Outsider’s Guide to ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League

By Oliver Tse

Originally posted on November 30, 2017, Updated on December 2, 3, 4, 8, 11, 14, 18, 2017 and January 15, 2018

January 15, 2018 Update (Final)

According to ShowBuzzDaily.com, ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League Episode 3, which aired on December 15, 2017 at 10pm ET/PT on TBS Network in the U.S., finished 2017 as the 2nd most watched Esports linear TV program in the U.S. based on data collected by Nielsen Media Research, with 406,000 viewers ages 2 and over (P2+). ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League Episode 4, which aired on December 22 at 11:59pm ET/PT on TBS Network, averaged only 156,000 viewers ages 2 and over due to the late time slot. The EA Madden NFL 18 Challenge documentary, which aired on December 27. 2017 at 8pm ET/PT on CW Network in the U.S., finished 1st with 653,000 viewers ages 2 and over.

December 18, 2017 Update

According to ShowBuzzDaily.com, ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League Episode 3, which aired on December 15 on TBS Network in the U.S., averaged 406,000 viewers ages 2 and over (P2+), based on data collected by Nielsen Media Research.  The episode edged out the Machinima’s Chasing the Cup: Injustice 2 documentary aired on October 3 on CW Network (405,000 P2+) and ELEAGUE Road to the International Dota 2 Championship Episode 4 aired on August 25 on TBS Network (403,000 P2+.)  Congratulations to Psyonix Studios, Turner Sports, and everyone involved for making ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League the #1 Esports TV program in the U.S. for 2017.  The 4th and final episode, devoted entirely to the Grand Final match of ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League, will air on TBS Network on Friday December 22 at a special time of 11:59pm Eastern Time on TBS East Feed (9pm Pacific Time for DIRECTV and DISH satellite TV subscribers in all time zones) or 11:59pm Pacific Time on TBS West Feed (for cable TV subscribers in the Pacific Time Zone.)

ATLANTA – Sports television executives in the U.S. have been looking for inexpensive and potentially lucrative programming, targeting young men ages 18-34, to replace poker after the April 2011 government crackdown on unlicensed online poker websites eliminated the primary source of funding for most poker television shows (the last poker television program in the U.S. to have a rights fees deal, Caesars Entertainment’s World Series of Poker, lost its rights fee with ESPN Inc. after 2016, as all poker television programming in the U.S. now air via bartered time arrangements.)

Sports TV executives in the U.S., who all “worship at the church of what’s working now”, have recently jumped onto competitive video gaming, or Esports, for its potential to attract young male viewers ages 18-24, 12-17, and 25-34.

However, most video gaming competitions that fill major arenas and stadiums with paid spectators around the world have featured two genres of video games involving teams of 5 or 6 players each: first-person shooter (such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch) and multiplayer online battle arena (such as League of Legends and Dota 2.) These two genres do NOT translate well to linear television where sports TV executives are looking to attract non-gamers to watch. (Gamers themselves generally prefer to watch Esports on video streaming websites such as Twitch.tv and YouTube.)

Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) – ELEAGUE: The Clash for Cash

Overwatch League Preseason – Los Angeles Valiant (Immortals) vs San Francisco Shock (NRG)

League of Legends – 2017 World Championship Final Match Highlights – Samsung Galaxy vs SK Telecom T1

Dota 2 – True Sight: The International 2017 Finals documentary – Team Liquid vs Team Newbee (NSFW: Language)

Indeed, simple 1-on-1 fighting games such as Street Fighter V and Injustice 2 have generally performed better as television programs in the U.S. than first-person shooter or multiplayer online battle arena games. However, none of these video gaming TV shows have been able to draw more than 400,000 viewers per episode in the U.S., as these shows have not come anywhere near the success of poker on U.S. television (which peaked at 2.4 million viewers for the final table episode of the 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event) achieved during its heyday.

ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational Final (Turner Sports – Game Feed)

ELEAGUE Injustice 2 World Championship Final (Turner Sports – International Feed)

Is Rocket League the new “poker”?

One video game to have arrived recently to the Esports scene, Rocket League by San Diego-based independent video game developer Psyonix Studios, has the potential to be the game changer, as 3 separate U.S. sports TV networks (ESPN3.com in July as part of ESPN’s X Games coverage, NBC Sports Network in August, and Turner Sports’ ELEAGUE on TBS Network in December) are now involved with Rocket League.

