ESL and DreamHack parent Modern Times Group (MTG) reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2020, recording a constant net sales of kr1.1B SEK ($124M USD) compared to the same quarter last year.
MTG’s net sales for the quarter ended on June 30 were offset by operating costs before depreciation and amortization of kr992M ($112M), which decreased by 4% year-over-year. In total, the company reported a net loss for the period of kr19M ($2.15M) compared to a net loss of kr38M ($4.3M) in the same period of last year (excluding discontinued operations). Broken down to earnings per share (EPS), the quarter resulted in a loss of kr1.01 ($0.11) per share.
“Our esports vertical continues to deliver on the strategic objective to professionalize the commercial part of esports by onboarding more strategic partners to our tournaments, despite the challenging circumstances. The focus has been to move our events online, in order to ensure continued attractiveness towards all our stakeholders. The vertical performed better than anticipated compared with the financial guidance for the first half of 2020,” explained MTG President and CEO Jørgen Madsen Lindemann in a release. “This was driven by new agreements with media partners such as Twitch, higher esports services revenue and stronger performance by our business to consumer product. Equally important factors included good cost control and a more favorable revenue mix with a larger high margin media component during the quarter.”
During the quarter, MTG was able to secure several deals and partnerships, including a three-year streaming deal for its subsidiaries ESL and DreamHack with Twitch, an agreement with Fortnite developer Epic Games to launch a new DreamHack tournament series featuring Fortnite, and a partnership with Rocket League’s developer Psyonix to partner on the production of the Rocket League Championship Series Season X.
Going into H2 2020, MTG expects esports revenues to decline by 30-40% compared to the same period of 2019 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on live events. The company is addressing the expectation of declining esports revenues by continuing to reduce costs of goods sold and fixed costs for ESL and DreamHack. The company estimates the savings from those measures will be kr325M ($36.71M) for H2 2020 compared to H2 2019.
Tfue finally tastes victory in Fall Guys after 7 hours of playtime
Fall Guys has shown to be an extremely difficult and competitive game, pitting sixty people against each other in a series of different mini-games to determine one winner.
Popular Twitch streamer and YouTuber Tfue has finally had his first taste of victory in the new battle royale-style game after seven hours of playing.
The win came on the Hex-A-Gone mini-game. This level pits the final contestants against each other on multiple layers of hexagons that will disappear shortly after they are stepped on.
In Tfue’s case, there were 14 players left heading into this final mini-game and Tfue outlasted them all, ending on the bottom level of hexagons to secure his victory.
In celebration, Tfue chugged a beer that he had earned outlasting all the other players.
The seven hours before winning included some close calls for Tfue. One of these near-wins came in the Find the Path mini-game. In this situation, Tfue had followed the correct path and even activated the final tile to the finish line, but he was unaware that he would be required to jump to the end and ended up walking himself right off the edge to be eliminated.
Fall Guys has seen overwhelming success since its launch last week and despite being forced to overcome server issues has remained one of the most popular titles on Twitch ever since.
Dr Disrespect responds to Shroud’s return to Twitch
Popular FPS streamer Shroud announced his return to Twitch today after his partnership with Mixer ended prematurely due to the platform closing.
Many streamers shared their reactions to the news with a majority praising the streamer for his decision. Former Twitch partner Dr Disrespect responded to the news with a short video skit taken from his livestream.
In the video, The Doc can be seen impersonating Shroud as he joins Dr Disrespect in singing along to his new theme music. After some encouraging words to himself, The Doc, impersonating Shroud says that he (Dr Disrespect) is jealous of him.
“I haven’t had to do shit except send three GIFs on Twitter and I’m already making millions, so what have you done,” Dr Disrespect said.
The Doc was likely just poking some fun at Shroud, who he has streamed with and spoken about several times. This does not look to be possible anymore, though, with Shroud making his return to Twitch, he will be unable to include banned players in his stream.
Dr Disrespect was banned from Twitch earlier this year and said that he does not know why the ban occurred. Since this, The Doc took some time away from streaming before making his return to now stream on YouTube.
Blizzard removes 2-way restrictions in 2021 Overwatch League roster construction rules
With the 2020 Overwatch League season nearing its end, Blizzard has given teams an updated list of rules for roster construction that will be put into effect for the 2021 season.
The League Office has made several massive changes to the roster guidelines, including significant changes to contract lengths and guarantees, along with a few rules that are going into practice right now.
Heading into the 2020 postseason, Blizzard wants to ensure all of its teams can continue to compete at the highest level, which means that if a team has a player retire, become unavailable for play due to COVID-19, or elect not to travel to events, they can sign a temporary replacement player.
Those replacement signings will all have expiring contracts that end following the 2020 postseason, meaning all of those players will be eligible free agents heading into 2021. There are also two travel-related rules in place that make a player eligible for signing a replacement contract.
- The free agent must have citizenship for a country in Asia
- The free agent must have an existing visa to travel to countries in Asia
This new signing period goes into effect on Sept. 14, while teams that have been eliminated from the postseason can begin discussing 2021 contracts with expiring players whose team options have not been exercised. The 2021 free agency period will run from Oct. 23 to Nov. 20, with a seven-player roster deadline placed on Nov. 23.
There is currently no listed trade deadline for the 2021 season and players who were born on or before June 30, 2003 are now eligible to compete in the OWL.
As for the contract changes, all teams must have at least seven players signed to season-long contracts by Nov. 23. A maximum of 12 players can be signed to any type of contract throughout the season.
Players can be signed to season-long contracts, which last the entire 2021 season and can also have a team option that can be used to keep that player under contract for the following season too. Three seasons is the maximum contract length allowed, which would include any team option year.
The two types of player contracts for the 2021 season are as follows:
- Season-long contracts: These contracts have a minimum initial term of one season. They may include a unilateral team option to extend the term for one additional season. The maximum term of a season-long contract is three seasons, including any team option year.
- Thirty-day contracts: These can be used to test a player on the main roster, but after 30 days, it expires and that player becomes a free agent again and is free to negotiate with other teams if they are not given a deal.
Season-long contracts are terminable by the team without cause, subject to payment of a buyout fee to be agreed upon by the player and their team. The minimum buyout fee will be equal to the salary owed for either the lesser of 30 days or the number of days remaining in the season, any earned but unpaid bonuses payments, and any earned but unpaid prize money.
Two-way players have also been reworked, as there is no limit to the number of players who may be designated as two-way players at any given time for an organization. Two-way players on teams with no academy team affiliate can also participate in Contenders competitions.
Players who are signed to two-way contracts will still receive pay and benefits according to their contracts even when competing in Contenders, which will be required to at least meet the OWL minimum salary at all times.
Any two-way player that does not play in five consecutive Overwatch League matches for their team over a minimum of three consecutive weeks will be eligible to participate in Contenders or other non-league Overwatch esports competitions licensed by Blizzard.
Teams without academy team affiliates may agree to player loan agreements with a Contenders team, though each loan must be approved by the League Office. And up to four two-way players may compete together on the same Contenders team roster in any given Contenders match.
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