Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Marian Härtel

      Friends & Family Test   02/28/2018

      Please be aware that we are in testing mode as part of the Friends & Family test. We'd appreciate if you sign up, take a look and give us some feedback, or - even better - if you participate in our new community, be a valuable partner of it and help us create the community you want to make business with esport!

      We are new on the market, yet small, but very eager to grow together with our partner, members and friends in the industry, like Team Prismatic, many more as well as obviously YOU!

      We are very sure that this community can be an integral part of the coming commercial success of eSports. Be a part of it!

      If you are still unsure what this site is about, check out the news section.

Social Stream

Newsbot posted TEO - Respectable Viewership for Texan Team Finale in Last Week’s Overwatch League in The Esports Observer.

Last week’s Overwatch League matches helped retain the viewership average seen so far in Stage Three. The final match of the week—between Houston Outlaws and Dallas Fuel—was the most watched, reaching a maximum of 151K concurrent viewers. Wednesday accrued the lowest total hours watched for both this Stage, as well as any single day in...

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - K&K Insurance Group Launches Program for Esports Teams and Events in The Esports Observer.

K&K Insurance Group has developed an insurance program tailored for esports teams and events. The plan will be available in the US in all 50 states. K&K Insurance Group is a subsidiary of global professional services firm Aon. Esports organizations now have access to an insurance plan tailored specifically for them. K&K Insurance Group, a...

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - K&K Insurance Group Launches Program for Esports Teams and Events in The Esports Observer.

K&K Insurance Group has developed an insurance program tailored for esports teams and events. The plan will be available in the US in all 50 states. K&K Insurance Group is a subsidiary of global professional services firm Aon. Esports organizations now have access to an insurance plan tailored specifically for them. K&K Insurance Group, a...

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - PUBG Corp Announces Official Invitational With $2M Prize Pool in The Esports Observer.

20 teams will compete in the PUBG Global Invitational 2018 The tournament will have a $2M prize pool. This event will be the first official tournament presented by PUBG Corp without help from an outside organizer like ESL. PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS  has officially joined the ranks of developer-supported esports. Today, Polygon reported that PUBG Corp has...

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - PUBG Corp. to host Global Invitational with $2 million prize pool in EsportsInsider News.

PUBG Corp. is looking to host its first official esports tournament for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, according to a report from Polygon. Taking place in Berlin, Germany in the summer, teams who receive invites to the PUBG Global Invitational will be battling it out for the lion’s share of the $2,000,000 (£1,435,357) prize pool.

The report states that 20 teams will be involved in the tournament, which is more than the usual 16 teams that have competed at previous events. The event will run from July 25th to 29th, with teams qualifying through regional tournaments hosted in North America, Asia, and Europe. It’s reported that two teams will be crowned as world champions: one for the first-person perspective and the other for the third-person perspective.

The PUBG Global Invitational will see the production team utilise PUBG’s in-game camera system, allowing them to zoom in on any action that takes place. Not only that, it’s likely that PUBG Corp. will make use of its replay system to provide almost-instant replays and highlights in-game.

This isn’t PUBG Corp.’s first PUBG tournament, however, having hosted the Gamescom Invitational in August 2017. This invitational, however, had a $350,000 (£251,126.75) prize pool – it too was hosted in Germany. More top-tier organisations have entered the PUBG competitive since then, including OpTic Gaming and Natus Vincere.

Esports Insider says: It’s incredibly positive to see PUBG Corp. invest in esports. The prize pool is ridiculously surprising, especially when you consider the latest PUBG tournament – Global Loot League Season 1 finals – had a prize pool of $50,000 (£35,864.25).

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - Klas Bergqvist – Kappa Bar – Creating an esports bar in EsportsInsider News.

A few weeks ago we shared the news that Kappa Bar, the Swedish based esports bar had opened its third location in Jönköping, we reached out to Kappa Bar Co-Founder, Klas Bergqvist, to discuss what the future holds for Kappa, and delve into how the esports bar is working out for them.

We also spoke to Emil “Heaton” Christensen, who has recently invested in Kappa Bar, to find out what made him decide to join the esports bar and get involved in the launch of their latest store.

ESI: Tell us a bit about your background and what made you start Kappa Bar?

Klas Bergqvist, Kappa Bar. Credit: Mattias Landström, JKPG News

Klas Bergqvist: Like many others, I was gaming a lot in my younger days but I never was good enough to make a living off gaming(never even close haha). For the last twelve years, my colleagues and I have been running different kinds of restaurants(fine dining, event, nightclubs etc). 

When the scene got bigger and bigger I started to think that if we could take a lot of good decisions this actually could work and that we could grow! Our biggest challenge was to create a venue that attracted a big crowd as well as the hardcore gamers. We had to make an environment that is appreciated even by my mom. Esport isn’t in the basement anymore and we hope that our restaurants show that everybody can appreciate and visit an esports bar like Kappa Bar.

“We never started Kappa Bar to have one shop in Gothenburg. Our goal is the entire world.”

We never started Kappa Bar to have one shop in Gothenburg. Our goal is the entire world. In may 2016 we started our first Kappa Bar(in Gothenburg). We wanted to start it in a market where we understand everything. We think that it’s really important to work with local entrepreneurs and in Gothenburg, we could be our own local entrepreneurs.

ESI: What makes Sweden such a great place for an esports bar?

Klas Bergqvist: Actually I don’t know if Sweden is better then any other places. Our government has many more rules than any other country for serving alcohol(that’s a good thing) but it makes it so much harder for people who don’t come from Sweden or have been living here for a long time. Besides that, we have the worlds highest tax for alcohol making it really expensive for people. If you can run restaurant in Sweden you can run it anywhere… On the upside, we Swedes have always been in the frontline with and for esports, We have a lot of great players,
icons and influencers whos always been pushing it and getting more people interested.

Just look at Heaton’s journey in Sweden and what kind of legend-status he has achieved. We went from `the dirty thing` to the big stage, concept restaurants, schools and all the big brands fighting to take just a small inch of the stage.

ESI: You most recently opened in Jönköping, having opened in three locations in Sweden, Do you have plans to reach out further into Europe?

Klas Bergqvist: Just like esports, Kappa Bar has no limits. We chose to expand by franchising to keep up the pace and have the chance to work side by side with all the great, driven entrepreneurs out there. We are working day and night to expand in both Sweden, Europe and the rest of the world. As our homepage says – Do you want to open the next Kappa Bar?

ESI: What is the long-term goal for Kappa Bar?

Klas Bergqvist: Kappa Bar wants to grow in Scandinavia and then the rest of the world and be The number
one restaurant/bar for esport.

How has the initial Kappa Bar concept worked out for you and do you plan to make any
changes in the future?

Klas Bergqvist: Good question!Our venues for today is hosting 150people, approximately 90 of them is seated.
Of course, we dream of having restaurants for 500 people but for now we think this is a good size for us. Our concept has worked out even better than we ever could imagine. The bold move from us was to link console games like FIFA, NHL, worms together with CS, Dota, LOL etc. This was a strategic decision to attract a more broad public. But of course, we have changed a lot of small things from Gothenburg may 2016 until Jonkoping march 2018. We have a lot of people who visit all our restaurant and their response to Jonkoping has been amazing! We, like many others, have to always keep getting better, we can and will never be satisfied!

ESI: Heaton recently joined the team at Kappa Bar, how much will his experience help shape
Kappa Bar going forward? 

Klas Bergqvist: We are really amazed to have Heaton on our team. He is one of the biggest brands in esports and a really great guy. We think he will be a great player for our journey in Sweden but also in Europe and the rest of the world.

Heaton: I think that my experience from both being a professional player to becoming a team owner has shown me all the sides of esport, and I’m confident that my experience will take Kappa Bar to the next level.

“I visited the bar in Stockholm and the first feeling I got was, WOW, I need to be apart of this!”

ESI: What made you want to invest in Kappa Bar?

Heaton: I visited the bar in Stockholm and the first feeling I got was, WOW, I need to be apart of this! A place for esports fans to meet and watch the games together is something that I’ve been missing for so many years, and its finally here!

What’s next for Kappa Bar?

Klas Bergqvist: We recently launched our first franchise and we get approximately 5-10 requests per week so our main focus now is to take care, sort and meet all the potential people out there who wants to open the next Kappa Bar. If you are asking for the next city to be established you have to stay tuned to our social media and at www.kappabar.se

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - TEO Report: Over $2B in Disclosed Esports Funding Raised in Q1 2018 in The Esports Observer.

By the end of the first quarter, over $2B in disclosed investment funding was made in esports related companies. Tencent Holdings is the most active investor, the top deal of the quarter being the Chinese conglomerate’s $632M investment in livestreaming platform Huya. Get a full breakdown of esports investments, market moves, and viewership data for...

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - Former UFC Exec Mike Mossholder Joins Vision Venture Partners in The Esports Observer.

Vision Venture Partners has brought on former UFC exec Mike Mossholder to be the equity firm’s CBO. Mossholder has substantial experience in traditional sports marketing, including at the UFC, NFL, MLS, NASCAR, and horse racing. One of VVP’s properties, Vision Esports, received a $38 million investment earlier this year. Vision Venture Partners , the private equity...

