Made with 🍺 by Franco
The day after Thursday is here, peeps. This week:
  • Founders from the Jungle
  • New esports venues in the horizon.
  • Pokemon Go Fest making bank.
  • Twitch Weekly Viewership: Global.
  • Gem of the Week: Nike Shoes + Gaming.

 🔥 Good Stuff


Founders from the Jungle

Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life”, Steve Jobs.

It's been a minute since the last time we talk about the Biz Goat, not Steve, but somebody who worked with him, Andy Miller.

If you want to learn about the arc of a hard-charging boy from Boston, Massachusetts turning into a badass mother f^cker, now owner of the Sacramento Kings, NRG, SF Shock and Chicago Huntsmen, take a look at this podcast.

During his talk with Watchtime, Andy laid out some thoughts about esports teams current leadership models, which made think a lot about it. 

Food's on the table, let's get it.

The Experiment

Would esports teams survive if we take away their founders or CEOs? At the moment, teams are experimenting with their vision, lead by different personalities.

If we look at sports today, nobody would give a shit if a founder leaves a team, except from the ones owned by billionairs like Roman Abramovich investing (losing) millions with Chelsea F.C just because he wants to be part of the game... and maybe laundering some dollaroos? This is, mainly, because of two facts:

  • Sports have experienced years of structured decisions, making it big enough for people to care more about a team than a person. It's an old industry that knows what it takes to be impactful and make money.
  • Their only focus is to win, collect trophies and rings. Be the best in the game.

These teams keep winning titles because of legacy, money and power. The draft system makes the NBA and NFL a more equalitarian structure for teams to get the spotlight, which creates different business strategies. Strategies that still have one priority in common: the pro players.

What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you see the teams' logos on the image? Not a CEO, not a founder, not an investor.

We instantly see a player or a coach

How many times was the Bulls' CEO mentioned during The Last Dance? Two times, for a couple seconds, on a ten hour long documentary.

Now... gaming expanded the model that we had in our brains for so long. The game can be consumed in different ways at the same time:
  • Competition
  • Educational
  • Experimental
  • Recreational
Giving space for teams to place strategies not only around players and coaches, but also personalities and content creators.

Old School Esports Teams

A few years ago, the competitive side of gaming was the only ingredient for team owners to find success. It developed into the same way sports did: a small group of teams pioneering the scene, getting the best players and winning everything. 

TL's Steve Arhancet, C9's Jack Etienne, TSM's Andy Dinh, Fnatic's Sam Matthews and Patrik Sättermon built legacy, and it's not even close. Nobody else lifted a local trophy in EU or NA ever, other than Alliance and CLG.

But wait a minute...
  • Twitch's growth and streamers viewership.
  • Fortnite's viral explosion.
  • Gaming mixture with culture.
  • Content creators monetization opportunities.
  • Investors' FOMO on esports teams.

... not only changed the perspective for some of these owners, but it also gave birth to personalities and content creators to found their own teams. The clear examples would be G2 Esports' Carlos "Ocelote" Rodriguez and 100 Thieves' Nadeshot.

Entertainment Companies

Esports orgs won't be just competitive teams anymore, they are entertainment companies with intertwined departments around pro players/streamers. So, what is the current status?

Fnatic, Team Liquid, TSM, Cloud 9

League of Legends and CS:GO, being the most important titles in the world, benefited the ones who built early success with it. Not at lot of teams have the luxury to be in this position, thats why their main focus its still around the competitive side of things while experimenting with some entertainment. These orgs are unforgettable brands, already bigger then their owners. If they leave or change positions the internal team will suffer but the fanbase will stay strong.

100 Thieves

Their focus is apparel and entertainment, they have a good position in esports but it isn't the priority. The face of the company, Nadeshot, is literally on every single piece of content they release. If he goes away today, yes... the company will suffer big time. However, if you ask me this question in 5 years from now, I think 100 Thieves will be just fine without him.

The hype around this team is not just about Nadeshot, he is building a company where everybody is influential. Their content creators are huge, both local and international. Their investors and advisors are well known, their graphic designers and videographers have platforms. Even their f^cking interns are famous.

G2 Esports

G2 should be aligned with the first four teams, since they share competitive success and current focus on esports, but... Carlos. I've seen with my own eyes a full stadium chanting his name, I thought Rocky Balboa was about to come out, but it was the owner of a team. G2 relies 100% on a personality leading a company focused on esports, if he is gone, there will be no personalities left to hold fandom for him, and competitive loyalty won't make the cut since there's another Spanish team coming for their titles and fans, MAD Lions.


