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    • 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.

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Newsbot posted TEO - Facebook and Amazon Compete for Esports Crowd with New Developer Tools in The Esports Observer.

Facebook announces new software development kit (SDK) that allows game developers to implement live streaming support directly into PC games. Amazon’s new GameOn application programming interface (API) lets developers add tournaments, leaderboards and leagues to games-with the option to ship prizes fulfilled by Amazon.com. Both companies are looking to integrate their platforms directly into game,...

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Newsbot posted TEO - VIDEO INTERVIEW: Jeffrey Clark, Intel – “We See Ourselves as Stewards of the Esports Industry” in The Esports Observer.

Intel is an omnipresent force within the esports ecosystem. The chip manufacturer not only powers the players, but through partnerships with ESL and the Overwatch League, the company enjoys high visibility in the competitive gaming space. Both the aforementioned partnerships were built on individual, long-standing professional relationships, setting up Intel as a key stakeholder within...

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Marian Härtel submitted Two big updates ahead to News.

The Friends & Family Test runs amazingly good and we got really valuable feedback. Thank you for this!

I want to update everybody as to what we are planning. 

In the ne…


Newsbot posted ESI - Global Esports Forum – Open vs Closed in EsportsInsider News.

Intel and ESL partnered once more to host the inaugural edition of the Global Esports Forum that took place on March 1st in the Spodek arena in Katowice Poland.

A long list of attendees witnessed the opening remarks by John Bonini, VP and General Manager VR, Gaming & Esports, at Intel who highlighted the need for better global internet and diversity in order to unleash the next billion esports fans.

Next up on the stage was a star-studded line up lead by Scott ‘SirScoots’ Smith, (flown in private for the occasion?) along with Victor Goossens, Co-CEO, Team Liquid, James Lampkin, Vice President Pro Gaming, ESL, Tomas Lyckedal, Deputy CEO, DreamHack and also Alexandre Remy, Brand Director of Rainbow Six.

The panel on What is the Future of Esports Structures? took a quick trip down memory lane and how, for Scott, it all started in arcades trying to beat the high score of whatever game received a quarter as mode of activation and how an amateur/community driven hobby back in the day has now turned into talking “all about the business.”

Victor was quick to point out that “We shouldn’t make it all business. Old schoolers should be able to guide that process, they understand the chaotic nature of the industry.

“It is our responsibility to find the right balance between the old and the new”

Moving onto the topic at hand it was quite clear that the panel had firm believers in both open and closed ecosystems. For league operators and fans there is a natural affiliation with the open system, whereas for team and I.P. owners there are a lot of benefits to a closed-off/franchise model.

Without any hesitation they all seemed to agree that going forward, esports will need both systems.

Our own ESI Super Forum on March 22nd will explore the crossover of esports and sports

After that it didn’t take long for them to start comparing esports to traditional sports with some very insightful remarks, that left us all hungry for a deeper dive on the topic. 

SirScoots said: “No-one owns the ball in football. In esports the publishers own everything. Traditional sports rarely have to look over their shoulder for what the next big sport is going to be.

“Whereas in esports we constantly have to be aware and on the lookout for new games”

That is the hard part for getting long term investments.”

Victor: “A lot of esports-ready titles can have the longevity of Dota and CS if they are the right type of game. Downside is that publishers can just turn of the switch. Micro-transactions are something that traditional sports can’t do. Imagine if you had to pay a penny every time you kicked a ball. This is a mechanism that can grow the ecosystem.”

Thomas: “We haven’t found the perfect esport game yet. We will see all new interesting games formats come out in the near future.”

After quickly skipping over the ESL Facebook partnership and the arrival of the OWL the panel turned to the future once more and to what their are the most excited about:

Thomas: “Fortnite.”

Victor: “More open discussions about the ecosystem.”

Alexandre: “How to change the passive viewer into an interactive and engaging experience.”

James: “Augmented reality, and Pokemon Go contact lenses.”

Esports Insider says: We are as intrigued as you about the Pokemon go contact lenses AR combo brought to you by James Lampkin, in a store near you soon. Regarding the Open vs Closed debate, esports will be living with both systems for a considerable amount of time as both have their benefits. The closed system is perhaps better suited for keeping absolute control disguised under a veil of stability, while open is the platform of choice for diversity and competition.

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Newsbot posted ESI - The ESI Super Forum is this Thursday – here’s the lowdown in EsportsInsider News.

Our Esports Insider Super Forum, the one day conference focused on the crossover of esports and sports, is taking place this Thursday March 22nd.

At the home of Chelsea FC, Stamford Bridge, we will host a full day with seven talks, from panels to roundtables and a keynote session.

You can see the details of these in full right here.

Understanding the esports ecosystem; why should ‘traditional sports’ care (10:15-11:00)

Let’s get the basics tied down, who are the stakeholders in esports, where’s the money coming from (and going), where could it be coming from and why should ‘traditional sports’ clubs and leagues give a damn.

James Dean – MD- ESL UK Michael ‘Odee’ O’Dell – GM – Dignitas Mark Cox – Head of Publishing UK – Riot Games Viktor Wanli – CEO – Kinguin Moderator – Ian Smith, Commissioner, ESIC

Keynote (11:20-12:00)

Ballon D’Or winner and Dutch football legend Ruud Gullit will take to the stage at his former stomping ground to discuss the crossover of football and esports. Gullit recently launched Team Gullit, a FIFA esports academy, so is very much caught up in the crossover of the two worlds.