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - TEO Monday Morning Briefing, 23/04/2018 in The Esports Observer.

Gamer’s favourite chat service, Discord, has raised another $50M, Paris Saint-Germain partners with a Chinese Dota 2 team, and a nationwide high school esports league is coming to the U.S. Missed any of the biggest esports business news last week? The TEO Monday Morning Briefing recaps the top headlines from the last seven days! Chat...

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - Jonathan “BlackBeard” Schmid – OpTic Gaming – Building the Greenwall in EsportsInsider News.

When OpTic Gaming was acquired by Texas Rangers co-owner Neil Leibman in November 2017, the premier esports organisation underwent a host of changes – and one of those was with its social media. OpTic Gaming is now one of many brands and companies under the Infinite Esports & Entertainment holding company, so it has more resources available at its disposal.

Jonathan “BlackBeard” Schmid, Infinite Esports & Entertainment

In an attempt to leverage OpTic Gaming’s huge social media audience and to keep fans up to date with its seemingly ever-growing number of teams, Jonathan “BlackBeard” Schmid was brought on board by Infinite.

We discuss how BlackBeard found himself being responsible for building the Greenwall – the self-dubbed title of OpTic Gaming’s community – and the challenges that have come along with the role.

Esports Insider: First of all, I’d love to know what you did in your career – and perhaps, spare time – that led you to be hired for Infinite Esports & Entertainment, effectively becoming the voice of OpTic Gaming?

Jonathan “BlackBeard” Schmid: The way I got brought on was total happenstance. I have a background in Social Media Management at the corporate level and with a Rep. Management tech startup but my passion has always been gaming. I took a look at what I was doing as a job and thought “Why am I just doing this for other people?” So I started trying to build my following on Instagram using game clips and short videos with the intent of eventually growing a Twitch following large enough to warrant quitting my actual job.

Through that page I met some incredible people, one of which was OlManMakowski (a former Halo Pro) and when he got brought on at Infinite, he kindly let me know there was a position available for social. I never thought that a contact I met through Instagram and ran (well… attempted) Trials of Osiris carries with would end up with a legitimate job opportunity, never mind one in esports. Now, I get to wake up every day excited to collaborate with driven individuals who are dedicated to taking esports to new heights.

ESI: Is it hard living up to the high standards set by the Greenwall? They never had their social media expectations met prior to you taking control of the accounts, and they’re a rather particular bunch, so do you feel the pressure to meet each and every demand or do you stick to what you know works?

BlackBeard: What about it works for me? I mean, I come from Call of Duty, and it happened that I was good at it, and I enjoy it, so.

“We all try to make it a point to leverage the community as much as possible”

In all reality, I think for how busy Hector and Ryan were throughout the history of OpTic, they did an exceptional job at keeping everything current and still providing ways for the community to connect with them. Moving forward, I think the right path lies somewhere in between what the Greenwall and esports, in general, is used to seeing, and what traditional sports franchises do. There is a happy medium where we can still have fun, yet generally, operate on a professional and engaging level.

ESI: OpTic Gaming’s fanbase has a very active Reddit presence and I’ve noticed you’re rather present on there yourself – do you often look to the fans to work out exactly what they want to see, or do you just stick to what you know has worked in the past?

BlackBeard: We all try to make it a point to leverage the community as much as possible. When we learn there is a generally accepted change they’d like, we try to implement it as best we can. People who habitually hang out and engage on the subreddit are our core audience, they actively seek out a community to be a part of, they are the ones most engaged. They don’t settle for just getting fed their content by an algorithm, they seek out new ways to contribute and that’s extremely valuable.

ESI: What’s it like trying to drive engagement and build a bigger audience on social channels that already have such a huge following? Was it intimidating jumping in when OpTic Gaming already had millions of followers?

BlackBeard: Oh my god yes. Have you ever said something to 3.36 Million people before? Do you know how fast someone catches your grammatical errors? It started out as terrifying. Now? Not so much.

It’s fun and sometimes difficult to drive engagement on channels that large. A fair number of the posts we make on the main page are match announcements, which are awesome and I’m happy to do, but those match announcements actually lower the relevancy of our other posts, since the match posts only really appeal to people who are fans of that particular game. Most of our non-match announcement posts fight an algorithmic uphill battle to get onto news feeds.

“I want to take that next step and show the human sides of our competitors“

So while it’s what the community wants (fair and equal recognition across all of OpTic’s teams) it really can make things hard for other initiatives we have. The way we’ve tried to combat that is with video content, which gets much better engagement universally. Last month we set an org record for the number of video views on Twitter in a 28 day period and this month we smashed that record.

Output and engagement like that just simply would not be possible without the infrastructure and teams Infinite has helped put into place. Our creative team is crushing it, our video content team is crushing it, there’s just such great work coming out of everyone here and it culminates in what we see as a very successful presence on social that’s just going to get better with time.

ESI: With having numerous teams come tournaments and matches taking place in different countries, and subsequently, at different times. Does having to provide updates on games all round the clock create a challenge in terms of engagement?

BlackBeard: The answer to that is yes, but it’s sort of natural. It makes sense that a match announcement post for PUBG playing in South Korea at 3AM CDT, will do far worse than the same post made at prime time. I keep my expectations low for those middle of the night posts since engagement will always be low for posts made under conditions like that given the predominantly NA audience we have.

ESI: Is there anything you’d like to implement into OpTic Gaming’s social presence that you’ve not got round to yet?

BlackBeard: So, so much. While I do handle OpTic Gaming’s social presences, I also manage the social team which we’re still in the process of building out. Because we touch all of the esports brands at Infinite in some way or another, we haven’t been able to do nearly as much as I want to with social specific content for OpTic, the sort of content that helps bridge the gap between the Greenwall and the teams they support.

I want to take that next step and show the human sides of our competitors. I think Chad Read who currently runs the Houston Outlaws social channels, has done an exceptional job at accomplishing that and it’s something we’re looking to replicate with Charlene on the OpTic League of Legends channels and the main OpTic channels as well.

We’re lucky in that many of OpTic’s teams are centrally located in our offices right next to the teams that help build such incredible content on a daily basis. Safe to say you can expect us to fully start capitalizing on that in the near future. (But you know, if you happen to know someone who’s interested in a social media position in esports, feel free to have them hit up Social@Infinite.gg)

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - H1Z1 Pro League Partners With ASUS Republic of Gamers as Official Hardware Sponsor in The Esports Observer.

ASUS Republic of Gamers will provide all hardware for the H1Z1 Pro League. The pro league includes some of the biggest esports organizations in the US. H1Z1 is the first battle royale game to establish a professional league. Ahead of its debut this weekend, the H1Z1 Pro League announced a partnership with ASUS Republic of...

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - On the Verge of Franchising, Will EU LCS Teams Get Their Money’s Worth? in The Esports Observer.

This article is brought to you in part by Waypoint Media. Per Waypoint: Waypoint Media is the industry leader in esports and gaming audience data. They power clients like Nielsen and their Esports24 program to quantify and profile the esports audience. Reach them at info@waypointmedia.com. Amidst the playoffs of the first franchised North American League...

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - Globe Telecom expands partnerships and welcomes League Of Legends in EsportsInsider News.

Only a few months have passed since the announcement of a partnership with MET (Mineski Events Team) to produce the Philippines Pro Gaming League featuring Dota 2, Tekken 7 and Arena Of Valor, but Globe is back at it again.

This latest move sees the Phillipines based telecommunications giant (full name Globe Telecoms), further expanding their reach in the esports realm of South East Asia.

Globe has announced the sponsorship of Globe Conquerors Manila, a Riot sanctioned event permitting a direct entry to the World Championships and marketing partnership with Riot Games/Garena for League of Legends. An additional AOV tournament event called Valor Cup has been confirmed too. This is a local stepping stone into the Arena of Valor World Cup and the expansion of their existing partnership with MET, including exclusive marketing with team Mineski.

It should come as no surprise that a titan of local industry like Globe would continue to expand into the esports industry, especially after the last few years growth in the SEA region. One needs only look at the recent announcement that esports is set to become a competitive sport at the 2022 Asian games and that revenue numbers from PC games alone are projected to surpass $2 billion in 2021, according to research firm Niko. But Globe has hedged its bets following in-house trend analysis and corporate evangelism by doubling down on its commitment to multiple titles and verticals along with their partners’ Riot, Mineski and Garena (SEA Ltd).

Jake San Diego, Director and Head of Games at Globe took some time to explain to us how all this came about.

“When I joined in 2015, my first business plan was to establish a wider reach of mobile game offerings, leveraging our payment gateway so players could get games using their credit. Following that, I presented and socialised my esports strategy to other department heads in the business that gained traction all the way to the top. The visionary that is Ernest Cu understood that Globe could be an enabler of esports in the country, then urged me to go big in its development here in the Philippines and beyond.

