Counter-Strike continues to flex its muscles


I refuse to call FaZe Clan’s first day of public trading a “FaZe Factory”. While I’m sure the company would have preferred its stock to close rather than drop just over 20%, we need to see how it performs over a period of several weeks before reporting it – and FaZe’s efforts Clan to go public — a failure.

-Jason Wilson

High attendance and viewership figures from the recent Intel Extreme Masters event in Cologne, Germany show that the esports scene around Counter-Strike: Global Offensive continues to grow.

Fans watching the stream on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and NimoTV saw a final between FaZe Clan and Natus Vincere peak at over 1.2 million viewers, helping the event reach an average viewership of over 276,000 viewers. Those numbers set records for a non-championship CS:GO event.

Taking place at the Lanxess Arena, it was also a packed house for a venue that can seat 20,000 people. Live shots on the stream showed a few open seats. The high attendance was a good omen for the nine brands active on site. Intel, Legion by Lenovo, DHL, US Air Force, 1xBet, Monster Energy, Müllermilch and Spotify were all present.

Developed by Valve, CS:GO has been a mainstay in esports since 2012 and has demonstrated a demonstrable ability to garner views and brands. The esports scene has taken off since 2015 and has aired on major networks like TBS as part of the ELeague competitions. It regularly attracts large numbers of viewers with its larger tournaments. — Kevin Hitt

Fans recently filled an arena in Cologne for an IEM Masters event featuring CS:GO

Sony’s acquisition of this week looks like a great addition to its March 2021 deal for Evolution Championship Series (EVO), which brought the biggest fighting game esports series under the manufacturer’s umbrella. Playstation.

But beyond being one of Sony’s biggest esports deals to date, the move could also be a significant step forward after the company’s recent stumbles when it comes to engaging its players. is a platform that deals with several aspects of online gambling. It hosts and manages online tournaments, tracks rankings and results, and has a marketplace where players who earn credits in tournaments run by can turn them into items such as gift cards for Steam, Amazon or the PlayStation Store. All of these look attractive for a company that not only has a major esports circuit, but also owns one of the biggest gaming platforms on PlayStation, which recently rolled out a revamped subscription package and other engagement programs.

In March, Sony announced a three-tier subscription platform, confusing many. When it released in June, some people were still confused as to what games they would get at what tier (compare that to Xbox Game Pass, where you get the games if you sign up, and you don’t if you don’t). are not subscribed).

Then came the announcement this month of a new loyalty program. Most people focused on how it included digital collectibles that looked suspiciously like NFTs (players hate them). Sony later clarified that it was not NFT. But another aspect of this loyalty program struck me. It offers points for in-game achievements that players can redeem for PSN Wallet credits and certain PlayStation Store products. This is very similar to how’s store works.

Esports is a fantastic channel for engagement and marketing, and the addition of’s tools seems like a good fit for the moves Sony has taken not only in competitive gaming, but also in creating a best subscription package and deals to engage players, a tactic that goes beyond reliance on big-budget single-player games like Horizon: Forbidden West and God of War: Ragnarök this fall.

But an industry insider points out that there could be another game here: EVO uses to run its events, and Microsoft owns that tournament platform. Perhaps Sony’s acquisition of is as easy as grabbing a tournament rig to run EVO and getting rid of a competitor’s service. — Jason Wilson

ESL has officially announced the dates and other details for the first Snapdragon Pro Series Finals, a series of sponsored mobile gaming competitions developed with Qualcomm. Tournaments to crown champions in Clash of Clans and Brawl Stars begin July 30 and end September 5 at PAX West in front of a live audience. ESL said more than 500,000 players have taken part in the Snapdragon Pro series so far.

Clash of Clans will hold its cross-regional competition at ESL’s studio in Katowice, Poland. Representatives from Europe, North America, the Middle East, North Africa and India will compete in individual competitions. The prize pool for this inter-regional tournament is over $150,000, and the winners of the competition from each region qualify for an inter-regional competition for a shot at the Supercell World Championship.

The Brawl Stars Asia-Pacific Finals will take place on July 30 at the Kuala Lumpur Battle Arena in Malaysia. The Brawl Stars Europe & Middle East tournament will take place at Gamescom 2022 in Cologne, Germany on August 27-28. The top four teams then face off in a double-elimination bracket. For North American teams, the top four Brawl Stars teams from the Snapdragon Mobile Challenge season one battle at PAX West from September 4-5. — Hunter cooking

  • UK esports organization Guild Esports has signed a one-year global sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola, becoming the organization’s official soft drink and hydration partner and marking the sixth sponsorship signed by Guild.
  • G2 Esports has signed a sponsorship with furniture designer Herman Miller that will feature a performance model gaming chair developed in conjunction with the organization. This joins G2’s existing agreements with global brands such as Ralph Lauren, Adidas, BMW, New Era and Mastercard.
  • Gaming brand HP Omen is the exclusive PC hardware sponsor of Team Gullit’s new HQ. Gullit is known for his FIFA prowess.
  • FaZe Clan ended its first day of trading on the Nasdaq down more than 20% and closed Day 2 Thursday up about 2%. The stock is now trading at around $10/share.

  • FIFA 23, EA Sports’ latest football game with the FIFA brand, will see Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé and Chelsea’s Sam Kerr on the Ultimate Edition’s global coverage. Kerr becomes the first woman to feature on a FIFA World Cover, and she will also be on the standard edition.
  • Youth esports organization XP League plans to add 25 franchises by the end of the year, following an acquisition by Unleashed Brands (which also owns brands like Urban Air Adventure Park and The Little Gym).
  • The Esports WRC World Finals will take place on September 7-8 in Greece during the EKO Acropolis Rally, with competitors racing at the Acropolis. This is the esports component of Nacon’s WRC 10, the official game of the FIA ​​World Rally Championship.
  • The Valorant Championship Tour held firm against the numbers brought by IEM Cologne and Major V from Call of Duty.

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