Ruud Gullit Moderator – Sam Cooke, Editor-in-Chief, Esports Insider

Sports clubs in esports: The story so far (12:10-12:50)

By our count there are more than 180 sports clubs involved in esports to some degree. But the bigger question is who’s doing it well, what are they doing, what works and why.

Colin Johnson – GM of Rocket League, Street Fighter and FIFA – Fnatic Paul Rayment – Marketing Manager of Goal – Perform (Goal.com) Christian Sorensen – CEO – North (FC Copenhagen) Pedro Honório da Silva – CEO – Qwatti eSports Agency Moderator – Dom Sacco – Content Director – British Esports Association

Esports team ownership: A worthy investment? (14.00 – 14.45)

There have been plenty of sports stakeholders buying stakes in esports teams, or just buying them outright, in the past year. Relative to Premier League and NBA teams they’re still going cheap, but is it a good investment and on what do you base that answer?

Nicolas Maurer – CEO – Team Vitality Ben Woodward – Co-Founder – Code Red Agency Kieran Holmes-Darby – MD – exceL Esports Moderator – Mike Stubbs – Esports journalist

Sponsorship in esports and why brands need to play a different game (14.45 – 15.30)

Sponsorship in esports is on the up, which is no surprise in an entertainment industry that’s predicted to be worth over $1bn by 2020. From Mercedes-Benz to Mcdonalds, find out what works, and perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t work.

Frederic Weil – Partnerships Manager – Fnatic Tomek Borowka – Esports and Marketing Manager – Super Evil Megacorp Jakob Lund Kristensen – Founder and EVP Sales – RFRSH Entertainment Seb Carmichael-Brown – Commercial Director – Hashtag United Moderator – Duncan McMonagle – SVP & GM – Minute Media (DBLTAP)

Media rights and broadcasting in esports (16:00 – 16.45)

Twitch has ensured most people expect to watch the best of the best in esports compete at no cost. Media rights and broadcasting deals are an inevitable part of esports growth however, and we’ve seen some exclusive deals begin to be signed such as that between ESL and Facebook. But these exclusive deals come with their own problems. What’s the future of media rights and broadcasting in esports?

Martin Wyatt – Head of Partner Relations – Gfinity Heather ‘Naysayerz’ Dower – Marketing and Communications Manager – ESL UK Perry Smith – Director of Content Partnerships – Ginx TV James Watson – Head of Esports – Sportradar Moderator – Kirsty Endfield – Founder – Swipe Right PR 

Abios – The Esports Data Roundtable (16.50 – 17.30)

Esports data and analytics company Abios will discuss the esports landscape and the match data supporting the industry. What are the challenges of sourcing accurate data in esports? This will also look at the live data ‘problem’, the differences across games and more in a session designed to be as interactive as possible.

In short, all your esports data questions will be answered here.

Oskar Fröberg – CEO – Abios What else is going on Squire Patton Boggs – Free legal consultations (10am-5pm) ESI & SpecialEffect Tekken Showdown (From lunchtime, grand final at 5.30pm) Networking drinks and official after party (From 5.30pm)

If some fantastic panels and talks aren’t enough then fear not, we also have the ESI Business and Networking Area, the ESI & SpecialEffect Tekken Showdown and the free and private legal consultations courtesy of Squire Patton Boggs.

We’ll have fighting games casters along to bring the Tekken tournament to life. Any attendee can sign up for this, and any attendee can also book a slot with Squire Patton Boggs for a free legal consultation by contacting peter.worsencroft@squirepb.com.

Charlotte Lister, Associate in Data Protection and Intellectual Property, who’ll be one of three from Squires in attendance on the day, commented: “As you are most likely aware, the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018, which reinforces and expands data privacy rights and is backed up by fines of up to 20 million euros. The scale of the changes imposed are significant, and as the 25 May 2018 is only months away, we would expect most organisations to have a GDPR-readiness work plan in place.

“Our Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Team are working alongside a large number of organisations to help them reach compliance by 25 May 2018. We regularly work with both B2B and B2C organisations and, in addition to organisations based in the UK, we also assist larger international organisations with their GDPR compliance globally. We can help with any queries you may have in relation to the GDPR, for example, relating to data breaches, data sharing activities, privacy notices, data retention and data mapping. We can also advise in relation to consents, a ‘hot topic’ under the GDPR, and the wider rules governing direct marketing including the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations and upcoming ePrivacy Regulation.”

After the day is done and dusted, and plenty of business cards exchanged and Tekken played, there’ll also be networking drinks and an official after party (from 8 till late) at Under the Bridge, the nightclub favoured by Mr Roman Abramovich built into the Stamford Bridge complex. 

The ESI Super Forum is running alongside SBC’s Betting on Football conference, and you can read more about this event in its entirety right here. 

Partners include Abios, Sportradar, AliQuantum Gaming, Squire Patton Boggs, RewardMob, SpecialEffect, Qwatti, noblechairs and ESL UK

For more information and to secure your tickets follow this link, and anyone with any questions can reach out to info@esportsinsider.com

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Newsbot posted TEO - eNgage Accompanies China Launch with LGD Sponsorship Deal in The Esports Observer.

Esports energy drink eNgage enters Chinese market, partners with LGD Gaming. Follows up on partnerships with Unicorns of Love and 1. FC Nürnberg Esports. LGD Gaming boasts a 3,000 seat home arena in Hangzhou, China. China is one of the largest energy drink markets in the world. Expanding from Europe, esports beverage eNgage is joining with Chinese team...

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Newsbot posted ESI - DHL becomes first official partner of F1 esports series in EsportsInsider News.

