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Trainwreck Launches Mental Health Charity Program, Guild Esports Partners with Coca-Cola, and More!

Updated: Jul 31

EWD: News for Week of 7/18/22-7/24/22

Topics: Partnerships, LCS, HBO, Trainwreck, Coca-Cola, TenZ


Partnerships


Riot Games x AWS


Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Riot Games teamed up to transform how Riot's Esports content is created and distributed in the cloud. Riot Games esports broadcasts in titles such as League of Legends, VALORANT, and League of Legends: Wild Rift Esports events will be reimagined through AWS' first-ever data analytics integration. As part of this global collaboration, Riot has selected AWS as its official Cloud Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud Machine Learning (ML), Cloud Deep Learning (DL), and Cloud Services provider.


In more detail, AWS is focused on powering Riot’s infrastructure including their new global content factories that publish Riot’s esports, music production, analytics, statistics, and animation. Other possible workloads include leveraging AWS instances to create a future slate of cloud-based on-demand and live content, and to use AWS to power the build-out of Riot’s cloud-first production facilities based in Dublin, Shanghai, and Seattle.


John Needham, President of Esports at Riot Games said:

The wide-ranging solutions and expertise of AWS will enhance Riot Games’ esports broadcasts and engage esports fans worldwide. From reimagining how fans view our events and content, to interacting with other players, AWS unlocks endless opportunities for Riot to shape the future of sport.

Riot will use AWS’s broad portfolio of cloud capabilities to provide fans with the following new insights and experiences:

  • First-ever AWS esports stats: Riot and AWS will introduce “Stats powered by AWS” during esports broadcasts that will appear before, during, and after Riot’s various global esports broadcasts to educate and inform fans on key data points that are helping drive a team towards victory.

  • AWS Global Power Rankings: This will create near real-time rankings of the top pro teams around the world in LoL Esports, VCT, and Wild Rift Esports that will be displayed on-screen during game play.

  • Pick’em powered by AWS: Esports fans will be able to participate in bracket challenges throughout the competitive season and win prizes for correctly selecting the teams that make it to each championship event (Built on AWS’s machine learning technologies).

Guild Esports x Coca-Cola


Guild Esports announced a one-year sponsorship with The Coca-Cola Company centered around creating ‘unique experiences' for fans. According to the tweet announcement, Coca-Cola will be key in helping Guild provide unique and unmissable experiences for their fans throughout Europe. Details of what the sponsorship entails, or what "unique and unmissable experiences" will be created, were not discussed about publicly.


Kal Hourd, Chief Executive of Guild Esports, said:

Guild is signing up some of the world’s most respected brands and we are very proud to welcome Coca-Cola as a sponsor and partner. They want to collaborate with Guild because we deliver great entertainment and memorable experiences for a millennial, hard-to-reach audience in one of the fastest growing segments of the sports entertainment industry.”

This is the first-ever European esports organization to secure a global sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola becomes Guild’s sixth sponsor, joining Bitstamp, Razer, Samsung, Subway and HyperX. Guild has most recently been in the news for their reported net loss of £4.96m as an organization, and saw its staff numbers drop significantly.


G2 Esports x Herman Miller


In a multi-year deal, G2 and Herman Miller Gaming equipment will work together to share insights and influence future product development. Herman Miller Gaming will provide G2’s players with new chairs, tables and monitor arms from the brand’s portfolio.


Herman Miller will also work on a performance model with G2’s team, examining how they might improve the ways G2 Esports recruits and trains players.


Jon Campbell, General Manager of Herman Miller Gaming had this to say on the partnership

Our vision with G2 is to continue to discover ways we can meet and support players in every aspect of the game. Working hand in hand with their players, we will deploy Herman Miller’s elite design and engineering teams to innovate, design and discover insights and solutions that could change the way we support the esports athlete, both physically and mentally, forever.

The furniture brand has collaborated with OWL franchises Philadelphia Fusion, San Francisco Shock and 2 other marquee esports orgs in Complexity Gaming and TSM. G2 has a growing roster of commercial partners, including Ralph Lauren, adidas, BMW, Twitch, Pringles and Mastercard, amongst others.


LCS x HBO


The deal sees both entities work together to promote House of the Dragon, a new HBO Original series and the prequel to Game of Thrones. Beginning July 23 (Week 5), the LCS broadcast will feature unique elements and branding to coincide with the House of the Dragon full trailer release, and a customized connection to each secured Dragon Soul — the first Dragon entitlement in LCS history.


Fans will be able to see Targaryen banners on League of Legends’ Summoner’s Rift during the first weekend of the LCS playoffs, which is also the same time as the series’ premiere (August 20th to 21st). According to LoL Esports, "This epic summer of dragons will culminate at the upcoming LCS Championships in Chicago on September 10-11."


Matthew Archambault, Head of Partnerships & Business Development at Riot Games said this on LinkedIn in celebration of the announcement:

Thanks to all the teams for pulling this together - between Riot, HBO and Hearts & Sciences team(s) - everyone worked collaboratively to bring this to life. Looking forward to what's to come!


Other News


TenZ’s Finalmouse Collaboration Sold Out in Hours


High-end gaming mouse manufacturer Finalmouse recent mouse collaboration with Valorant Pro “TenZ” generated over $7.6M in revenue. Finalmouse had 40,000 mice available at a price of $189.99.


