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Category Archives: Rocket League

Learfield IMG College, Psyonix Announce Relationship To Add “Rocket League” Within Level Next, The College Esports League – PRNewswire

In addition to featuring Rocket League, Learfield IMG College introduces Unilever as a cornerstone Level Next sponsor with significant engagement this spring. Free and open to all college students attending a four-year accredited university, the Level Next Rocket League Spring Showcase will begin on May 10, with registration starting today. The four-week competition – with an estimated 1,500 college students expected to participate – provides a unique avenue for Unilever to leverage its United for America program and help create awareness for the pervasive issue of food insecurity on U.S. college campuses. As a Level Next Rocket League Spring Showcase cornerstone sponsor, Unilever will donate one million meals to Feeding America to create awareness for food insecurity on campuses and to promote its National Day of Service on May 14.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Psyonix to incorporate such a popular, endemic game title like Rocket League into our Level Next events and broadcasts,” said Learfield IMG College EVP/Managing Director – Media and Partnerships Group Rick Barakat. “We have an exciting Spring Showcase planned for college students across the country, and we appreciate the support of Unilever as this is an exceptional platform to elevate their important give-back initiatives on college campuses nationwide.”

College students can register online now for the Level Next Rocket League Spring Showcase via LevelNextEsports.com. With a $125,000 total cash prize pool, participants will compete for a share of the $75,000 competition prize pool. The other $50,000 will be awarded to 20 college esports programs through a Twitter competition. In its second season, Level Next’s Twitter Competition encourages schools to post and promote the tournament on their respective social channels using the #LevelNextShowcase hashtag. The fall competition reached more than 2.1 million people as the University of South Dakota’s esports program, USD Esports, won the $15,000 first place prize. College esports programs can sign up to participate at levelnextesports.com/twittercompetition.

Esports fans can expect game streams to include red zone-style whip around coverage and top shoutcasters, player bios, stories, and highlights, along with the radio voices of major universities and Rocket League influencers and celebrities. More than 40 hours of gameplay for the Spring Showcase will stream live on Level Next’s official Twitch channel – twitch.tv/levelnextgg.

Level Next, which launched in October 2020 with publisher Electronic Arts (EA), is the largest intercollegiate esports league. It is also the first league to be supported by official school branding and athletics marketing assets. The Level Next spring series programming will be streamed on its official Twitch channel. For more information on official rules and registration details for the Level Next Rocket League Spring Showcase, visit LevelNextEsports.com.

About Rocket League
Winner or nominee of more than 150 “Game of the Year” awards, Rocket League is one of the most critically-acclaimed sports games of our generation. Rocket League is a high-powered hybrid of arcade-style soccer and vehicular mayhem with easy-to-understand controls and fluid, physics-driven competition. Available on Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4, PlayStation®5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on Epic Games Store, Rocket League includes nearly endless customization possibilities, a fully-featured offline season mode, multiple game types, casual and competitive online matches, and special “Mutators” that let you change the rules entirely.

To learn more about Rocket League, please visit www.RocketLeague.com, “Like” it on Facebook, and follow it on Twitter @RocketLeague for all the latest developer updates and news.

About Learfield IMG College
Learfield IMG College is the leading media and technology services company in intercollegiate athletics. The company unlocks the value of college sports for brands and fans through an omnichannel platform with innovative content and commerce solutions for fan engagement. The Learfield IMG College suite of services includes licensing and multimedia sponsorship management; publishing, audio, digital and social media; data analytics; ticketing, ticket sales and professional concessions expertise; branding; campus-wide business and sponsorship development; and venue technology systems. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, the company has long had the privilege of being an advocate for intercollegiate athletics and the student-athlete experience. Since 2008, it has served as title sponsor for the acclaimed Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup, supporting athletic departments across all divisions.

SOURCE Learfield IMG College

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Maryland falls to the University of Waterloo in the CSL Grand Finals – The Diamondback

The Maryland League of Legends team competed in the Grand Finals of the Collegiate StarLeague esports league last weekend, fighting to earn the coveted grand prize of almost $60,000 in scholarships.

After a tight match, the University of Maryland fell 1-2 to the University of Waterloo in a best of three series. Maryland had previously been 10-0 in league play and had beaten Waterloo to advance to the finals. However, Waterloo won the losers bracket to advance to the Grand Finals, where they just barely edged the Terps to take the championship.

