It’s Tencent’s World | THE NEXT LEVEL 014

Manny Anekal
Jun 23, 2016 · 4 min read

If you follow me on Twitter you know I’m obsessed with Clash Royale (Hi, my name is Manny and I’m a Clashaholic). Subsequently that makes me obsessed with Supercell as a company. Yesterday Tencent completed the rumored acquisition of Supercell at a $10.2B valuation. I don’t think people realize the impact this will have on the overall eSports market — so I’m going to provide a deep dive next week.

Here’s one stat that I love — I hope every Supercell employee now has some great real estate in Helsinki… and Hawaii:

(Source: eSports Daily)


My Take: With the rise of eSports across media, technology and investments, it’s only natural that it would get lumped into the next big media event — the Olympics. The International e-Sports Federation (which must drive some people crazy with the abhorrent use of both the hyphen and capital S) is putting together a team in order to place a bid for a future Olympic event.

Before we start chanting USA! USA! the IeSF won’t even start setting up the committee till after the Rio Olympics. In my very first eSports Weekly, I predicted that it would be 5–10 years before we see it in the Olympics. There are a few reasons for this but the main reason is that at this level, there isn’t an even distribution of talent across countries. I’m not even going to touch if the US can compete against Sweden in Counter-Strike or if the Chinese dominate DOTA because I can smell the Reddit fire from here already.

While Brands are making great strides in their 2016 eSports investment, first impressions for some reason are more critical in the Gaming space. I’m wary of any early brand partnerships tied to the Olympic eGames as nothing is formalized yet. If that does happen, its even odds on the Brand being an Olympic Sponsor.

The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo may also be a bit soon; even if the Director of Brand Development for Call of Duty developer Treyarch thinks it can also be an Olympic sport — sorry Jay, if and when eSports does it sure won’t be with Call of Duty.

However maybe another question to consider — will we even have the Olympics in 2024?


(Photo: AMC Networks)

My Take: Machinima will be providing content like Street Fighter: Resurrection and their eSports reality show to AMC Network’s SVOD Channel in Spain and Portugal.

Also coincidentally, I covered Machinima’s expansion from pure Ad revenue to licensing in eSports Weekly #1, which now includes Vimeo, Go90 and AMC.

From the people I’ve been speaking to on the production side (a business which both fascinates and scares the hell out of me) the space is missing and will soon be filled by niche, story-driven eSports content. The “Behind The Scenes” stuff has been done for a long time — who’s going to be the Vice for eSports? Maybe Vice themselves — here’s the trailer for their upcoming documentary on SMITE.

The back-of-envelope economics I’ve done completely work if you can find effective distribution, sponsorship and licensing. Key word being IF. It’s survival of the fittest in Media today and three revenue streams are better than being dependent on one.



(Photo: T-Mobile)

My Take: This one is a head scratcher. YouTube Gaming and DailyMotion Games make sense and fit’s in with T-Mobile’s larger Gaming/eSports strategy of which they’re the clear leader in the Telco space. In fact both League of Legends and Hearthstone are mentioned in the first line of the Press Release.

Including Azubu content at this time is a bit risky. They’re in a little brawl over a community based gaming wiki site (don’t worry about that) but more importantly; I’m not sure if they can compete in the US even with the large amount of funding raised, the exits of others in the space and a few whispers being said in the industry. For simple perspective, Azubu doesn’t even register in Quantcast for traffic estimates. Will be interesting to revisit this 6 months from now.

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Manny Anekal

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esports. Founder and CEO: The Next Level (Media), Versus Sports (Team), and Versus Consulting. Podcast →

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