DHL has become the first official partner of F1’s new esports series.

The details and length of the new partnership agreement have not been disclosed but it was put to paper ahead of 2018 F1 season in Melbourne. DHL’s partnership with F1 is longstanding, and the logistics company will retain its role as the ‘official logistics partner’ of F1, and the company will continue to present both the DHL Fastest Lap Award and the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award.

Arjan Sissing, Head of Corporate Brand Marketing at Deutsche Post DHL Group commented: “As logistics partner, DHL is in charge of the complex shipping of Formula 1 vehicles and equipment. The brand is therefore an integral component of this highly emotional sporting and entertainment experience with global reach.

“As the first official partner of the F1 eSports Series, we are very pleased to accompany Formula One on its digital journey and to actively contribute to the expansion and emotionalisation of the product range for fans.”

Melbourne kicks off the new season on March 25th, Silverstone is July 8th and the season ends in Abu Dhabi on November 25th. As part of this renewed partnership, DHL fan festivals will be organised in F1’s ‘core and growth markets’, and this will include the involvement with the esports side of things. 

You can read more about the F1 Esports Series here. The inaugural season saw Brendon Leigh crowned champion, and it generated some impressive viewing figures. F1 will be hoping for more of the same this time around. 

Esports Insider says: DHL has played it smart by extending its partnership with F1 into the esports world. This second season should see more notable engagement levels, after the final event of last season saw a total of 1.8m views on Facebook. 

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Newsbot posted TEO - OWL Stage 2, Week 4: Lowest Peak Viewership so Far, but Audience Remains Consistent in The Esports Observer.

Last week, all four days of Overwatch League (OWL) games exceeded the average concurrent viewership of the previous stage for the first time. Wednesday was the most watched day of last week with 760K of total hours watched. The bulk of this can be attributed to the match between Seoul Dynasty and New York Excelsior....

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Newsbot posted TEO - TEO Monday Morning Briefing, 19/03/2018 in The Esports Observer.

Activision Blizzard doubles down on esports with a brand new division, the city of Birmingham will host the next Dota 2 Major, and Super Evil Megacorp partners with the sporting arm for one of the world’s biggest e-commerce companies.  Missed any of the biggest esports business news last week? The TEO Monday Morning briefing recaps...

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Marian Härtel replied to Girls in esport.

5 hours ago, JB Fernandez said:

If not given a chance, maybe they are just not interested in ESports.  We should promote it to them and get some popular women to participate in esp…

JB Fernandez replied to Girls in esport.

On 3/14/2018 at 6:48 PM, Marian Härtel said:

Woman (girls) are 52% of the planet's population...so yes, why should they not have any relevance in esports?

If not gi…

Newsbot posted TEO - Ex-Barça Defender Javier Mascherano Joins LATAM Esports Agency in The Esports Observer.

Javier Mascherano, the second-most capped player on Argentina’s national soccer team, has announced a partnership with Latin American esports agency eSports Planet. The former FC Barcelona defender, who won four La Liga championships, two UEFA Champions League titles, and two FIFA Club World Cups with the team, currently plays for Chinese Super League club Hebei...

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Newsbot posted ESI - This week in esports: Facebook, NHL, ESL One Birmingham, Javier Mascherano in EsportsInsider News.

The past week in esports has been fruitful in terms of big news and new developments, so naturally we’ve got the most interesting bits covered for you.

This week saw the announcement of the first Dota 2 Major in the UK, Facebook has secured more exclusive broadcasting rights, the NHL has entered the industry with its own World Championship, and footballing legend Javier Mascherano is working on esports within the Latin American community.

Below is a brief overview of each of these stories. Remember to sign up to our ESI Dispatch newsletter to get these kind of stories delivered to your inbox twice a week.

Gfinity Elite Series to broadcast exclusively on Facebook

Facebook has snagged the exclusive broadcasting rights for yet another esports series, this time it’s Season 3 of the Gfinity Elite Series. The competition will be streamed globally on the social platform, excluding Australia.

The regular season, play-offs, behind-the-scenes looks with players and teams, weekly highlights, and more features will be streamed on Facebook due to the deal. Gfinity Elite Series returned on March 9th, with teams competing on titles such as FIFA 18, Rocket League, and Street Fighter V.

Read the full article here.

NHL Gaming World Championship is on the way

Yet another major sporting organisation has entered esports: NHL. Set to commence on March 24th, qualifiers will be taking place to find the competitors who will make it to the NHL Gaming World Championship.

Eight players from each of the three divisions – Europe, America, Canada – will advance from the qualifiers and have the chance to compete live in studios ahead of the main championship. Hosted at the Esports Arena Las Vegas, the budding competitors will face off on June 19th for their share of the the $100,000 (£72,150) prize pool.

Read the full article here.

ESL One Birmingham confirmed for May, the first UK Dota 2 Major

ESL One Birmingham, the first Dota 2 Major and ESL One to be held in the UK, has been announced! Arena Birmingham will be the location of the tournament, which takes place during 25-27th May 2018.

Twelve of the best Dota 2 teams in the world will travel to the second largest city in the UK to battle it out for the $1 million (£719,000) prize pool and 1,500 qualifying points for The International 8. Six of the 12 participants will be directly invited to the event, while the others will have to go through online qualifiers.

Read the full article here.