Maryland’s 13 teams compete in a number of tournaments and games, primarily Valorant and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but the most prominent team is Maryland’s League of Legends team, which is ranked No. 1 in the Southeast 1 conference with an undefeated record of 10-0 in the Star League — CSL’s highest rank. As a school, Maryland is ranked fourth nationally, just under the University of Ottawa, University of California, Berkeley, and Northeastern University.

This year’s Grand Finals were virtually hosted by Louisiana State University over Twitch and featured a variety of sports, such as Street Fighter V, Valorant and CS:GO. Usually the event is hosted over a Local Area Network and features live audiences, but because of COVID-19 restrictions this year’s event was fully online.

[The Josh Fight is the latest example of meme turned reality]

CSL is one of the most prominent esports leagues in collegiate esports. Over 440 universities participate in their free-to-play tournaments every year in games such as League of Legends, DOTA 2, Rocket League and Valorant. Since its creation in 2009, the platform has grown each year and become a more prominent attraction at universities.

“Particularly in the past 36 months, more and more colleges are seeing the benefits of real student-athletes, relationships and benefits in esports,” said Rob Johnson, the CEO of CSL.

Although esports has long faced a stigma as not being a real career option or a professional choice, the stigma has worn down in recent years, pushing esports into the mainstream. Both universities and high schools have had an increase in esports teams and players as equipment becomes more accessible and more esports careers are established at the professional level.

Part of CSL’s movement to push college esports to the mainstream is to emphasize its educational side and the benefit to an athlete’s career.

“There needs to be an education element here, we’re talking about student-athletes,” Johnson said. “For CSL Esports why we’re different than a traditional league is you have to keep your grades up and you have to balance what you’re doing as far as with your studies to participate.”

[The European Super League tried to put fans last and no one bought it]

Johnson also noted that esports athletes can carry their talents into other professions.

While some may pursue a career as a professional athlete or a content creator, others can use their skills in fields such as hospitality, networking, IT or broadcast production. CSL’s involvement with affiliated schools can help athletes achieve these goals as well as a productive collegiate career in esports.

“We use education and help the schools to… be able to know how to make sure they are providing safe and healthy gaming habits for the students themselves to play,” Johnson said.

In the future, CSL wants to expand its student base and make esports even more accessible for students across the country. Just recently, CSL announced its expansion into high schools, while also working on better pathways for esports players from high school to college. This fall, CSL will also start a free-to-play league in association with Oregon and Nevada.

“Our goal is to get as many students to participate as possible, and we’ll continue expanding and growing in that capacity,” Johnson said.

Rocket League Leak Reveals Mobile and 2D Game Plans – ComicBook.com

Rocket League will be getting a lot of new content in the coming months, in the form of a pair of new products. Epic Games‘ future plans for the game were revealed in an in-house presentation that was made public as a result of the court case between Apple and Epic Games. The presentation mostly focuses on plans for Fortnite, including upcoming skins, but new details were also revealed for Rocket League. This year, players can expect to see the release of Rocket League “Next” and Rocket League Sideswipe (referred to in the document as Rocket League “2D”). A beta for the former will apparently debut in Q2 2021, while the latter could appear on iOS “as soon as summer 2020.”

The full in-house presentation was shared by The Verge and can be found right here. Rocket League content appears on pages 91 and 92. Images of the pages can also be found in the Tweet from iFireMonkey embedded below.

Rocket League “Next” will offer a “Next-generation client with full game experience across all platforms, including mobile.” Players can expect to see cross-play and cross-progression across all versions of the game once it has been released. The alpha/beta of the game will appear on mobile platforms first.

For those unfamiliar, Rocket League Sideswipe seems to be an interesting take on the game’s concept! As the document implies, the game will take place in 2D arenas. The image from the presentation makes the game look like a hybrid of traditional Rocket League with the Super Smash Bros. franchise. The game is being specifically built for mobile, and will support touch-screen controls as well as controllers. It will feature some “cross-platform gameplay incentives,” as well.

Both of these new ventures certainly sound exciting! For now, Rocket League fans will just have to wait for official announcements from Epic Games.

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Rocket League is available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the game right here.

Are you excited for these Rocket League announcements? What do you think of Rocket League coming to mobile? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!

April Investment Recap: Esports Industry Exceeds $3B in Capital Raised During the First Four Month of the Year – The Esports Observer

During April 2021, The Esports Observer tracked 13 investments raised by esports-relevant companies. Disclosed investments amounted to 1.1B$ USD, bringing the total sum of disclosed investments in 2021 to $3B. 