The company stated this is the biggest sale for a collaboration between an active esports player and a hardware company. Additionally, TenZ is expected to receive a share of the revenue generated (exact percentage not revealed).


TenZ is the most-known Valorant player in the esports title and currently plays for North American organization Sentinels. Most recently, the organization signed Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek, one of the most popular content creators and former CS:GO professional.


Finalmouse has been largely successful in building a strategy in which they do limited-time drops with famous content creators and gamers in the industry. This strategy (as seen by popular clothing brands such as Supreme, A Bathing Ape, and much others) creates hype around the product. Simple economics is a good callout when looking at their brands booming revenue generation strategy.


XSET Completes $15M Series A Funding


XSET announced last week it closed a $15 million Series A funding round. The new capital will be used to invest in new executive talent, marketing, and content creation. The funding was led by LightWork Worldwide llc, a global streetwear and lifestyle brand holding company, incubator and fund who has recently backed social media livestream commerce app Ezze as well as streetwear brands such as 424, Round Two, Pyschworld, No Vacancy Inn and Supervsn in the bid to take them global with a spotlight on key Asian markets such as China.


Celebrating its 2nd anniversary this month, XSET CEO Greg Selkoe credits their success in securing this round to the company's focus on fundamentals and key milestones including:

  • Building nearly 130M followers in aggregate across its social channels

  • Signings with Ozuna, Swae Lee, Tee Grizzley, and Ezekial Elliot

  • Opening gaming cabanas as Drai's Nightclub in Las Vegas

  • Securing partnerships with HyperX, SCUF Gaming, Interscope and Mavix

  • Winning "Merch Collab of the Year" at the Tempest Awards

  • Building eight competitive esports teams at the top of their respective game


Edward Zhou, Chairman of LightWork Worldwide said this about their investment:

The gaming lifestyle market has tremendous potential globally and we see XSET as the next big youth culture brand driven by a top notch team. Not only do they have many differentiating qualities from their competitors, they also completely align in terms of our strategic vision towards creating a formidable lifestyle brand that transcends markets.

Other investors in this round with XSET include Alpha Sigma Capital, Apex Capital Partners, Baron Davis Enterprises, Breakaway Ventures, Concept Art House, Gaingels, Gee Roberson Management, GuildFi, Quality Control, TheAlliance, Swae Lee, Mind Melt Media, Whitwell & Co, Worldwide Wes, Young Money, and six NFL athletes: Ezekiel Elliott, Justin Simons, Adrian Colbert, Alkho Witherspoon, Ndamukong Suh, and Kyle Van Noy.


Twitch Launches Beta for 'Twitch Charity'


Charity streams on the Twitch platform is pretty popular, but the creators always had to go to 3rd party platforms to raise the money logistically. Now, Twitch will streamline this process for creators with a new set of donation tools built into the platform itself.


The beta is live now for a select amount of streamers, but Twitch promises to add “many more” soon. The features will roll out to most Twitch Partners and Affiliates globally by the end of the year. The new tool are tied into PayPal’s donation system, PayPal Giving Fund, a 501(c)(3) with “hundreds of thousands” of causes and charities that can be set up for registration.


Previously, streamers would handle donations earmarked for their cause of choice by transferring Twitch subscriptions and Bits, the platform’s virtual currency, into donations — a multistep, manual process. Without a dedicated donation feature, Twitch pointed creators toward external donation platforms like Tiltify or encouraged them to send viewers straight to a cause’s own donation page.


Twitch wrote in a blog post:

For streamers, it makes raising money for important causes easier and transparent. For viewers, it should make supporting those causes simpler, clearer and more impactful.

Creators can find the new fundraising options in a new “charity” section of the creator dashboard. Through the dashboard, creators can select a charity, choose a goal amount and toggle on “charity mode,” which activates a button prompting viewers to donate. To note,

Twitch doesn’t keep any portion of the money donated.


Trainwreck Announces Mental Health Program


Streamer Tyler "Trainwreck" Niknam announced he partnered with mental health charity Rise Above the Disorder in a revolutionary program initiative that's never been seen before in the streaming space. The partnership with Rise Above the Disorder focuses on providing free therapy to creators' communities. Together, they will eliminate the major barriers surrounding therapy: cost and ease of access.


The program is set to offer free therapy sessions to members of creators’ communities. With a $350,000 initial donation, Trainwreck has become the first creator to offer free therapy to his community, with an estimated 12,000 sessions being funded by that donation.


Titled the "Community Care program," Tyler aims to help people start therapy with licensed mental health professionals practicing empirically researched methods. The program allows any streamer, YouTuber, or creator of any kind to support their community.

Tyler stated that:

"Therapy remains the most effective means to address the majority of mental health issues, but difficulty finding a therapist or being able to afford therapy have been a major barrier. At Rise Above The Disorder, we help eliminate that barrier entirely."

Beyond getting access to professional mental health care, along with its perksm through Rise Above The Disorder, the service will provide:

  • A 24/7 Discord Bot (Twitch and YouTube Bots tentatively in the works): Creators’ community members can DM the bot to be securely & privately connected to mental health professionals

  • Moderators can react to messages they’re concerned about to have the bot log the message. It will then be sent to Rise Above The Disorder’s mental health professionals for support.

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