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Shikenso Analytics: Making esports data collection smarter

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As the common refrain goes, data is the new oil. With data collection being an integral part of esports, the vast majority of business decisions made in the industry are driven by numbers.

To measure the validity of specific engagements, brands typically use data-based performance indicators that can ultimately help to establish long-lasting and sustainable partnerships.

Image credit: Shikenso Analytics

RELATED: Bayes: Esports data value degradation

Despite being around since 2017, it wasn’t until the end of 2020 that news stories concerning Shikenso Analytics started making headlines. Freaks4U Gaming, FATE Esports, BLAST, OG Esports, PGL and Mousesports — all of these brands announced partnerships with the analytics firm throughout the following year. 

“We aim to become the market leader for sponsorship analytics in the gaming and esports ecosystem,” said Arwin Fallah Shirazi, CEO and Co-Founder of Shikenso Analytics, in an interview with Esports Insider. 

Using a proprietary artificial intelligence, Shikenso Analytics helps its clients with evaluation and management of their sponsorships, investments and other marketing activities. By doing so, it aspires to create a more transparent ecosystem towards endemic and non-endemic brands looking to get into the space. 

The company’s core offering constitutes an analysis of branded content or sponsorship assets on live streaming and social media platforms in order to quantify activations for customers and drive performance with reliable data.

Typical datasets include product placements, logo insertions, branded jerseys and promotional clips, among others. In addition to establishing the media value of each asset, customers can also use Shikenso’s controlling and reporting tools to receive data consulting when needed.

Partnership evaluations aside, in an industry sometimes accused of inflating figures to attract potential investors, high-quality and reliable data is simply a necessity. 

Arwin Fallah Shirazi Shikenso Analytics
Pictured: Arwin Fallah Shirazi, CEO of Shikenso Analytics

The origin of Shikenso

It wasn’t the aforementioned courageous ambitions that prompted the recent rise of Shikenso. According to Fallah Shirazi, the firm’s growth happened rather organically: “At first, the company was sort of a side project to our day-to-day lives. 

“We knew we wanted to do something in esports and went on to develop a hands-on esports event calendar for organisers and media networks which allowed implementation into their websites.”

However, the company’s path towards growth naturally included its fair share of challenges.  “About three years ago, we were on the verge of abandoning the project,” he said. “We only had a halfway marketable product and we couldn’t sell it.

“As a startup in a young industry, with no backers, you have very little credibility. There’s not many people who can recommend you or vouch for you.”

Nevertheless, all it took for Shikenso to get off the ground was one initial spark: “Even though our service was used by clients like Dreamhack, we saw a bigger potential in AI-powered solutions.” 

The team quickly identified the need for qualitative evaluation of sponsorships in the esports space and pushed to provide a service that carries out the analysis at the root of the action — the heart-piece of what Shikenso is today.

Shikenso Analytics founding team
Pictured: Shikenso Analytics founding team (left to right) — Tolga Uslu, Wahed Hemati, Tarik Amhamdi, Arwin Fallah Shirazi (The fifth Co-Founder Armin Herrenschneider is missing from the picture)

“In times like these, you learn what perseverance really is,” Fallah Shirazi said. “Not just chasing a dream, but doing everything in your power to make it come true.” 

That includes admitting the fact that despite hard work, the product might not always fit the market. According to Fallah Shirazi, the crux in such cases is to move forward, focusing on new opportunities and continuing to drive product innovation.

Innovation insights

At present, Shikenso Analytics is heading towards its goal of becoming the premium supplier of sponsorship data in the tournament segment of the esports industry. On its way up to this point, the company has gained plenty of valuable knowledge, potentially useful to esports-focused businesses way beyond those in data collection. 

“Right from the start, we realised that the market is transforming very quickly and that one of the most important qualities for an esports company must be flexibility,” Fallah Shirazi shared

Hand in hand with flexibility, Shikenso’s core values include striving for improvement, holistic approach and problem solving: “When you strive for something big, there is always room for improvement.  