Here we have an unicorn. In my opinion, the team with the most interesting future ahead. NRG's leadership counts with a 2x1 CEO deal, Andy Miller and Hector Rodriguez. Andy's biz and investment expertise combined with Hector's know how on esports and branding is pretty lethal. Without them, the team will still perform because they built success both in entertainment and esports + found a way to make every pro player and content creator cohesive with the other.

Esports teams are still at a loss, but they are growing. It's a jungle with a wide variety of leaders trying to find ways to make it profitable stay at the top. Entertainment, apparel and branding helped the cause at first, but now we realized it surpassed it. 


 🔍 What else is there?

🏟  Vindex acquires Belong Gaming Arenas and partners with GAME Digital to establish global esports arenas, everywhere. They will be working with Envy and Andbox to build venues in Texas and New York.

🇺🇦  Kyiv aiming to be an esports mecca thanks to Alexander Kokhanovskyy, the Dnipro Hotel and future competitive activations. 

🚘  The Rocket League scene gets two new orgs: David Beckham's Guild Esports and former FaZe Clan execs' XSET.

👨‍💻  Just like Halloween candy, Epic Games handed out over $42m to 600 developers. An investment to small developers to build up talented teams on Unreal Engine tools.

🎞  New dope cinematic work from Riot Games: Kin of the Stained Blade.

🚗 6 days left to register for the Ferrari Hublot Esports Series.

🏆  The International 10 prize pool reached $30.4m. Four million away from breaking TI9's record.

💳  Players spent $17.5m during Pokemon Go Fest. In two days. Two. Days.

🎧  Discord is coming up with some fancy machine-learning-based audio filtering technology to achieve noise suppression. To delete, for example, mom calling you for dinner, a Tinder notification, or any other shit in the background.

🕹  Pre-order your Analogue Pocket here.

🚬  Curve Digital is launching the Peaky F^cking Blinders: Mastermind for Nintendo Switch on Aug 30.

🛩  Microsoft has a VR Flight Simulator, coming out Aug 18.


💎 Gem of the Week

Noah Cyrus' July Music Video x Dreams x Sony

Nike Blazer Mid '77 Vintage: Fall 2020

 💰 VC Land & Partnerships

  • Misfits Gaming Group sign partnership with Miami HEAT and Orlando Magic. 
  • San Francisco Shock partners with Herman Miller.
  • Andbox (NY Excelsior / NY Subliners) and T-Mobile extend alliance to 2021.
  • Verizon partners with FaZe Clan.
  • ReKTGlobal (London Royal Ravens / Rogue) partners with Find Your Grind.
  • Polyarc raises $9 million to expand from VR to AR games.
  • Fnatic renews partnership with OnePlus.
  • PUBG Mobile World League announces Qualcomm as sponsor.
  • The Bud Light's Knight is coming to esports as the Esports Knight.

📈 Stats

Twitch' Weekly Viewership: Global Top 10 Games

 🍿 Esports Highlights

League of Legends

Week 8 LCS / Rank #1: Cloud 9
Week 7 LEC / Rank #1: Rogue
Call of Duty League

Regular Season Rank #1: Atlanta FaZe
Playoffs: Aug 19-23

Toronto Ultra Home Series Finals
🥇ULTRA | 3 - 2 | Atlanta FaZe / HLs


PAX Arena Valorant Invitational
🥇Sentinels | 3 - 1 | Cloud 9 / HLs
Overwatch League

Week 26 Pacific / Rank #1: Shanghai Dragons
Week 26 Atlantic / Rank #1: Philadelphia Fusion
NBA 2K League

Week 12 / Rank #1: Raptors Uprising GC

THE TURN by AT&T Finals
🥇Raptors Uprising GC | 2 - 0 | Wizards District Gaming / HLs


 🗓 Upcoming Events

Aug 3-6 / Indie Game Business - San Francisco Edition
Aug 4-6 / Game Developers Summer Conference

Aug 8-16 / DreamHack Open Summer NA/EU
Aug 10-16 / Play NYC
Aug 11 / eNASCAR Coca-Cola Series, Daytona Round 12
Aug 13-15 / THE TICKET - NBA 2K
Aug 18-30 / ESL One Cologne NA/EU
Aug 19 / eNASCAR Heat Championship Finale
Aug 25-30 / ESL One Cologne Asia/Oceania
Aug 19-23 / CDL Playoffs
Aug 27-30 / Gamescom 2020

These are all online events.

😂 F^ckery of the Week 

Damn, gamer dads be dreaming like...

📣 Cool Jobs

Content Manager — TSM
🇺🇸 Los Angeles, USA
Senior Project Manager — Mobalytics
🇺🇸 Novato, USA
Collegiate Lead — Evil Geniuses
🇺🇸 Seattle, USA

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