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Ninja vents his frustrations after Twitch mistakenly promotes lewd content through his old channel, while Riot Games will now direct the sale of Echo Fox’s LCS slot.
Missed any of the biggest esports business news last week? The TEO Monday Morning Briefing recaps the top headlines from the last seven days!
Following Tyler “Ninja” Blevins’ exit from Twitch in favor of an exclusive partnership with Microsoft’s streaming platform Mixer, the more established livestreaming service has attempted to promote other personality channels by airing them as suggested content in the space that was previously Blevins’ channel.
Recently, however, the attempt at growing publicity for other streamers took an inappropriate turn when a channel promoted on Blevins’ former channel was airing pornographic material, something that is against Twitch’s terms of service.
Immediately after the incident, Blevins took to Twitter where he vented his frustrations regarding Twitch in a video. Just a few hours after that, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear took to Twitter to respond to and apologize for the incident. Shear also publically tagged Blevins in the post to “apologize directly” to him saying it “wasn’t our intent, but it should not have happened. No excuses.”
DreamHack Anaheim has been announced for February 2020, marking the first edition of the gaming and esports convention series to take place on the West Coast of the United States.
The event will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center in California from Feb. 21-23. It will feature the familiar array of DreamHack event elements, such as to-be-announced professional esports tournaments, bring-your-own-computer LAN play, a cosplay contest, and music performances.
Echo Fox’s proposed deal to sell its League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) franchise slot to Kroenke Sports and Entertainment could not be completed, and as such, Riot Games will now handle the sale of the slot for the 2020 season.
Chris Greeley issued an update via the League of Legends website, noting that the “sale did not come to fruition.” It also said that Riot Games and Echo Fox formally agreed to a deal for the organization to exit the league, with Riot Games to now direct the process of selling the franchise spot. Echo Fox announced later in the week that it has terminated the contracts of its entire LCS roster.
Gfinity Australia will close operations at the end of 2019, as the Australian licensee, radio station operator HT&E, exits its effort to build an esports business as part of its events arm. The company licensed the brand in 2017 from the UK-based Gfinity organization, but aimed to deliver a twist on the concept by running a city-based league concept, Gfinity Elite Series.
Despite developing several commercial partnerships, HT&E found there was simply not enough revenue generation and no sign of improvement on the horizon, so it announced Gfinity Australia will close at the end of the current sim racing season. The closure has been reported in the latest HT&E financial reports as a $5.3M AUD ($3.57M USD) loss.
Sponsorships and Partnerships Round-Up
The Kellogg Company’s Pringles potato chip brand is the latest sponsor for the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) Summer Finals. Pringles will bring League of Legends to its snack cans across Europe, which will feature codes that allow purchasers to enter a daily raffle to win an in-game Legacy skin. A separate contest will allow two winners to earn a trip to the LEC studio in Berlin in February 2020 to watch a broadcast, tour the backstage areas, and meet the casters.
German insurance firm ARAG is SK Gaming’s latest non-endemic partner. The companies will collaborate on content and event activations, with plans to highlight ARAG’s efforts to combat cyberbullying. The ARAG logo will also appear on SK’s jerseys.
Gaming chair brand Secretlab will serve as the official chair of The International 2019, the biggest annual tournament for Dota 2. Secretlab will provide chairs for the event, and has also created a Dota 2-branded line which will be made available to the public.
Esports organization Pittsburgh Knights has signed a three-year deal with analytics platform Zoomph to measure its sponsorship deals. Zoomph will measure social media and Twitch engagement to provide insights on the Knights’ current sponsor relationships.
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