Rocket League looks deceptively simple to sports television viewers and executives who are NOT video gamers, as Rocket League is a game of fútbol (soccer), played inside an enclosed cage with walls and a ceiling, by rocket-powered cars traveling at supersonic speeds (768 mph, 1235 km/h, 343 m/s) performing acrobatic maneuvers.

Anyone who has watched sports involving goals and balls or pucks including basketball, ice hockey, and soccer (association football) already has a basic understanding of Rocket League.

One trending moment on social media took place on November 12, when then 16-year-old Canadian Rocket League pro Mariano “SquishyMuffinz” Arruda of Cloud9 scored this golazo de golazos while upside down after playing the ball off the ceiling and doing two front flips, during a Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) Season 4 elimination match at the MGM National Harbor Casino in Oxon Hill, Maryland:

As with any competition where serious money is involved, Rocket League players need to train in order to be competitive at the professional level. A typical professional Rocket League player has at least 3,000 hours of experience, including basic training, “scrims” (scrimmages, or practice matches against other teams), and competitive match play. One 16-year-old professional Rocket League player reportedly logged over 10,000 hours in the past 24 months. Professional video gaming careers are generally short as a player’s reaction time slows with age. Physical injuries including hand and wrist pain as well as career-ending injuries caused by repetitive stress do occur.

Rocket League has the potential to become part of the Olympic “Movement”, as International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has indicated that he and the IOC will only consider “non-violent” video games (which rules out virtually all first-person shooter, all multiplayer online battle arena, and most fighting video games) for possible inclusion in the Paris 2024 Summer Olympiad, presumably as a demonstration event offering real Olympic medals to winners (but not included in the official medal count for each country.)

Numerous issues, including establishment of national and international governing bodies, a comprehensive and expensive anti-doping (drug testing) program to combat unauthorized use (without obtaining a Therapeutic Use Exemption prior to use) of stimulants (including but not limited to Adderall, Ritalin, and Modafinil) to enhance performance by Esports participants, and an extensive effort to monitor potential match-fixing activities taking place at gambling establishments (online and land-based) which now accept real time, real money wagering (mostly by residents OUTSIDE the U.S. for now) of Esports contests, will need to be in place, by early 2021 at the latest, before any video game can become part of the Olympic “Movement” and become a demonstration event (or possibly a full medal event) at Paris 2024.

How is ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League different?

Unlike the Rocket League tournaments shown on ESPN3.com in July and NBC Sports Network in August, Turner Sports will apply the television formula used to present poker to TV viewers in the U.S. in the past, with a 3-part 4-part reality show-style documentary series, complete with interviews, player profiles, and tutorials, targeting both video-gamers and non-video-gamers. Parts 1-3 will air on TBS Network on Friday nights December 1, 8, and 15 at 10pm Eastern Time on TBS East Feed (7pm Pacific Time for DIRECTV and DISH satellite TV subscribers in all times zones) and 10pm Pacific Time on TBS West Feed (for Pacific Time Zone cable TV subscribers.) Part 4 will air on TBS Network on Friday night December 22 at 11:59pm Eastern Time on TBS East Feed (9pm Pacific Time for DIRECTV and DISH satellite TV subscribers in all times zones) and 11:59pm Pacific Time on TBS West Feed (for Pacific Time Zone cable TV subscribers.)

One would also reasonably expect this 3-part 4-part documentary series to eventually be shown on other outlets around the world, such as free-to-air sports TV network Esporte Interativo (which is 100% owned by Turner Broadcasting) in Brazil, free-to-air satellite TV network ProSiebenMaxx in Germany, and Esports streaming video website HuoMaoTV in China, as Psyonix Studios seeks the widest possible exposure for Rocket League in order to sell game licenses and attract players and Esports consumers in underdeveloped international markets in languages other than English.

In addition, Turner Sports will stream all live action via Twitch.tv and YouTube over 3 sessions, on December 1, 2, and 3 starting at 2pm U.S. Eastern Time (1900 UTC, 2000 CET) for hard core video gamers and Esports consumers.

