EA has announced that the culminating EA SPORTS Madden NFL 19 Championship Series event, Madden NFL 19 Bowl, smashed franchise media consumption records solidifying its place in the mainstream esports lexicon.
Madden NFL 19 Bowl’s Twitch audience peaked at 97,000 viewers, a 650 percent annual increase, and the stream generated more than 2.5 million views, an 850 percent year-over-year increase. The ESPN2 broadcast of the one-hour final had a total reach of 805,000 viewers, and combined Madden NFL 19 Bowl Twitch and ESPN2 broadcasts secured a 208,000 average minute audience during the final, which tracks average minute-by-minute viewership. To reach more Madden NFL and esports fans, the broadcast plan for Madden NFL 19 Bowl included Twitch integration, a primetime ESPN2 linear broadcast, strategic stream embeds through fan site partnerships and connecting through community channels.
The success of Madden NFL 19 Bowl comes on the heels of Madden NFL 19 Championship Series event successes as both the Madden NFL 19 Classic and Madden NFL 19 Club Championship also secured double digit growth in viewers on digital platforms. The success of the Madden NFL 19 Championship Series reflects the commitment of the National Football League to esports as a way to spread the passion around the sport of football and draw a deeper connection to the NFL, its clubs and players.
“Drini’s Madden NFL 19 Bowl victory in front of a record-setting audience elevates him into superstardom and accelerates our mission to make stars of all our players,” said Todd Sitrin, SVP and GM of EA Competitive Gaming. “This year was a monumental step forward for the Madden NFL 19 Championship Series and is a testament to the powerful role traditional sports and esports play in attracting a global audience of players and spectators.”
“We’re thrilled with all the results from the Madden NFL 19 Championship Series and congratulate Drini Gjoka on his win in the Madden NFL 19 Bowl,” said Rachel Hoagland, VP and Head of Gaming and esports for the NFL. “These events are a key piece to the NFL’s overall esports strategy and represent a very natural way to elevate our brand and engage the next generation of fans.”
Drini Gjoka dominated Mike Spoto 41-0 in the Madden NFL 19 Bowl and became the Madden NFL 19 champion, raising his Madden NFL Championship Series lifetime earnings to just shy of $200,000. This was Drini’s second Madden NFL Major victory advancing him to second all-time only behind Michael Skimbo – a three-time winner. Madden NFL Majors are the biggest tournaments of the year possessing the highest stakes and biggest prize pools.
Throughout the season, telling compelling stories was key for connecting audiences to the Madden NFL 19 Championship Series. Partnerships with The CW on the “EA SPORTS Madden NFL 19 Classic” entertainment special and with ESPN on the four-part “Road to Madden NFL Bowl” docuseries ignited fandom as competitor friendships, rivalries, triumphs and tribulations humanized their journeys.
Madden NFL 19 Bowl was enhanced through its connection to the Madden NFL 20 reveal as 2018 NFL MVP, Patrick Mahomes, was named cover athlete live on ESPN during its pre-event NFL Draft 2019 broadcast. Immediately after the reveal, the Madden NFL 19 Bowl aired a Madden NFL 20 segment highlighting the new trailer, revealed the Madden NFL 20 Ultimate Superstar Edition and granting viewers a special edition 98 OVR Patrick Mahomes Madden NFL 19 Ultimate if they watched the Madden NFL 19 Bowl on Twitch.
Madden NFL 20 is developed in Orlando, Florida by EA Tiburon and will be available worldwide on August 2, 2019 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Origin for PC.
Are you a Madden fan? Did you watch the Madden NFL 19 Bowl on Twitch? Let us know in the comments!
Razer Signs on as New Evil Geniuses Partner
Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced a new partnership with Evil Geniuses (EG), one of the longest-running professional esports teams with a worldwide fan base. This marks Evil Geniuses’ return to Team Razer just as their Dota 2 team qualified for The International 2019 tournament. The EG Dota 2 team has been the most consistent in averaging top five finishes in the last five outings of the intense tournament.
Evil Geniuses will be outfitted with Razer’s esports-grade peripherals including headsets, keyboards, mice, and surfaces (mouse mats) for all training and tournaments over the next two years.