Javier Mascherano enters esports to develop Latin American scene

Former FC Barcelona footballer Javier Mascherano has entered the esports scene by partnering with Latin American esports agency, eSports Planet. His goal? To develop football content and tournaments for the Latin American community, which he believes is severely disregarded.

eSports Planet works in several different capacities in the industry, including the development of tournaments and offering consultancy for companies in esports that want to specifically target millennials with content.

Read the full article here.

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Newsbot posted TEO - FACEIT Brings FPL Circuit Back to North America in The Esports Observer.

FACEIT has recently expanded its competitive action in North America, by re-introducing the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive North American FPL circuit. Initially introduced in the U.S. at the end of 2015, FPL lost the market to MTG-owned ESEA’s Rank S—ESEA’s equivalent of FACEIT’s circuit, where players can participate in tournaments and leagues for virtual and real-world...

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Newsbot posted TEO - TEO Podcast Episode 16: “How Immortals Builds Strategic Partnerships With Its Investors” in The Esports Observer.

Right now there’s plenty of capital flowing into esports, but partnerships between teams and investors rarely amount to more than the odd one-off campaign. Franchised leagues offer more opportunity than ever for teams to expand in the realm of media creation and events, and Immortals is one organization taking a noteworthy approach in that regard....

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Newsbot posted ESI - ESL One Birmingham breaks records with ticket sales in EsportsInsider News.

ESL One Birmingham was only announced a handful of days ago and it’s already proving to be a popular event. The very first Dota 2 Major to be hosted in the UK, it’s been made clear that it’s going to be a big one – selling over 1,000 tickets in the first five minutes of them being made available.

Specific numbers haven’t been released as of yet, but it’s evident that this particular Dota 2 event is out-performing any other hosted by ESL in the past. Ulrich Schulze, SVP of Product, ESL tweeted that “no Dota 2 event has ever sold tickets faster for us than [ESL One] Birmingham. Currently discussing an adjustment of the venue and stage layout to allow more seats since we are almost at capacity already.”

@ESLDota2 fans, you are amazing, you've made it a historic day.#ESLOne Birmingham is officially the fastest selling ESL Dota 2 Major, EVER!

Thanks to everyone who has bought tickets so far! Have you got yours?

https://t.co/4ryLpvcsnj pic.twitter.com/9cgnLZD5ua

— ESL UK (@ESLUK) March 15, 2018

Dota 2 was the title that was played at ESL UK’s first ever tournament, so it’s crazy to see how well it’s set to perform six years later. ESL One Birmingham will take place on May 25-27th, with 12 teams from around the world facing off against each other for two very important prizes: the $1,000,000 (£716,260) prize pool and 1,500 qualifying points for The International 2018.

It was said to have been quite the battle to secure Birmingham as the location for the next Dota 2 Major, with two other ESL territories vying for the tournament to take place there. Birmingham is the UK’s second largest city by population, but it’s always overshadowed by London when esports is concerned – ESL UK will be hoping to change this when May comes round.

Esports Insider says: If the news of a Dota 2 Major being hosted in the UK wasn’t enough to get you excited, then we’re sure the record-breaking ticket sales for ESL One Birmingham will do the job. It’s building up quite the buzz, and we’re sure ESL UK will prove exactly why the city is the perfect host for such a big tournament.

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Newsbot posted ESI - ESI Gambling Report: The state of cryptocurrency in esports in EsportsInsider News.

Over the past year, cryptocurrencies of all shapes, names and sizes have been associating themselves with esports and setting their sights on this wide-ranging and emerging industry.  It’s no mean feat to have a full handle on them, and moreover, it’s a battle to understand which are worth a second look, or have ‘honourable’ intentions. 

An increasing number of companies too are looking to focus on one potentially lucrative segment of this market; esports betting. It is this area which this edition of the ESI Gambling Report will be taking a closer look at. 

Bridging the gap

The one which has been around longest and generated the most noise is undoubtedly UnikoinGold. Born out of the Unikrn platform’s virtual currency Unikoins, after launching the ICO, UnikoinGold raised $31.4m. Celebrity investors including Mark Cuban helped to ensure it was, and continues to be, talked about in both the mainstream press, as well as more niche sites across the betting, esports and cryptocurrency worlds.

Although cryptocurrency and esports betting have flourished separately until now, the bridge being built between the two, in hindsight, would have at least appeared to be on the horizon. 

Rahul Sood, Unikrn

Whilst cryptocurrency and esports are sizable markets, they are both somewhat of a niche, combining the two into one operation though, may be more fitting than what is estimated: both crypto and esports share a likeness that gives the merging communities a glossy finish likely to aide in it’s execution.

Due to what is believed to be an overlap in demographic, CEO & Co-founder of Unikrn, Rahul Sood, elaborated for us: “Crypto is hard, it’s hard to get – it’s hard to acquire, learn, use, etc.  We polled our audience months before going down this path and asked them about whether they understood Bitcoin, wallets, etc.  We were surprised to learn that 70% of our customers either had wallets or were interested in crypto. The bottom line is our customers are younger and love technology – I guess being at the cutting edge of crypto and esports is a great place to be right now!”

Lyubomira Petrova, UltraPlay

Speaking to Esports Insider, Lyubomira Petrova, Communications and Marketing Manager at UltraPlay noted: “Both eSports punters and crypto users are young and tech-savvy with a passion for innovative concepts and disruptive solutions that can ease their daily lives.” 

UltraPlay launched their own esports betting focused cyptocurrency, eGold, in 2017. 

Blockchain enhances the betting ecosystem?

With all the promises and controversy surrounding esports coins, there is one ingredient that stands out in steering token gambling towards a presidential state, Blockchain. Essentially an ecosystem for cryptocurrency transactions, this advanced software maintains a clear and concise history of all crypto interactions in a lightning-fast, public, and accurate manner.

