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      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.

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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 NewsKlas 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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 & EntertainmentIn 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
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