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A new year and new era in gaming is just a few weeks away — and already we’re buried in the drama of it all. Between the… questionable… state of Cyberpunk 2077’s release and the continued shortages of next-generation consoles, the tail end of gaming’s 2020 has followed the year’s general trend towards troubles.

But this too will pass. And what it will pass towards is a new chapter of competitive play. Though the first half of 2021 is expected to share many of the issues that esports has been wrestling with, the promise of a vaccine and — most…


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Despite everything, the pandemic was not a pause button. The world still turns. The calendar, as much as jokes are made about 2020 lasting forever, turns inexorably onward. And the League of Legends World Championship is once again on center stage — seemingly untouched and unhindered by the ravages of the ongoing pandemic.

Of course, the idea that one of the world’s biggest esports events was unfazed by the pandemic is merely an illusion. …


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Between court injunctions, last-minute handshaking, and a US government forcefully accelerating the fiasco between TikTok’s parent company Bytedance and Tencent — Bytedance’s primary owners — it’s hard to stay on top of the most heated situation in the social media and marketing industry of 2020. Harder yet, in fact, to forecast where the drama will be heading next.

There are, however, three key indicators to help guide decision-makers and content creators in the space. Though it seems as if Tiktok will remain in the space after all, the state of their ownership and the heavy external disruptions to the brand’s…


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About half a year ago, Thomas Hajduk — AoE Creative’s Head of Marketing — predicted that TikTok would be the next major move for social media strategies across gaming and esports. He was, to put it simply, extremely right. The examples pulled out back last December cited figures in the range of 93,000 followers and 1.3 million likes for esports organizations like 100 Thieves — an extremely promising start on a brand new platform, not yet a powerhouse unto itself.

Six months later, those numbers have multiplied repeatedly, and not just for 100 Thieves. Rather than an aberrant stroke of…


TEXAS, July 1, 2020 — Gaming and esports content and design specialists AoE Creative hires leading industry designer Evan Eckard. Eckard joins the company as its new Creative Director, bringing in over 23 years of broad spectrum expertise and talent to the company’s portfolio.

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Eckard’s influences can be felt throughout the esports industry’s fashion zeitgeist, particularly due to his involvement with organizations that have since become household names. In particular Evan’s collaboration with esports organization 100 Thieves defines the modernization of competitive gaming apparel, setting off a wave of imitators and emulations that has yet to crest.

His other works…


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For many reasons, project management works a little differently when you’re overseeing the operations of a creative agency in the gaming and esports field. Some of it is procedural — much of it, a reflection of the more rough-and-tumble nature of the culture involved.

“Oh, we can curse like sailors and it’s perfectly normal,” said Nabil Pervez, project manager for AoE Creative. His background delves deep into multiple worlds — professionally, his IT work has ranged from running call rooms and training staff to functional analysis of corporate procedures, making for a solid foundation in conventional work cultures. But his…


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To say that 2020 has disrupted a lot of plans is to put it extremely mildly. With the entertainment industry so heavily dependent on live events and activations, the inability and unwillingness to operate and attend such events has left the early half of the year at a quiet standstill.

Of course, the predicament isn’t wholly universal, with at least one sector of the industry thriving because of the near-universal lockdown. …


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The rapidly evolving nature of the esports ecosystem means that the organizations and teams involved in the scene have to dance and evolve just as rapidly to keep pace. The standards expected of that esports look, after all, have grown from basement broadcasts and tech convention side events to jaw-dropping bonanzas filling Olympic-grade stadiums around the world. Even the most iconic esports teams and players have followed suite — evolving their identities in ways ranging as small as a slight wardrobe update and better overlays, to as massive as outright changing the organization’s name and culture.

Many have found greater…


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If there is anything like a constant in esports, it’s merely how quickly everything changes. The shape and form of competitive gaming has undergone many metamorphoses since its humble beginnings with arcade cabinet hustlers, and fundamentally as well with the advent of ubiquitous broadband internet changed what it meant to challenge the best players you can possibly face.

But these most recent changes may prove to be yet more comprehensive in its effects. Whereas esports’ role in the overall gaming ecosystem used to be primarily as a marketing carrier for the game it represents, it’s increasingly become an entire system…

James Chen

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