MAY 20 | EDITION #100
Hello hello.
This week, Play-to-Earn is hot and Guild Esports is not what you thought, but first...

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📓 Lil' Note

A hundred newsletters. A fucking hundred of them fam. Two years doing it for free until the lovely peeps from Dexerto came through to make it legit. 

Today, we’re growing, we’re having fun, we’re learning and we’re trying to highlight the true potential of this beautiful industry that is tangled with culture like never before.

I’m grateful for your loyal readership, foreal. Let’s keep runnin’ it.

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🍺 Beer Talk

The Future of Collabs

It was just a couple years ago when we started experiencing collabs in gaming. 
  • First: A famous rapper puts his name attached to an esports team.
  • Second: A fashion brand adds their logo to an esports apparel line. 
  • Third: Everyone collabs in-game with publishers, teams and creators.
So… what's next?

👉 A collaboration comes directly from ‘curating culture’, which means that we, as expectators, expect a story to be told. The product and the collab has to be meaningful or it won't’ work.

At the moment, several collabs feel just like Jake Paul jumping into NFTs. Since there're so many of them at the same time, it's inevitable to think that this is all just a cash grab.

I mean, we are not stupid. All collabs, no matter how good or bad, are cash grabs. That’s how the world works with everything. But that’s the main element: the profiter and the opportunist need to tell the story of the collaboration, and that will take our attention away from “this is a nasty cash grab” and place it in “holy shit, this is dope, it’s an experience!”... and then we buy the product to be part of that experience.

In general terms, some brands can afford to just add their logo. However, in gaming that isn’t enough no matter who you are. Nike and Louis Vuitton could have stepped in, slapped everyone with their outside part of the hand and dropped a single logo. Instead:
  • Nike joined forces with Sony to hire Travis Scott and produce a video clip.
  • Louis Vuitton manufactured a real trophy case for the LoL Worlds Championship + added in-game elaborated drip for people to freak out. 
It’s immersive. Gaming collabs are built different.

Wanna have a sneak peak of the next form of collab? Roblox x Gucci 

The collabs that we see within fashion, music and sports, mainly rely on product design, packaging, presentation and a teaser hype video. But when we added gaming to the culture-mix, it became a continuous experience involving worlds and environments.

NFT’s fall perfectly into this scene, because a collaboration is all about the creative process, which is art. NFT’s and gaming are art. Crypto will bring a new layer for collabs.

The variables are infinite. The next wave of collabs will have a layer of immersion that we haven’t seen before. Brands like Nike or LV, who were not afraid to go all out before, will be the first ones to jump into this one as well.

📺 Streaming Wars
Not quite Twitch or Youtube, but the other streaming war has a new player:

At the moment:
  • Netflix: +200M users and $17B cost on original content this year.
  • Disney+: +100M users w/ Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, Hulu and ESPN.
  • Peacock: with The Office, a big budget for ads on Youtube and that’s it. 
But now:
AT&T with Warner Media: which could be worth $150B and will include HBO, Discovery, Animal Planet, CNN, Warner Bros., and more. They will have +80M subs from the get-go. 

👉 Not just a Name
Several people have been skeptical about Guild Esports. Well, here you have an interview with Beckham talking about Guild and their new academy

🏆 Esports Highlights

🗝️ A Pick from the Vault
The once respected people from SEGA are thinking of bringing back their classic titles. It’s about damn time these kids put some respect where it's due. The question is: are they gonna target the old generation or the new one?

🐦 Tweet of the Week
Karmine Corp’s Brand, by Brendan Husebo.

🐤 Another Tweet of the Week
Premium Game Sale vs Free-to-Play, by Geoff Keighley.

🍻 Last Beer Sip: Play-To-Earn Explained
A new group of video games are adopting the NFT play-to-earn structure. It’s simple: play = earn tokens = sell them for crypto (ETH) = turn it into real money. Too good to be true; but it’s actually true though. Axie Infinity is the perfect example and it's hot right now.
  • The majority of people playing Axie are from the Philippines (for now).
  • People are making a living out of this game.
  • Here’s an 18 min documentary about it. Worth watching.

🍿 Trailer of the Week
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness. Out July 8th.


 🥢 Take a Bite

  1. Dota 2 announces a Short Film Contest.
  2. The Katy Perry x Pokemon song ‘Electric’ is out.
  3. Xbox turned 20 years old this week.
  4. Tencent will host the first Mario Kart 8 National Cup
  5. GameStop made an esports Twitter account

 🥶 Collabs

Rambo x John McClane x Call of Duty
NBA x Fortnite
Coldplay x Enthusiast Gaming

💈 Strictly Biz

Esports Orgs Becoming Agencies
When are we going to have a discussion about esports organizations operating agencies? Signing players and content creators to your team is one thing, but then representing them in terms of brand deals is an added layer that muddies the waters. NRG and Ader, TSM and ICON, Misfits and The Misfits Agency. Thin lines. 

I don’t assume malicious intent with most people, and I know orgs are desperate to have revenue streams beyond sponsorships and revenue sharing from event operators, but there are obvious conflicts here. Whereas an external, independent agency can properly negotiate against the orgs in brand deals on behalf of the player or creator, what’s stopping an organization-owned agency from lowballing their signee and pocketing more money?

It would be incredibly cynical to believe that this is rife in the industry but, as with any instance of a conflict of interest, the potential for fuckery is a problem within itself. I encourage orgs to get that paper, of course, but I feel like a can of worms is being opened. What do you think?


💎 Gem of the Week


 💰 VC Land & Partnerships

  • JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot Games raises $40M for new titles. 
  • The NHL partners with HyperX.
  • Natus Vincere unveils partnership with AndaSeat.
  • Baseball developers raise $3M in funding.
  • FACEIT partners with Death Wish Coffee.
  • 76ers Gaming announces partnership with Zipchair.
  • partners with Razer.
  • ESIC joins forces with Pandascore.
  • London Royal Ravens signs partnership with Midnite.
  • JBL Quantum partners with LA Thieves.
  • Legionfarm raises $5.9M to connect pro gamers with beginners.  

😂 Fuckery Snack

The biggest form of betrayal you probably don’t think about enough.

🗓 Upcoming Events

May 20 - 30  / cs_summit 8 NA
May 23  / LoL MSI Finals
May 26 - 28  / Nordic Game
May 30  / Flashpoint Finals
June 10  / Summer Game Fest

Thanks for reading!

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