GMC Enters Esports, Myth & LilyPichu Switches from Twitch to YouTube Gaming, and More!
Updated: Jul 25
EWD: News for Week of 7/4/22-7/17/22
Topics: Partnerships, TSM, GMC, Twitter, YouTube Gaming
TSM x GMC
TSM signs on GMC as the exclusive automotive partner. This marks the 1st time that GMC has partnered with an esports organization. GMC's logo will be integrated on all of TSM’s competitive teams jerseys and will touch all levels of the TSM organization. The partnership includes unique content creation, in-person and digital events and activations, custom branded merch, social content and more.
Ned Watkins, Senior Vice President of Sales for TSM explained in the press release that GMC sets the highest standards for its trucks and SUVs just like TSM does in their respective industry. He added:
This partnership will redefine the category with new and innovative activations that go beyond what our industry has seen before. We can’t wait to show the world what’s in store!
Molly Peck, vice president, GMC marketing said:
At GMC, we are thrilled to kick off this partnership with TSM. The esports arena is not only bold, but fast-growing, and TSM is at the forefront as one of the top esports organizations.
No other details about the scope of the partnership were provided.
It's great to see another automative manufacturer enter the esports space. Here's a list of other car manufacturers already in this industry and their partners:
BMW x Fnatic, G2, T1, FPX, and OG Esportss
Honda x Team Liquid
Nissan x FaZe (and had partnered with OpTic previously)
Mercedes-Benz x SK Gaming
Ford: Tribe Gaming x Ford, Launched Team Fordzilla esports team and was title sponsor for Ford + Rocket League Freestyle Invitational in 2021
Team Liquid x Displate
Team Liquid has announced a partnership with metal poster manufacturer Displate to create custom artwork with players/content creators.
The first collection includes 7 posters designed by ‘ohnips,’ who has previously collaborated with Riot Games and Cloud9. The posters include Søren ‘Bjergsen’ Bjerg (League of Legends), Max ‘qojqva’ Bröcker (Dota 2), Adil ‘ScreaM’ Benrlitom (VALORANT), Max ‘Maximum’ Smith (World of Warcraft) Juan ‘Hungrybox’ Debiedma (Super Smash Bros.), and Team Liquid's mascot.
For Displate, this is the second major esports collaboration in recent months. They've recently teamed up with Echo, the world’s number one World of Warcraft clan. The manufacturer also features a range of branded gaming products including Overwatch, Call of Duty and Rainbow Six Siege.
Mike Milanov, Chief Business Development Officer at Team Liquid said:
Displate offers an awesome product that will allow Team Liquid fans to celebrate our players, streamers and brand in a new creative way. We're excited to partner with Displate, and can't wait for Team Liquid fans to see the custom artwork!
Medium sized posters are selling for $44 excluding a frame.
I for one am a sucker for gaming-related memorabilia. The designs are phenomenal, the metal plate rather than paper-like posters makes it even better. The creative and artwork potential in gaming is second-to-none, and gamers love to beef up their setups with some cool wall art. Displate is really making a smart business decision here and I can see many other esports orgs calling them up!
NYXL x Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew and NY Subliners (NYSL) welcome COD fans in Decentraland with the first ever Call of Duty League Major virtual watch party. Taking place last weekend, fans could cheer along with a live simulcast in the metaverse of the most intense matches during NYSL's Major IV event.
Those who "join the party" and registers via their VIP room get a chance to win a CloneX or one of four custom gaming rigs featuring an RTX 3080. They're also giving away 6 exclusive wearables. There's also fun in-game venue offerings and huge discounts on Game Fuel.
Pat O’Toole, chief marketing officer for Mt. Dew, said this on entering the metaverse and connecting with "Dew nation":
We wanted our initial metaverse experience to be something innovative, but more importantly, it needed to be true to the spirit of Mt. Dew — we did not want to innovate just for the sake of innovating. This event works because Mt. Dew fans tell us they are always looking for opportunities to engage with the brand, and Web3 opens up completely new ways to do that. We think fans will like what they see, and there is more to come.
Another solid collaboration and way to activate your brand in the metaverse. I feel like this is as traditional as it gets in terms of entering the metaverse if your a brand like Mountain Dew. Incentives like giveaways, discount codes, and winning a custom PC should draw in a crowd of passionate fans. At the time of writing, just over 100 people registered for the virtual watch party.
YouTube Gaming Adds Myth and LilyPichu
2 more big-time content creators have left Twitch for YouTube Gaming as the platform continues to prove its co-existence in the livestream space.
Starting with Lily, she announced the news via a video on her Twitter and YouTube channel on July 7th. In the video, she struggles to pick between a purple (Twitch) and red button (YouTube) and her two Pomeranians (Temmie and DaVinky) make the final call and pick YouTube. Lily is a member of OfflineTV, a group of popular content creators that includes Pokimane and DisguisedToast. A variety streamer, Lily streams video games, and is also known for singing and her work as a voice actor.
Myth also had a video announcement in which he monologues his life decisions: from deciding between college or streaming full-time, to thinking about continuing his Fortnite professional career. He ends the video saying "decisions have made me who I am" and then officially shows his move to YouTube gaming. With the help of gaming talent agency Loaded, who represents TimTheTatMan and DrLupo that also moved to YouTube, he made the move to YouTube with a focus towards entertainment rather than being a competitive player.
As for their reasons of leaving Twitch, money definitely played a part in their decisions. Lily said on her first stream that she “felt like I wasn’t really going anywhere on Twitch...Financial stability, change of space — if I’m going to fall off, I might as well fall off on YouTube, where I get paid.” Myth said on his stream that YouTube offered “an amount that would have been stupid of me to turn down.” Myth also said a similar statement that many other creators have said as to why they switched over: being authentically interested in him as a creator.