Evil Geniuses is well-known for their premier Dota 2 and Call of Duty (COD) teams, and also has teams competing in Fortnite, Rocket League, Rainbow Six: Siege, Artifact, Smash Bros., and Street Fighter V. Their major achievements include winning The International 2015 Dota 2 Championship and Call of Duty World League Championship 2018. Their Dota 2 team recently placed third at the MDL Disneyland Paris Dota 2 Major and is in top form going into the upcoming The International 2019 tournament.
“Team Razer is proud to partner with Evil Geniuses at the highest level of esports. We are always inspired by their passion and commitment, and our partnership will be fueled by the best of esports technology and skills.” – David Tse, Global Director of Esports, Razer
The EG Dota 2 team features a pair of star esports athletes: Artour “Arteezy” Babaev is an Uzbekistan-born Canadian with over half a million livestream followers. Syed Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan, the Pakistani esports prodigy, became the youngest player to win The International Dota 2 Championship and the youngest to surpass $1 million in esports winnings at the age of only 16. When this year’s The International tournament kicks off in August and Team EG takes on some of the world’s best Dota 2 teams in their fight for another trophy, all eyes will be on them and their teammates.
EG’s COD team features a duo of two-time Call of Duty World Champions, Jordan “JKap” Kaplan (2015, 2016) and Bryan “Apathy” Zhelyazkov (2016, 2018). They are the only two players to have made an appearance in three consecutive Call of Duty Championship Grand Finals, with JKap also holding the record for most grand finals appearances out of any COD player (four). Rounding out the 5-man squad is another Call of Duty World Champion, Dillon “Attach” Price, who is the youngest player ever to win a COD Championship (2015, at the age of 18).
“The partnership with Team Razer adds incredible value,” added Phillip Aram, COO of Evil Geniuses, “Razer’s high-performance gaming devices are top-tier and give our players a new performance edge. Razer is the perfect brand with which to enjoy continued success and to compete for a repeat win at The International.”
Have you used Razer products? What do you think of this partnership? Tell us in the comments!
Lenovo Announces North America Partnership with eSports Team SoloMid
Today, Lenovo North America announced a local partnership with Team SoloMid (TSM). The partnership is Lenovo North America’s first official esports sponsorship, and the investment will further enhance the company’s focus on the gaming industry.
As the exclusive PC partner of TSM’s teams and organization, Lenovo will outfit a revolutionary, state-of-the-art, gaming lounge for players inside TSM’s new 25,000 square foot training facility, currently under construction in Los Angeles. With Lenovo’s support, TSM’s players will not only be able to train and work toward competing at the highest level possible, the organization’s content team will have access to the technological tools necessary to produce world-class content. The Lenovo Legion Lounge will feature sleek, high-performance Lenovo gaming PCs, complete with immersive visuals and audio. The company will also host exclusive TSM events and giveaways throughout the year.
“With the esports audience projected to surpass NFL viewership and reach 276 million by 2022, Lenovo is excited to partner with a veteran team that helped to elevate the popularity of esports in the U.S.,” said Matt Zielinski, Lenovo’s President of North America, “We understand the tremendous growth potential of this market, and this partnership is a great complement to our investments in bringing professional-grade gaming experiences to avid players around the world.”
For more than a decade, TSM has fielded some of the most talented and successful professional esports teams in North America, competing across multiple titles such as League of Legends, Fortnite, Smash Brothers and Rocket League. In addition to its elite players, TSM has one of the largest, most engaged fan bases in esports with nearly 80 million followers across multiple platforms, and a network of gaming sites that boasts over 180 million page views a month.
“For TSM, partnering with Lenovo was simple,” says Andy Dinh, Founder and CEO of TSM. “Lenovo Legion is best in class when it comes to PCs that are optimized for gameplay. It’s important that we believe in the brand and products we partner with, and I want to make sure our players, and our audience, are using the best hardware possible. TSM focuses on excellence, and we only partner with the best. Lenovo’s history of a commitment to high performance and quality aligns with TSM’s vision for the future—not only for our teams, but our entire organization.”