“Where we had difficulties to overcome was the early stage of selecting who to partner with and specifically how we went about connecting with them. Once we saw that we (Riot, Garena and Mineski) all had the same vision to elevate the level of esports in the country and the region, things progressed very quickly to where we are today.”

He concluded: “We defined what we wanted to achieve together, and that is to enhance the level of esports by creating instances and opportunities in all levels of the skill tiers here. From grassroots all the way to the top.”

Manila has, for quite some time, been host to everything Dota 2 in SEA and with this partnership, Tencent (the parent company of Riot Games) has found the ally they need to take back their share of the market in one of the most enthusiastic esports regions in the world. And following the success of ESL One Manila and the Manila Major, why not start making League of Legends and AOV events in the capital too. But why stop there? Present at the announcement ceremony in the Globe HQ was Brian Mirakian, Senior Principal of Populous, the firm behind the Arlington esports arena and the still-in-the-planning-stage Las Vegas and London Spheres. We will let you connect the dots on that one.

South East Asia has, like many other regions, suffered from poor infrastructure to allow for vast and rapid expansion of online gaming and tournament structures, to the point where SEA Ltd (previously Garena) had to build its own infrastructure to promote esports in the region.

With Globe in play, clearly focused on making the Philippines a force to be reckoned with on the esports world stage, while promoting its digital lifestyle brand, building tournaments, events and content, one can only imagine that this could well be the investment the region needs to solidify the foundations and showcase the next wave of esports legends.

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - OPINION: Hearthstone Hires Former Pro—Preparing for Stronger Esports Competition? in The Esports Observer.

Earlier this week, long time professional Hearthstone  player Keaton “Chakki” Gill announced he was retiring from competitive play to accept a position at Blizzard Entertainment on Hearthstone’s final balance team. It is not uncommon for esports pros to transition into jobs within esports once they stop competing. Joshua “Jatt” Leesman and Wade “Dreadnaught” Penfold each...

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - Tencent Opens Social Messaging Service Wechat to External Game Developers in The Esports Observer.

Third-party developers can now design games for China’s most popular social messaging app, WeChat. The app is owned by Tencent, the most powerful company in the esports industry. Tencent is showing its willingness to work with other developers, which could pave the way for new opportunities for mobile esports in China. Earlier this month, Chinese...

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - Hearthstone Game Director Ben Brode Leaves Blizzard in The Esports Observer.

Ben Brode steps down as game director for Hearthstone after 15 years at Blizzard Entertainment. Brode has served as the public face of the game. Hearthstone remains a popular game with a lacking esports scene, but a new game director could turn the game into a top tier esport. Today, Ben Brode, Hearthstone’s  game director,...

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - Turtle Beach Partners With NBA 2K League Team Knicks Gaming in The Esports Observer.

The NBA 2K League adds another team partner as Knicks Gaming signs a deal with Turtle Beach. Knicks Gaming is the third League team to announce a brand partnership. Turtle Beach is a big name in esports, making this deal a good sign for the league’s ability to attract experienced esports brands. The NBA 2K ...

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - Harsh Lessons for Sponsors in Wake of BullyHunters Controversy in The Esports Observer.

The BullyHunters anti-harassment campaign has ended with the shutdown of the campaign’s website and all social media channels. The campaign itself was misguided and promoted misleading data, in addition to severe messaging problems. Sponsors have issued rigid apologies to distance themselves from the campaign. Steelseries specifically has reportedly called the campaign “damaging” to its brand....

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - FC Bayern Munich Enters Esports, but It’s Only Via Its Basketball Division in The Esports Observer.

FC Bayern Basketball announced the formation of the Bayern Ballers Gaming team, today, planning to scout and field 8 NBA 2K players by summer. FCB had confirmed its interest in the space multiple times, but entering the space via its basketball division rather than it’s record-winning soccer division comes as a surprise. NBA 2K receives...

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - Chat App Discord Raises Another $50M, Now Valued at $1.65B in The Esports Observer.

Discord raises $50M from existing investors, valuation raises to $1.65B. The games-friendly chat app has quickly become gamers’ favorite, outpacing Skype and Teamspeak. Lately, Discord partnered with several esports organizations, including Cloud9, Team Liquid, and DreamHack over verificated servers. In a new funding round, Discord —video gamers current darling when it comes to chat apps—has...

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - Antonio Meic – Valiance&Co – Six month old success story in EsportsInsider News.

Valiance&Co has only been competing in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for six months, but that didn’t stop the team from storming the European Qualifiers for DreamHack Marseille. Despite going 0-2 in the group stages of the main event, the organisation was in the same conversation as organisations such as Cloud9, Ninjas in Pyjamas, SK Gaming, FaZe Clan, and Fnatic.

Antonio Meic, Valiance&Co

With that in mind, we spoke to Valiance&Co Founder Antonio Meic to dig into his CS:GO team’s early success, and his experience as a small organisation owner.

Esports Insider: What made you want to delve into competing in tournaments, going beyond hosting them?

Antonio Meic: There was a fantastic team in the neighbouring country to Croatia, in Serbia. I noticed one of the players and started watching the team more closely. The idea was that we sign on the team and that we learn about tier 1 esports, so we can bring direct learning into the mobile esports scene to tournaments we are organising.

“I did not want to just sign-on a team and be hands-off”

More than that we wanted to bring our experience of managing the team to all mobile sports teams that are very young, and as the tournament organiser we were interacting with. It was all about the education. We learned a lot on the management side and now we are done with learning. With Valiance&Co, we are focusing on building a tier 1 esports team, with focus on creating a high valuation in the next 5 years.

ESI: Were there any challenges with Valiance’s entrance into competing that you didn’t foresee prior to getting started?

Antonio: There are lots of challenges. I did not want to just sign-on a team and be hands-off; we started everything with the premise we are going to build a real organisation. It’s like hiring seven individuals all with their specific challenges, wants, needs and problems. I overlooked this fundamental matter. I was just too excited about the fact we now had a CS:GO, team.

We are just people, and we did not prepare good enough to know what is ahead of us regarding HR. We immediately tackled this issue with a HR manager and psychologist and we had this colleague based in-house. This helped players and us significantly. I did not know at the beginning just how challenging building a CS:GO team is, and how much energy and effort it takes to reach the top 16.

ESI: Were there any reservations on your end to fund and manage the players you signed from Binary Dragons? It must be a tad scary to put resources into a team that hasn’t necessarily seen a huge amount of success, right?

Antonio: I agreed with our investors we would take €250,000 and invest in the team, make sure players have a stable environment regarding salaries, and that the team has what it need as basics for travel and boot camps, equipment etc. I explained to our investors that this money is our bet on esports, that there is a big potential with potential high return on investment. I knew it was a leap of faith and I explained it like that to everyone. There was no pressure – will we succeed or fail. Our investors are great, they allow me to break something along the way but learn from it. In this case, we made the right bet.

“$1,000,000 was on the table, but it did not feel right to take $800,000 profit and walk away”

My reservations into the team came after the Christmas break. The team came back from it, and we could not win, no results, I was very unhappy and could not reach them to wake up. The decision was made to change coach and let go of one player and replace it with a player that we thought could fit the role and has the skill to help us build again. From this perspective, this was a good decision. At Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, I started negotiating to sell all players to an LA org that wanted to go into esports.

$1,000,000 was on the table, but it did not feel right to take $800,000 profit and walk away. So I had my doubts about myself, where I want to to be and my focus, and now I know. My investor helped me to figure out in which orders my north stars should be aligned. I am very lucky and grateful for the support I have. I had my doubts just two months ago about everything but now things are looking really positive and I’m more motivated than ever to make this a success.

ESI: What were your expectations when going into an event as big as DreamHack Marseille? Are you all happy enough to just qualify for the main event, or do you remain hungry and motivated to achieve more and prove a point?

Antonio: We planned to win mous! Everyone witnessed what we can do, coming back from 13:2 back to 13:13. I was shaking and crying. That was a finals game for us; it was larger than life. Little details are missing if we got that two first rounds we would now have a different conversation. We came here to win, as every team here. The team is great, we need to work on more details, and we showed we are material that can play and almost win second-ranked team in the world. Diamonds are made under huge pressure!

“We are going to eat up every one of these open qualifiers until we get some recognition”

We are tier 1 material, but we are still rough around the edges. We have our event roadmap; we are focusing on qualifications for ESL One Cologne, qualification for minor, ESL Pro League is just one season away. Our biggest issue was we are not in tier 1, is because we are not perceived as the tier 1 team. I get it. And as an organisation we are new. For each event, we have to go through the hell of open qualifiers. This means it takes the triple amount of gameplay and work for us. This is so demanding on players, and this is why very few succeed to make it into the tier 1 club.

We are going to eat up every one of these open qualifiers until we get some recognition. Our players will not sleep, we will not stop, we will not back down, and we will get there no matter what it takes and what casualties we will have along the way. I have two months old baby, should be home helping my wife but she understands how much this means not only to me but to our players and all people employed. It’s a huge sacrifice to be this determined to make it. I think this answers the question how hungry we are.