Turner Advertising Sales has signed a diverse group of advertisers for ELEAGUE who understand how to use niche sports television content to reach young male viewers. The latest company to sign on is Boost Mobile, which joins Domino’s Pizza, GEICO, and Cheez-It among other non-technology consumer brands. Because many of the advertisers involved with ELEAGUE are also involved with English-language soccer television in the U.S., one would expect Turner to cross-sell sponsorships to the same advertisers when U.S. English-language TV coverage of the UEFA Champions League, arguably the best club fútbol tournament on Earth, featuring billion-dollar lineups by the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris St. Germain (PSG), begins on truTV in September 2018.

The format of ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League is also different from conventional Esports tournaments. Instead of the customary double-elimination tournament with Upper (winners) and Lower (losers) Brackets, the 8 teams invited to take part in ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League have been split up into 2 groups of 4 teams. Each team will consist of 3 players.

The ELEAGUE Cup, which will take place at the state-of-the-art ELEAGUE Arena on the Techwood campus of Turner Broadcasting System in Atlanta, will resemble a major international fútbol tournament such as the World Cup or the UEFA Champion League, with each team playing a best-of-five match against the other 3 teams in the group (each team will play 1 match on December 1 and 2 matches on December 2, with matches kicking off one at a time starting at 2pm Eastern Time.) Top two teams from each group will advance to the playoff stage on December 3, with winners of the best-of-seven semifinal matches advancing to the best-of-seven final match.

A Rocket League game is at least 5 minutes long, as a game does not end until the ball touches the ground. If the score of a game remains level after regulation, then “golden goal” (sudden death) overtime will be played until a team scores.

A former “footballer” (soccer player) and coach who owns the “Allstar IV” account on YouTube has presented an excellent introduction of the basic tactics employed by professional Rocket League teams:

The $150,000 prize pool, put up entirely by ELEAGUE sponsors, will be divided differently compared to other tournaments. $1,000 will be awarded to the winner of each match during the Group Stage. The rest of the prize pool will be divided as follows: $70,000 to the winner, $30,000 to the runner up, $12,000 to semifinal losers, $4,000 to 3rd place finishers in each group, and $3,000 to teams finishing last in each group.

Who are the players in ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League?

The 8 teams invited by Turner Sports to participate in ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League have been split up into 2 groups.

Group A

#1 Gale Force Esports

  • Jos “ViolentPanda” van Meurs (HOL), 19
  • Alexandre “Kaydop” Courant (FRA), 19
  • Pierre “Turbopolsa” Silvfer (SWE), 19

#4 G2 Esports

  • Cameron “Kronovi” Bills (USA), 20
  • Dillon “Rizzo” Rizzo (USA), 20
  • Jacob “JKnaps” Knapman (CAN), 18

#5 Ghost Gaming

  • Jason “Klassux” Klass (USA)
  • Treyven “Lethamyr” Robitaille (CAN)
  • Christopher “Zanejackey” Jacobs (USA)

#8 Chiefs Esports Club

  • Jake “Jake the Tyrant” Edwards (AUS)
  • Matthew “Drippay” Den-Kaat (AUS)
  • Daniel “Torsos” Parsons (AUS)

Group B

#2 Method

  • Linus “al0t” Möllergren (SWE)
  • Otto “Metsanauris” Kaipiainen (FIN)
  • Joonas “Mognus” Salo (FIN)

#3 Cloud9

  • Kyle “Torment” Storer (USA)
  • Mariano “SquishyMuffinz” Arruda (CAN), 17
  • Jesus “Gimmick” Parra (USA)

#6 PSG Esports

  • Victor “Ferra” Francal (FRA), 21
  • Thibault “Chausette45” Grzesiak (FRA)
  • Dan “Bluey” Bluett (ENG), 15

#7 Mock-it Esports

  • Victor “Fairy Peak!” Locquet (FRA), 19
  • Philip “paschy90” Paschmeyer (GER), 22
  • Sandro “FreaKii” Holzwarth (GER), 21

On paper, Group A should be a cakewalk for #1 seed Gale Force Esports, which was built to dominate big money Rocket League tournaments.  The team of 3 19-year-olds from Europe went undefeated in both the Universal Open Rocket League 2v2 tournament on NBC Sports Network in August, as well as the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) Season 4 Final on Twitch.tv in November. Not surprisingly, British online sports book Bet365.com has installed Gale Force Esports as a 2:1 favorite to win ELEAGUE Rocket League Cup.

However, team captain Jos “ViolentPanda” van Meurs, who was impressive during the NBC Sports Network tournament in August as well as most of the RLCS Season 4 Final, chose the RLCS Season 4 Grand Final match itself to turn in his worst performance of the season.