Financial terms were not disclosed for all deals highlighted in this article. 

NHL Franchise Montreal Canadiens Joins OverActive Media’s Ownership Group 

Credit: OverActive Media

Toronto-based esports company OverActive Media completed a second closing on its previously announced private placement, bringing the aggregate gross proceeds of its brokered and non-brokered financings to more than $40M. The parent company of three esports franchises, the Overwatch League’s Toronto Defiant, the Call of Duty League’s Toronto Ultra, and the MAD Lions, the current champions of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC), also announced that the National Hockey League (NHL) franchise Montreal Canadiens joined its ownership group as part of the funding. The Canadiens strategic investment in OverActive is their maiden voyage into the esports industry.  

 The company also announced that Phil Kessel of the Arizona Coyotes and Carl Hagelin of the Washington Capitals have joined its list of celebrity and athlete owners. These current NHL stars join Toronto Maple Leafs star forward Mitch Marner and Canadian Grammy Award-winning music artist The Weeknd, who were announced previously as members of the OverActive ownership team.  

GRID eSports Secures $10M Series A Investment 

Credit: GRID

Berlin-based esports data firm GRID eSports secured a $10M Series A financing round from investors including Alinea Capital, Bumble Ventures, Tar Heel Capital Pathfinder, Agileo Ventures, and NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster. The investment brings GRID’s total funds raised to $11.6M.  

The company, which launched its esports data services in September 2018 during the FACEIT Major: London 2018, a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competition, revealed that it intends to use the investment proceeds to grow its data platform and scale its U.S. presence after expanding to the market earlier this year. 

Epic Games Closes in on $30B Valuation 

Credit: Epic Games

Fortnite developer Epic Games completed a $1B financing round bringing the company’s equity valuation to $28.7B. Its latest investment round includes an additional $200M strategic investment from Sony Group Corporation. Following the financing round, Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney remains the controlling shareholder of the company.  

 According to Sweeney, the investment will support the long-term vision for Epic Games metaverse by accelerating the developers work “around building connected social experiences in FortniteRocket League, and Fall Guys, while empowering game developers and creators with Unreal Engine, Epic Online Services and the Epic Games Store.”   

Seed Investments 

Credit: MADMONQ

Czech esports supplement startup MADMONQ raised a €500K EUR ($598K) seed financing round from investors, including poker player and esports professional Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Twitch streamer Lex Veldhuis; content creator Radek “sterakdary” Starý, Lukáš “lastgameblitz” Křítek, Vojta Roček, and AdRock Ventures. MADMONQ revealed that it intends to use the funding “to raise awareness around the need to prioritize health in gaming, new product development, scaling the team, and paving the way for Series A round, planned for late 2021.” 

Warsaw-based live-streaming sponsorship platform start-up inSTREAMLY secured a €1.1M ($1.32M) seed financing round led by British early-stage venture capital firm Supernode Global to expand into new markets. Further investors that participated in the round include Colopl Next and PKO TFI.  

Series A Investments 

Credit: Generation Esports

U.S.-based high school esports infrastructure startup Generation Esports closed a $10.8M Series A financing round led by early-stage investment firm Altos Ventures with participation from FJ Labs and other investors. Generation Esports revealed that it intends to use the investment proceeds to support its community and student esports initiatives, including the Middle School Esports League and the High School Esports League (HSEL), which was created by Generation Esports’ founders and is currently partnered with more than 3.4K schools.  

French tech startup Unique Entertainment Expérience, which is doing business as Powder, secured a $14M Series A financing round led by Paris-based venture capital firm SerenaThe startup, which was founded in 2018, revealed that it intends to use its Series A proceeds to “increase the pace at which we are building the video infrastructure of social gaming.” This round of funding brings Powder’s total funding to $18M. 

Other Investments 

Credit: ORDER

 Miami-based racing game developer, publisher and esports ecosystem provider Motorsport Games acquired about 10.1% of 704Games outstanding common stock from Ascend and 7.6% of 704Games outstanding common stock from PlayFast Games. With the completion of both transactions, NASCAR Heat game franchise developer 704Games became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Motorsport Games. 