ESI: Are there any major differences in managing teams in mobile esports over a PC esports title such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive?

Antonio: Mobile sports demographics is 13-21 depending on the title. Dedicated mobile esports teams are young organisations but it’s the same I would say. Regardless of title, if you want to build a professional organisation, a team that is a winning team is the way to succeed. It’s same level of complexity and difficulty for any game. Only the game is different, but all challenges are there.

ESI: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a small organisation that was looking to enter a title and compete?

Antonio: Be smart and knowledgeable about esports. There are different ways into esports, understand game tiers and make sure that the game you are entering will have a future. For some games, developers are paying fees of $150,000-$250,0000 a year for teams to compete and create content like H1Z1 or VainGlory. There are games that organisations need to pay to compete in certain leagues, like an EU LCS license will be $8,000,000. Understand these basic mechanics, and understand the money around the esports ecosystem and money flow.

There is lots of money flowing around, understand where you can build revenue streams and how so you can prove sustainability, this way you will not start something just to finish it one year later. Game developers are providing revenue, to teams, league organisers, streaming platforms. League organisers are providing revenue to teams. Streaming platforms are providing revenue to teams. If you don’t know this relationship and don’t have some inside contacts, the good team with great results will open some doors, and start building from there. Don’t give up. It’s high barrier to entry, but when you are there the reward is big.

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - Esports Arena Las Vegas announces HyperX as peripheral partner in EsportsInsider News.

Esports Arena Las Vegas, located in the Luxor Hotel & Casino, has announced HyperX as its official peripheral partner for Allied Esports’ flagship property. 

According to Simon Temperley, CMO of Allied Esports: “Our vision for Esports Arena Las Vegas was to create the ultimate interactive entertainment experience for casual and competitive gamers; providing HyperX peripherals to our customers and competitors will ensure we are offering an elite gaming experience that delivers superior performance to all in the arena.”

Players in the stadium will be equipped with the HyperX Cloud Revolver headset, HyperX Cloud Alloy keyboard, the HyperX Pulsefire gaming mouse, and HyperX mouse pads for use in competition. HyperX gear will also be on sale on-site at the arena’s merchandise store.

“HyperX is proud to partner with Esports Arena at Luxor to bring a new premium and authentic gaming experience to Las Vegas,” said Annie L. Gerard, HyperX Strategic Marketing Manager. “Gamers and competitors will be experiencing the best in class comfort, quality and competitive advantage with the award-winning HyperX gaming gear.”

Esports Arena is the first dedicated esports venue on the Las Vegas Strip, with a multi-floor facility and modular design. The venue features LED video walls, telescopic seating, and an on-site video production facility for publisher use. The facility has also been keen to promote its partnership with Spanish-American chef José Andrés. Rather notably, Andrés was listed by TIME magazine as one of the world’s most influential people in 2012, and he has won a host of culinary awards and been named in GQ’s Men of the Year in the past.

Esports Arena is making moves elsewhere too, and recently opened Esports Arena Oakland in the Bay Area. 

Esports Insider says: A peripheral partner can help significantly in terms of cost for dedicated esports venues, a relatively new and untested venture. Naturally the Esports Arena is well backed financially with its prime spot on the Strip in Vegas, but getting the right partners in is vital if the project is to see success in the long term. Moreover, if the partnership proves to beneficial for HyperX, more of these relationships should be expected in the future.

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - Paris Saint-Germain Expands to China, Partners With LGD Gaming in The Esports Observer.

French football club Paris Saint-Germain F.C. has partnered with Chinese Dota 2 squad LGD Gaming The team will now play under the name PSG.LGD. PSG’s goal with this partnership is to expand its foothold in China and cultivate its Asian fanbase. Today, Paris Saint-Germain  became the first major European soccer club to sign a partnership...

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - This week in esports: Dubai X-Stadium, Immortals, Hyperplay, Paris Saint-Germain in EsportsInsider News.

This week in esports has been yet another busy one, so as always, we’ve rounded up perhaps the biggest stories to keep you in the loop.

From the Middle East’s first esports stadium to an unscripted show following players for Immortals, to an esports and music festival, to Paris Saint-Germain entering Dota 2, there’s a lot for you to learn.

Plans revealed for Middle Eastern esports venue, Dubai X-Stadium

Dubai Media Office and TECOM Group have come together to announce the Dubai X-Stadium, the first esports-dedicated venue in the Middle East. The aim of the stadium is to “establish Dubai as a regional and global hub for hosting video game events.”

Endorsed the United Arab Emirates’ Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, it’s hoped that the stadium will help the nation get into the esports industry and boost tourism.

Read the full article here.

Immortals and Mountain Dew partner, creating esports show with Lionsgate

In a new partnership, Mountain Dew has become the official beverage of Immortals. As part of this deal, the companies are planning digital and live activations on Mountain Dew’s Twitch channel.

Together with Lionsgate, Immortals and Mountain Dew are working together to create content and properties together. This includes a pilot for an unscripted esports series that gives an insight into the behind-the-scenes happenings at Immortals.

Read the full article here.

Riot Games and MTV team for esports and music festival, Hyperplay

Riot Games, the publisher behind League of Legends, is working with MTV to create Hyperplay – a festival that aptly features both esports and music, located in Singapore.

Hyperplay will be presented by the Singapore Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, and the National Youth Council of Singapore, and will last for two days. Parts of the event will be live-streamed, with key moments also being broadcast across Southeast Asia.

Read the full article here.

Paris Saint-Germain enters Dota 2 with LGD Gaming partnership

Paris Saint-Germain’s esports division has re-entered the MOBA genre in partnership with Chinese organisation LGD Gaming. The players acquired in this deal are Wang ‘Ame’ Chunyu, Lu ‘Maybe’ Yao, Yang ‘Chalice’ Shenyi, Xu ‘Fy’ Linsen, and Jian Wei ‘xNova’ Yap.

Now with a Dota 2 team titled PSG.LGD, the players will first represent PSG at EPICENTER XL in Moscow starting April 27th. LGD Gaming recently placed second at the Dota 2 Asia Championships, and are in a good spot to reach The International later in 2018.

Read the full article here.

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - The Esports Roundtable: Jon Gurman, H4X in EsportsInsider News.


This week on The Esports Roundtable, host Joe Hills is joined by Jon Gurman, the CEO of H4X – the official merchandising partner of ESL and DreamHack. Together, Hills and Goodman set their sights on discussing H4X’s journey, the current state of esports merchandising, and how they envisage the future of that particular industry.

As always on The Esports Roundtable, the guest delves a little into their backstory to explain how they entered the industry of esports. Gurman revealed that he has a background in fashion and licensing, and when some friends of his showed him Twitch and competitive gaming, he knew within 10 minutes that he wanted to get involved. Gurman noticed the way players dressed when watching a competition and realised that there was an opportunity there.

Gurman goes on to explain how he is the CEO of Moniker, in which H4X is its flagship brand. Moniker deals with brand management and Gurman create H4X when he decided the company needed to build a brand that’s endemic to esports – much like Vans to skateboarding, for example. This means H4X is built with gaming and gamers specifically in mind, which is unique in esports.

The conversation moves to the state of fashion and merchandising in esports in the present day. Hills notes that with official clothing from Riot Games seems a little low quality with big, flashy logos, while merchandise from the Overwatch League favours performance. Gurman believes that clothing in esports will follow trends set by the fashion industry in general, so there’s no way of predicting exactly which way clothing in esports will go.

H4X’s CEO sees a world where the brand is worn by those who aren’t aware that it’s a gaming brand, claiming that’s when he’ll know the brand has made it. He wants the clothing to be bought and worn because it’s stylish and on-trend, not just because it’s good for gaming.

Gurman discussed this episode of The Esports Roundtable afterwards: “We are loving all the reception from fans at events so far. Stay tuned for our future collections and say hi at Dreamhack/ESL events this month!”

Joe Hills, LFG and The Esports Roundtable

Speaking to Esports Insider, Joe Hills, Founder and Host of The Esports Roundtable, also commented:

“Merch is a hot topic to track in the industry. Super excited to see H4X, Sector Six and other brands step up to provide quality at scale.”

Hills is the Founder of Looking for Group, an esports executive recruitment company and has worked to achieve placements for many high profile individuals in the burgeoning esports industry.

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - Knicks Gaming And Turtle Beach Reveal NBA 2K League Esports Partnership in EsportsInsider News.

Knicks Gaming has confirmed their partnership with Turtle Beach for the upcoming NBA 2k League.

The deal will see Knicks Gaming use the audio brand at the teams gaming facility, while the two companies plan to produce a variety of content during the inaugural season.

The inaugural season kicks off from May 1-5 with a tip-off tournament and runs through August 2018. The season will include up to 199 games; this includes weekly matches, three in-season tournaments, playoffs and the season finale.

Juergen Stark, CEO, Turtle Beach had this to say on the partnership – “We’re thrilled to be an integral part of the Knicks Gaming organization during the founding year of the NBA 2K League.Our headsets deliver a distinct competitive advantage through pinpoint accurate audio and clear team chat. Having the Knicks Gaming players using Turtle Beach audio equipment to train with and then dominate in their games will be a joy to watch.”