Petrova went into more detail with us regarding Blockchain’s advantages: “If we should outline the two most significant advantages Blockchain technology provides to the eSports betting, that could be the higher speed of transactions – both deposits and withdrawals, as well as the lower costs – lower execution risk, fewer intermediaries, better client retention, etc.

“The numerous advantages the innovative technology is offering to the industry in general open new perspectives of how it can be implemented effectively to reach the next level of gaming excitement players can experience online.”

With an automated system such as Blockchain, there’s no need for a middle-man, slashing transactions fees into a small fraction of what they currently are. In this esports coin betting platform, its robustness doesn’t come from the coin itself, but rather the facilitator.

The lowdown: UnikoinGold, eGold and Luckbox

Research yielded a surprising number of existing esports tokens and platforms available with similar ambitions. While a few more common crypto coins topped search results before others, I set out to discover which esports betting focused coins were the most viable and why.

I discussed with UltraPlay’s Petrova on who she believed to be the current leaders in the space and how they differed:

“The project’s success mostly depends on the execution and usage that the cryptocurrency have. There are so many factors that can distinguish a project, and all of them play a vital role to the end-result. For example, tokens created by an organization with working products and well-established business are considered to be well-structured and planned so to solve real problems, offer better user-experience and upgrade the sector by the cutting-edge technology in general… Each project has its own strengths and only time can show which one will stay and develop in this fast-paced Blockchain ecosystem.”

We give an outline of three of the big esports betting focused cryptocurrencies here:-


A study of esports crypto coins would be incomplete without mentioning Unikrn; a one-stop-shop for all esports related content from tournaments to betting and more which Sood describes as “the Disneyland of esports”.

Unikrn offers two types of virtual currency – UnikoinGold and UnikoinSilver – that aim to connect fans with esports, jackpots, and betting. UnikoinSiver is a free option that is earned through trading skins, virtual items and participating in jackpots to win virtual and physical goods. UnikoinGold (UKG) is Unikrn’s premier esports coin, utilising the Blockchain ecosystem to enhance the nature of its overall operations. Unikrn closed its initial ICO of UKG at a whopping $31.4 million, roughly $15 million of which came from high-profile investor and Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban. To couple UKG’s already impressive success, the crypto coin was added to Bittrex, “the fastest and most secure digital currency trading platform in the world”.

“Remember, Unikrn isn’t just a betting company, we are a community first, global esports company built on cutting edge blockchain and gaming technologies.  We make esports fun, we exist to heighten the experience of watching or participating in esports.”

Ultraplay & eGold

Ultraplay is another betting platform with a brighter than average outlook in the emerging esports betting coin market. The Bulgarian based organisation offers odds on a number of esports titles including those less prominent in bookmakers rotations such as FIFA and Halo, piquing a significant interest.

Petrova noted: “eGold is an Ethereum based token, which uses the strengths of the Ethereum Blockchain. Of course, technology is constantly upgrading with the core ambition to remove some issues within. The team behind is also crucial for the project’s development. With UltraPlay’s team of carefully selected professionals with extensive experience in the eSports, gambling and blockchain spheres, eGold has a solid ground for further improvement.”


Esports betting platform and Ethereum based-coin, Luckbox (LCK), recently closed its ICO at the beginning of March. Luckbox differentiate themselves in what is described as a dual token structure, allowing investors to parade in the company’s success with the option to hold a ‘profit share’ token. Luckbox gathered some attention when the company inked a deal with Paul “Redeye” Chaloner, esteemed esports personality and Co-Founder of Code Red Esports, as an advisor and brand ambassador. The service will be fully regulated and in-line with all laws surrounding the gaming jurisdictions where it will operate, and it is currently in the process of obtaining an Isle of Man licence.

Is that all?

Apart from the above three that are primarily esports betting focused and have been and will likely continue to be the subject of ample discussion across these industries, there exists a number of other esports coins currently floating around in the mix. While the aforementioned coins are primarily the ones to keep an eye on, there are a few worth mentioning:

Herosphere’s Herocoin – another Ethereum based token – is certainly worth including in this conversation: one of the initial front-runners in the esports token race, Herocoin boasts a high ICO Benchscore and has gathered a notable amount of press attention thanks to a cool $2,021,034 (£1,450,475) collected in their initial ICO. Herosphere is a peer-to-peer betting platform utilising Blockchain and boasting similar benefits we see in other esports tokens with some added incentives. Although vanquishing transaction fees, the ‘HERO smart contract’ takes 1% of all contest prize pools and disperses that amount among Herocoin holders, reinvesting that cryptocurrency back into the community rather than a middle-man. “The more HERO a user is holding, the higher share percentage from that 1% he or she receives.” This compounding effect as well at the site’s transparency values are likely to be a driver towards bettors seeking to acquire more Herocoin.  


The Skrilla token (SKR) is also continuing to make steady progress, promoting and fine-tuning the coin as the core medium of exchange for their fantasy esports platform. A bit of firepower for Skrilla comes in the form of its collaborators: leading technology firms Puntaa and GAMURS Group. The global esports titan GAMURS Group is additionally the parent company of DOT Esports – a key and well established esports news publisher – presumably offering Skrilla some pretty lofty benefits along its journey. Skrilla recently announced its launch into Canada offering the region entry into their free-to-play contests to win SKR tokens. Skrilla coupled this announcement in the same report stating that their United States pay-to-play contests would be online in the upcoming weeks. A newsworthy declaration certainly worth keeping an eye peeled for.