Women-focused gaming organization Queens Gaming Collective added NFL pro and gaming ambassador Juju Smith-Schuster and his mother Sammy Schuster as investors. The investment, alongside contribution from women-owned venture capital firm Reign Ventures, closes out Queens Gaming Collective’s seed funding round with an additional “half-a-million dollars. 

Australian esports organization ORDER announced closed a $.5.3M AUD ($4.12M) financing round, which it launched early in 2021. The group of investors included CPS Capital managing director Jason Peterson and Gemelli Group chairman Harry Karelis, who has also been appointed to ORDER’s board of directors. The organization’s chairman Gerard Murphy revealed that ORDER intends to use the investment proceeds “to diversify our operations into the content and lifestyle space, while continuing to attract the best operational talent to support our aggressive growth strategy.”  

 Philippines–headquartered esports and gaming talent agency Tier One Entertainment secured a Pre-Series A financing round led by venture capital firm Gobi Partners through its Gobi-Core Philippine Fund, a joint-venture fund with Core Capital. In addition, entertainment and record label Warner Music Group joined the round as part of its strategic investments in the region. Tier One Entertainment intends to use the investment proceeds to “to hire back-end teams that will further support their talents, expand their esports operations in Blacklist International, Tier One’s Esports team, and set-up their first content creation hub in the Philippines.”  

 Singapore-based Southeast Asian gaming and esports organization RSG raised a $1M investment from the Tembusu Partners managed esports private equity fund FrontSight Capital Fund. The investment into RSG is FrontSight’s first of up to 10 planned investments into Southeast Asian esports teams and companies of $1M to $2M each. The organization revealed that it intends to use the investment proceeds “to support RSG’s mission to engage the youth audience through esports and gaming content creators, by grooming and expanding the regional talent pool, growing its market reach, and strengthening its capabilities with new technologies.” 

Swedish esports venture capital form RightBridge Ventures, which is majority owned by Abelco Investments, raised kr55M SEK ($6.5M) in funds to finance its esports strategy led by Scandinavian fund Modelio Equity. Following the investment, Abelco Investments owns a 53% stake in RightBridge Ventures and the firm is valued at kr145M ($17.2M). While raising funds itself, RightBridge Ventures acquired a 10.7% stake in the developer of esports platform EPULZE, Esports Pulze, as part of a kr57M ($6.76M) financing round with further participation from Svea Ekonomi and Norwegian Carucel Finance. 

DHS Esports enters first postseason despite challenges | Derby News | derbyinformer.com – The Derby Informer

Three teams in the Derby High School Esports program advanced into the postseason in the face of challenges that came with its debut season. 

The esports program was proposed in fall 2020, sprouting from an already existing esports club at DHS. The season began in spring 2021 with teams for five different games: League of Legends,” “Overwatch,” “Rocket League,” “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” and Madden.”

The school’s Rocket League, League of Legends, and Madden teams advanced to the playoffs after competing for the first time in a regional league hosted through an online program called PlayVs. 

The top 64 regional teams in each game advanced to the playoffs. Rocket League placed No. 10 out of over 450 teams, Madden placed No. 7 out of 75 teams, and League of Legends placed No. 58 out of over 180 teams. 

In the first week of postseason contests, Rocket League swept the No. 55 seed in a best-of-seven series and will face the No. 23 seed out of Illinois on May 6. League of Legends was bested by the No. 8 seed out of Tulsa – finishing with a 10-8 season record.

Madden does not begin its postseason until May 10. 

The best news for the esports program is that every active player is either a junior or younger. 

“What I would call more-than-moderate success, and everybody’s coming back,” said Michael Packard, business teacher and coach for the esports program.

The program has made these advances despite challenges that came during its first season off the ground, including a lack of dedicated space, computers and consoles for competitions. That meant that every player has had to compete at home, communicating through web calls. 

Some players are using laptops or other devices that are just barely able to run their game. Technology issues have made it impossible for some players to compete this year, including the “Overwatch” team. 

“I’ve been out most of the season because I just haven’t had a powerful enough gaming PC,” said League of Legends player Samuel Leonard. “I play on a Chromebook, which is not even better than what we have at school, so having a dedicated PC that I could always rely on would definitely work.” 

In the future, members of the program said they hope they can get their own dedicated space and computers from the district. This would help them build cohesion through in-person practice and events, and would guarantee that everyone on the team has a device that is capable of running each game smoothly.

Players also said the school’s wireless internet and machines could use a boost to properly support esports competition.