“ViolentPanda” completely “disappeared” during the RLCS Season 4 Grand Final match, as his Gale Force Esports teammates Pierre “Turbopolsa” Silfver and Alexandre “Kaydop” Courant had to essentially carry “ViolentPanda” to the finish line in order to complete a 4-games-to-none sweep of Method.

Was “ViolentPanda” thinking about how to spend his share of the prize money? Or was “ViolentPanda” thinking about how to spend his time on his trip home to the Netherlands after RLCS Season 4 with his new girlfriend, Southern California registered nurse Mellina Kong, who got a job with Gale Force Esports as “Director of Player Operations” prior to the NBC Sports Network Universal Open Rocket League tournament in Santa Ana, California?

Regardless of why “ViolentPanda” turned in that putrid performance at the Grand Final of RLCS Season 4, his head better be back in the game at the ELEAGUE Rocket League Cup. “ViolentPanda” is now a marked man with a target on his forehead and his opponents would love to stuff him and his Gale Force Esports teammates into virtual body bags before hauling them out of ELEAGUE Arena to waiting airplanes at Hartsfield Airport.

Which team will finish 2nd in Group A? If home field advantage means something in Rocket League, then #4 seed G2 Esports would have an edge, as 20-year-old Cameron “Kronovi” Bills had lived in the same house in Atlanta for nearly half his life.

#5 Ghost Gaming and #8 Chiefs Esports Club are both relatively new to the Rocket League scene, but neither should be taken lightly. In particular, Chief Esports Club has swept every Rocket League tournament held in Australia and New Zealand in 2017, and it made a splash at the RLCS Season 4 Final where it eliminated ESPN X Games Rocket League Invitational winner NRG in order to earn the final spot in ELEAGUE Rocket League Cup.

Group B is the “Group of Death”, with at least 3 teams that are capable of advancing to the semifinal round on any given day.

Unlike most 3-player teams which prefer to send 2 players forward to attack, #2 seed Method prefers to keep two players on defense and use a lone striker on counterattacks. Method’s unconventional style has allowed it to defeat every top professional Rocket League team with the exception of Gale Force Esports.

#3 seed Cloud9, the only North American team in Group B, will have its hands full with European opponents who prefer to play with discipline. While the likes of “SquishyMuffinz” is busy performing spectacular trick shots during competitive matches, Cloud9’s opponents will pounce on mistakes resulting from attempts to make fancy and flashy plays.

#6 seed PSG Esports is underseeded and is perhaps the most dangerous team in Group B. Fueled by natural gas money from Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Paris St. Germain (PSG) has branched from European club fútbol into Esports by purchasing the Rocket League team formerly known as Frontline. PSG Esports dominated the online regular season phase of RLCS Season 4 in Europe before losing twice during the online Europe regional championship.

Where are the women?

Other than Turner Sports executive Christina Alejandre who is in charge of ELEAGUE, the Esports industry is dominated at all levels by men. This is especially true of all on-camera roles, including the professional players and the “casters”.

Unlike other competitive televised events involving mostly male competitors (including conventional sports such as NFL) where sports TV executives regularly deploy female broadcasters as hosts, reporters, analysts…

…and more recently as play-by-play announcers (because female broadcasters with friendly personalities who devote the time to study and master the subject matter have proven their worth in connecting with and retaining young male viewers, as the poker industry found out quickly when modern poker telecasts with hole card cameras appeared on U.S. television in 2003)…

…Esports “casters” are overwhelmingly male, many of whom are under the age of 25, and some of whom are unpaid volunteers such as those “casters” who call Rocket League Rival Series (RLRS) matches.

In the case of Rocket League, only one female, Jamie “Karma” Bickford, has ever appeared as a “caster” at RLCS events.

Neither ESPN, NBC Sports Network, nor Turner Sports’ ELEAGUE are using females as Esports “casters” at this time.

Will this change as Esports enter an era fueled by sports TV sponsorship money?

Will Turner Sports, which has a need to hire an on-camera host and at least one studio analyst for UEFA Champions League telecasts on truTV starting September 2018, be the first sports TV broadcaster to introduce female Esports “casters” regularly, as Turner Sports will need to use ELEAGUE as a cross-promotion hub for Turner Sports’ TV properties including the UEFA Champions League (because professional sports leagues such as the NBA have clauses in their broadcasting contracts prohibiting the mention of telecasts of other professionals sports, but the NBA will allow Turner to advertise ELEAGUE during NBA on TNT.)

