Twitch Cuts Revenue Split for Top Streamers, Ludwig Launches Creative Agency Offbrand, and more!
EWD: News for Week of 9/19/22-10/2/22
Topics: Twitch, Ludwig, FaZe Rug, MTN Dew, Lexus, Gen.G, Newzoo
Gen.G x Mobil 1
Both entities will collaborate to create men's and women's professional rocket league teams called 'Gen.G Mobil 1 Racing,' elevating Mobil 1's existing relationship with the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS). In addition to the competitive teams, two Rocket League content creators will join the program to elevate the experience for fans on and off the field.
The men’s competitive team will compete under "Gen.G Mobil 1 Racing" in the 2022-2023 NA RLCS with the roster of Jack “ApparentlyJack” Benton, Joseph “noly” Kidd, and Nick “Chronic” Iwanski. ApparentlyJack and Noly will be transferring to North America to compete for the 2022-2023 season after competing in the European RLCS. They will be joined by Chronic, a 17-year-old prospect from the US.
The women’s competitive team, “Gen.G Mobil 1 Racing Black,” will compete in Season 5 of the Women’s Carball Championship (WCBC) with the roster of Kira O., Courtney Johnson, and Isabella "Bella" Williams. According to the press release, Courtney and Bella finished in 3rd place during Season 4 of WCBC, with Courtney earning Regular Season MVP honors. Kira joins the roster following a few months removed from defeating them in last season's WCBC playoffs, where she placed 2nd. Together, the trio will be a force to be reckoned with on the pitch in Season 5.
In regard to the two content creators, Nathan “Stanz” Stanz and Widow are joining Gen.G Mobil 1 Racing. Previously signed by Gen.G, Stanz will expand his content creation in both esports and motorsports, while Widow is a well-known advocate for women in gaming and the founder of WIRL, a platform dedicated to supporting and highlighting women in the Rocket League community.
Arnold Hur, CEO of Gen.G said this about entering Rocket League esports:
We’ve been looking to get into Rocket League since the very start of Gen.G’s entry into North America. But we didn’t want to enter until we could find the right, long-term partner. We are very lucky to have a chance to work with Mobil 1, who genuinely understands the scene and shares a long-term vision with us to build a team from the ground up.
It appears to be a weekly thing covering Gen.G news. This time, adding a team in a surging esport with Rocket League. Being able to enter Rocket League alongside a brand that's so engrained into the esport and motorsports in general is such a great move from Gen.G management. Adding a female team to compete in Women's Carball Championship shows Gen.G's and Mobil 1's commitment to gender equity and equal opportunity in esports.
Also to note, Gen.G renewed its deal with PUMA and partnered with Bose to be the official supporting partner of the NBA 2K Leagues' Gen.G Tigers franchise.
Gen.G currently has competitive teams in League of Legends, Overwatch League, NBA 2K League, VALORANT, PUBG, and now Rocket League
Mountain Dew x HBCU Esports League
With a focus on increasing Black representation in esports and gaming, the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge will support HBCU student gamers by sponsoring a nationwide $500,000 HBCU esports tournament titled the 'MTN DEW Real Change Challenge.' Students will compete in a a nationwide Call of Duty tournament.
The Real Change Challenge will kick-off with 16 teams in a bracket style tournament, culminating in The Ultimate Game - a final showdown between the nation's top two HBCU teams. The 1st-place prize is $80,000. In addition, MTN DEW will identify four all-stars from the tournament, based on their individual performance and sportsmanship, as the Real Change Challenge Each All-Star will receive:
Sponsorship from MTN DEW for up to one year
Mentorship and unrivaled exposure to esports pros
Pat O'Toole, chief marketing officer, MTN DEW commented on the partnership
Unfortunately, Black representation within esports and the gaming industry is disproportionally low. MTN DEW recognizes the opportunity gap that Black gamers face as they explore gaming as a viable career path, and we're trying to close that gap with the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge.
The MTN DEW Real Change Challenge is now open for registration until October 28th. HBCU gamers can sign up to register at hbcuesports.gg/realchange. Gaming fans can tune in to Cxmmunity's Twitch beginning November 9th to catch the tournament live!
Any consistent readers know I absolutely love when brands show up in esports via tournament formats. This goal isn't even about the tournament and reach, however. It's more about shining a light on black gamers and entrepreneurs who are severely underrepresented in the gaming & esports industry. MTN DEW is certainly achieving this by not only giving out a large chunk of change in prize money, but also letting it become an opportunity for those in the tournament to showcase their skills on the biggest of stages. The large prize pool will definitely aid from a promotional standpoint and incentive for creators in COD/Warzone to watch party/tune in.
Guild Esports x Sky Broadband
Sky Broadband signs exclusive partnership with Guild Esports with a focus on 3 key areas: women in gaming, driving esports performance, and engaging with audiences. As part of the partnership, Sky’s full fibre broadband will power Guild’s Esports performance centre and be renamed to the Sky Guild Gaming Centre. Additionally, Sky’s branding will be featured in a outdoor mural on the building and be the headline partner on Guild’s team jersey for the 22/23 season.
