NBC Sports Group to Launch New ESports Tournament This Summer
NBC Sports Group announced today that it will launch a new esports tournament this summer that will utilize FACEIT's competitive gaming platform, and numerous NBCUniversal and Comcast regional, national and international assets, to allow gamers of all skill levels to compete in a 2v2 Rocket League tournament for a $100,000 prize pool.
Players who enter the first-of-its-kind tournament will play early rounds on FACEIT, the world's leading competitive gaming platform, which will also serve as the official tournament operator. The featured game for the property's debut season will be Rocket League, the sports-action hit with a community of more than 32 million players, developed and published by San Diego-based game studio, Psyonix.
This first-ever 2v2 international Rocket League tournament will begin on the FACEIT platform with regional online qualifiers, which will be DIVIDED into competitions for all eight NBC Sports Regional Networks, as well as additional American and European open qualifying regions. Competitors in the RSN regions will then move on to in-studio regional final competitions at select RSNs, and the tournament will culminate in a two-day Grand Finals with coverage of the Regional and Grand Finals across a variety of NBCUniversal and Comcast national and international platforms. In total, more than 40 hours of event coverage will be presented across live-streaming, video-on-demand, and linear platforms.
"NBCUniversal's and Comcast's unparalleled multi-platform portfolio has allowed us to create a first-of-its-kind tournament that will be authentic to the emerging world of esports," said Rob Simmelkjaer, Senior Vice President, NBC Sports Ventures. "It all begins with NBC Sports Regional Networks, allowing us to super-serve esports fans the same way we serve traditional sports fans. We are also excited to be adding Telemundo Deportes, given that the growing Spanish-language audience is an engaged, committed group of gamers. Further, there will be an international component with the broadcast of the Grand Finals on Syfy in the UK, Germany, Australia and multiple countries across Latin America. Our partnership with FACEIT and Psyonix will provide a unique opportunity for gamers across the United States and Europe to participate in Rocket League at the highest level, and reach more competitors than ever before."
"NBC Sports has a long legacy of bringing engaging sport action and storylines to viewers. FACEIT is proud to work alongside NBC Sports and Psyonix to provide the Rocket League community a unique opportunity to be involved and engaged from a grassroots level," said Michele Attisani, Co-founder and Chief Business Officer of FACEIT. "By combining traditional sports and esports expertise, we can create an exciting new viewing experience for sports fans, esports fans and all fans of competitive action. This will build on the excellent work Psyonix has done to date establishing Rocket League as a premier community and competitive title."
"Our Rocket League esports ecosystem is thriving and we are excited to expand to the NBC Sports audience," said Josh Watson, Head of Esports, Psyonix. "Rocket League is an easy-to-understand game, which makes it the perfect introduction to esports for fans of all backgrounds and ages."
"The NBC Regional Sports Networks bring the best in local sports to our fans day in and day out, and we're excited that the fast-growing world of esports are now a part of that mission," said David Preschlack, President, NBC Sports Regional Networks, and NBC Sports Group Platform and Content Strategy. "We look forward to engaging our fans in a whole new way that allows them to get in the esports game, and to bring a whole new generation of fans to our platforms as well."
The tournament's structure will utilize NBC Sports Regional Networks, Telemundo Deportes and NBCU International to run the Regional Qualifiers across the nation and in Europe through game-play, which will be played on the FACEIT platform beginning on July 22.
The Regional Finals will be played at NBC Sports Regional Networks studios on the weekends of August 5-6 and August 12-13, and will be live-streamed on the NBC Sports app and Telemundo En Vivo app, as well as other social media platforms. Participating NBC Sports Regional Networks will televise the final hour of coverage from each of the Regional Finals.
The Grand Finals will feature 16 total teams competing on August 26-27 for the inaugural title and the $100,000 prize pool, which will be televised live in the U.S. on NBCSN. The Grand Finals will also be broadcast on Syfy in the UK, Germany, Australia and multiple countries across Latin America, in addition to all previously listed streaming outlets.
In addition to live-streaming and linear coverage, VOD content from the Regional Finals and Grand Finals will be available on various digital and social channels across the NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBCSN, Telemundo Deportes, FACEIT and Rocket League.