This week in esports: SNICKERS, OWL, TSM and MLS

It’s been a week for capital letters in what has been a hectic week in the business and consumer world of esports. The Overwatch League has launched at long last, but it wasn’t plain sailing with the announcement of the Twitch broadcast deal coming just the evening before the tournament started. Other big news includes investment for TSM, SNICKERS getting involved with FlyQuest and the MLS entering the esports world.

Twitch sign broadcast deal for the Overwatch League

The Overwatch League™ and Twitch have finally announced a media-rights partnership for Overwatch, which will see every match of the city-based league broadcast on the platform. 

The two-year deal will see the entirety of the first two seasons broadcast across the world, except China. Twitch is the exclusive partner for the regular-season, playoffs and also championship matches and streams will be available in English, Korean and French. 

The release teases Overwatch League “Cheermotes” as well as additional rewards for the “biggest fans” and unique Overwatch League in-game items for the league’s most “steadfast viewers”. One would assume the Cheermotes will work in a similar fashion to the system that Blizzard and Twitch have already used in Heroes of the Storm. It is not yet announced as to when these features will be available. 

Read the full article here.

TSM set to receive $25 million investment

Team SoloMid (“TSM”) is to receive $25,000,000 in investment from Venture Capital firmBessemer, according to ESPN reports.

The report from ESPN suggests that the significant investment from Bessemer satisfies over half of the capital TSM was looking to raise in coming weeks and/or months. The two will now work together to raise additional funds which could well be larger than the initial contribution from Bessemer. Per U.S. regulation, any funding round must be declared and thus the desired target will be discovered when TSM files to the U.S. Securities and Exchange commission.

The Bessemer investment is undoubtedly significant, with the VC firm being one of the oldest in the United States and currently holding a whopping $5.4 billion under management. As of yet it’s unclear where the additional funding will come from, but there’s evidently no shortage of investors interested in a slice of the proverbial esports pie. Yesterday the LA Dodgers announced an expansion of its accelerator program with esports organisations listed as areas of interest so it would not be overly surprising if we saw another big sports team enter the fray.

Team SoloMid are one of the endemic organisations that managed to retain its sot in the North American League of Legends Championship Series following Riot’s decision to franchise the league. The team is undoubtedly the strongest in the region, consistently winning and being considered one of, if not the best team in the West consistently. The teams alarming underperformance at World’s has been a recurring theme, however and this is something the team will be looking to correct coming into the new season. 

Read the full article here.

MLS post job advert looking for an esports and gaming manager

Based on a recent job ad, it appears the MLS (Major League Soccer) is attempting to move in to the esports and gaming sector.

The role, titled “Manager, esports and gaming” and based in New York, seeks someone with “5-8+ years of experience in sports and/or eSports/gaming marketing” to facilitate the launch of MLS esports and gaming initiatives.

In the job overview, it is detailed that: “MLS and SUM [Soccer United Marketing] are continually looking for new channels to serve and grow our fan base.  eSports and gaming are an exciting avenue for MLS and SUM to achieve these goals.  Candidates applying for this position should have an understanding of the gaming space and a passion to grow the sport of soccer through this rich engagement channel.”

Other key responsibilities of note include:

  • Manage execution of MLS esports and gaming programming components, including live events, content, sponsorships, etc.
  • Advise and assist Clubs in developing and executing esports and gaming strategies
  • Integrate gaming into additional MLS and SUM programming priorities
  • Support the development of MLS Big Events

It is particularly interesting to see MLS talking about programming and live events, as well as ‘MLS Big Events’ – an as-yet unspecified product.

Read the full article here.

FlyQuest announce SNICKERS as “Official Chocolate” of the FlyFam


The partnership will see SNICKERS present across all FlyQuest teams and the chocolate brand will have an “onsite presence” both in the FlyQuest team house and at fan activations throughout the year. The move marks SNICKERS’ first foray into team sponsorship, although its no alien to esports as whole. The chocolate brand has previously worked with ELEAGUE

Each week, a fan vote will decide the FlyQuest player of the week who will be dubbed the SNICKERS MVP of the Match and the brand will feature prominently in a “custom content series”. The video series will be released throughout the year and show the “lighter, funnier moments” from the team house and the studios. The deal will also see SNICKERS feature on jerseys. 

FlyQuest are one of the franchises set to compete in the new North American League of Legends Championship Series. The organisation was a somewhat surprise pick over the likes of fan-favourite Immortals but the backing from Fortress Investment Group whose co-founder, Wes Evans also co-owns the Milwaukee Bucks. 

Read the full article here.