Big changes are brewing at the Overwatch League broadcast desk. Team Liquid may be getting creative for the LCS season due to visa issues. Read more below.
Last week, we reported that popular caster Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles and host Chris Puckett will not be returning to their roles in 2020. This, along with the in-question status of MonteCristo’s casting partner Erik “DoA” Lonnquist, leaves a hole in the broadcasting lineup needing immediate attention. What better way to address the situation than by internally moving talents Brennon “Bren” Hook and Josh “Sideshow” Wilkinson up from analysis to casting rotation?
Bren and Sideshow have worked with Blizzard for two years providing pre- and post-match coverage for OWL, meaning that they have a keen insight into the league and its players. The duo originally come from a shoutcasting background in Team Fortress 2, making this a natural transition back to basics. Overall, this guarantees Blizzard and OWL fans at least one consistent casting pair going into the new season, leaving room for more interesting adjustments to look out for in the coming weeks. The 2020 season starts on Valentine’s Day, so maybe we’ll have new pairs to cheer on by then.
Team Liquid has recently been experiencing visa issues causing the delay of roster players coming to Los Angeles for the League of Legends 2020 season. However, complex problems invite creative solutions, which can certainly be said for content creator Ashkhan “TF Blade” Homayouni’s recent announcement that he will be going to LA to potentially compete under the Team Liquid banner.
He is currently listed as the team’s substitute top laner, making it a sensible move for TL while it attempts to resolve the visa issues holding up junglers Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen and Shern “Shernfire” Cherng Tai, as well as head coach Jang “Cain” Nu-ri. It’s likely the roster will shift into different roles to accommodate Homayouni, but we will know sooner than later as the LCS season starts January 25th.
Seeing how massive The International is every year and the faithful fanbase of Dota 2 in general, it can come as a shock to hear that Valve’s darling MOBA title reported the lowest player count since 2014 just last month.
The numbers: The December 2019 average player count was 384,179, with peak player count at 685,165; this is a huge downwind from March 2019 which recorded 586,505 and 1,033,925 respectively.
The recent Outlanders patch was chock full of new content meant to bring in players again, but perhaps a new way of revitalizing the fanbase is necessary in 2020.
Esports organizations have increasingly boasted non-endemic sponsors for their teams over the past few years, but it’s always interesting to highlight the bigger name businesses stepping foot into the market. G2 Esports recently picked Arctic Gaming to manage their academy League of Legends team, and with that announcement comes the sponsorship of new brand ally, Chips Ahoy!
Since G2 Arctic will be playing in Superlingua Orange, a Spanish-owned company partnership through Chips Ahoy’s parent company the Mondelez Group makes sense. This will provide “fresh content, cool interactions and fun experiences for Spanish esports fans,” but ultimately will stand as another test of the esports market for businesses looking to appeal to a younger, gaming demographic.
A recent SuperData report reveals that League generated the second-highest amount of revenue for a free-to-play PC game at an impressive $1.5 billion, just behind the wildly-popular Fortnite. This number provides ample evidence that League of Legends continues to be a viable consumer title ten years since release.
However, the report shows that two mobile titles (Dungeon Fighter Online and Honour of Kings) are ahead of League in revenue stream, and that League players are less likely to purchase in-game items by a large margin compared to Fortnite players. Riot Games may need to contemplate their strategy for 2020 and beyond to keep pace with a changing market. The developer’s new game rollout will definitely help, but keeping the flagship title vibrant is likely a key organizational goal.
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True Sight, the documentary series covering The International 9, will premiere in Berlin on January 28th, giving fans a chance to relive the epic final series between Team Liquid and OG. If you’re not able to fly out to Germany, you can watch the series streamed online and hosted on YouTube after the premiere.
In a recent interview, star T1 player and League of Legends “god” Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok revealed that a North American LCS team offered him a blank check to play in the 2020 season.
Faker pondered the move and ultimately declined, stating that the logistics were better for staying in Korea and he didn’t want to disappoint Korean fans by leaving, but he definitely let down potential North American fans hoping he could bring his magic touch to their LCS roster.
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