Eric Chan

International Olympic Committee and Intel to host $500,000 esports tournament ahead of 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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Psyonix/Epic Games

International Olympic Committee and Intel to host $500,000 esports tournament ahead of 2020 Tokyo Olympics

The International Olympic Committee and Intel, one of the world’s leading multinational technology corporations, have partnered up to announce the Intel World Open, an esports competition that will take place in the run-up to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Featuring a $500,000 prize pool, the Intel World Open will feature Rocket League and Street Fighter V competitions in partnership with each title’s respective developers Psyonix/Epic Games and Capcom.

The Intel World Open kicks off with a series of online qualifiers in early 2020 for both titles followed by a live qualifier event that will take place in Katowice, Poland in June to determine which teams will be able to advance onto the main event. Intel and the IOC will host the World Open finals at Tokyo’s Zepp DiverCity venue from July 22-24, 2020, with an even split of $250,000 from the prize pool being up for grabs for competitors in each title.

IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell stated, "We are excited Intel is bringing the Intel World Open esports tournament to Japan in the lead up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. As we explore the engagement between esports and the Olympic Movement we are looking forward to learning from this event and continuing to engage with the passionate esports community from around the world."

Event production will be handled by none other than ESL who has years of experience hosting large scale tournaments around the world for various esports titles. In 2018, ahead of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, ESL similarly collaborated with both Intel and the IOC to run the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) PyeongChang which featured esports tournaments for titles ranging from StarCraft II to Overwatch.

Following the conclusion of the Intel World Cup, the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics themselves begins two days later on July 24.

The Kellogg Company and Overwatch League enter multi-year partnership deal

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Blizzard Entertainment

The Kellogg Company and Overwatch League enter multi-year partnership deal

The Overwatch League has announced an exclusive multi-year deal with Kellogg Company, which will include co-marketing initiatives involving the latter’s Cheez-It and Pringles products. 

The partnership comes at a time following the end of the regular season and kicks off during the playoffs starting Aug. 30. Alongside an impressive list of other brands, Cheez-It Grooves, and Pringles Wavy will be the presenting sponsor of the halftime show and highlights segments during the 2019 Grand Finals held later this year in Philadelphia. 

The 2019 deal will include a one-day sampling of Cheez-It and Pringles products, and a viewing of the Overwatch League 2019 Grand Finals on Sept. 29 across 1,000 Walmart stores. This deal isn’t the first move that the Kellogg Company has made into the Overwatch esports space. Earlier this summer, the Kellogg Company announced a partnership with the Philadelphia based esports infrastructure company, N3rd Street Gamers, to sponsor a set of Overwatch Esports tournament via brand activations of Cheez-It Grooves.

“We know snack lovers of Cheez-It and Pringles are active in esports, especially the Overwatch League, so this is a great opportunity to connect two passion points together,” said Zion Doran, Senior Director of Kellogg Integrated Promotions in a press release.

In 2020, as part of the deal, Kellogg will release co-branded sweepstakes, merchandise, and packaging for both Cheez-It Grooves and Pringles Wavy products featuring Overwatch League branding.

“We are thrilled to announce this important partnership on behalf of the Overwatch League,” Brandon Snow, Chief Revenue Officer at Activision Blizzard Esports, said. “Working with brands like Cheez-It and Pringles that we know our fans really enjoy allows us to create unique experiences that are exciting and genuine.”

This initiative will also feature efforts such as a U.S. sweepstakes where consumers will have the chance to win tickets to the new sold-out Overwatch League finals and other league related items as prizes. It is important to note that while Pringles products will extend globally given how the Overwatch League is an international league featuring city-based teams, Cheez-It branding will remain a U.S.-only arrangement.

“To have such a prestigious organization like Kellogg partner with us around two great brands like Cheez-It and Pringles is fantastic,” said Josh Cella, head of global partnerships for Activision Blizzard Esports. “As we launch this partnership in our postseason, we are excited about all of the great experiences we are going to create for fans in the coming years.”

The 2019 Overwatch League season playoffs begin this Friday at 6:00 PM PST with a match between the Guangzhou Charge versus the Seoul Dynasty followed by a subsequent series featuring the Philadelphia Fusion taking on the Shanghai Dragons. 

The Fusion are bringing the Overwatch League home in 2020 with 3 homestand weekend events

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PHL Fusion

The Fusion are bringing the Overwatch League home in 2020 with 3 homestand weekend events

As the representatives of the City of Brotherly Love, the Philadelphia Fusion will host the city’s first-ever Overwatch League regular-season matches in their local market over the course of three homestand weekend events come 2020.

With the Fusion Arena still under construction and set to open its doors in 2021, the Fusion will host events for the upcoming season at The Met Philadelphia on Feb. 15 and 16, when they will face Washington Justice and Florida Mayhem.

Later in the year for their second homestand weekend on May 23 and 24, also at The Met, the Fusion will be taking on the Pacific Conference’s Chengdu Hunters and Seoul Dynasty. 

For the third and final weekend event, the Fusion homestand will be hosted at the Adrian Phillips Theater at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on June 6 and 7, where they will face Hangzhou Spark and Guangzhou Charge.

“We are thrilled to bring the Philadelphia Fusion home for the 2020 season,” said Joe Marsh, Chief Business Officer, Philadelphia Fusion in a press release. “The Met and Boardwalk Hall both have a rich history of hosting world-class events.  We can’t wait to bring professional Overwatch to these venues and create unforgettable experiences for our fans.”

In addition to playing as the Philadelphia home team during these weekends, the Fusion will also act as hosts to visiting teams who will be competing amongst each other during the regular season. Given the hype and events held at the homestand events at Dallas, Atlanta and Los Angeles, which were test cases for the 2020 system, Philly locals can expect large crowds and a weekend of esports fun.

Beginning in February and concluding in August, teams will compete in 28 matches over the course of the regular season. View the full 2020 Overwatch League schedule here

“We are thrilled to bring the Philadelphia Fusion home for the 2020 season,” Marsh said. “The Met and Boardwalk Hall both have a rich history of hosting world-class events.  We can’t wait to bring professional Overwatch to these venues and create unforgettable experiences for our fans.”

Despite a rough season, the Fusion have made the Top 12 cut off for the Overwatch League Play-In Stage and will be battling for a spot in the upcoming Playoffs. As with all teams, the Fusion has their sights set on making it to the Grand Finals and a chance to play in front of a sold out global audience at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, September 29.

Tickets for Philadelphia homestand weekends go on sale Wednesday, August 28 at 10 a.m. via PhillyFusionTix.com