If Turner Sports were to hire a female sportscaster to host UEFA Champions League on truTV (I am aware of two female candidates under consideration who already live and work in Atlanta), one would logically deduce that Turner Sports may want to deploy her in ELEAGUE broadcasts as well, particularly when ELEAGUE features Rocket League, mostly likely as a reporter/interviewer, for the purpose of cross-promoting UEFA Champions League on truTV during ELEAGUE on TBS.

How will the Esports industry react to having an outsider (especially if that outsider were female) who is not part of the Esports community work as a “caster”?

Indeed, former ELEAGUE Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) “caster” Duncan “Thorin” Shields was named the 2017 Esports Journalist of the Year by Esports Industry Association (EIA) despite being fired from multiple assignments at multiple media outlets over the past 3 years for making insults against multiple ethnic groups and women. “Thorin” also posted videos on YouTube referring to “genetic” differences to justify the reason why he believed women are not good enough to be Esports professional players and “casters”.

Predictably, Esports industry colleagues and Twitter “trolls” attacked the female journalist who pointed out the issues with “Thorin” in her article.

The way this female journalist is being treated by the Esports industry for blowing the whistle on “Thorin” and the EIA should give any TV sportscaster (especially female) coming from outside the Esports industry pause before she were to accept any broadcast TV assignment involving Esports.

Also, if Psyonix Studios were serious enough to pursue a place in the Olympic “Movement” for Rocket League, how much resources will Psyonix be willing to devote to build up a competitive division for female competitors prior to 2021, when the IOC will make its decision on which video game competition (if any) will take place as part of Paris 2024?

The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), the major governing body of sports teams operated by major U.S. universities, is beginning its involvement with Esports as the NCAA has hired Intersport Executive Director of Esports Kurt Melcher as a consultant. Will Psyonix Studios, which currently partners with grassroots organization TESPA to operate a college Rocket League tournament, be willing to work with the NCAA, which has anti-gambling and anti-doping policies? Will Psyonix also be willing to work with the NCAA to comply with Title IX gender equity requirements (for example, a school with enrollment of 52% women is required to offer 52% of all athletic scholarship opportunities to women)?

We’ll find out soon enough whether Rocket League will become the preferred Esport for linear sports television networks around the world, and whether Psyonix Studios will be able to adapt to rapid change in the Esports industry as the industry grows up and deal with the inevitable growing pains.

December 2, 2017 Update

Proving once again that predicting the performance of teenagers is a futile exercise, 7th seeded Mock-it Esports won all 3 matches in Group B. The semifinals are now set for Sunday December 3, 2017 at 2pm Eastern Time (1900 UTC, 2000 CET) via Twitch.tv/ELEAGUE and YouTube.com/ELEAGUE:

  • #1 Gale Force Esports vs #3 Cloud 9
  • #7 Mockit vs #4 G2 Esports

The trending highlight on social media on December 2 is once again courtesy 17-year-old Canadian Rocket League pro Mariano “SquishyMuffinz” Arruda of Cloud9, who performed yet another golazo off the ceiling (at the 5:54:50 mark of the video below):

December 3, 2017 Update

Yet again, Rocket League provide another example of the importance of having one’s head in the game.

Watch the video below (starting at the 3:30:00 mark) for the body language of Gale Force Esports team members after Pierre “Turbopolsa” Silvfer gave up an own goal during overtime of ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League Grand Final Game 6.

Gale Force Esports, especially “Turbopolsa”, never recovered psychologically. Instead of fully concentrating on Game 7, they were still thinking about Game 6. G2 Esports took full advantage and took control of Game 7 by scoring two goals within 34 seconds of kickoff (watch the video above starting at the 3:31:30 mark.)

G2 Esports won the ELEAGUE Cup in front of its entourage of fans, many of whom were based in Atlanta, as G2 Esports Team Captain and RLCS Season 1 Champion Cameron “Kronovi” Bills lived in Atlanta for most of his life before moving to Alberta Province of Canada to live with his girlfriend Carlee.