“We’ve tried to do it at the school, but it’s so unreliable and so unrefined that it’s borderline impossible,” said League of Legends player Jacob Vazquez. “We haven’t done one competition day at the school.” 

Another challenge is that Packard, by his own admission, has no background in esports or video games. With experience coaching sports, his role is mostly administrative – coordinating team practices, meetings and matches. 

Both Packard and the players mentioned that they would love to have a coach with game knowledge and experience who could provide in-game coaching tips and advice. 

“Once we start getting actual coaches inside of the organization, we can really flourish,” Vazquez said. “[Three] of our teams made it to playoffs this year without a single coach.” 

“As the organization matures over time, this organization can become one of Derby’s big contenders and big hitters.” 

Finally, members of the program are coordinating with other schools in the state to try and make esports a KSHSAA-sanctioned competition. This would mean Derby’s esports teams could compete face-to-face with peers around the area, rather than playing online with strangers, and have a chance at state titles. 

This year, Derby’s esports teams have gotten the chance to compete against area schools like Goddard, Garden City and Southeast.

Five W’s: Bubzkji shines in place of dev1ce, Royal Ravens upset Subliners – Upcomer

With how wide the esports world is, it’s tough to pin down every marquee matchup and bit of esports news each week. Sometimes, those moments go beyond the competitive sphere and dip into streaming, general gaming and the business world, too. Esports is bigger than just the games we watch every day and the big thing that you should take away from each week could pass you by if you’re not careful.

That’s where we come in. Every week, Upcomer’s staff comes together to select the five biggest W’s of the last week, whether they be a player’s performance, a new game release or something else. The goal: To get you caught up on esports news this week and get you ready for everything that comes next.

Here are our Five W’s for the week of April 26-May 2.

Bubzkji steps up for dev1ce-less Astralis

On April 23, Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz announced his departure from Astralis after being bought out by Ninjas in Pyjamas. With dev1ce gone, the sixth man for Astralis, Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen, took the field in DreamHack Masters. With dev1ce gone, Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen took over AWPing and Bubzkji assumed dupreeh’s role in the team.

Bubzkji started off with a fantastic T-side against Extra Salt and posted the most kills for Astralis on that side. His best match, however, was against Complexity. Bubzkji topped the scoreboard with 58 kills in the series and had the most opening kills and total kills on the server.

DreamHack Masters marked Bubzkji’s first time playing his true role as an active rifler with Astralis. If he continues to be a great player on the roster, Astralis may have hope to win their fourth consecutive major at PGL Stockholm.

Zain Merchant

London Royal Ravens upset New York Subliners in CDL

The London Royal Ravens have had a rough go of it for the first two stages of the Call of Duty League season, only winning 3 of the 16 matches the often-swapped roster played. The team started the year 0-6 before picking up rookie Paul “PaulEhx” Avila, who helped them to their first two wins of the year.

The mixture of Americans and Europeans pulled off one impressive upset against the New York Subliners this weekend, though, with a 3-2 W against one of the best teams in the CDL. New York might have dropped the ball in a winnable match, but the Ravens went on to barely lose to the Atlanta FaZe, the No. 2 team in the league, later on in the Paris Home Series. Who knows how things will go moving forward, but whatever does happen one thing is certain: London played with fire this weekend.

Maybe it was London’s coaching change, or maybe Zach “Zed” Denyer felt he had something to prove. London will need to harness whatever drove them for a high finish in Stage 3.

Aron Garst

Teamfight Tactics scene continues growth with new set and pro signings

After a short stint on Riot Games’ Public Beta Environment, Teamfight Tactics: Reckoning went live last week, and with it came a ranked reset and sizable shift away from TFT’s last season. While there are always a few kinks to work out at the beginning of a set, the game’s latest iteration is a fun, thematic way to play that replaces Set 4’s Chosen mechanic with the much more flexible Shadow Items.

On top of that, the professional TFT scene just gained a bit more legitimacy, with Team Liquid signing both Robin “robinsongz” Sung and Aleksey “Grandvice8” Tvorogov. As more and more players get the support they need to compete full time, the game’s esports scene can grow alongside the casual player base.

Still, a good launch is a win for the development team and players across all skill levels. Fingers crossed the set stays balanced enough throughout the first half of its lifetime so everyone can enjoy some fierce competition and whatever Riot has up its sleeve regarding new lab modes.

