Team’s “News of the Week” (March 8th – March 15th)
While some lost their opportunity, most of us won during this week (a few more than others).
Let’s find out what happened in the world of esports during the 2nd week fo March (8th-15th).
1) Juniper Research: Global Esports Market Will Reach $3.5 Billion by 2025
New Juniper Research report projects that worldwide esports and games streaming revenues will skyrocket (up to 70%) over the next four years (from $2.1 billion in 2021 to $3.5 billion in 2025). It is believed that the esports audience will grow to 1 billion.
That would represent 1 out of every 9 people on the planet.
It’s also believed the largest market (on a revenue basis) will be North America, East Asia/China, and Western Europe, with Asia Pacific offering more than half of the audience, which ironically, also the lowest amount of dollar sales.
The money will come from esports broadcasting rights, live event ticket sales, and all kinds of sponsorship deals.
2) Atlanta FaZe Wins First 2021 CDL Major
The first Major Call of Duty League went over, after 5 days of competition, and Atlanta FaZe emerged victoriously. They earned 75 CDL points and $200,000 between aBeZy, Arcitys, Cellium, and SimpXO, as well as Crowder (their coach).
— DEXERTO CoD Esports News (@DexertoIntel) March 8, 2021
The final match was against Dallas Empire, of which Atlanta FaZe led 3-0 in the best of 9.
As usual, the rounds shifted between Hardpoint, Search & Destroy, and Control.
Opponents “Dallas Empire” took $120,000 and 60 CDL points back home for the second position. The CDL will return after this first set of Major matches, even if the Texans winter storm provokes uncertainty.
3) xQc and Trainwreckstv Banned from GTA Online NoPixel Server
The GTA NoPixel roleplay server is peaking in popularity after providing an immersive experience to streamers and casual players.
Its 3.0 version made it jump back to Twitch’s top games, and with that, a wave of calm and other not-so streamers got right into it.
For example, former pro Overwatch player: Felix “xQc” Lengyel just received its second ban from the NoPixel server. Recently blamed for controversies related to the Rust OfflineTV server, xQc now decided to take advantage of a GTA Online glitch.
He was followed by Trainwreckstv who was accused of “metagaming” which is directly against NoPixel’s rules. A staff member from the server confirmed he has the opportunity to appeal the ban before 30 days pass by.
4) FaZe Clan: Cloakzy Leaves and Meyers Leonard Cut Ties
FaZe Clan, one of the biggest and most popular esports teams, has had to depart both Call of Duty players Cloakzy and Meyers Leonard for different reasons.
In the first place, it’s reported that the organization has been in an unsolved contract dispute with Cloakzy since 2019, in a similar fashion as the Tfue and FaZe controversial case.
I want to apologize for everything negative I’ve said about FaZe Clan as we worked through my contract. I am grateful for everything they’ve done for me, and am happy we have come to an agreement to part ways. I wish nothing but the best for everyone over at FaZe.
— cloakzy (@cloakzy) March 9, 2021
But the “ties cut” with Miami Heat power figure Meyers Leonard (also known as “FaZe Hammer”) is very different. In this case, the Warzone Twitch streamers used anti-Semitic slur.
FaZe clan caught him and shared a brief statement via Twitter soon after.
A statement from FaZe Clan. pic.twitter.com/ePo1NGEaN5
— FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) March 9, 2021
Since that moment, Corsair Gaming subsidiaries (Scuf Gaming and Origin PC) have ended partnerships with Leonard, as well as ASTRO Gaming.
The Heath basketball team also said ” it will not tolerate hateful language from anyone associated with [the] franchise,” and that Leonard would “be away from the team indefinitely.”
5) 2021 PAX Australia Will Take Place on October 8-10
PAX Australia show is back on for 2021 after being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
According to the organizers, the event will take place at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Center this October 8-10.
But even them (the organizers) claim this won’t be the same PAX as some remember it.
All necessary pub health precautions will be met and it will only sell a “limited” number of tickets to pay “F” for respect to the current restriction’s capacity. They’re hopeful for the conditions in Melbourne to improve, so more tickets are sold before the show takes place.
The stakes are high because the host city of PAX Aus reported zero new cases on March 10. Refunds are available, with conditions: for those who cannot attend in October for health/safety measures.