“Identifying and addressing problems, combined with finding target-oriented solutions to those problems are the key towards continuous improvement.”

He continued: “When it comes to recruiting, we’ve found that there’s something much more important than education — a passion for gaming and esports. Employees who are excited about their work get ignited by the opportunity they are given and go quickly above and beyond.”

“Last but not least, it is important for a young startup to strive for greatness and to know what its objective is,” he added. “Have a vision and dream big — the sky is the limit.”

RELATED: Freaks 4U Gaming expands data partnership with Shikenso Analytics 

Endorsing market diversity 

From in-game evaluations and spectator statistics to performance indicators for training and preparation — the current market has it all. The ability to choose from a wide range of different technologies and approaches to data-driven solutions helps brands find the products that best fit their business strategy.

Indeed, in any given industry, market diversity is a positive. “Not only does it promote the continued growth of the market, it also supports its economic sustainability,” Fallah Shirazi pointed out. 

“Moreover, data-driven solutions help with esports professionalisation and generate more transparency within the space.”

In support of the increasing market diversity, Shikenso Analytics intends to extend its technology and expand its portfolio of sponsor analysis products in 2022 to include concepts such as voice analysis or on-site analysis. 

Rest assured, the company’s ambitions don’t stop at market diversity. “Through continuous product improvement and innovation, as well as the expansion of our portfolio, we aim to offer the best product on the market,” warned Fallah Shirazi.


Supported by: Shikenso Analytics

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PS Plus Games For December Announced

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The PlayStation Plus (PS Plus) games for December 2022 have been announced, and it’s a nice mix of offerings that include action and role-playing games. Mass Effect: Legendary, Biomutant, and Divine Knockout: Founder’s edition.

The Mass Effect titles are some of the most beloved in video history, Biomutant is a great RPG alternative set in a post-apocalyptic world, and Divine Knockout is an entirely new title that’s being launched through the PS Plus service.

mass-effect-legendary

Image Credit | EA Games

1. Mass Effect: Legendary

The original Mass Effect trilogy is considered one of the greatest trilogies in the seventh generation of video games, and the Mass Effect: Legendary edition repackages all of them in one title.

This role-playing game (RPG) follows the sci-fi adventures of Commander Shepard and his band of misfits on immersive intergalactic missions. The games are still widely loved, and they’ve never looked better than in the Mass Effect: Legendary version.

The narrative revolves around a distant future where planets and civilizations have been colonized using an ancient technology. There’s also a sense of mystery that governs the title with this ancient civilization looking to make a return. Most of the sci-fi tropes that have come to define the genre are included here, and this is enhanced by memorable characters, action-packed missions, and some devastating consequences.

To most video game enthusiasts, Mass Effect remains Bioware’s greatest accomplishment and a high-point for epic sci-fi video games. Over 100 hours can be spent learning about this fictional world, and the side missions are also considered some of the best video games have ever offered. The game will only be available to PlayStation 4 users.

2. Biomutant

Biomutant is another RPG title. This game is set in an open post-apocalyptic world, and follows a kung-fu centric world from the perspective of a mammalian warrior. The archetypal ‘Tree of Life’ observed in many mythologies and religions is the source from which the world and narrative are constructed. Like the Mass Effect series, players can design their own character.

The game is known for its fascinating combat system, which includes melee and long-range shooting attacks. Another interesting aspect of this game is the weapon-building system, and the range of abilities offered to the player.

There are lots of interesting side-quests, and like Mass Effect, the game has a karma system – the story will develop according to the previous actions undertaken by the player. If Mass Effect feels a bit too familiar, Biomutant is a great quirky alternative. The game will be available on PlayStation 4 and 5 consoles.

ps-plus-biomutant

Image Credit | THQ Nordic

3. Divine Knockout

Divine Knockout is a PS Plus launch title, and offers something entirely unique. Divine Knockout works as a third-person side scroller, platformer, and fighter game. Players can put themselves into the shoes of mythological figures like Thor, Susano, King Arthur, and Hercules to jump, smash, and dash their way to glory.

