Riot Games a bright spot for Tencent challenged

The esports event of the year that I’m looking forward to? The Tetris Effect Connected World Championship 2022 in October. Classic Tetris has had a World Championship since 2010, and its debut as an “esport” was in 1990 at the Nintendo World Championships (yes, I remember reading about it in Nintendo Power magazine). Esports is not as young as everyone thinks.

-Jason Wilson

Two years after its release, Valorant, the free-to-play first-person hero shooter from Riot Games, continues to achieve record stats, with monthly active users (MAUs) in the second quarter and quarterly revenue from sales in the game reaching record levels.

The positive development comes from the second quarter earnings call of Tencent, the Chinese company that wholly owns Riot Games and has several stakes in other esports and gaming companies, including:

  • Tournament and event organizers TJ Sports and VSPN
  • Publishers/developers Epic Games, Krafton and Ubisoft
  • Huya and DouYu streaming platforms

Tencent reported that its revenue for the three-month period ending June 30 edged down 3% year-over-year to $19.74 billion due to significant changes and challenges facing the company. China’s internet industry has been struggling since the start of 2021. In reaction to the changing political climate in the country, Tencent has shut down non-essential or redundant businesses, including its esports-focused live-streaming platform Penguin Esports, which it closed on June 7. At the end of the second quarter, Tencent also cut its workforce by 5,000 as a cost-cutting measure. .

With revenue from titles such as Honor of Kings, League of Legends, and Moonlight Blade Mobile, Tencent’s domestic gaming segment generated another $4.68 billion in revenue during the second quarter, driven by recently launched titles. such as Return to Empire, Wild Rift and Fight of the Golden Spatula. In comparison, two of the largest video game developers in the United States, Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts, have combined $3.41 billion in worldwide sales during the same period.

Benefiting from Valorant’s continued growth, Tencent’s international games segment contributed $1.58 billion to the company’s total revenue in the second quarter. However, year-over-year, segment revenue was down 1% due to an industry-wide normalization of user spending on mobile games post-COVID. — Tobias Seck


Hawks Talon Gaming, the Atlanta Hawks’ affiliate in the NBA 2K League, made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Coach Ismael Diaz-Tolentino is thrilled that Hawks Talon’s playoff debut coincides with the league’s 3v3 Championship trophy debut.

“It means a lot,” Diaz-Tolentino said. “The organization has been a firm believer in the NBA 2K League since the early days and has always provided us with the resources to be competitive in this league. For us, making the playoffs this year is a manifestation of our hard work and it is the first step toward the enduring winning culture we’re trying to build in Atlanta.”

Meanwhile, the NBA 2K League presented the new trophy for its 3v3 Championships, which is currently being held at the Pan Am Pavilion in downtown Indianapolis. This is the first time in the league’s five years of existence that it has awarded such a trophy for its 3v3 competition (it has been the case for the past four years for its 5v5 championship).

Atlanta-based Volpin, which produces props, replicas and awards for clients including Arby’s, Blizzard Entertainment, Riot Games and Valve, manufactures the trophy. Volpin has also won all four previous 5×5 trophies. — Jason Wilson

The NBA 2K League 3v3 Trophy is inspired by basketball courts

Esports teams are still grappling with the ripple effects of layoffs centered on the social media and creative aspects of their businesses.

100 Thieves last month laid off more than 20 employees in its esports, talent, partnerships and marketing departments. In a meeting with management, the apparel division was “outperforming” 100 Thieves’ content efforts, Business Insider notes.

TSM FTX and Dignitas have also been hit by layoffs, according to The Fudge Retort. Australia-based Order has also entered voluntary administration – a form of extreme financial instability.

As companies recover from a looming recession, some believe that at least some of the massive layoffs are due to poor planning. “Esports teams are moving too quickly in non-revenue-generating areas, primarily in content and creation,” a senior management source at a major North American esports team told SBJ.

The source also says that in the future, you’ll see more teams hire into sales roles and grow other aspects of their business. “Even the most popular teams need to be scaled down,” the source said. — Hunter Cooke


  • OpTic Gaming has bolstered its sales staff with a pair of rookies, bringing in Rachel Alexander as director of sales and partnerships and Tony Constantacos as director of business development.
  • Ninjas in Pajamas has named Troels Robl performance director. Robl spent nearly two years as a culture director and mental coach for Heroic Esports.
  • Hung Tran is the new North America Marketing Manager for Galaxy Racer. Tran spent nearly two years as Chief Marketing Officer for Playfly Esports.
  • Beth Bryson has been appointed brand manager for Overwatch at Blizzard Entertainment. Prior to joining Blizzard, Bryson worked at media companies such as CBS and Marvel.
  • John DeHart is the new Chief Marketing Officer of Belong Gaming. DeHart has previously worked with esports organization eUnited and Engine Gaming & Media.
  • The ESL One Malaysia 2022 Dota 2 major is sold out, event organizer ESL expects 5,000 people per day for three days. It takes place August 26-28 at the Arena of Stars in the Genting Highlands.
  • Tencent has signed a sponsorship deal with French luxury brand Balenciaga for the Peace Elite League, its top Peacekeeper Elite series. Balenciaga will produce exclusive “PEL X Balenciaga” co-branded apparel for the champion team in the 2022 PEL Summer Split, which is underway.
  • Rival has built another gaming community and fan engagement platform for a football franchise, this time partnering with EFL Championship side Burnley FC (the second tier of British football just below the Premier League) .
  • Esports team and gaming content network Beastcoast is the latest tenant in Butler University Esports Park.
  • Regression Games has raised $4.2 million for AI in gaming and esports events, GamesBeat reports.
  • Sportsbook company Odin.gg has raised $4.5 million in a Series A led by Velo Partners, Genting Ventures and Odin.gg investors.
  • Team Vitality has partnered with GG.Bet to be the official betting partner of its Counter-Strike: Global Assault “super-team”.
  • Austin FC launched the ATXFC ​​Gaming Club, intended to connect Austin FC fans with each other using FIFA competitions.

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