Kristin Bernert, General Manager, Knicks Gaming, added that – “Turtle Beach gaming peripherals are unmatched in their ability to provide a clear advantage for our players, which makes Turtle Beach the perfect partner for Knicks Gaming,” said  Kristin Bernert, general manager, Knicks Gaming.”   This comes off the back of the NBA 2k League confirming a deal with Twitch, which sees Twitch as the exclusive streaming platform for the newly formed league. The league has also acquired both Dell and Intel as big-name sponsors for the inaugural season.   Esports Insider Says: Another big deal in the NBA 2K League sees the league become a real big hitter in esports. This just the latest in a string of big sponsor pickups for teams will certainly put the league on a solid foundation for success.

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - Victrix signs partnership with Red Reserve in EsportsInsider News.

Alex Gonzalez, Red Reserve

Esports hardware producer Victrix has announced that the Victrix Pro AF ANC will be the official headset of Red Reserve, an esports and gaming entertainment brand. 
Swedish team Red Reserve is probably best known in the Call of Duty scene but it has a CS:GO roster too. The org recently enjoyed a second place finish at CWL Atlanta. The Call of Duty World League event had a sizable $200,0000 (£142,014) prize pool.

Henceforth Red Reserve teams will be equipped with the Victrix Pro AF ANC headsets. It’s been a busy period for the organisation which recently announced an apparel partnership with ULT, the esports and gaming apparel brand which recently saw its lines enter a host of Zumiez stores. You can find out more about this partnership here. 

Alex Gonzalez, Chief Operations Officer of Red Reserve said of the deal: “The Victrix Pro AF headset is the first headset that was created specifically for use in a competitive esports environment. The aviation-grade noise cancellation is perfect for crowded venues, while other headsets on the market don’t block out this noise, Victrix’s headset will allow players to communicate and perform at a high-level in these intense atmospheres.”

Ozhan “Oz” Maker, General Manager of Victrix added: “Our talented team of engineers, product managers and artists are thrilled to provide the Pro AF to world’s top esports competitors such as the rosters of Red Reserve, as we built it with their tournament needs in mind and are confident that it will provide the reliability and precision they need to perform at the highest level in the tournament circuit.”

Esports Insider says: It’s been a fantastic springtime for Red Reserve with a number of eggs hatching. A strong finish at CWL Atlanta, followed by the signing of headset and apparel partnerships with Victrix and ULT respectively, it’s a good time to be associated with the Swedish organisation. Long may it continue!

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - Paris Saint-Germain enters Dota 2 with LGD Gaming partnership in EsportsInsider News.

Paris Saint-German, also known as PSG, is re-entering the MOBA genre in a partnership with Chinese organisation LGD Gaming. Competing in Dota 2, PSG has become the first major European football club to invest and compete in the title. This partnership was announced at a press conference in Shanghai on April 19th.

With this deal, PSG has acquired the following roster: Wang ‘Ame’ Chunyu, Lu ‘Maybe’ Yao, Yang ‘Chalice’ Shenyi, Xu ‘Fy’ Linsen, and Malaysian Jian Wei ‘xNova’ Yap. These players will play under the team name PSG.LGD.

Yassine Jaada, Chief Gaming Officer of PSG eSports discussed the partnership: “We are very happy to work with LGD, a major structure in China. This partnership fits perfectly with our development strategy and I look forward to build new exciting projects with them.”

Xuan Li, General Manager of LGD Gaming also left a statement: “We are looking forward to partnering with such a legendary club as Paris Saint-Germain eSports. We are very honoured that PSG recognizes our brand, our successes and our experience. We look forward to going even further with PSG to make our fans proud.”

The five players will first debut for their blue-and-red jerseys at EPICENTER XL in Moscow, commencing April 27th. LGD Gaming recently placed second in the Dota 2 Asia Championships and will be looking to obtain more DPC Points leading up to The International.

Fabien Allègre, Director of Merchandising and Diversification for PSG also commented: “We are very happy to once again be a pioneer by being the first major European football club to invest on DotA 2. With an average of over 500,000 players simultaneously connected, Dota 2 is one of the most popular eSports games, especially in Asia, a strategic region for PSG. Driven by the ambition of the club and our confidence in our partners LGD and Webedia, we are determined to make this commitment a success.”

Esports Insider says: This roster is a great pick-up for PSG eSports, and Dota 2 has been an important title to compete in for quite some time – we’re glad to see the organisation return to the MOBA genre. We’re intrigued to see how PSG eSports plans to tap into Asia, in which it was called a “strategic region”.

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - HyperX Becomes Official Peripheral and Arena Partner of Esports Arena Las Vegas in The Esports Observer.

Esports Arena Las Vegas has partnered with HyperX, a leading gaming peripheral provider. HyperX will provide products for use at Esports Arena tournaments and events. HyperX is one of the biggest sponsors in the esports industry, representing a major win for a growing esports startup. Today, Esports Arena  Las Vegas (ESA) announced a partnership with...

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - UEFA to End Partnership with Konami, PES Esports League to Continue On in The Esports Observer.

UEFA announced that it will end its ten-year partnership with Konami. Konami will lose license to use UEFA club competitions in its Pro Evolution Soccer series. The PES League World Tour esports competition, held in partnership with UEFA, will carry on to its World finals in the summer. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)...

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - Nationwide Esports High School Programme Launched by NHFS and PlayVS in The Esports Observer.

PlayVS has partnered with the National Federation of State High School Associations to develop a country-wide high school esports program. The NFHS has member associations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The program will launch its first season in October with at least 15 states participating. The first season’s game list will...

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - UltraPlay – Peter Ivanov – Esports casino goals in EsportsInsider News.

The Downtown Grand in Las Vegas turned some heads back in 2017 when they announced they would be holding a viewing party for the League of Legends World Championships final.

The weight of this declaration was in the Downtown Grand’s offering of live, legalised wagers of esports, a first for the US. The function prompted the question of live esports’ casino prospect and if we can anticipate seeing its presence more often down the line as the sport continues to accelerate. For this reason, we decided to reach out to Peter Ivanov, Head of Trading at UltraPlay, to gather some insights from the betting company on its true potential. 

Peter Ivanov, UltraPlay

Esports Insider: Are there any casinos currently accepting esports bets where you can watch games?

Peter Ivanov: For the last 2 years, betting on esports has been a hot topic attracting more and more online books globally. Land-based casinos are also on the way of diversifying the game floor by adding the esports betting to their product portfolio. This process started with no surprise from the gambling paradise – Las Vegas. There are several casino groups in Vegas that have already established betting on esports and use it as a marketing tool to attract those web-savvy Millennials to their gambling halls.

“That’s why many are questioning how to make Millennials visit the casinos more as they currently prefer to bet online. So, here comes the answer – esports.”

Having been in the spotlight, youngsters are the target group that can drastically increase revenues for the casino operators. That’s why many are questioning how to make Millennials visit the casinos more as they currently prefer to bet online. So, here comes the answer – esports. The new technology followers are spending much of their spare time playing video games and watching their favourite teams competing on an international level and to no surprise betting on those same teams is becoming more and more popular.

“Nevada has already started initiating international tournaments, where esports odds are offered to players, showing that esports is a profitable part of the business that still needs to unleash its true potential.”

From the operators perspective, organizing esports betting in the US is not that easy having in mind the ongoing regulations procedures and discussions. Nevada has already started initiating international tournaments, where esports odds are offered to players, showing that esports is a profitable part of the business that still needs to unleash its true potential.

As a leading esports betting data and platform provider, UltraPlay plays a key role in the discussions on how esports betting can grow both online and offline. It is important to be offered through a reliable partner with extensive experience on the market as esports holds its specifics that can be a stumbling obstacle for many newcomers. Being one of the pioneers in the industry, UltraPlay is at a stage where our products are taken to the next level – we know what is working for a betting operator and how to deliver the best solutions for players’ acquisition, retention and conversion.

Credit: Las Vegas Review

Esports Insider: What’s the overall potential for esports wagering in casinos? Can we expect to see more of it soon? Can it mirror enthusiasm similar to traditional sports betting in casinos? Could it be bigger?

Peter: With the increased popularity of esports all over the world, we can definitely expect this gaming vertical to spread more into the casino floors where diversity is sought after by the operators. It is well-known that Millennials are predominantly playing esports and also betting on it but we also see that esports has started attracting more and more elders into it. Thus make us believe that esports has the potential to overcome the sports itself, as the audience is increasing exponentially year by year.

Esports Insider: Are there any advantages live esports wagering in casinos may offer? Do you think betting in this environment could yield an overall increase in volume and size of wagers?

Peter: Adding esports betting to the casino floor can distinguish the venue for sure. Sports betting is already well spreading over many leading casinos worldwide. Esports odds are sought after the sportsbooks more, so casinos will follow the trend in the near future. 

