Last Week in E-Sports: New York Yankees swing into the scene
Last week in e-sports was all about the sponsorships. We saw massive brands like the New York Yankees invest in e-sport teams, while we saw other major teams, like the Immortals, rejected from their newly franchised games of choice due to lack of sponsorship.
The New York Yankees Enter E-Sports
Everyone’s favorite team (to love or hate and absolutely nothing in between), the New York Yankees, has made an investment partnership with Vision Esports. You may know Vision Esports as the largest shareholder in Echo Fox, which recently nabbed a NALCS slot. "The New York Yankees are thrilled to partner with Vision Esports and its diverse portfolio of esports companies," said Hal Steinbrenner, managing general partner and co-chairperson of the New York Yankees. "Guided by an impressively skilled and sports-savvy leadership team, Vision Esports is transcending the industry with a bold, innovative approach to their business, and we are excited to enter into this dynamic arena as their partner."
Pringles to Sponsor DOTA 2 Major
Pringles will be one of the main sponsors of the ESL One Hamburg DOTA 2 Major. The event will run from October 26th through 29th and will feature a one million dollar prize pool. "Whether alone, with friends or like in this instance at tournaments—snacking and gaming just belong together," wrote Pringles Northern Europe's senior brand manager Dominik Schafhaupt in a press release.
Pringles will be joining Merceeds-Benz, who has already decided to sponsor the MVP vote this year. The winner of the MVP vote will receive a car valued at $59,000 dollars.
Location of the First Gears of War Season 2 Tournament Announced
The upcoming season of Gears of War will kick off with the Gears Pro Circuit Dallas Open, which will take place from Dec. 1 to 3. The tournament will feature a starting prize pool of $250,000 and will be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (Hall F) in Dallas, Texas.
The Big Wins
- Mark "Ike" Eichner, a relatively unknown American Hearthstone player, went undefeated in the Dreamhack Denver Hearthstone Grand Prix. While he didn’t stray from the meta too far, he was known for including some interesting tech choices and running a unique burn mage deck.
- Cloud9 took home the gold in DreamHack Denver’s CS:GO competition, taking home $50,000 dollars. They only dropped a single map in the three day event, nearly sweeping the competition.
- We have news from the Halo community this week, also coming out of DreamHack Denver. OpTic Gaming came out on top in the HCS Pro League Fall Finals. Triumphing over Team Liquid, they will take home $70,000 for their first place finish.
The Roster Shuffle
- G2 Esports has announced their entrance into PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds with the recent acquisition of a new roster. The team is led by captain Mark "Phantasy" Pinney, and includes Stephen "Stephen" Phillips, David "Velan" Velan, and Jack "Wack0" Middleton. “PUBG is a game that rekindled the fun in modern shooters," said G2 brand manager Jakub "Lothar" Szygulski. "Alongside fun comes the competitive aspect and G2 knew from the beginning that this game will take off. With that in mind we started looking for a team very early on but it took us a while to find the best possible fit for G2—hard working, skillful and hungry for success. I personally can’t wait to see our team perform in all the future tournaments but also create content for the organization and participate in G2 events.”
- Immortals will apparently not have a spot in the new franchised NALCS. Immortals were one of the biggest League of Legends team with multiple investor support, their exclusion seems odd. However, supposedly Riot Games had concerns about the team’s finances. Immortals CEO Noah Whinston provided a statement to ESPN, saying "We cannot comment on our status in the League Championship Series or our specific revenue, but Immortals has significant financial resources from our investors, including AEG and Lionsgate, and we do not operate at a different financial structure than other esports teams in the industry."
- FlyQuest has apparently claimed a spot in the franchised NALCS, due to their strong sponsorship. FlyQuest is backed by Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wes Edens, who invested in the team at the start of the year.
- Ninjas in Pyjamas has released its entire League of Legends roster; top laners Kim "Profit" Jun-hyung, Matti "WhiteKnight108" Sormunen, and Benjamin "Zhergoth" Sánchez, jungler Ilyas "Shook" Hartsema, mid laner Kim "Nagne" Sang-moon, support Hampus "sprattel" Mikael Abrahamsson, and coach Nicholas "NicoThePico" Korsgaard. NiP has not given an official reason for the roster dump, but it’s safe to assume it was because of poor performance in the Summer Split.
- Romain Bigeard, Unicorns of Love's team manager, will be leaving the team. "Today I am leaving UOL, to go on a new adventure and face new challenges," Bigeard said. "I received an offer of that kind you cannot refuse, and I will take it. It is a huge step for me, and I believe I am making the right move."
- The Seoul based Overwatch team may be named the Seoul Dynasty. Reddit user kaiserba found a filing with the Korean Intellectual Property Office connected to KSV Services, the owner and operator of the Overwatch team, which pointed toward the name.
- Splyce has decided to drop out of the Super Smash Bros. scene. With no new Smash title on the horizon, no support from Nintendo, and a community that has been split between Smash 4 and Melee, the future of Smash as a competitive e-sport is uncertain and many teams are trickling out of the Smash community.
- SK Gaming has replaced João "felps" Vasconcellos in favor of former Immortals rifler Ricardo "boltz" Prass on their CS:GO team. Boltz's debut with SK Gaming will take place at the EPICENTER in Moscow between October 23rd and 29th.