6) Natus Vincere (NAVI) Sold $100k Virtual Item on DMarket
LA-based DMarket (NFT = non-fungible token and in-game items marketplace) announced its “biggest sale in the history of esports memorabilia”: NAVINATION, which was part of NAVI’S (Natus Vincere) fan appreciation program.
The “NAVINATION Season 1 NFT Cup” was sold for $100K, backed up by Drop.gg application. A similar item was sold on March 3 for $10K before it was offered once again at $20K on that same day.
A rep. for DMarket assures NAVI will collect 30% ($30k) of that transaction.
NAVI’s fan appreciation program was launched at the end of February, with digital parts “incentives” (also known as “drops”) used to craft digital rewards and real-world prizes.
Drops can be earned by watching NAVI esports competitions and Twitch streamers, as well as inviting new people to the NAVINATION program.
7) Sinaatra’s (Valorant Pro) Sexual Assault Abuse Claims
Cleo “cle0h” Hernandez wrote and exposed a document on March 9 about Valorant pro Jay “Sinatraa” Won. It reveals personal, disturbing experiences during their relationship time, of which Cleo alleges Won to have abused her.
It is 9 pages long and it includes screenshots of private messages. You can get it all here:
tw for sexual abuse // my last relationship https://t.co/V4PUMZeNrW
— cleooo 🇲🇽 (@cIe0h) March 10, 2021
Won was officially suspended by Riot from the Valorant Champions Tour competition after being a former Overwatch League MVP. His former team, Sentinels, also took action and expelled the player after investigating the case.
“Sinatraa” tweeted back:
“It is clear from Cleo’s recent post that she recalls our relationship differently than I do. What we do agree on is that it was unhealthy for both of us. I apologize to Cleo and regret how things ended, but I never assaulted her in any way. I am fully cooperating with the investigations and providing the full audio and video clips Cleo referenced in her post.”
8) K-Pop Star Z.Tao Becomes CO-CEO and Partner of Team GK Gaming
GK Gaming, the official team of Chinese “Honor of Kings” has formalized the singer and actor Zitao Huang (also known as Z.Tao) as its new Co-CEO and partner.
For those who are unaware: Z.Tao was a lead member of EXO (South Korean boy band) with a strong presence in both South Korea and China.
On the other hand, GK Gaming has its home venue in Foshan, Guangzhou, and owns a franchise slot in China’s “King Pro League” where top competitions of Honor of Kings (Kings of Glory / Strike of Kings) take place.
It’s not a new thing for K-Pop stars to invest in the esports industry. This happened last year (in 2020) with Jackson Wang (Victory Five – V5) and Kin Hee-Chul (Brion E-Sports).
9) Envy Gaming Raises $40 Million & Gray Television Contributes More Than Half
Dallas-headquartered Envy Gaming raised over $40M in a Series C investment round.
The lead investor (Gray Television) commits to putting $28.5 M in to add two new directors to its board of directors. Other parts of the ownership group are the musician Austin Richard Post (better known as “Post Malone”) and Mike Rufail (Envy Gaming founder).
While Gray Television is just setting its feet on this industry, as one of the largest owners of US television stations; Envy Gaming has a long track of esports competitions and franchises under its bell (as in the case of Overwatch’s “Dallas Fuel” and COD “Dallas Empire”).
Similarly, as Natus Vincere, Envy also launched a membership program in November, with exclusive merch, team news, and giveaways for its loyal fans.
10) LCK Coach and T1 Streamer Found Exciting Easter Egg
Nick “LS” De Cesare is the current T1 caster and streamer, as well as a coach in the “League of Legends Champions Korea.” He has had a prosperous career, but not without a lot of struggle.
That’s why Riot games decided to add an Easter egg to the newest in-game item shop.
Luckily, he seemed to have found it by typing its full in-game name into the item search bar (Last Shadow) which shows the Morellonomicon and Liandry’s Anguish.
— LS (@LSXYZ9) March 10, 2021
What does that mean and why it got Nick so emotional?
LS has always been an advocate for thoughtful builds and item diversity, which he always recommends professional players whom he coaches about choosing these items.
Riot staff is giving him recognition for his smart contribution to the game.
Loves Gears of Wars. Hates Lag. Jesus is the go-to guy for football and esports. He never fixed the Red Rings off his Xbox 360.