markets will be open for up to 3 times longer than the competition thanks to the UltraPlay’s eSports live betting model. Basically, the synergy comes from this success formula – human making the key decisions while AI is running the show. In this case, punters have it all – placing more in-play bets for a longer period of time.
For all willing to enter or advance in eSports betting, G2E Asia is the perfect place for meeting with the UltraPlay’s experts at booth D909.

About UltraPlay:
UltraPlay is a modern technological company, founded in 2010, with the core ambition to offer an innovative approach to the online gaming industry by providing advanced betting solutions, focused on sports and eSports betting, live betting, white label, online casino and blockchain technology.
Assembled by a team of iGaming professionals with vast experience in betting product development, operations, eSports and marketing, UltraPlay is a trusted partner for delivering superior sports software and odds products to its customers. Learn more about the company here: www.ultraplay.co

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