“Imagine this happening in more casinos worldwide – it will definitely offer another level of excitement for players that like esports, gambling and entertainment”

In 2017 we brought a CS:GO team to our stand at ICE Totally Gaming and we experienced the hype from all of the esports fans, followers, enthusiasts, and visitors in general. A part of our participation highlighted the worldwide phenomenon of people wanting to interact with professional esports players and teams as well as analyzing the in-play betting. Imagine this happening in more casinos worldwide – it will definitely offer another level of excitement for players that like esports, gambling and entertainment. Meeting your favourite teams and players and feeling the adrenaline of winning together with them is definitely the next level of gaming experience and will definitely have an impact on the betting behaviour.

Esports Insider: What would prevent esports from making it into casinos? Consequently, what do esports have going for them that would aid in this ambition?

Peter: Regulations that are restrictive rather than leading to improvements. Sometimes, the lack of knowledge and experience can lead to unreasonable decision preventing many esports fans to wager on their favourite teams. The global phenomenon of esports is going to expand in the following years so organizations, suppliers, and operators need to establish good practices on which the whole esports betting ecosystem will grow. A unified concept of the way esports will be presented to the public is currently missing.

Once all the stakeholders involved are ready with such a concept that would push esports to the next level.

ESI Conclusions

What we can take away from the Downtown Grand’s experimentation with esports and this discussion is that esports betting in casinos offers some valuable qualities. As Peter mentioned, esports is a way for casinos and sportsbooks alike to diversify their portfolio; esports and casinos budding friendships today can be likened to how gaming houses reinvented themselves early on. Over time, casinos became more of an inclusive entertainment experience with restaurants, nightclubs and events and no longer solely about gambling – esports fit right into this equation.

The Luxor Hotel is a perfect example: having amassed a wealth of press attention pertaining to their Esports Arena, the dazzling gaming stage is looking to tap into the valuable millennial audience, as well. In partnership with esports betting platform Unikrn, the MGM Grand also hosts a series of weekly tournaments in their designated ‘LEVEL UP‘ space with cash and UnikrnGold prizes, further broadening their reach.

Esports is a marketer’s dream as the core audience – males 18 to 30 years old – is notoriously hard to attain since they typically don’t consume traditional media such as television or radio as their predecessors did. Can we expect to see more casinos hosting esports viewing events? We can safely assume so. While esports has an undeniable presence, it may just need to be a bit more girthy before more casinos decide to start consistently picking it up in their residences.

Disclaimer: This is part of a sponsored content series with UltraPlay

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - Globe Telecom Opens Esports Division in Philippines, Partners with Riot, Garena, and Mineski in The Esports Observer.

Globe Telecom announces the launch of its Globe Gaming initiative, to promote esports in the Philippines, and produce original content. Globe will work with Riot Games and Garena to build sanctioned League of Legends and Arena of Valor events in the region. Globe will also collaborate with the Mineski events team to bring back the...

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - PlayVS, NFHS Network partner for US high school esports program in EsportsInsider News.

The National Federation of State High School Associations, the organization that creates rules for high school sports for public high schools across the United States, has appointed PlayVS as its exclusive esports partner.

This partnership will provide students with the ability to compete in gaming titles – both locally and interstate – and also includes the NFHS Network, which streams high school sports online. PlayVS is a venture-backed startup that has created an infrastructure in which high school students can compete in esports leagues.

Delane Parnell, CEO and Founder of PlayVS stated the following: “We’re excited to partner with the NFHS and NFHS Network to introduce esports in high schools nationwide.This partnership combined with our technology and publisher relationships will help us create the first scalable competition for high school students. Esports is about more than just playing games – it can be used to help students grow their STEM interests and develop valuable life skills and since there are more high school gamers than athletes, it’s about time we foster this pastime in an educational setting.”

Together, the three companies are working together on rolling out a program that enables over 14 million high school students to have an opportunity to compete in numerous esports titles. Students will represent their school in the lead up to state championships, in which the inaugural season is set to start on October 15. At least 15 states are said to become a part of the competition.

Mark Koski, CEO of NFHS Network also commented:”PlayVS’ philosophy on high school-based sports and focus on participation perfectly aligns with the NFHS and its member state associations. We looked at many potential esports partners and PlayVS was the clear choice thanks in part, to its overall education-based concept, mission and vision.”

Notably, PlayVS will allow students to choose their own teams regardless of their gender or age – and no tryouts are necessary. Each school year will include two seasons, with each season lasting two months and schools competing in a minimum of eight matches.

PlayVS will implement at least four titles each season; each title will see a state champion crowned through a single-elimination bracket. Students will compete through PlayVS’ online platform, though higher-profile playoff and championship games will take place in front of a live audience.

Bob Gardner, Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations discussed the partnership: “We believe the NFHS, NFHS Network and PlayVS make a great team to help jump-start esports activities in high schools across the country. With the rollout of this partnership, we anticipate that there will be tremendous initial and growing interest in esports from students, and we are excited to broadcast these events on the NFHS Network.”

Esports Insider says: This partnership spells good news all around. Not only will it allow high schools students to be exposed to esports, it supports and encourages inclusivity – a value that is vastly underrated in the industry at the moment.

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - Esports apparel brand ULT goes live in Zumiez stores across USA in EsportsInsider News.

Esports and gaming apparel brand ULT has signed a deal with Zumiez which will see its wares on sale in stores across the United States. 

The company, which is based in Texas, has previously signed deals with the likes of Versus Sports, but this one is a major milestone as it enters an established retail chain which has existed since 1978. 

ULT gear will not be immediately rolled out in all Zumiez stores (of which there are over 680 stores globally, mostly in the US, but also in Canada, Europe and Australia). The ULT lines will initially be available in 25 stores with plans for far more beyond that. You can check if there’s one local to you right away with this handy map below:


We had a brief chat with ULT CEO and Founder Nate Eckman about this deal and what it means to them, and esports more widely.  Check out some of the most popular items here. 

Esports Insider: ULT gear in a retail store – quite a milestone! How does it feel, what was the process and what does it mean for esports as a whole?

Nate Eckman: Getting to help define an entirely new category of esports lifestyle at major retail is a truly fantastic feeling!

Esports has evolved so much in cultural consciousness over the last few years and Zumiez has really enabled ULT to broaden that story even more. The process really started 2 years ago when we launched the ULT brand and showed our inspiration from modern design and streetwear infused in our passion for competitive video games.

ULT got invited to show at the Agenda show which is where we got to meet up with general market retail buyers from many retail distributors including Zumiez. Thankfully at ULT, we have a very seasoned and experienced brand GM in Tim Haley who helped arrange and prepare all the necessary steps to get in front of the buyers correctly.

Nate: Zumiez is known primarily for skateboarding fashion and apparel, do you see this as having more of a crossover than a more typical retail store?

ESI: Yes absolutely. I think Zumiez is great for ULT since we have a very similar customer who loves video games and competitive action sports. Zumiez has been a big believer in developing this new category around esports and we have a campaign called ULT CULT which has been super exciting to rally our community.

Basically, if you want to show support for esports in retail you can pickup ULT gear from Zumiez, share your story and pic using #ULTCULT and we are rewarding people with sponsored giveaways from our friends at DX Racer, HyperX and Talking Stick Resort for a fun fly away promotion this summer. Follow @ULTesports on IG and @ULTlosangeles on Twitter for info!

Nate: A lot of brick and mortar outlets in fashion and beyond are known to be struggling; do you see more niche stores such as Zumiez as being the ones who’ll survive and even prosper?

ESI: We love that Zumiez is about building for the future and helping to launch new brands like ULT. 

This is a totally new way for our customers and fans to experience our brand and it is an exciting time to be a fan of esports and gaming as we collectively define this lifestyle.  Zumiez has been growing and I think it is because they share in the passion and vision for the culture that we at ULT do as well.  We all want to offer the community something new that they love and value.

ULT is all about being your best and we believe that Zumiez is one of the valued partners supporting us on our unique player journey.

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - Most Watched Twitch Content of the Week, April 09 – April 15, 2018 in The Esports Observer.

Last week on Twitch, Fortnite  stayed on top despite some viewership losses, League of Legends  took a hit with its major esports leagues on hiatus, and Hearthstone  surged thanks to the Witchwood expansion. Every week, The Esports Observer breaks down the most watched Twitch content from a curated list of more than 35,000 channels, and...

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - Vision Venture Partners hires former UFC Executive Mike Mossholder in EsportsInsider News.

Vision Venture Partners – a private equity firm put together by Amit Raizada, Rick Fox (the owner of Echo Fox), and Stratton Sclavos – has announced the hiring of Mike Mossholder in the role of Chief Business Officer.

Mike Mossholder, Vision Venture Partners

Mossholder is the former Executive Vice President of Global Marketing Partnerships at the UFC and will use his experience in sports marketing and sales in an attempt to boost revenue and brand recognition for Vision Venture Partners through strategic partnerships. During his tenure at the UFC, Mossholder helped to facilitate the ten biggest deals in the company’s history and helped to grow its revenue. 