Creator pay has been a hot-button topic for Twitch recently. The Amazon-owned company has been fiddling with its monetization formula, offering flat rates to streamers who play a certain amount of ads and a new channel surfing feature. Concerns remain that the Twtich is not paying its creators a fair share of its billions of dollars in revenue.
As for YouTube, they are still in catch-up mode. Despite stacking its deck with big names, YouTube accounted for just 14 percent of streaming hours watched in the first quarter of this year according to Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet. YouTube is trying to generate a culture of collaboration and they're certainly doing that with the lineup they have so far in the upper-echelon: CourageJD, Valkyrae, DrLupo, TimTheTatMan, Ludwig, and Sykkuno.
Love the 2 creators that YouTube has brought in. Beyond just the roster of talent that YouTube has acquired, I believe YouTube should continue to lean into what they're better at, which is discoverability and helping the small-mid level creators flourish. Their ad-based revenue system is far superior to that of Twitch, so the algorithms are in place for those smaller creators to make a living.
FaZe Clan Goes Public On Wednesday, July 20th
FaZe Clan will officially begin trading on NASDAQ July 20th following a period of uncertainty and concern recently. Here's the official press release statement on July 15th:
"B. Riley Principal 150 Merger Corp. (Nasdaq: BRPM, BRPMW, BRPMU) ("BRPM" or the "Company"), a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by an affiliate of B. Riley Financial, Inc. (Nasdaq: RILY) ("B. Riley Financial"), today announced that its stockholders have approved the Company's proposed business combination (the "Business Combination") with FaZe Clan Inc. ("FaZe Clan")."
Upon the business combination closing July 19th, the Company will be renamed FaZe Holdings Inc. and its shares of common stock and warrants are expected to begin trading on July 20, 2022 on Nasdaq under the new ticker symbols "FAZE" and "FAZEW", respectively.
I've talked about this a couple times already, so I'll be quick: this is a hallmark moment for esports, one that will severely impact the industry. Depending on how the stock behaves over the next several months and the reception of FaZe by business by retail and institutional investors, it could impact the industry either positively or negatively. Going forward, FaZe management will have to be extra-smart on how they spend, but I'm super excited about this historic moment.
Twitter Gaming Conversation Statistics 2022
Gamers globally continue to use Twitter for gaming discussion: in the 1st half of 2022 there's been a record 1.5 billion tweets about gaming. According to the Twitter blog post, there was a 36% increase in Tweets about gaming compared to last year. They said it was driven by conversations around game releases like Elden Ring, esports leagues like Call of Duty League, VALORANT Champions Tour and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and global gaming events like Xbox Showcase, Playstation’s State of Play and Summer Game Fest. Twitter’s global gaming conversation insights from the first half of 2022 provided by Twitter are provided below:
Most Tweeted About Gaming Personalities:
Ibai Llanos (@IbaiLlanos)
Juan S Guarnizo (@JuanSGuarnizo)
Felipe Neto (@felipeneto)
Junichi Kato (@unkochan1234567)
Rubén Gundersen (@Rubiu5)
Twitter Spaces: Top 3 Most Listened to Spaces in Gaming:
“Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard, let’s talk” (Host: @charlieintel; Date: Jan. 18, 2022)
"Talking about Summer Game Fest plans and ideas from fans" (Host: @geoffkeighley; Date: May 22, 2022)
“100Thieves post LCS talk” (Host: @100t_esports; Date: March 27, 2022)
Twitter Communities: Top 5 Most Engaging Gaming Communities
Complexity Adds Jordan Fisher to Content Roster
Complexity Gaming announced that actor and musician Jordan Fisher has joined the organization as a part-owner and content creator. In collaboration with the organization and its parent company, GameSquare Esports, Fisher will host and participate in a range of esports and gaming events involving other content creators under the Complexity banner. According to Esports Insider, Fisher joining takes the organization’s number of aggregate social media followers to over 100m.
The announcement was an epic anime-inspired video in which Jordan Fisher provided a voiceover for the next step in his career. He appeared alongside fellow Complexity members timthetatman and Cloakzy for an impressive introduction to the ownership group.
Fisher first worked with the organisation through Fourth Frame Studios, its dedicated content studio. As the Creative Advisor for Original IP Development, he lends his expertise to create original content for streaming platforms. In addition, the new part-owner of Complexity is launching a Jordan Fisher-inspired merchandise line dubbed “Home of Heroes.” Designed alongside Japanese manga artist Tai Aoki, Home of Heroes includes shirts, crewnecks, hoodies, mouse pads and more.
Justin Kenna, CEO of GameSquare Esports, commented on Fisher joining Complexity:
With his unparalleled talent and innovative approach to content creation, the addition of Fisher strengthens Complexity’s portfolio of distinguished talent and broadens the organization’s appeal to new audiences.
Fisher is a versatile celebrity that opens up new audiences to the Complexity brand and esports in its entirety. He's an unbelievable actor, artist, singer, gamer, and overall entertainer that will be immensely important for Complexity's continued growth. On top of that, the "Home of Heroes" merch I believe is really going to catapult revenue opportunities over-time because of the aesthetically-pleasing and immensely popular anime-style theme. You could make an argument that Jordan Fisher could assist in generating more revenue for the org than TimTheTatMan.
New York Subliners CDL Major IV Highlights
For the first time in Call of Duty Esports history, a major LAN event takes place in New York. In a cinderella Championship qualification run, as well as exceeding expectations, the home team NY Subliners made it to the Grand Finals. However, the LA Thieves come back from the losers bracket in a Winner's Final rematch to spoil the Subliners run. Thieves won it all in a 5-4 victory and the franchise won their 1st-ever CDL championship.