Here's a breakdown of the 3 focus areas, according to the Sky broadband press release:
Women in gaming - Building on the success of Guild’s all female Valorant team, Valorant X, signed in September 2021, the partnership will see Guild launch a new all-female Rocket League team. With the ambition to foster greater female participation in gaming, Sky and Guild are committed to creating an inclusive environment through thought leadership, education, promotion and by establishing suitable professional opportunities for women in esports.
Driving esports performance - Establishing the UK as a top-five nation in the global esports landscape, the Sky Guild Gaming Centre will support esports players from grassroots to professionals and act as a hub not only for top tier players, but for the wider gaming community - powered by Sky’s ultrafast, full fibre broadband to provide a seamless gaming experience with speed, reliability, and low latency.
Engaging audiences - Bringing Sky customers closer to Guild’s teams and players, Sky and Guild will work together to deliver exclusive esports competitions for Sky customers across all of Guild’s titles, alongside access to exclusive merchandise and bespoke digital collectables.
Esports Awards x Lexus
For the 4th year in a row, Lexus is the official title sponsor of the annual Esports Awards. The luxury car manufacturer will once again sponsor the ‘Esports Awards Streamer of the Year’ and ‘Esports Organization of the Year’ categories. They will also collaborate on several ‘electrifying’ campaigns to further recognize and celebrate those who have made a difference in the esports space. Neither Lexus nor Esports Awards have revealed exact details of the partnership, according to Esports Insider.
In the 1st year of the partnership with the Esports Awards, Lexus provided a selection of supercars that took centre stage at Esports Stadium Arlington. Since the event was virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic, the luxury automaker helped out with content creation for the broadcast. In 2021, Lexus evolved its activations by unveiling the Gamers’ IS, an automobile designed for gamers.
Michael Ashford, CEO of Esports Awards, commented on the partnership:
It’s an honour to build with a luxury automotive company that always challenges our platform to build the best experience for attendees and viewers globally. Whilst it’s our fourth year with Lexus, it’s our first year of delivering a best-in-class event in Vegas alongside them.
Twitch Cuts Revenue Split for Top Streamers
In a controversial move, Twitch cut top streamers have had their subscription revenue split cut from 70/30 to 50/50. The reaction to the news has been really negative, and top creators are calling out Twitch for not being as much of a 'creator first' platform as they've historically been. Ads and subscription revenue has always been a talking point for creators and fans over the last year.
Looking at subscription revenue, the overwhelming majority of streamers received a 50/50 revenue split historically. It’s a popular community sentiment that the 50 / 50 subscription split is not enough. Currently both Facebook and YouTube streamers get a 70 percent split from subscriptions. On Twitch’s UserVoice feedback forum, the suggestion for Twitch to change the split from 50 / 50 to 70 / 30 had over 20,000 votes. Twitch ignored this feedback and instead took a step backward. Now, Twitch will honor the 70 / 30 split for those creators for up to the first $100,000 earned. Then, any money made beyond that would see a reduced 50 / 50 split.
Many ask, why is Twitch doing this? Well, here's their answer (or more so, excuse): Twitch president Dan Clancy said the costs associated with keeping Twitch running costs around $1,000 dollars a month to host high-volume streamers. Yep, a subsidiary of Amazon, a trillion dollar company, said this.
YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok are definitely gunning for a portion of Twitch’s market share, but the majority of viewers and gaming audience is still on Twitch. Thus, smaller-scale creators are handcuffed to a platform that can act in bad faith. Ryan Morrison, CEO of Evolved Talent Agency, a management company that represents some of the top streamers on Twitch like xQc and Amouranth, said in an interview with The Verge:
Those other platforms don’t have very good discoverability. So for younger, up-and-coming streamers, it’s much easier to get found on Twitter or Twitch than it is on these other platforms, infinitely easier even.
Adam Conover, an American comedian had a very good tweet that summed this up very well: "The fact that Twitch is unilaterally cutting pay to its biggest stars is proof that the "creator economy" is a scam. These creators are the only reason Twitch has an audience in the first place. If they organized and worked together, they'd have massive leverage to fight back."
This is a truly sad move that the creators have been clearly speaking up against, but Amazon could care less to listen. As much as I want to say creators should just move to YouTube, TikTok, or Facebook, those platforms are just simply not as good as Twitch in terms of a live streaming and viewer experience (look to Morris above as to why). Twitch still owns the streaming market share as well. Creating some form of massive union or protest against Twitch where major creators just don't stream on the platform for a day or so could be a tangible way to mess up Twitch's seemingly monopolistic practices.
FaZe Rug Signs with Excel Sports Management
Brian “FaZe Rug” Awadis, the most viewed content creator for FaZe Clan, has inked a deal with marketing & management agency Excel Sports Management
Ludwig Launches Creative Agency Offbrand
Content superstar Ludwig Ahgren is launching Offbrand to help creators with ideas, production and funding of their own events, among other things
Carlos Rodriguez steps down as G2 Esports CEO
Carlos “ocelot” has stepped down from G2 Esports after he posted a video hanging out with Andrew Tate, who's banned on socials for hate speech