Jason Krell

RLCS show matches fill void for fans

With RLCS Worlds canceled this year, no one will know how the regions stack up against each other for real. Team BDS dominates Europe, but can they do it against the giants of North America? Guild Esports’ Joseph “noly” Kidd thought so, but SpaceStation Gaming’s Slater “Retals” Thomas doubted his claim. Well, one thing led to another and suddenly a call out was made. Guild Esports versus Retals and two other east coast NA players, to settle the debate once and for all. What followed was one of the most enjoyable and funniest Rocket League events in years.

RLCS caster John “Johnnyboi_i” MacDonald was joined by fellow RLCS caster Demar “Dazerin” Williams, recently-retired pro player Dillon “Rizzo” Rizzo and the greatest Rocket League player of all time, Pierre “Turbopolsa” Silfver. The stacked panel hosted a series of show matches with commentary that had the audience in stitches.

The three best-of-7 show matches featured a host of superstars from the RLCS to defend their respective regions’ honor. In the end, the event proved that a mish-mash of superstars simply cannot keep up with the synergy of established teams. Each region won their respective matches on home turf and with full rosters versus all-stars.

At the end of the day, it was the Rocket League community that came out the true winners.

Michael Kloos

ECI goes back to the drawing board

What initially started as a big L for the week pretty quickly turned into one of our five big wins. In case you simply did not exist on Twitter this week, a new esports company announced their launch on Tuesday, but it didn’t quite pan out how they expected.

The Esports Certification Institute launched as a Public Benefit Corporation that aimed to provide the scene with a new certification for those trying to find work in the industry. And while ECI claimed their intent was to promote diversity, keep out unwanted grifters and better develop the scene, their business model was criticized as doing the exact opposite in many ways. For starters, they charged $400 for a standardized test that many online found questionable, at best. They were so heavily memed on Twitter that #esports started trending, furthering the ridicule.

With how often esports orgs and personalities choose to double or triple down in these types of situations, it was a relief to see ECI react immediately. The company refunded money to anyone who had purchased their certification, apologized and paused all operations until the company could come up with a better game plan. So, while their initial launch was potentially bad for the larger esports community (especially young people trying to break in), their pause is absolutely a win for everyone.

Parkes Ousley

The Latest From Upcomer

Key esports sponsorships and partnerships, April 2021 – Esports Insider

Each month, Esports Insider — in collaboration with YouGov, a data and analytics company that provides global consumer opinion and behavioural data — collates the period’s significant sponsorship and partnership news in esports.

Key esports sponsorships and partnerships, April 2021

YouGov recently expanded its Global Fan Profiles tool to monitor fan sentiment in esports, now enabling sponsors, properties, and rights holders to measure and track global consumer engagement in 32 key markets. This advanced tool provides timely, relevant data of fanbases around the world, covering 200 leagues, 50 events, 45 game titles and 2,000 teams across sports and esports. Subscribers can create side-by-side comparisons of individual game titles, leagues, events, tournaments, team fanbases, and much more.

Readers can learn more about Global Fan Profiles here.


Spotlighted story:

BMW Esports creates ‘Heroes of Rivalry’ manga, presents OG Esports as new partner

Screenshot credit: BMW Esports

BMW Esports, the esports division of German automotive company BMW, unveiled ‘Heroes Of Rivalry’, a manga series featuring its United in Rivalry team partners.

BMW Esports’s United in Rivalry partners include Cloud9FNATIC, FunPlus PhoenixG2 Esports and T1.


100 Thieves collaborates with Cash App to launch Cash Card

North American esports organisation 100 Thieves has collaborated with Cash App to launch the 100 Thieves Cash Card. According to the release, the cash card will cost $5, with $1 of every card purchased being donated to charity organisation Gamers Outreach.


Rocket League strikes Lamborghini partnership

Image credit: Psyonix

Rocket League developer Psyonix announced a partnership with Italian car manufacturer Automobili Lamborghini in April.

Lamborghini will sponsor the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) X Lamborghini Open and a new event titled the ‘Battle of the Bulls’.


ESL and Intel renew long-term partnership, both parties look to invest $100m in esports

Image credit: ESL

Esports organiser and production company ESL Gaming renewed its partnership with Intel last month.

According to the release, the renewal, which is set to commence in 2022, will see both entities invest over $100m (~£71.95m) in esports up until, and including, IEM Katowice 2025.