Fans of mythology will have a feast with this – it’s not often that fans of mythology get to see all their favorite figures from these timeless stories interact with one another. The god-like figures have adorable designs, which adds to its appeal. The game also serves as a great way for kids to get into mythology.

The game is full of color, and has great replay value. Players can play 1v1, 2v2, or multiplayer mode. This game will suit players of all ages, and has the makings of a cult classic. This game is also available on the PlayStation 4 and 5 consoles.

PS Plus Titles From The Previous Month Will Be Available Till December 5

The December selection will be made available to PS Plus subscribers from December 6 to January 2. Users looking to download the PS Plus games for November can do the same until December 5, after which the games will be unavailable.

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CDL announces broadcast information, and YouTube is conspicuously missing

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No longer will you watch Call of Duty League on YouTube. You’ll have to find it elsewhere, as the streaming platform isn’t listed among the accessible websites for the upcoming 2023 season.

The CDL starts on Dec. 2, with Boston Breach against Atlanta FaZe, but fans won’t have the luxury of instantly clicking onto YouTube to get their CoD fix for the evening. Call of Duty posted a Tweet regarding the commencement of the league; however, fans noticed a key streaming player missing from the accessible streams.

For this season of the CDL, fans can head to either Twitch or the Call of Duty website to watch all the CoD they could dream of. 

The tweet said “The season starts tomorrow, here’s where to watch,” leaving its usual streaming service of the last few years out of the mix. Interestingly, no broadcast rights have been announced for the CDL this year as of yet.

YouTube’s partnership with Activision Blizzard to broadcast the company’s two major esports leagues came to an end after their three-year deal finished earlier this year. The deal commenced in 2020 with the beginning of the Overwatch League’s third season, leaving years of Call of Duty on YouTube alongside it for the next couple of years.

The league’s deal with YouTube was worth $160 million, but there’s now concern over Twitch and YouTube’s willingness to place money in a title with “less-than-stellar viewership statistics.”

Either way, the CDL will be available to stream on Twitch as soon as it commences, so gear up and prepare for the season ahead.

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US Army planned on targeting Twitch viewers for recruitment through Call of Duty

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The U.S. Army uses billions of dollars to bolster its already massive military, also spending on advertising and sponsorship in gaming in the effort to bring more soldiers into the fold. Sponsoring events like ESL’s CS:GO tournaments doesn’t seem to be the last step for the U.S. military in the gaming sphere, however, as streamers were the next choice for the front line of the army’s advertising. 

According to Vice, “internal Army documents” shared by Motherboard disclose that the U.S. military planned on sponsoring Call of Duty events, but after recent sexual harassment allegations within Activision, they decided against the sponsorships.

The documents shared the military’s target audience, with a primary “focus on the growth target of females, Black & Hispanics” and people aged 18 to 24.

$3.8 million was spread across several different organizations, with WWE, Twitch, the Call of Duty League, and the Paramount Plus Halo television series acquiring large portions of the funds provided.

Image via Vice

IGN was at the upper end of the allocated funds, with $600,000 being dedicated to the gaming news publication. 

OpTic Chicago and Texas were also on the list of names associated with the funding. A total of $600,000 was allocated from Dec. 1, 2021, to Nov. 30, 2022 for Chicago, and from February to late September 2022 for Texas. 

Stonemountain64, a Warzone 2 streamer with 2.32 million subscribers on YouTube, was allocated $150,000. Other streamers like Swagg and Alex Zedra were also mentioned in the documents. Next to Zedra and Swagg’s names was an asterisk, highlighting that their allocated funds were “based on conversations” with the streamers. 

While this amount of funding seems like a large sum of money, it’s merely a $3 million drop in the $773 billion U.S. defense budget for 2022.

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