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E-sports organization Immortals has hired an executive who will focus on telling the stories of its teams of professional video game players.
The company has tapped filmmaker J.M.R. Luna as its first vp content and production, giving him oversight of Immortals’ longform and shortform film production. Luna, who will report to Immortals president and COO Ari Segal, will also help create premium content for the organization’s team partners.
The nearly three-year-old Immortals was established by a group of media and technology executives looking to help bring new resources to the fast-growing sport of competitive gaming. Immortals, which counts Lionsgate as a minority investor, now owns a number of teams that specialize in such games as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2. It established the Los Angeles Valiant team to compete in the inaugural season of Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch e-sports league.
Luna will use his filmmaking skills and years of gaming fandom to develop content about the team, creating the types of videos and packages that are common among more established professional sports like the NFL and NBA. He most recently oversaw content and production at e-sports organization Evil Geniuses. Prior to joining the e-sports world, he produced and directed feature film Tell, starring Milo Ventimiglia and Jason Lee.
For Luna, the inspiration is NFL Films, which produces Hard Knocks, and ESPN’s 30 for 30 docuseries. “I need to bring the worlds of e-sports, professional sports content and Hollywood together,” he explains. “I am the person to bring those worlds together because of my unique profile.”
Peter Levin, an early investor in Immortals and Lionsgate president of interactive ventures and games, says that the organization will leverage its relationships with social platforms including Twitch and YouTube to distribute the content that Luna’s team produces. Lionsgate will also look to develop content for linear television platforms. The studio is also an investor in Pilgrim Media, which has a partnership with e-sports promoter ESL to create content for digital and traditional distribution. “We see the ability to tells stories around our teams and the world of gaming and e-sports as a compelling way to create premium content and get these massive global audiences further invested in our teams,” Levin adds. “In doing so, we hope to make ourselves more attractive to distribution platforms and marketing partners around the globe.”
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