Made with ☕️, by @GlassofJager
  • Nintendo and its relationship with esports.
  • Valorant spotlight updates.
  • Orgs' discontent with the RLCS.
  • A look into Russian gaming numbers.
  • The Epic Games Store new campaign.
MAY 22 | WEEKLY #52 
Bryan from Vindex & Roderick from Ready Up

 🔥 Good Stuff

Grassroots vs Corporate

Ahh... can you smell that? It's Nintendo taking a literal shit on Smash, again.

EVO, the biggest FGC event, announced going online due to the pandemic. Since the word "online" is the equivalent of Coronavirus under Nintendo's eyes, what happened next was expected: Smash Ultimate was removed from the event.

The main reason was Nintendo's lack of a proper system to run smooth online tournaments, impossible to do it with delays or disconnections. So, for the best interest of everybody involved, it got chopped.

Let's try to wear both Nintendo and pro players' hats to understand the situation.

✌️ Smash Ultimate: A Popular Niche

  • Best seller game of all time for Nintendo Switch with 19M copies sold.
  • EVO19 most registered players:
  • Highest viewership in FGC '19 events: 25.5M, Street Fighter V second 11.6M.
  • Highest viewership in FGC '19 Twitch: 65.7M, Street Fighter V second 21.5M.

Considering what other titles present in terms of viewership, engagement, branding and exposure... Smash is a disorganized niche in the competitive scene, but a massive family-household title.

👉 Pro Players' Perspective 

All viewership and acknowledgement of the game comes from pro players who dedicated their lives to Smash. Only some of them can make decent money combining all aspects of the cycle: prize money, team salary, sponsors, streaming. For the rest... making a living out it, is non-existent.

👉 Nintendo' Perspective 

Their strategy or philosophy is just not esports, period. Last year, Nintendo's president Shuntaro Furukawa, said:
Esports, in which players compete on stage for prize money as an audience watches, demonstrates one of the wonderful charms of video games. It’s not that we’re opposed to it. So that our games can be widely enjoyed by anyone regardless of experience, gender, or age, we want to be able to participate in a wide range of different events. Our strength, what differentiates us from other companies, is this different worldview, not an amount of prize money.
In other words: we don't give a f^ck about esports, we're making bank with every member of your family buying the game and playing it at home. We don't want to be Riot Games, we're good fam.

🎯 Reality Perspective

The Smash community got used to running their own events in houses and getting pizza as prize money. But now that esports has been validated everywhere else with Call of Duty players in the CDL getting a min. salary of $50K, almost three times more than the biggest prize for Smash last year, Smash pros are like... wait... what?

And let's not even get started with League, Dota and CS:GO pros' wealth, because that shit goes to six and seven figures. But we can't compare them since these games were built with competition as a core structure and teams as core element.

Reality is that Smash players always knew about Nintendo's interests, but because:
  • They pioneered the competitive scene.
  • Esports was rising in other areas.
  • Grassroots Nintendo employees said they were trying to make it a thing. gave them a sense of hope that contradicts Nintendo's business model.

I'm not saying the FGC is incapable of doing better, Mortal Kombat 11 has half the viewership of Smash Ultimate and still gets $150K - $250K prize pools. 

Since there's no structure, it becomes less marketable, not appealing for sponsors, which means less prize money, less teams getting involved, less impressions.

I understand Nintendo has a successful way of making money, but the empathy towards Smash pros is related to: Nintendo never tried, so we don't know how it looks like. How much money and trouble is it to try a competitive scene? Will the player base and game sales charts go up having esports?

It's very interesting to think that Nintendo was one of the main companies to shape the future of esports in the early days with the Nintendo World Championship to carry grassroots movements and now... grassroots is trying to carry the entire company into pro gaming. 
Joe Rogan x Tony Hawk

This is great content. I linked a small clip to when Tony talks about going mainstream through video games and its consequences, for the full episode go to Apple Podcasts and yes... soon to Spotify.