December 4, 2017 Update

According to ShowBuzzDaily.com, ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League Episode 1 on TBS Network in the U.S. averaged 373,000 viewers ages 2 and over. The episode drew the 2nd largest average audience for ELEAGUE on TBS during 2017, behind only ELEAGUE Road to the International Dota 2 Championship Episode 4 on August 25 which averaged 403,000 viewers ages 2 and over. I will update this article with viewership in the important Ages 18-34 and Ages 18-49 demographics as data becomes available. Episode 1 is archived at tbs.com/sports/eleague for viewers in the U.S. who receive TBS via pay television. Episodes 2 and 3 will air on TBS in the U.S. on December 8 and 15 respectively at 10pm Eastern (7pm Pacific for all DIRECTV and DISH subscribers in all time zones, 10pm Pacific for cable TV subscribers in the Pacific Time Zone.) Twitch.tv/ELEAGUETV and YouTube.com/ELEAGUE have video archives of every match played.

December 8, 2017 Update

ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League Episode 1, which aired on December 1 on TBS Network in the U.S., averaged 155,000 viewers in the Ages 18-49 demographic that is coveted by sponsors who are looking to use niche television programming to target young men with disposable income.   The audience for ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League appears to skew younger than the audience for simple 1-on-1 fighting games such as Street Fighter V (183,000 viewers A18-49, 335,000 viewers P2+ on May 26) and Injustice 2 (155,000 viewers A18-49, 263,000 viewers P2+ on November 10.)   Episode 2 will air on TBS on December 8 (tonight) at 10pm Eastern Time (most cable TV and IPTV subscribers in Eastern, Central, and Mountain Time Zones; ALL DIRECTV and DISH satellite TV subscribers regardless of time zone) or 10pm Pacific Time (most cable TV and IPTV subscribers in the Pacific Time Zone) and will be available via video-on-demand at tbs.com/sports/eleague for viewers in the U.S. who receive TBS via a pay TV service.

December 11, 2017 Update

According to ShowBuzzDaily.com, ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League Episode 2 on TBS Network in the U.S. averaged 381,000 viewers ages 2 and over. The two episodes of ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League rank in total average audience behind only ELEAGUE Road to the International Dota 2 Championship Episode 4 on August 25 which averaged 403,000 viewers ages 2 and over. Both episodes are archived at tbs.com/sports/eleague for viewers in the U.S. who receive TBS via pay television. The 3rd and final episode will air on TBS in the U.S. on December 15 at 10pm Eastern (7pm Pacific for DIRECTV and DISH subscribers in all time zones, 10pm Pacific for cable TV subscribers in the Pacific Time Zone.)

December 14, 2017 Update

Turner Sports has announced that ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League feature series has been expanded to 4 episodes.  Episode 4 will air on Friday December 22 at 11:59pm Eastern Time (9pm Pacific Time for DIRECTV and DISH satellite TV subscribers in all time zones), or 11:59pm Pacific Time for cable and IPTV subscribers on most wired pay TV systems in the Pacific Time Zone.

Seeing the success of the “poker/reality show” presentation formula for ELEAGUE Cup Rocket League on TBS Network linear television, Turner Sports has decided to apply the formula to other video games in the ELEAGUE series, starting with the upcoming Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament, The ELEAGUE Major: Boston. Live video coverage of all matches from The ELEAGUE Major: Boston on January 12-15, 19-21, and 26-28, 2018 will be streamed online only via Twitch.tv and YouTube.  The 5-part feature series for The ELEAGUE Major: Boston CS:GO tournament will air on TBS Network on 5 consecutive Friday nights from February 9 through March 9, 2018.


About the author: Oliver Tse operated Oliver Tse Management Group in 2006-2009 to secure product endorsement opportunities for poker players and broadcast talent appearing on televised poker events such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the World Poker Tour (WPT), and the NBC Sports National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Among his clients were 3 out of 9 players at the 2007 WSOP Main Event Final Table airing on ESPN (including the champion), the first woman to win a mix-gender WPT event (at the 2008 WPT Celebrity Invitational), and the first female sportscaster on U.S. Spanish-language television who switched to poker announcing and hosting and became the original “Voice of Poker in Latin America.” Tse’s clients were deployed as brand ambassadors to target international markets including Germany, Russia, Brazil, and Mexico. From 1995 through 2007, Tse founded and operated soccerTV.com, an Internet-based marketing business of televised soccer products for clients such as ESPN, FOX Sports, and GOLTV. Tse holds a master’s degree in Financial Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.