Dec. 29, 2023
WePlay Holding’s 2023 in Moments and Events
9 min read
For WePlay Holding, 2023 became a year of change. New brand identity, new goals, and the ups and downs were mind-blowing while also raising the bar for improvement and intense growth. The transition from CS:GO to CS2, updates to iconic fighting game titles, and the emergence of new content production technologies in the world also spurred changes within the holding as a whole and each individual company.
In this article, let’s look back at the key moments and achievements of 2023. Here is a great journey through the successes and challenges of the past year, which shaped the new reality of WePlay Holding.
The refresh of WePlay Studios
For the flagship company of WePlay Holding, this year became a turning point in history. WePlay Esports changed its name to WePlay Studios and became a content production company, switching focus to producing entertainment content encompassing a variety of topics: gaming, traditional sports, streaming trends, and much more.
In 2023, WePlay Studios served as the production partner for the second season of NFL Tuesday Night Gaming. Just like for Season 1, the team developed and executed the show’s live production and content around the show. From creating visual and audio elements to designing computer graphics and AR to enhance the broadcast, the company produced a series of episodes that brought several awards. NFL Tuesday Night Gaming became a two-time winner of the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards, getting gold awards in the Sports Video and Entertainment Video categories for extraordinary production work.
Another remarkable event created by WePlay Studios, Astra Carnival: The Prince Cup Invitational, received three platinum awards at the 2023 NYX Video Awards. This show was part of a partnership with game developer miHoYo, within which WePlay produced all its events in 2023 for the North American market. For Astra Carnival: The Prince Cup Invitational, the production team styled a very special set, recreating the Mondstadt tavern’s in-game interior using computer graphics and augmented reality technologies. Everything — from the furniture with cats walking on it to calendars and dates on them — was conveyed with accuracy and style.
In general, at the 2023 NYX Video Awards, WePlay Studios was hugely successful, becoming highlighted as one of the top ten video agencies that participated and won in many categories.
WePlay Studios tried its hand in new niches, such as creating music videos and hosting awards. WePlay was the production crew behind the music video for One Nation Under Love, a social song created by American composer Diane Warren and performed by Ukrainian pop diva Tina Karol.
Tina Karol & Diane Warren — (MAKING OF) “One Nation Under Love.” Credits: WePlay Studios
Filming took place on two continents: some specialists were working in Los Angeles with Diane Warren, while Tina Karol and another part of the team were producing in Kyiv. The song’s concept and message — unity between two nations fighting together for peace and freedom — are reflected in the video.
To bring this to the table, the team used the national symbols of the two countries: Tina Karol performed near the Mother Motherland monument, while Diane Warren accompanied the vocals on the piano against the backdrop of a virtually added American Statue of Liberty. Working on the video, the production team used XR to create a virtual New York together with the Statue of Liberty from scratch. In a remarkably short time — just three days — the team recorded the performers and edited the final version of the video.
The song, along with the video, was submitted for four Grammy categories, including Best Music Video and Best Song For Social Change Special Merit Award.
Creating more and more content in different genres for the entertainment industry, WePlay Studios has become the official production partner of the VTuber Awards. The production crew worked hard to put together a multi-hour ceremony in a completely virtual world and make it as interactive for viewers as possible. Though the production of the event took place at the WePlay Esports Arena Los Angeles, what the audience saw onscreen was a huge virtual stage and guests. Behind the scenes, the Awards were fully controlled by physical, offline cameras, controllers, and LED screens — the team used the equipment to manage the virtual analogs of the instruments in the virtual environment.
The award ceremony was hosted and initiated by virtual creator Filian. To be present at the event in every sense, behind the scenes she used a complete motion capture kit — from gloves to boots — to control her virtual model and broadcast for five hours. A peak of 68,951 viewers watched live as a dozen of their favorite VTubers appeared on stage, drew the winners’ names, chatted, and joked.
All in all, this year was very fruitful in terms of partnerships. The company and the MEGOGO media service announced a strategic partnership for 2023, with the companies to conduct the Ukrainian-language broadcasts of sports events, including the 2022/2023 UEFA Champions League, Premier League, etc. Also, through the partnership with the i am u are creative platform, WePlay Studios supported modern Ukrainian creators. The first i am u are event brought together more than 150 companies and startups of Ukrainian origin.
As WePlay Studios is a company of Ukrainian origin, in 2023, the company kept on supporting the Ukrainian military forces and the community suffering from war.
WePlay Studios equipped a classroom for military personnel to learn how to operate drones, purchasing and providing everything necessary for their training (laptops, controllers, etc.). At the time of publication, several training courses for Ukrainian military personnel have already taken place there. The “graduates” are already successfully carrying out tasks at the frontlines. The WePlay team also purchased and donated equipment to supply the command headquarters of one of the Ukrainian army units. Since military data is confidential, the names and positions of the brigades cannot be shared.
Now WePlay Studios is taking part in the Tylovyky Azov campaign, raising funds for five M113 armored personnel carriers — you can also donate using this link.