FirstBlood is a bit of a different story, but nonetheless, one to keep on your radar: the decentralized esports application allows users to play against one another wagering points and competing in tournaments for humble-sized prize pools (around the £35 mark). FirstBlood was most notably able to accumulate $5.5 million (£3,934,755) worth of Ether in their initial crowdsale of “1SŦ” tokens, in a matter of minutes. The speedy crowdsale cap was certainly eye-catching, however, the whitepaper openly details some potential weaknesses in FirstBlood’s structure; mining attacks, hacking attempts and lack of adoption all pose a threat to FirstBlood’s core infrastructure. You can read a bit more about it here.

Esports Gold (ESG) and Esports.com’s Esports Reward Token (ERT) are two more relevant names to bring up here; both platforms utilize their own token based system via the Blockchain system, while augmenting the traditional bookmaker role into something more for fans. Esports Gold has designs of being a hub for esports – in the form of bringing together news, content, streams, fantasy leagues and more. The aspiring licensed betting operator will look to serve those hungry for content as well as bettors keen on wagering, conjoining both sectors with the ESG token. Another reason to consider investing into Esports Gold? ESG holders will acquire a share of annual betting revenues collected by the platform, allowing for a cash dividend based on the betting turnover.

Crowdfunding around $5.8 million (£4,160,340) in its ICO, Esports.com strives to be different by building a platform in which users can earn & spend coins via coaching, streaming and creating content. Certainly a unique concept, users will power the momentum of Esports.com by supplying the bulk of its content to be disseminated across its users. Speculation would assume this design would grant the platform some economic and self-sufficiency content-wise – if, they have the user capital. 

Play2Live is another with aspirations in offering esports betting in some form, its token sale recently ended after hitting an apparent market cap of $30m (£21.4m).

Real-money vs token gambling

Token gambling is seemingly geared towards regions where real-money gambling is restricted; but with an illustrious legal market available to other select countries, is there enough of an incentive to use crypto tokens in these locations?

UltraPlay’s Petrova told ESI: “Starting eGold almost a year ago, we have outlined the four major traits of our eSports betting cryptocurrency. Lowering uncertainty, increasing transparency, boosting security by smart contracts and providing the fastest payment operations – those are the four guiding points that lead eGold towards new business opportunities, partnerships, and communities. Soon after the introduction of eGold, we saw the great interest towards the project from all over the world – both gambling regulated and emerging markets. Our aim is to unite gamers worldwide and share knowledge on the betting and crypto ecosystem available from our experience.”

During the emergence of this platform, we’ll have a better idea what percentage of those real-money bettors will opt for its crypto wagering adaptation. As Petrova puts it, cryptocurrency gambling offers a bounty of desirable traits overall enhancing the user’s experience.

In short, esports coins seem to be looking to manifest themselves as a way to enhance the overall esports betting experience while providing an outlet for restricted regions to participate in the action. What the regulators will have to say about this is another matter, and this will inevitably come to a head. You can read the UKGC’s initial discussion paper on ‘Virtual currencies, eSports and social gaming’ here.

Regardless of this situation, a high emphasis should be put on the incorporation of Blockchain into the esports betting ecosystem; the financial crypto system could well be the driver in reaching new altitudes with the digital currencies and esports.

What happens next with esports betting focused cryptocurrencies is certainly up in the air, and this piece has, in truth, just barely scratched the surface. We’ll keep a close eye on this area going forward, and will report further on any major updates!

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Newsbot posted TEO - Capcom Pro Tour Adds Facebook and YouTube as Broadcast Partners in The Esports Observer.

The Capcom Pro Tour 2018, Capcom’s professional circuit for Street Fighter V, announced today that it has added new broadcast partners. In addition to Twitch, CPT events will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube. While Twitch continues to dominate the streaming market, YouTube and Facebook have been aggressively targeting esports through exclusive deals. In...

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Newsbot posted TEO - ESL One Birmingham Sells 1000 Tickets in First 5 Minutes in The Esports Observer.

ESL‘s freshly-announced tournament, ESL One Birmingham, is attracting a lot of attention. In addition to being the first Dota 2 Major to hit the UK’s shores, the event is also selling out at record pace. UK U CRAZY! 🇬🇧🇬🇧 Over 1000 Tickets sold for #ESLOne Birmingham in the first 5 minutes! You can still get yours athttps://t.co/wJHx0njaYP...

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Newsbot posted ESI - Esports nutrition company Runtime raises seven digit seed round in EsportsInsider News.

Aleksandrs Zavoloks, Runtime

Runtime, the esports nutrition company based in Berlin, announced today that it has raised a seven-digit seed round. 

This was led by Everblue Management, and the seed round includes participation from the likes of BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, Döhler Ventures, Food Angels Germany and angel investors. The funding will be used to ‘expand operations, support marketing and sponsorship efforts, and further extend the range of products’.

Runtime is focused on nutrition solutions for esports players. Their range of products are ‘specifically tailored to the needs of gamers’, they contain high-performance ingredients such as isomaltulose, branched chain amino acids, proteins and nootropics to help athletes achieve peak physical and mental operating levels. As of now, Runtime offers the “Next Level Meal”, a complete meal shake with one-third of required daily nutrition; the “Performance Drink”; and the “MEGABITE”, their first protein bar. All products are aimed at ‘supplying long-lasting endurance, improve wakefulness, and increase focus without the sugar rush or fast crash’.

