Snapdragon Pro Series Season 2 Goes Bigger | Twitch Cuts Revenue Split for Top Streamers

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Source: Snapdragon Pro Series

Snapdragon Pro Series Season 2 Goes Bigger ESL Faceit & Qualcomm add more games to mobile series

The Snapdragon Pro Series esports tournament has confirmed it is returning for a second season, with an expanded selection of games. ESL Faceit and Qualcomm’s mobile-focused competition wrapped its inaugural season earlier this month.

Rules of the Game
The Snapdragon Pro Series is divided up by region and competition level. Entry-level competition has already started, with the season concluding  in May 2023. 

  • Current Regions: North America, EUR/MENA, Asia-Pacific, China, & India
  • Players start out at the “Open” level, before progressing to regional (“Challenge”) and world (“Masters”) levels
This year, Clash of Clans will be available for North American teams, while Free Fire and League of Legends: Wild Rift will be new options for Asia-Pacific. The latter will also make a debut in the EUR/MENA Challenger Series. 
  • Asphalt 9: Legends, Brawl Stars, Clash Royal, Legends of Runeterra, & PUBG Mobile round out the selection for Season 2
The Path Less Traveled
There is no shortage of esports competitions, but the Snapdragon Pro Series differs in key ways
  • Going Mobile: The most lucrative tournaments are dominated by PC and console titles such as Dota 2, League of Legends, Call of Duty, or Rainbow Six Siege.
    • Mobile esports like the Pro series offer a lower barrier to entry and larger player base
  • Outsourced Production: Whereas many big name esports series are produced by the developer or publisher, Snapdragon is neither.
    • Qualcomm is effectively offering a packaged solution for mobile developers who may not have the resources of Valve or Activision
  • Accessibility: To its credit, the Pro Series (with its rather modest prize pool) isn’t just focused on delivering the ultimate and best of the best that many other esports series trumpet.
    • “Era of Everyone,” “accessible,” and “democratizing” are its marketing buzzwords
What’s Next? 
The Pro Series may be in its infancy but it has big backers in the form of ESL Faceit, which was bought for $1.5 by Saudi Arabia’-backed Savvy Gaming Group this year, and Qualcomm.
  • More Regions: It’s noteworthy that South America is not included yet, despite the region’s history of quality esports franchises.
    • There is also the elephant in the room of Russian teams currently being excluded in esports
  • Qualcomm’s Gaming Expansion: It was revealed this week that Verizon, Razer, and Qualcomm are teaming up on a handheld gaming console to be revealed at RazerCon 2022 on October 15. While not Qualcomm’s first stab at gaming hardware, it’s arguably its most public play in recent memory.
    • The Snapdragon Pro Series does not have a 5G sponsor…yet. Don’t be surprised if Verizon signs on.

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Twitch Partners
Source: Twitch

Twitch Cuts Revenue Split for Top Streamers Shift from 70/30 to 50/50 could be a final straw for some

Twitch recently announced it will be reducing the share of subscription money that top streamers receive. Unsurprisingly, many steamers are peeved, to say the least. It’s a calculated gamble from the Amazon-owned streaming service that may pay off short term, but could come back to haunt it later. 

Slice of the Pie
Most of the income partner-level streamers receive on Twitch comes from a 50/50 split of subscription fees. Previously, the most popular streamers were able to negotiate a 70/30 split. Going forward, those streamers will receive 70/30 on their first $100,000 of annual subscription revenue, then 50/50 beyond that.

  • Current subscription prices range from $4.99 to $24.99 a month
    • Streamer Ad Revenue share was recently increased slightly to 55% as a consolation
  • Twitch claims “approximately 90% of streamers will not be affected"
  • Current contracts will be honored through their expiration
  • Changes start June 1, 2023
Seeing Other Services
This shift from Twitch comes amid a larger change in focus for the service. Over the summer, it loosened exclusivity provisions for streamers, who historically were not allowed to stream on rival services like YouTube. There’s two ways to look at this.
Quantity Over Quality
In many ways, Twitch’s recent actions reflect the strategies often seen in traditional media streaming. It’s not about how good your content is, it’s more about how much you can offer. Twitch is counting on having enough big names among streamers and so much content that it doesn’t matter if some disillusioned streamers take their talents to other platforms.

