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Evil Geniuses makes a grand return to both League of Legends and Counter-Strike, Gen.G will run a Shanghai team in the NBA 2K League, and Louis Vuitton will create the trophy case for the League of Legends World Championships.
Missed any of the biggest esports business news last week? The TEO Monday Morning Briefing recaps the top headlines from the last seven days!
Evil Geniuses has acquired the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) franchise slot formerly held by Echo Fox, and will compete in Riot Games’ North American league beginning in 2020. The organization stated that it will build a brand new team rather than acquire one. Evil Geniuses previously competed in the LCS until 2014 (prior to league franchising), and according to the team’s announcement, returning to the game was a key focus after the organization was acquired by investment firm PEAK6 in May.
Riot Games forced Echo Fox to sell its LCS franchise after the team failed to oust an investor accused of making racist comments. Evil Geniuses also reportedly attempted to purchase the slot from Echo Fox before Riot Games took over the process. The LCS entry is one of two major announcements for Evil Geniuses from last week,, as the organization also acquired NRG Esports’ Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team after seven years away from the game. In its debut appearance, the EG Counter-Strike team won its first championship at ESL One New York last weekend.
Gen.G Esports will establish a Shanghai-based team in the NBA 2K League, marking the first league franchise outside of North America. It will also be the first NBA 2K League team that isn’t associated with an NBA organization. Additionally, Gen.G and the NBA 2K League have entered into a long-term partnership that will see the organization help grow the league in Asia,
Modern Times Group (MTG), the parent company of tournament operators ESL and DreamHack, has announced an agreement with Nielsen for sponsorship valuation and media measurement services.
Nielsen, which launched a dedicated esports division in 2017, will measure brand impact for ESL and DreamHack sponsors, measure and track the value of media and sponsorship for their partners, provide consumer analytics, and use standardized metrics that can help companies who are considering investments in the esports space. MTG will use Nielsen’s Quality Index (QI) media methodology to provide direct comparisons against other esports, as well as traditional sports.
Esports organization Dignitas has raised a $30M Series A funding round to close its previously announced merger with Clutch Gaming and to provide expansion capital. The investment was led by Dignitas’ controlling shareholders Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE) and Fertitta Entertainment.
Furthermore, Dignitas has formed a new parent company called New Meta Entertainment (NME), a digital sports and entertainment company operating in three primary verticals: esports teams, content and marketing, and investments.
Partnerships and Sponsorships Round-Up
Louis Vuitton (LV) has signed a multiyear deal with Riot Games that will include both physical and digital design work for this year’s League of Legends World Championships. This includes a one-of-a-kind Trophy Travel Case for the “Summoner’s Cup,” with LV having designed similar items for sports events including the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup, and America’s Cup in sailing. In addition, LV’s artistic director of women’s collections Nicolas Ghesquière will create digital assets for League of Legends players.
Snack brand Totino’s has partnered with Activision Blizzard for October’s launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, with the brand awarding exclusive in-game content via its products. Totino’s worked with 100 Thieves founder and CEO Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag to design the items.
FaZe Clan content creator and Twitch personality Nick “NICKMERCS” Kolcheff has signed a multi-year deal to stream exclusively on Twitch. The announcement was timed to coincide with TwitchCon, where Kolcheff is promoting his brand. Kolcheff currently holds the #3 Fortnite channel on Twitch this year after Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Turner “Tfue” Tenney and #2 for the month of September, second only to Tenney.
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