About Joe's exclusive deal with Spotify, it will benefit the life of current esports podcasts. I talked about this back in the #40 edition if you're interested.

  • He did the 900 at 31 y/o.
  • Back then, tournaments' entry forms would have a checkbox with Pro or Not Pro. He checked the Pro box and became one at 14 y/o.
Valorant Hub

Let's get a quick round up of all things Valorant:
  • Beta time goes down on May 28th and the official lunch is on June 2nd.
  • The lunch will be global, including several new regions.
  • They have 3M daily players.
  • Interview with the devs explaining what they learned from the beta.

 🔍 What else is there?

👨🏻  Overwatch Dad. The OWL have been struggling with viewership lately, let's see if the "American Dad: Stan goes under cover as a gamer" episode helps them out.

👿  The naughty list. From The International 4 champs to banned for life. Team Newbee has been involved in match fixing and the Chinese Dota 2 Professional Association caught their cheating ass.

🟢  Immortal Camps. Nerd Street Gamers will make digital esports camps in collaboration with Immortals.

✉️  The Unhappy Letter. The Esports Observer reported info from a letter sent to Psyonix from several teams, including G2 Esports, NRG, eUnited and others, looking for a response to administrative practices surrounding the RLCS.

🕹  The game list. Take a look at every big game coming out in Spring 2020.

🎽  Animal Clothing. Hypebae is hosting an Animal Corssings fashion show.

 💰 Investments & Partnerships

T1 x Mobalytics: Valorant Program


  • McLaren Racing expands esports program in partnership with Veloce Esports.
  • Vancouver Titans partners with Pizza Hut Canada.
  • Philadelphia Fusion announces Aim Lab as new partner.
  • Astralis partners with hummel.
  • Vodafone Giants raises $3M in their first investment round.
  • Gen. G partners with Eastern Michigan University.
  • Gfinity signs multi-year partnership with Formula 1 for F1 Esports Series.
  • Team Singularity new partnership with KontrolFreek.

📈 Stats

Looking at Russia: Twitch Q1 2020
Powered by Esports Charts
EA Net Revenue: Ultimate Team

☕️ Coffee Thoughts

  • "Who is going to be in the next cover?" being the most exciting thing for fans about sports game titles... tell us a lot about their in-game development in recent years.
  • 40 years ago, Pac-Man was having its debut in Japan. We do take this game for granted because it looks like only dinosaurs played it. Have some respect, it opened millions of doors for the industry. Actually, we have proof of dinosaurs playing games. I know... I don't have a place in heaven.
  • For the people who like to cyberbully everybody, you can't do it with the Amish, jokes on you. Unless you send them hate messenger pigeons.

💎 Gem of the Week

The Epic Games Store x Civilization VI
Epic Games continues to hook up people with free games for life. This isn't just a calculated clickbait campaign towards pixelated average titles to create an account with them. I mean, it is a calculated campaign though, but with solid games. They understand how much money free games produce later on.

Last week it was GTA 5 and now Civilization VI. Go on... you know what to do.

Prediction for the next free games: here. He was correct with the first two. 


 🗓 Upcoming Events

CDL Seattle Surge Home Series / May 22-24
Overwatch May Melee Tournament / May 22-24
Fortnite FNCS Grand Finals / May 22-24
The Clutch Digital by Esports Insider / May 26
Mid-Season Cup: LCK vs LPL / Kickoff May 28

✔️ 2020 LCS and Academy Summer Split Schedule Update
✔️ COD Warzone games added to Seattle Home Series

These are all online events.

📣 Cool Jobs

Operations Associate — PlayVS
🇺🇸 Los Angeles, USA

International Gaming Specialist — Red Bull
🇦🇹 Austria Area
Director of Content  Dignitas
🇺🇸 Los Angeles, USA
Director of Product Marketing, Cloud Gaming — Nvidia
🇺🇸 Santa Clara, USA


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