In the short term, this bet is likely to pay off. But down the road, this strategy may backfire. One need only recall how many of Twitch’s original stars were content creators fed up with YouTube’s treatment of them.  It's also worth noting that Twitch's senior VP of global creators, Constance Knight, announced her resignation the same day Amazon unveiled the new revenue split.

Supply Drop: Games & Players

Upcoming Games (September 30 - October 6)

Caffeine: Victoria's Legacy - PlayStation, XboxSwitch
Dakar Desert Rally - PC, PlayStation, Xbox
Deathverse: Let It Die - PC
FIFA 23 - PC, PlayStation, Xbox
My Little Pony: A Maretime Bay Adventure - PlayStation, Xbox
NieR:Automata The End of YoRHa Edition - Switch
Overwatch 2 - PC, PlayStation, XboxSwitch
Triple Take - PC

Editor's Most Anticipated: Overwatch 2. When the gaming juggernaut that is Blizzard releases a new game it will inevitably be one of the most anticipated that week, even that year. The team-based shooter Overwatch — Blizzard's most recent AAA release — was one of the top selling games upon its release six years ago and has since sold over 50 million copies. However, Overwatch 2 will launch in a completely different landscape than its predecessor did in 2016.

For one, Blizzard has had to do continuous damage control following sexual assault lawsuits that led to an $18 million dollar settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission earlier this year. Secondly, in a less important issue, the company is releasing the game at a time when microtransactions have become an industry standard. The leak (later confirmed) news that new Overwatch 2 characters will be locked behind "freemium" battle passes officially marked a major shift in Blizzard's game revenue plans that started with this year's release of Diablo Immortal. While Blizzard is justifiably following a business model that most have adopted in the industry, this news was met with less-than-enthusiasm by the community.

I have always been a huge fan of Overwatch, along with all Blizzard IPs (Overwatch has provided some of the best multiplayer matches in my gaming experience), but the company still has a lot of work to do in the hearts and minds department. I am rooting for them to do right by their employees and their fans — because the vast worlds, stories, and characters that so many people have worked to create have the ability to bring joy and connection to so many more. 


Comms: Social Campaigns

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The Tap: News to Go

  • Convention: E3 is reported to be returning in-person June 13 to June 16 at its old stomping grounds, the Los Angeles Convention Center. This edition will have a few changes, including splitting the convention into “for the industry” and “for the public” sections. The former will be exclusive and more focused on networking, while the latter will resemble the traditional E3 floor.
  • Media: HBO has released its first official teaser for its upcoming adaptation of PlayStation’s The Last of Us. The prestige series stars Pedro Pascal and has a reported 9-figure budget. The teaser has racked up over 6 million views in two days.
  • GPU: Intel has revealed that its flagship Arc Alchemist video card, the A770, will start at $329 and begin shipping October 12. If its performance slots in between Nvidia’s RTX 3060 and RTX 3070, as Intel is hinting, the company is pricing aggressively. Nvidia’s RTX 4060 goes for $329, while the RTX 3070 is $499.
  • Software: Steam is shifting its promotions calendar to accommodate a new Spring sales event. Now, each season will have a tentpole promotion; previously, Spring lacked a full-on special like Steam’s Winter or Summer Sales.
  • Survey: The Consumer Technology Association's Future of Gaming Survey found that gamers spend an average of 24 hours playing each week. Other insights include 51% have a 4K or higher TV and 40% plan to purchase headphones or headsets in the next 12 months. Additionally, mobile gamers play 33% on a weekly basis than console gamers.