Runtime Founder and CEO, Aleksandrs Zavoloks commented: “We are thrilled to join forces with such amazing partners who believe in our vision of improving nutrition for gamers.

“In 2018, we will introduce additional groundbreaking products and expand into new markets. We will continue to improve and innovate our products to enable all gamers and esports athletes to reach their personal best at all times.” 

Kerrie Juras of Everblue Management stated: “As both an investor in, and fan of esports, we are proud to partner with a team that recognizes esports players as true athletes. We support Runtime’s mission to provide premier products to a growing consumer base of gaming enthusiasts with discerning taste and high expectations of great product.”

We spoke to Runtime CEO Aleksandrs back in May 2017, you can read this interview here. 

Esports Insider says: Whilst we’re not entirely sure what ‘isomaltulose, branched chain amino acids, proteins and nootropics’ are, they sound good, and Runtime products have, to our knowledge, been selling well. This sizable investment, with involvement from Jens Hilgers’ BITKRAFT of course, should help them take things to the next level. 

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Newsbot posted ESI - The Esports Roundtable: James Dean and Rob Black, ESL UK in EsportsInsider News.

Digging behind-the-scenes of the newly-announced Major tournament, ESL One Birmingham, this week’s guests on The Esports Roundtable are James Dean, Manager Director and Rob Black, Chief Operating Officer of ESL UK.

James Dean, ESL UK

Dean wastes no time in explaining how he got into the esports industry, in which he reveals he was first exposed to gaming when Commodore 64’s were commonplace in households. From there, he went straight to PC gaming and started small LANs for Doom and Quake with his friends. He also elaborates on how he found himself becoming involved with the business side of the industry while studying Computer Science at university.

As revealed during the trio’s chat, Black’s background is firmly set in the Call of Duty ProMod scene. Late 2014 was when he first began to seek out a full time opportunity in esports, though it took a little while for him to find himself as the Product Manager at ESL UK; he even had an interview on a Brighton beach with Dean himself!

Rob Black, ESL UK

The topic swiftly moves on to ESL One Birmingham, and just how this came to be. ESL had already secured its place as the host of the next Major, but it was debating with Valve as to where the event would be hosted. This move, no matter where in the United Kingdom it was to be hosted, will drastically help boost the British esports scene and open some eyes as to just how it’s thriving in this part of the world.

ESL One Birmingham, for those who are unaware, is the first Dota 2 Major event to take place in the United Kingdom. Taking place on May 25-27, the event will be held at the Arena Birmingham – hosting twelve top tier teams who want to win the largest share of the $1 million (£719,000) prize pool and 1,500 qualifying points for The International 8.

This episode of The Esports Roundtable also delves into grassroot esports, how the esports industry is doing better than perceived in the United Kingdom, and how Faceit’s upcoming CS:GO Major in London, alongside ESL One Birmingham, will contribute to growing esports beyond what it is now.

Joe Hills, LFG and The Esports Roundtable

Speaking to Esports Insider, Joe Hills, Founder and Host of The Esports Roundtable, commented on this episode:

“2018 is looking to be massive for UK esports and I couldn’t be happier to see two majors in the calendar!”

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.

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Tom Zwietasch I just added some videos of Duncin "Thorin" Shields to the video section!


Newsbot posted TEO - Take-Two Stock in a Slump, Analyst Reasons Fortnite and PUBG to Blame in The Esports Observer.

Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ: TTWO) has been falling since Friday, March 9 from $116.61 per share to $109.23 today, a 6.53 percent drop. According to Morgan Stanley’s Brian Nowak, new competition in the survival game space may be the cause. With its biggest game release of the year, Red Dead Redemption 2 delayed until late October,...

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Newsbot posted ESI - ESI Super Forum – Understanding the esports ecosystem in EsportsInsider News.

The Esports Insider Super Forum takes place a week to the day at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge in London.

The one-day conference, which is hosted on March 22nd, has a whole host of figures from the industry and a bunch of interesting topics to be covered. The question the first panel of the day will tackle is essentially why should ‘traditional sports’ care about esports? We’ve a highly experienced panel to talk attendees through the ecosystem, who’s watching (across the board) and why it matters. This includes veterans such as Dignitas’ Michel ‘Odee’ O’Dell, Mark Cox from Riot Games (the developer behind League of Legends), ESL UK chief James Dean and the number one at Kinguin, Mr. Viktor Wanli. 

Since esports is very much wrapped up in the online and digital worlds – whether its the games played or the main way in which spectators watch competitions – it means the esports ecosystem can, for some, be a little tricky to follow. Esports teams can operate across anything from one to thirteen (in the case of Team Liquid), and all these scenes have a life and entity of their own. 

This means that within the industry orgs can take on multiple roles, which is dissimilar to most sports clubs, but somewhat comparable to the likes of Barcelona running teams across football, basketball, handball and others.

A single company can literally take the reins on running an entire tournament – from organisation, to funding through sponsorships, to content creation based on streams, and to distribution and advertisement. A good example of this is Faceit, an independent platform for professional competitions which is behind the annual Esports Championship Series in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and the forthcoming CS:GO Major; the UK’s first this September. The level of control provided by this means of running a tournament can make it a tad hard to get a full understand of everything that goes on, but this panel will help massively.

Esports itself wouldn’t exist without the games and their creators, which means developers and publishers are at the very beginning (and head of) the ecosystem. Further to that, some companies choose to host their own competitions too – look at Riot Games’ League of Legends Championship Series, by way of example.

