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Dota 2’s The International will return to Europe next year, numerous Fortnite streamers quit during a tournament, and Mastercard sponsors the LCS.
Missed any of the biggest esports business news last week? The TEO Monday Morning Briefing recaps the top headlines from the last seven days!
The International 10 Will be Held in Stockholm
2020’s edition of The International, the top championship for Dota 2, will be held at the Globen in Stockholm, Sweden. This will be the tenth run of the annual tournament series to date, and will be the first to be held in Europe since the inaugural competition took place at gamescom 2011.
The Stockholm event was announced during a commercial break at last weekend’s TI9, with a video featuring Stockholm’s mayor, Anna König Jerlmyr. Additional details, such as dates and potential changes to qualification process, have not yet been revealed.
Epic Games’ popular battle royale game Fortnite is experiencing another issue with its viability as an influencer-driven esport as the developer continues to experiment with competitively balanced play. This time, numerous influencers, including Twitch’s top streamer Turner “Tfue” Tenney exited a Twitch Rivals tournament before its conclusion due to connection issues and competitive imbalance.
During Twitch Rivals’ $400K USD prize pool Fortnite Showdown, Turner “Tfue” Tenney led a list of streamers who stopped competing in the event because of connection issues that prevented them from being able to load into matches or due to competitive imbalances in the game that have come from a powerful “B.R.U.T.E” mechanized vehicle.
Without influencers like Tenney, among others, competing in online events, the relevance of Fortnite as an esport could see a steep decline, despite the successes of the in-person World Cup event that happened just one month ago.
ESL and Intel will bring the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) tournament series to China this November with an event taking place in the Haidian district of Beijing.
The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competition will be held at the Beijing University Students’ Gymnasium of Capital University of Physical Education and Sports on Nov. 9-10, with a $250K total prize pool. The winning team will also earn a point towards the Intel Grand Slam, which awards a $1M bonus to a team that wins a certain number of tournaments within 10 straight qualifying events.
The 2020 Overwatch League schedule has been announced, and teams have started revealing where they will play in their respective home markets. The season will begin on Feb. 8, 2020 with the New York Excelsior at the Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom. The Dallas Fuel will also host a homestand on Feb. 8-9 at the Allen Event Center—the first of five Fuel homestands in 2020.
All told, the 20 teams will host a grand total of 52 homestands during the course of the 2020 Overwatch League season, which will span 27 weeks of regular-season competition between Feb. 8 and Aug. 9. Tickets for the entire season go on sale next week, on Aug. 28.
Sponsorships and Partnerships Round-Up
In addition to its global sponsorship of League of Legends esports events, Mastercard is now a sponsor of the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) in North America. The brand is the exclusive financial services partner of the league, and activated onsite at last weekend’s LCS Summer Finals in Detroit, where Mastercard provided exclusive benefits to cardholders. Additionally, Mastercard and Riot Games have collaborated on an original video content series called “Together Start Something Priceless.” The series will focus on League of Legends players who are positively impacting the community.
The New York Excelsior (NYXL) has announced a partnership with taco restaurant chain Dos Toros to sponsor an Overwatch League (OWL) watch party in Brooklyn, New York, this weekend. According to an NYXL representative, this is Dos Toros’ first esports sponsorship.
Esports organization Method is again attempting to leverage a World of Warcraft content release to generate viewership on Twitch, this time for World of Warcraft Classic. Teaming with Estars Studios’ multi-game tournament series World Showdown of Esports (WSOE), Method will broadcast 24-hour coverage on the main Method and WSOE channels. Peripheral brand HyperX unveiled its own plans on Thursday for a “HyperX Kickoff to WoW” that will include a four-hour stream to be filmed at the HyperX Arena in Las Vegas, airing on both HyperX and WoW’s official Twitch channels.
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