The Impact On Brands and E LEAGUE From Counter-Strike’s Gambling Mess Part 2 | THE NEXT LEVEL 022
Your Wednesday July 6 eSports News
COUNTER-STRIKES’S INHERENT BRAND CHALLENGE
[Update 4: As I expected, more fallout from the Counter-Strike Gambling scandal]
- YouTuber JoshOG Beaver admitted to owning equity in CSGOLotto while also failing to disclose “his sponsorship” from them on his YouTube videos — which in current fashion has been removed
- YouTuber PsiSyndicate — not to be confused with ProSyndicate who was one of the two that was at the center of the recent mess — revealed that he also was cheating with a CSGO Gambling site although the winnings were a paltry $3200 compared to the MASSIVE amount won by the streamers via the Gambling sites themselves. It’s admirable PsiSyndicate revealed his involvement before others dug it up — although he maybe injured today from all the patting on his back in the video.
E LEAGUE IMPACT
My Take: I’ve more than enough covered the Brand opportunity to leverage eSports as I’m now tracking 20+ Non-Endemics (Fortune 100, Fortune 500, Private and Startups) that have invested in the space in the first 6 months of 2016 alone.
It’s great to see new Brands engage with eSports; however E LEAGUE has had it’s challenges in attracting many others. Turner boasted that they would sell out all eight Ad categories For E LEAGUE at $2M each. As quixotic as that may have sounded, it clearly wasn’t close with only three categories closed. There are two main reasons for this:
- I don’t care how big or experienced your Sports Ad Sales team is. If you’ve never spoken to Brands before about their Gaming and eSports Education needs or strategy, let’s use a Sports analogy — It’s a whole different ball game.
- Counter-Strike is a violent, First-Person-Shooter plain and simple. With in game sounds like “Terrorists Win” and game objectives that include defusing bombs; there will be Fortune 500 Brands and Media outlets that refuse to partner with this content. I won’t even start with the current political climate.
Now take all that and throw in underage gambling, bribery, match fixing and scams and you expect McDonald’s to get onboard? — Not happening.
I still applaud Turner on closing three Brands — although I’d like to get more deal details than the ones I have before final judgement. To show the challenges of Counter-Strike are not limited to Turner, here’s a quick snapshot of its leagues and major events:
ESL COUNTER-STRIKE PRO LEAGUE
- 6 Sponsors, 0 Non-Endemic
- 6 Sponsors, 0 Non-Endemic
ESL ONE COLOGNE
- 9 Sponsors, 0 Non-Endemic
DREAMHACK ZOWIE BUCHAREST
- 6 Sponsors, 0 Non-Endemic (Monster doesn’t count)
That’s 20+ Sponsors across two leagues, two major events and three Ad Sales teams and 0 Non-Endemic Brands.
My Take: Yesterday I reviewed the potential revenue that YouTube, Twitch and Streamers were making off of Counter-Strike Gambling related videos. While both YouTube and Twitch haven’t commented on their stance on profiting from these videos, the other potential impact is Brand Sponsorships:
- TmarTn Sponsors: Monster Energy, Astro Gaming, Kontrolfreek, BarkBox
- The biggest one I’d estimate is Monster Energy as they’ve long invested within eSports. The most surprising — and kudos to you for being early — is Barkbox, the monthly subscription service for your canine (Hint: eSports Fans and Viewers over-Index on Pet ownership)
- Syndicate Sponsors: None clearly listed*
- I use the term clearly as there are no listings on his YouTube page or elsewhere. However as I showed yesterday, one of the CSGO Unboxing Videos was sponsored by Razer, however Syndicate is not listed on Razer’s Sponsor site.
My Take: I’ll go ahead and make another prediction: Counter-Strike won’t be there for E LEAGUE Season 2 or at least not alone. Turner has said that E LEAGUE would be distributed in 80 countries — although I’d like to see the full list as my tracking shows less than half of that — and most recently would be shown on the new 24/7 eSports channel in the UK, Ginx (More on Ginx below).
As new eSports channels are mushrooming on a weekly basis, the value of League content starts to get more valuable. What happens to Leagues that are associated with Counter-Strike? There maybe some impact, however in the near term these league broadcast deals are minimal at best so not much here.
[I’ll be on SiriusXM’s IGN eSports Show (Ch 83) today Wed July 6th at 7:30ET to chat further about the Business impact on Counter-Strike’s Gambling scandal]
ESPORTS ON TV
GINX TV WANTS ESPORTS IN EVERY HOME IN THE WORLD
My Take: You gotta hand it to Ginx TV CEO Michiel Bakker when he proclaims:
“Our ambition for eSports is nothing less than world domination”
German broadcaster Ginx TV partnered with ITV and Sky to launch the first 24-hour eSports satellite channel in the UK. Ginx is currently in 40M homes but what Bakker said about the future was more interesting — potential expansion into North and Latin America. Ginx currently has deals to show both Turner’s E LEAGUE and Faceit/Twitch’s ECS.
The future mix of eSports across linear, satellite, digital, OTT, live-streaming, mobile, Facebook and VR are not close to being determined and challenges abound. However, this is a further example of where Europe continues to dominate and take risks in eSports development across Media, Legislation and traditional sports investment.
At this point, Frank Ocean’s new album is actually going to come out before a US Sports team makes the jump — C’mon Frank, stop teasing already.
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