Elisa Esports partners with Relog Media, Funspark and GRID to create shared CS:GO structure

Eisa esports

Finnish tournament operator Elisa Esports joined forces with Relog Media, Funspark and esports data platform GRID in April, to create a $2.7m (~£1.95m) international CS:GO series with a shared tournament structure.

According to the release, the competition will include the Elisa InvitationalHome Sweet Home, and Funspark tournament series. The series will run across the 2021 and 2022 seasons.


Brain HP launches into esports with multiple partnerships

Credit: Nature’s Bounty

Health supplement Brain HP by Nature’s Bounty last month announced partnerships with esports org Counter Logic Gaming and franchise teams New York Excelsior, Atlanta FaZe, and Florida Mutineers.

Brain HP also teamed up with pro players and influencers such as Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf (Fortnite solos world champion), Kristen ‘KittyPlays’ Valnicek and Joedat ‘VoyBoy’ Esfahani.


Team Nigma secures long-term Etihad Airways partnership

Credit: Team Nigma

Abu Dhabi-based esports organisation Team Nigma last month announced a long-term partnership with Etihad Airways. The partnership marks the latter’s first foray into esports.


Betway expands MIBR partnership, joins forces with female CS:GO team

Photo credit: MIBR / Betway Esports

Online bookmaker Betway last month expanded its existing deal with Brazilian esports organisation MIBR by joining forces with its female Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team. The deal will see MIBR Female and Betway collaborate on a range of activations.


Dignitas and Voodoo Ranger IPA brew partnership

Voodoo Ranger Dignitas Partnership
Photo credit: Voodoo Ranger / Dignitas

American esports organisation Dignitas announced New Belgium Brewing Company’s IPA brand Voodoo Ranger as its official beer partner. The companies will collaborate on new content. 


Evil Geniuses announces Coinbase partnership

Evil Geniuses Coinbase

North American organisation Evil Geniuses last month announced a partnership with the cryptocurrency company Coinbase.

The collaboration will see Coinbase become a shirt sponsor for the organisation’s teams in CS:GO and Dota 2, as well as its FGC rosters.


Esports venue in Warsaw renamed ‘ESPOT powered by Mercedes-Benz’

Mercedes-Benz Illuminar Gaming ESPOT Partnership
Original-image credit: ESPOT

The Polish branch of automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz inked a partnership with Polish esports org Illuminar Gaming, and is now the title sponsor of esports and gaming venue ESPOT Gaming Concept in Warsaw, Poland.


Guitar manufacturer Jackson partners with LCS and PENTAKILL

Image credit: LCS / Jackson

Riot Games announced a ‘global collaboration’ between US-based guitar manufacturer Jackson and Riot’s virtual metal band PENTAKILL. Click the link in the title to learn more.


Kinguin named lead sponsor for Polish CS:GO team Anonymo

Anonymo Kinguin
Logo credits: Kinguin, Anonymo

Gaming marketplace Kinguin returned to the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) esports scene by sponsoring new Polish organisation Anonymo.

Kinguin’s branding will be featured on Anonymo player jerseys, and the companies will collaborate on activations including CS:GO tournaments and Kinguin community events.


Knights and Beautyblender join forces to host female-only VALORANT series

North American org Knights announced a partnership with makeup brand Beautyblender. The companies will host a female-only VALORANT tournament series titled Knights’ Sakura Cup.

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Gear Up For The NASCAR Fan Pack In Rocket League

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Psyonix, NASCAR announce NASCAR 2021 fan pack available in Rocket League on May 6 – NASCAR

SAN DIEGO — Psyonix, the San Diego video game developer, in collaboration with NASCAR, announced that the NASCAR 2021 Fan Pack will be available in Rocket League beginning Thursday, May 6, on all platforms.