Raizada, Partner of VVP discussed Mossholder’s appointment: “With more than 20 years of experience in the sports and business world, Mike has an impressive history of expanding global franchises with innovative brand marketing. We are ecstatic to bring him onboard at VVP and look forward to utilizing his wealth of knowledge as we look to forge new opportunities for business expansion across VVP’s ever-growing portfolio – including Echo Fox, Twin Galaxies, Vision Entertainment, and more.”

Mossholder discussed his new role in a statement: “After working with some of the biggest brand partners in my previous role with the UFC, I recognized that the next great opportunity to make an impact in a nascent sport is the burgeoning esports industry. I’m eager to continue building upon the infrastructure already established at VVP with the ultimate goal to drive unprecedented growth for the company.”

Vision Venture Partners counts Vision Esports, Twin Galaxies, Echo Fox, HD Films, and Vision Entertainment as members of its portfolio.

Esports Insider says: Bringing an executive over from sports into esports is nearly always beneficial for the industry, especially when they’ve proven their worth tenfold to a rapidly-growing sport such as MMA.

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - Newzoo: Twitch Gets 7.1x More Esports Viewership than YouTube in The Esports Observer.

Today, Newzoo announced that its Game Streaming Tracker would now include YouTube Gaming data. The service utilizes machine learning to attempt to identify and classify esports-specific content. This is a difficult endeavor that most services have historically been unable to do accurately. The company also released 5 key insights on the streaming market derived from its...

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - San Francisco Shock and NRG Esports Partner with Cal Berkeley in The Esports Observer.

NRG Esports and the San Francisco Shock will sponsor a gaming community center on the UC Berkeley campus. The partnership will also see NRG act in an advisory role on future university esports initiatives. NRG continues to find unique, non-endemic sponsorship opportunities. Today, Overwatch  League team the San Francisco Shock  and NRG Esports  announced a...

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - NRG and San Francisco Shock partner with UC Berkeley in EsportsInsider News.

An interesting partnership has been announced between NRG Esports and San Francisco Shock and University of California, Berkeley. 

Announced on ESPN today, Berkeley will launch a community center and ‘several esports initiatives’ on the university’s campus.

One of the academic centers in one of the campus halls of residence will be renovated and sponsored by the two teams. The NRG and the Shock logos will also feature on UC Berkeley’s Cal Esports kit. It’s key to remember here that the Overwatch League team, known as the Shock, shares ownership with NRG – which includes celebrity involvement such as Shaquille O’Neal as Co-owner, plus the likes of Jennifer Lopez amongst the investors. Morever, Andy Miller, NRG Esports Chairman, is also a co-owner of the Sacramento Kings as is Mark Mastrov, another Co-owner who is also the Founder and CEO of 24 Hour Fitness. 

The SF Shock and NRG esports are incredibly proud and excited to announce a first of its kind partnership with the #1 Public University in the country.

We can't wait to see what the future holds with @UCBerkeley!!!

For more information: https://t.co/EuS498cR3W pic.twitter.com/tzJbV4JkFk

— San Francisco Shock (@SFShock) April 18, 2018

Miller said of the news: “By investing in this esports program, we’re investing in the future: technology, reinvented community, new learning models, and of course, the students.

“Not only is UC Berkeley one of the most prestigious institutions for higher learning in the world, but it also runs the best collegiate esports program in the country. We look forward to the many things we can do together not just in our Northern California market, but hopefully throughout the esports community as well.”

The renovated centre will feature ‘academic, health and wellness programs for student gamers, as well as host regular events.. These will include watch parties for San Francisco Shock and more. Furthermore, as expected, there’ll likely be some academic collaboration too with potential opportunities to tie in esports with academic courses, according to ESPN’s Jacob Wolf. 

Speaking to Wolf, UC Berkeley Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Stephen Sutton said: “We’re just growing this set of partnerships now. We’re starting with this community center, as we’re calling it, rather than an arena, because we really want to focus on the concept community where a lot of things happen there; even things like TED Talks, for example, where people come in and talk about the gaming industry and jobs in the gaming industry.

“From our perspective, this is designed to be a holistic community environment rather than just a place where students compete.”

As another string to the bow of this partnership, UC Berkeley, and the two teams will be kicking off a student-led women in gaming initiative with the goal of promoting diversity and opportunities for female students keen on esports and gaming more widely.

UC Berkeley Student and Gaming Community Leader Cherie Lin commented: “Thanks to the new center and our partnerships, we can build on that dedication to promote gender equality in the gaming community, in addition to creating new opportunities for the entire student body.”

Esports Insider says: With San Francisco Shock looking for a venue to call home for future seasons of the Overwatch League, could the UC Berkeley campus provide a smart option? Generally speaking this is a fantastic partnership, UC Berkeley is a world-renowned university with an incredible history. Any academic esports focused additions to courses here would be hugely positive for the industry. Hopefully all the initiatives they have planned prove popular, starting with the viewing parties on-site. 

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - NBA 2K League Announces Twitch as Official Livestreaming Partner in The Esports Observer.

Twitch has partnered with the NBA 2K League for a multi-year broadcast deal. The livestreaming platform will broadcast all league games, and develop audience engagement strategies, including a custom overlay. The Overwatch League has benefited greatly from Twitch’s innovative integrations. Similar strategies could help to drive viewership to the NBA 2K League. Earlier this month,...

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - NBA 2K League nets multi-year deal with Twitch in EsportsInsider News.

It has been announced that the NBA 2K League and Twitch have entered a multi-year partnership that will see every single game within the League broadcast on the streaming platform. This deal seemingly means the media rights for the League are Twitch’s for numerous seasons.

Kicking off on May 1st, the NBA 2K League will stream up to 199 games that take place throughout the inaugural seasons – this includes weekly games, three in-season tournaments, playoffs, and the finals. As you’d expect from a professional sports league, streams will include live commentary, analysis, and updates.

Brendan Donohue, Managing Director of NBA 2K League discussed the partnership: “This is a groundbreaking partnership for the NBA 2K League. Twitch shares our innovative spirit and commitment to putting the gaming community first, and is the ideal home to provide our passionate 2K, NBA and esports fans around the world with the opportunity to catch all the excitement of our inaugural season.”

Justin Dellario, Head of Esports Programs, Twitch commented:”From video games to real games, the NBA continues to innovate around basketball when it comes to engaging with the Twitch community. By partnering with Twitch for the NBA 2K League, that pioneering spirit will continue to be reflected when we elevate this latest entry to the world of competitive gaming with interactive features and our global stage.”

All games will be live-streamed on NBA 2K League’s official Twitch. Games will be made available for viewing on-demand after they’ve concluded.

Esports Insider says: This move for the NBA 2K League was expected. There are only a couple of options available when it comes to streaming esports gameplay, and Twitch is by far the most popular choice. The League knows it’ll be in good hands on this particular platform.

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - Esports has made up 11% of gaming content viewership so far in 2018 in EsportsInsider News.

The first quarter of gaming content has been monumental for both Twitch and YouTube Gaming, according to new insights presented by Newzoo. Including an encourage statistic regarding esports content and the growth of mobile titles, there’s plenty to get excited about if you’re a member – or spectator – of this industry.

2 billion and 0.4 billion viewing hours were racked up by YouTube Gaming and Twitch respectively in the very first quarter of 2018. Of those hours, 11.6% of Twitch’s viewership and 8.2% of YouTube Gaming’s viewership comprised of esports content from events and leagues. In this front, Twitch had eight times the amount of hours watched than YouTube Gaming did.

Casual and mobile titles are ridiculously popular on YouTube Gaming. There are five mobile titles in the Top 20 games with the most viewership: Mobile Legends, Clash Royale, Arena of Valor, Garena RoV, and Monster Strike. Surprisingly, there are no mobile titles in Twitch’s Top 20. Casino, strategy and simulation games strived on YouTube Gaming, whereas MMORPG and fighting games emerged at the top on Twitch.

Accounting for the Top 20 games on both platforms, Twitch accounted for 82% of the total viewership hours in Q1, presumably attributing a hefty portion to the rise of Fortnite and streamers such as Ninja. The only games in the Top 20 that had more viewership on YouTube Gaming are World of Tanks, Casino Games, Minecraft, and Mobile Legends.

The Top 10 channels on YouTube made up 18% of the platform’s viewership in Q1, with the Top 100 channels taking 42% of all viewing hours. In comparison, Twitch’s Top 100 games made up of just one-third of the total viewing hours. Twitch had more variety in its top performing game genres, with Action, MOBA, and shooter games making up 61% of its viewership compared to 69% on YouTube Gaming.

Streamers on both Twitch and YouTube are equally popular in some instances. The five biggest independent streamers on Twitch had an average of 35,400 viewers compared to YouTube Gaming’s 12,416 – though when you look at games that are bringing in a lot of viewers on both platforms, both Twitch and YouTube Gaming are performing similarly.

Esports Insider says: While it’s intriguing to compare the two platforms, one thing emerges clear: gaming content is pulling big numbers, and esports is making up a healthy percentage of the total viewership. This, on the surface, is a great sign for the esports industry – and the gaming industry – as a whole.

