ESPN is announcing their 2019 Esports Awards this week. Too bad they aren’t giving awards to the youngest signed player, otherwise RhynO would win. Read more below.

/ BIG 3

Image via Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

1/Here’s the start to the 2019 ESPN Esports Awards

Over the course of the week, ESPN is announcing the finalists and winners across five categories:

  • Monday: Best Team
  • Tuesday: Best Organization
  • Wednesday: Biggest Disappointment
  • Thursday: Best Moment
  • Friday: Best Player

While we’re still early into the week, here’s how things stand currently.

Best Team

  • Twitter fan poll winner: G2 Esports (47 percent of vote)
  • ESPN winner: San Francisco Shock
  • Runner-up: FunPlus Phoenix

Best Organization

  • Twitter fan poll winner: Team Liquid (46 percent of vote)
  • ESPN winner: Team Liquid
  • Runner-up: G2 Esports

We’ll post the latest category winners in the next newsletter.

2/The youngest player in pro Overwatch has just been signed to Uprising Academy

Now it’s time to feel even older as a gamer. Team Uprising Academy, owned by the Boston Uprising, just made history today by signing Michael “RhynO” Willoughby to the 2020 roster. The thing about this exceptional tank player, however, is that he’s 13 years old.

Making the connection: RhynO has been playing in Open Division tournaments and climbing up the competitive ladder for quite a while now. Last weekend, he participated in the Huntington Beach NCS Overwatch LAN tournament, which was hosted by Nerd Street Gamers. His signing with Uprising Academy was likely in part to him frequently partnering up with their players during the grind through ranked mode, such as Walid “Mouffin” Bassal.

Previous records: Kamden “Sugarfree” Hijada shares the title of youngest player ever when he signed with ATL Academy also at age 13. The record was previously held by Haydin “ZerG” Gordon, who signed on to Fusion University at age 14. Sugarfree turned 15 earlier this month, so RhynO is technically the youngest player in Overwatch Contenders at this time.

3/A season recap of LCS and some details about viewership

Now that we’re reaching the end of 2019, it’s time for a year in summary. Riot Games recently released a summary of the LCS season that included various details from viewership statistics to economic impact.

A summary of the summary

  • LCS was the “third most popular major professional sports league in the U.S. among 18- to 34-year-olds based on live average minute audience (AMA).”
  • Over 53,000 fans watched live League stateside over the course of the year.
  • LCS helped to boost Detroit’s local economy by an impressive $5.44 million where the season finals took place.
  • The LCS Spring Finals had 609,000 peak concurrent viewers and an average viewer count of 433,000 for when TSM faced Team Liquid for the LCS championship.
  • 12 new partners were introduced to the league, including Alienware, Honda, Mastercard, Panasonic, Rocket Mortgage, and State Farm.

When things resume: The 2020 LCS Spring Split is scheduled to begin on January 25.


We just had our latest MAINGEAR gaming backpack giveaway drawing! The lucky winner is Robert from Lexington. Congrats for winning and we’re grateful for everyone’s support!

Sad you missed out? Don’t worry. We’re doing more drawings every Tuesday! So if you aren’t a previous winner,you’ve already been thrown back into the drawing for our next backpack giveaway! Stay strong, your time will come!


Image via Twitch

/Twitch is being sued for $3 billion for broadcasting in Russia

Rambler Group, the third-largest internet provider in Russia, is suing Twitch over pirated broadcasts of English Premier League soccer games. The lawsuit alleges that their exclusive broadcasting rights were breached by Twitch approximately 36,000 times over a four-month period.

Lawsuit terms: Rambler Group is suing the streaming platform for around $3 billion. They’re additionally trying to have Twitch banned permanently in Russia. But they’re still working together in the hopes of reaching a settlement agreement.

It was the one-armed man: Twitch obviously responds that the case is “unfounded” and it “only provides users with access to the platform and is unable to change the content posted by users.” This is basically an attempt to shift the blame to users instead of Twitch owning up to not removing the streams sooner.

/Other Biz



Astralis Group began trading in Denmark on Monday, December 9th, representing the first notable esports team to become publicly traded. Shares priced at 8.95 DKK in the IPO and has sold off 32.9% from its IPO price, closing yesterday at 6.00 DKK. 

Nonetheless, the Astralis IPO is a major milestone for esports, and will likely serve as a benchmark for esports teams raising capital in the private markets. We’ll be watching closely to see how public investors act in response to the spectrum of team-related news, from tournament results to earnings and everything in between.


Roundhill believes that esports and video games are the future of live media, sports and entertainment. $NERD is the first pure-play Esports ETF (exchange-traded fund), offering exposure to 25 global esports and digital entertainment companies.

Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. For a prospectus and holdings, click here. Foreside Fund Services, LLC, Distributor.



Image via Shroud

/Shroud lost 85% of his viewership in the switch to Mixer

Ex-CS:GO pro player and renowned streamer Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek first announced in October that he was leaving Twitch for Microsoft’s streaming platform Mixer based on a streaming contract. A report has since surfaced by StreamMetrics which shows a dramatic drop in viewers.

The comparison: In October, Shroud’s unique viewers on Twitch was around 718,000. in November, however, his Mixer streams generated 231,000 unique viewers. Only around 15% of his viewers remained loyal to him and made the switch to Mixer, whereas the remaining 85% did not. Around 47% of his US viewership on Mixer in November came from those who watched him on Twitch in October. The other half are viewers new to Mixer and had not seen Shroud on anything previous to November.


Image via Harrisburg University

/Harrisburg University is launching a standalone Esports BS degree program

Harrisburg University just posted a press release about an amazing new announcement. After having established a successful varsity esports program that went on to win the Collegiate Overwatch National Championship earlier in 2019, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology is now introducing an Esports Bachelor of Science degree program.

About the program: Starting in 2020, students will be able to enroll in the program. This degree provides students with the skills needed “become a media content creator, event manager, specialized coach, organizational/team manager, esports marketing manager, esports analyst, and more.” This isn’t just a training ground for aspiring students, but a path to turn a passion into a career opportunity within the growing esports industry.



Congrats again to Robert from Lexington for winning our latest backpack giveaway!


We’re giving away a free gaming backpack every Tuesday to people who sign up here.

To start, you’ll get three entries in the drawing. Want more? Then refer friends, follow us on social media, and more.