The NASCAR 2021 Fan Pack will be available in the Item Shop and features three Cars (NASCAR Ford Mustang, NASCAR Chevrolet Camaro, NASCAR Toyota Camry), nine NASCAR team Decals and Player Banners, a NASCAR x RL Decal for each car, and Goodyear Racing Wheels. The nine NASCAR teams featured in the pack, along with which car their Decals will be available for, are:

  • Roush Fenway Racing #6 (NASCAR Ford Mustang Decal)
  • Stewart-Haas Racing #10 (NASCAR Ford Mustang Decal)
  • Team Penske #22 (NASCAR Ford Mustang Decal)
  • Chip Ganassi Racing #1 (NASCAR Chevrolet Camaro Decal)
  • Richard Childress Racing #3 (NASCAR Chevrolet Camaro Decal)
  • Hendrick Motorsports #9 (NASCAR Chevrolet Camaro Decal)
  • Richard Petty Motorsports #43 (NASCAR Chevrolet Camaro Decal)
  • Joe Gibbs Racing #18 (NASCAR Toyota Camry Decal)
  • 23XI Racing #23 (NASCAR Toyota Camry Decal)

The NASCAR 2021 Fan Pack will be available for 2000 Credits from May 6 until May 12. In addition, a NASCAR Trail will be available for free beginning May 6. The pack marks the start of a multi-year collaboration between Psyonix and NASCAR and will be available ahead of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway taking place on May 9. The NASCAR 2021 Fan Pack will return throughout the year around future NASCAR events.

To learn more about the NASCAR 2021 Fan Pack, please read the latest blog post HERE.

NASCAR in In-Game Content Pact With Rocket League – The Esports Observer

Rocket League this week will roll out a new collaboration with NASCAR that will see nine teams have their sponsored cars included in the game, providing a partnership that is more focused on reaching younger consumers than generating direct revenue for the sport.

The game, which features cars playing soccer, has struck a similar deal with Formula One that will make its debut later.

Starting on Thursday,  and running through the following Wednesday, the NASCAR 2021 fan pack will be available to players to purchase. It will come with nine cars across all three of NASCAR’s manufacturers. The pack comes with nine digital NASCAR team decals and player banners, a NASCAR/Rocket League decal and Goodyear tires. Players buy packs using credits they purchase that begin around $4.99 USD.

Rocket League is striking more unique partnerships with car-related companies, including a recent one with Lamborghini, to digitally incorporate them into the game. But the sides say this will be the first time that actual corporate sponsors will be included in the game of Rocket League, which was allowed because game developer Psyonix Studios recognized how sponsors are part of a NASCAR race car’s typical look.

This is part of Rocket League’s Season 3 update, and the San Diego-based Psyonix said it struck the deals with NASCAR and F1 “to properly celebrate the art of auto racing.”

The deals were set up in part by sports marketing executive Steve Lauletta, the president of Pigeon Sports Marketing who consults for Epic Games. Epic, the maker of Fortnite, owns Psyonix. The Race Team Alliance was involved on the NASCAR team side.

The teams involved are Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart Haas Racing, Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing, Richard Childress Racing, 23XI Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Petty Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing. The sides said that not having more teams involved was simply a matter of constraints within the game, but that they will discuss potential additions in the future. 

Sources say teams will not be getting revenue from the venture at first, but that it’s a multiyear partnership and that could change. The teams believe the marketing exposure to younger demographics from this venture will make it worthwhile even without direct income at the start.

NASCAR has been exploring ways to get involved with non-racing games that involve cars, as it deepens its involvement with esports and the broader video game world.

“This is one we’ve had circled from the very beginning of when we wanted to get into this space,” said Tim Clark, NASCAR’s senior vice president and chief digital officer. “There’s no game that is more of an obvious choice of where there’s some degree of organic integration for the NASCAR brand into a game, so this was one we had at the top of our list. To see it come together has been huge.”

F1’s cars will be released at a later date, according to Phil Piliero, Psyonix’s vice president and co-studio head. NASCAR and F1 have collaborated on the project, including their social media accounts interacting, which is an important part of this project because the two series have rarely worked together.

While NASCAR teams aren’t getting directly paid for their involvement, Clark pointed out that the sponsors who are involved will now have an unexpected value-add to their deals, which is always welcomed by teams who are looking to retain and renew their partners.

For Rocket League executives, the deals let them attach their game’s brand to the two biggest racing series in the world.

“For us, we’ve got some fast rocket-powered cars in our game, and NASCAR has a couple of fast cars out there on the track, so we’re always looking to bring in new partners and with them being the No. 1 motorsport in the U.S., it was just a natural fit to collaborate with them,” Piliero said. “The real advantage for this one is letting fans of NASCAR and Rocket League celebrate and enjoy their favorite teams inside the game, and also introducing the huge fan base that’s in NASCAR to the game and the sport of Rocket League.”


The Esports Rising Conference from SBJ and The Esports Observer will be held on May 4. Click here for more information on the event, including how to register.

 

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