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - Activision Blizzard Sells French OWL TV Rights to Media Company AB Groupe in The Esports Observer.

AB Groupe has acquired French TV broadcasting rights for the Overwatch League. AB and Activision Blizzard expand on a partnership signed in October last year. Global live streaming broadcast rights to OWL were secured by Twitch in a $90M, two-year deal. French media company AB Groupe has acquired broadcasting rights to Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League , and...

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - BLAST Pro Series heading to Copenhagen with event broadcast on TV 2 in EsportsInsider News.

The Blast Pro Series will return to Copenhagen’s Royal Arena in November 2018. While CS:GO team Astralis has been confirmed as the first team to join the series.

The series has also secured a partnership with TV 2 Denmark to broadcast all BLAST Pro Series events in 2018.

CEO and Founder of RFRSH Entertainment, Nikolaj Nyholm, had this to say: “Our goal with BLAST Pro Series is to create the most important and interesting esports tournament from a live perspective, the viewer experience and for everything we create around the events and tournament.”

“We are constantly developing the tournament and digital content around it and working with a national broadcaster and digital powerhouse and provider like TV 2 is yet another step in reaching our ambitions to develop and present the best and most engaging esports product out there!”

TV 2, a Danish-based subscription channel will host the event on national TV. TV2 Sport, Editor in Chief, Allan Hvid had this to say about the move:”Esport and Counter-Strike is already an established media product, and it is no longer a matter of teaching the viewers or explaining the game to the audience. We strongly believe in the product and the format of BLAST Pro Series, and we will be bringing the Danish audience full coverage on both our Flow TV Channel and digitally. “

Talking about how the Pro Series will differ from traditional sports coverage he said: “We’re going to treat the product the same way as any other competitive entertainment and sports; with the same professional standards, respect and level of entertainment as any other major production. We are looking very much forward to including BLAST Pro Series in our portfolio of content and to present esports at it’s best.”

Esports Insider Says: BLAST Pro Series clearly feels at home in Copenhagen so it’s great to see it return. The Royal Arena is a great venue for esports and the TV 2 deal will get more esports events into more homes, which is never a bad move.

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - Icons Eyes to Become ‘Esports-Ready Platform Fighter,’ Rivalling Smash in The Esports Observer.

Wavedash Games lifts closed beta NDA on upcoming fighting game Icons.  The platform fighter aims to challenge Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros esports scene, which still lacks support from its publisher. The game developer received a $6M investment to build its game, with a round led by March Capital Partners. Upcoming “platform fighter” Icons: Combat Arena is officially lifting...

View the full article

Newsbot posted ESI - Loot boxes, skins gambling forecast to generate $50 billion by 2022 in EsportsInsider News.

According to a new study from Juniper Research, it’s been forecast that loot boxes and skins gambling will reach a spend of $50 billion (£35.265 billion) by 2022. This number is up massively from this year’s $30 billion (£21.159 billion).

Loot boxes are in-game packs that hold random items, and skins are effectively in-game cosmetics that either affects the appearing of characters or weapons.

Lauren Foye, Research author elaborated on the market: “Skins are acquired both through playing video games and from opening purchased loot boxes. These items have value depending on rarity and popularity within game communities. On PCs, skins are traded for real money via Steam’s ‘Marketplace’; the platform has 125 million registered users globally.”

Steam has attempted to squash concerns surrounding skins gambling – in which the items are fundamentally used as virtual currency for betting – in the past. For years, third-party websites have allowed users to bet in-game skins to cash in for real money. It’s worth noting that Steam makes money from transaction fees when its marketplace is used, which could be part of the reason as to why this market still exists – despite it being unregulated.

The study states that unless the regulation is implemented for skin trading and gambling, then wagers will surpass $1 billion (£705.085 million) globally since 11% of 11-16 years old in the UK had placed bets with skins in 2017.

Esports Insider says: The underage aspect of skins gambling has been an issue for quite some time, but with gigantic numbers being forecast, it’s hard to see Steam not wanting the biggest piece of that pie that’s available. Nonetheless, esports is becoming more and more professional as it grows, so regulations seem inevitable at some point.

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - Nate Nanzer Confirms Overwatch League Looking to Expand in Season 2, Targeting Europe as Key Market in The Esports Observer.

The Overwatch League will likely expand next year, as confirmed by commissioner Nate Nanzer. Activision Blizzard is primarily targeting Europe, and is exploring options in Asia, Brazil, Australia, and the Middle East. Earlier reports indicated that the buy-in cost for expansion teams could be as high as $60M. The Overwatch  League launched this year with...

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - Alan Bunney MD, CEO of Panda Global: “I Thought That I Could Do This ‘Esports’ Thing While Treating the Players Like Human Beings” in The Esports Observer.

The esports industry has experienced a major shift in the last two years. Today, nearly every esports organization in a top tier league is backed by venture capital or traditional sports funding. Names like Rick Fox and Shaquille O’neal grab headlines for their involvement in the industry. Merely a few years ago, the biggest names...

View the full article

Newsbot posted TEO - RFRSH Entertainment Partners With TV 2 Denmark to Broadcast BLAST Pro Series in The Esports Observer.

TV 2 Denmark has secured the national broadcast rights to all BLAST Pro Series events this year. In October of last year, RFRSH Entertainment partnered with Lagardère Sports to distribute media rights for the series. RFRSH Entertainment secured $8.1M in funding last year, in part to develop the BLAST Pro Series. Today, the BLAST Pro...

View the full article

  • Who Was Online

  • Popular Contributors

    Nobody has received reputation this week.

  • Our picks

    • Freaks 4U Gaming GmbH is a company managing several german esport related websites. Further more, they are working together with well known international brands while consulting them in different esport topics.
      • 0 replies
    • When you are working in an esport organization it is really necessary to have an organized and structured management and staff team. There are many ways to help yourself and your management/staff-team to improve your daily work with different open-source and commercial tools. Here is a list:

      Google-Documents - free & easy to use and perfect for concepts

      Google-Presentation - free & easy to use, works close to PowerPoint

      Google-Tables - free & easy to use, works close to Excel

      MSOffice 2016 - commercial, but mostly installed on your pc

      Whatsapp/Telegram/Facebook groups 

      Ecore.gg - is a new commercial programm, mainly for esport organizations

      Get your own programm with your wants and needs

      As you can see there are many options to organize your esport business. It is not important to use any of my examples, it is important to start structuring and organizing your work, for having an all time overview about every single topic.
        • Thanks
      • 0 replies
    • The Esports Consulting GmbH is the company behind EsportsBusiness.net. As we are working on several other projects in the esports industry, we want to run our blog here in the community. The, still very static, homepage can be found at https://esportsconsulting.de/.

      We will update this blog with all news regarding the company itself as well as news regarding player and streamer we manage. Stay tuned for more very exciting news soon!
      • 0 replies
    • Spielervertrag in deutscher Sprache als Muster zu Entwicklung und Ausarbeitung eines eigenes Partner-Spieler-Sponsoring Vertrages. Dieser Vertrag geht von einem Sponsoring des Spielers durch den Partner aus und stellt somit keinen Arbeitsvertrag dar. Dies hat gravierende Auswirkungen nach deutschem Recht, über dessen Auswirkungen und Abgrenzung zu einem Arbeitsvertrag sich der Käufer bewusst sein muss. 

      Dieser Vertrag ist kurz gehalten und eignet sich beispielweise für kleinere Hobby-Teams oder semiprofessionelle Teams. Diesem Vertrag fehlen verschiedene Klauseln zur Nutzung von Spielen mit Herstellervorgaben, besonderen Arrangements bei Streamingtätigkeiten, sowie zur besonderen Behandlung von professionellen Teams oder durch Agenturen und Sponsoren.  Der Vertrag wird in genau dieser Form angeboten und erhebt keinen Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit oder Verwendung zu einem besonderen Vertragszweck.

      Dieser Vertrag ist zu Nutzung für EINE Person lizensiert.  Für die Nutzung für weitere Mitglieder im Team ist die eine Erweiterungslizenz erforderlich, die hier erworben werden kann.

      Die Nutzung des Vertrages ist nur lizenziert für die Nutzung durch den Käufer. Eine Weitergabe, kommerziell oder nicht kommerziell, ist ausdrücklich untersagt. Eine Weitergabe oder Zuverfügungstellung Dritter stellt eine Urheberrechtsverletzung dar und wird von Rechtsanwalt Marian Härtel verfolgt. Der Käufer dieses Templates ist verantwortlich und haftbar dafür, dass eine unlizensierte Weitergabe nicht erfolgt. 

      Rechtsanwalt Marian Härtel übernimmt für die Verwendung dieses Vertrages, ohne vorhergehende Anpassung an den Einzelfall durch Rechtsanwalt Marian Härtel oder sonstige Beratung, keine Haftung. 

       Dieser Haftungsausschluss gilt insbesondere für die Bewertung von Sozialversicherungsbehörden in jeglichen Ländern, insbesondere der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, sowie in Bezug auf steuerrechtliche Behandlung.
      • 0 replies
    • What do you guys think about girls in esport?
      • 12 replies