In addition, WePlay employees, through their efforts, raised funds to pay for a rehabilitation course for two children with autism whose fathers died while performing combat missions as part of the Ukrainian Defense Forces. The kids have already started rehabilitation aimed to help them overcome their loss.
DashFight: big wins, bigger numbers!
DashFight 2023 was a hit, drawing in a whopping 2.8 million unique users, with 6.8 million YouTube views and 48,000 subscribers. The company’s online presence skyrocketed!
Media partnerships with gaming giants like CapCom and Cygames brought the audience a whole new level of excitement. DashFight was first on the scene to cover the hottest new releases, keeping the community in the loop and ahead of the game.
For the first time in DashFight’s history, the team got a review copy of a game before its release — Street Fighter 6. They released their first review while also capitalizing on additional follow-up content. Late this year, DashFight got another review copy, this time for Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising. The video review managed to shatter expectations, gathering 20,000 views in just over a day after the release.
DashFight’s popularity also attracted sponsorships from over 10 big companies in the U.S., making its events even more spectacular. Plus, the team went into overdrive, producing a whopping 3,200 articles, including news, tournament reports, game updates, longreads, and guides, compared to just 400 last year. At 181,000 total page views, “Brawlhalla Ranks Guide (2023 Edition)” became the platform’s most-read article published this year.
On YouTube, DashFight published more than 500 videos in total, half of them shorts and the other half — regular content. Overall, the YouTube channel showed outstanding performance. Over the year, it received 47,000,000 impressions and over 6,500,000 views, with 300,000 hours watched and a gain of 27,000 subscribers. This year’s most popular video was Tekken Martial Arts: Feng, Law, Lei, with 144,000 views.
The platform added five new disciplines: Melty Blood: Type Lumina, Street Fighter 6, Mortal Kombat 1, Project L, and Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising. This includes more than 120 characters in all of them combined. In the first month after Mortal Kombat 1’s release, the platform managed to cover all the characters with guides from the pro players.
This year, DashFight went all in on the tournaments, adding everything from small locals to the biggest world events, covering 325+ in total.
Over 1,300 players registered on DashFight to have their proof of record in a fighting game career.
Almost three million users visit DashFight.com for the content the platform provides! In a nutshell, DashFight 2023 broke records, made new friends in the gaming world, and solidified its spot as a leader in esports, and this is only the start!
Some accomplishments in 2023:
- For the second year running, DashFight had a media partnership with Red Bull’s Golden Letters event. It resulted in exclusive player interviews, this time even with popular Japanese and Korean players like Knee and Chikurin.
- The company had exclusive player and community figure interviews at the biggest Asian event as well, Evo Japan 2023.
- DashFight also had a presence at one of the most prestigious events in America — Combo Breaker, where it also recorded exclusive footage and interviews.
- For Evo 2023, the team made a Vlog-style coverage with the industry veteran AJ who recorded and voiced the video, meeting and interviewing many people at the venue, as well as retelling the experience of being there as a spectator.
- Also for the first time ever, the company got invited to be a media partner at the major video game conference in Cologne, Germany, — gamescom.
- Over the course of the year, DashFight had exclusive interviews with such community figures as Justin Wong, JDCR, and even the General Manager of Evo, Rick “TheHadou” Thiher.
- The company revived the “Now You See Me” campaign that focuses on women in the FGC spaces, the challenges they face, and their unique experiences. DashFight’s CEO, Darina Briukhovetska, handled all the interviews herself.
- DashFight launched a successful “Top 50 Most Influential People in the FGC” project aimed to celebrate some of the shining stars in the fighting game niche. Lots of those it mentioned interacted with the initiative, replying or commenting in a positive light.
- At the end of the year, DashFight once again launched the Awards campaign. The platform added four new categories, and ten community representatives will be announcing the winners on December 29.
The more data-driven approach of Esports Transfers
The Esports Transfers team has been diving more and more into the numbers and modernizing the platform. Even in the face of the sensational transition from CS:GO to CS2, Esports Transfers has rethought its approach to the player market value algorithm and implemented more accurate analysis tools.
To provide users with data-based information, the team applied advanced statistics for each player. Now any user can view HLTV 2.0, KAST, and more than 16 other parameters and observe their dynamics. An important update was the expansion of analytics from only players to coaches and so on. Now the platform already has about 1,500 up-to-date profiles.
In 2024, the Esports Transfers team will concentrate more on CS2 transfers. With the Transfer and Teamfinder features coming in Q1 2024 and sign-up processes in Q2 2024, the product will meet the basic needs of fans, teams, and players.
Meanwhile, the team is always checking and improving the site’s current system, so you can look forward to more updates in user and team profiles.
Stay tuned if you want to always have the latest information about the Counter-Strike transfer market.
Following global trends, WePlay Holding knows that content blending different areas of the entertainment industry is what viewers want and look for. Therefore, next year there will be even more content combining games and sports, music and shows, and so on.
Innovation remains another significant aspect of the company’s continued development. This means that every new event will be even more colorful and exciting — stay tuned so you don’t miss anything.
Just like last year, the company, like millions of Ukrainians, has only one wish. Therefore, it will continue to support the defenders of Ukraine and its country next year.