As mentioned one of the six panels that will be hosted throughout the forum is Understanding the esports ecosystem: Who’s watching, what’s it really worth and why traditional sports should care. Speakers at the panel are the following: 

Mark Cox – UK Head of Publishing – Riot Games Michael ‘ODEE’ O’Dell – General Manager – Team Dignitas James Dean – MD – ESL UK Viktor Romaniuk Wanli – CEO – Kinguin

The panel will be moderated by Ian Smith, Commissioner at ESIC.

So, where does the money in esports come from? Well, when you compare it to traditional sports team is gets really interesting. For starters, sport teams typically have stadiums in which they sell tickets to games, use them to merchandise, run events and more whereas esports teams can literally be made up of players from around the world with no HQ or base as such. This makes for a more efficient operation in terms of finances.

Perhaps more significantly, a lot of sports teams are beneficiaries of far more established broadcasting and media rights packages too (which in turn leads to easier negotiation with sponsors), and whilst this is certainly beginning to emerge, esports still lags very much behind here. Another panel on the day will explore this in depth, and you can read about that here. 

A lot of the esports economy is made up of sponsorship, especially given the lack of broadcasting rights. More and more household brands are making moves into esports: Intel, Coca Cola, Red Bull, Audi, Pringles, and KFC all have dipped their toes into the industry to date. 

Traditional sports clubs should be looking at what esports organisations are doing, simply because they’re capturing the attention of a younger audience. This, in turn, means less and less eyes are on sports – which also means its losing money or this is a risk for the future. This isn’t to say the younger generation are ignoring sports in lieu of esports in some form, but that the latter is a new alternative and a new way for them to be entertained. 

This, in turn, explains why organisations such as La Liga, the Bundesliga, the NHL, Formula 1 and plenty more sports organisations, are entering the esports scene. The Overwatch League is a perfect example – multiple owners and seniors of American sports teams have invested in a newly-established gaming league and created their own franchise or invested in an existing one. It has been widely reported that it could cost up to $20 million just for a single gaming franchise, in the case of the Overwatch League. 

Find out more and secure tickets here.

Reach out to info@esportsinsider.com with any questions. 

Sponsors and Partners of the ESI Super Forum include Abios, RewardMob, Squire Patton Boggs, Qwatti eSports Agency, AliQuantum Gaming, Sportradar, ESL UK, noblechairs and SpecialEffect

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Newsbot posted TEO - INTERVIEW: Marcus Lindmark, CEO of DreamHack – “We’re Always Exploring, That’s How You Stay Agile and Grow” in The Esports Observer.

DreamHack, the Swedish gaming festival organizer, has a storied history in esports. DreamHack attendees in 2015 witnessed Luminosity Gaming’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team make a historical loser’s bracket run. The first-ever League of Legends World Championships took place at DreamHack Summer in 2011. However, DreamHack events are much more than just a series of esports tournaments....

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Newsbot posted TEO - Activision Blizzard Launches Esports Division With Three Hires in The Esports Observer.

Activision Blizzard has lured three execs away from traditional sports and entertainment roles to expand a newly created division called Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. NBA senior VP/team marketing and business operations Brandon Snow will become CRO; New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center chief marketing & innovation officer Daniel Cherry (an SBJ/SBD “Forty Under 40” honoree from ’17) will become...

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Newsbot posted ESI - ESI in Katowice: Michal ‘CARMAC’ Blicharz, VP of Pro Gaming at ESL in EsportsInsider News.

On a cold yet vitalising Friday morning in Katowice Poland, only a few hours before the official opening ceremony, Esports Insider sat down with one of esports’ most relentless and hard working individuals.

Michal ‘CARMAC’ Blicharz is Vice President Pro Gaming at ESL. For the past six years, Carmac has lead the Intel Extreme Masters program and has grown the IEM brand into arguably the world’s most prestigious competition holding the longest standing partnership between two brands in the history of esports.

ESI: Please tell us about your first experience in esports?

Michal “CARMAC” Blicharz

Michal ‘CARMAC’ Blicharz: My first real esports experience was when they showed me the demo for, I don’t remember the order, either Quake 3 or Unreal Tournament. I was completely fascinated by the idea of being in a virtual space. You teleport into a completely different universe with somebody else who’s not in the physical space next to you, playing with you, and you’re both trying figuring it out. That’s the very first, let’s say on a micro-level, esports experience I’ve had. Ever since then, I’ve been fascinated.

The next thing that really fascinated me was the ability to explore the depths of the game and every tiny little thing that could possibly give you an advantage. Exploring it in a way where you’re actively looking for that advantage.

“Kids today, they just look at YouTube videos and everything is given to them on a silver platter”

The other thing is you explore the depths of a game, but unknowingly, you’re exploring the depths of yourself. It’s one of the most beautiful things in esports because it’s such a great tool for self expression.

ESI: Do you think that type of discovery and looking at the depths and finding the limits of your skill cap, does that come from your Judo background?

Michal: In Judo, it was different, because I was coached. I was being told what, and how to do things. Obviously, you’re given the tools in Judo, and then you figure out how to combine them to have the best effect that suits you and your particular style and character. In esports, I was developing the tools myself and then figuring out that blend. Nobody had a blueprint and that was what made the ride a little bit more compelling. Not that I dislike Judo or anything, I still practice and it’s a fascinating discipline. I found esports and UT, in particular, a little bit more compelling because it was such a blank slate and you could write anything on it.

ESI: What has driven you all these years?

Michal: I’m a weird blend of competitive perfectionist and I like to entertain people as well.

“I really enjoy creating something that has an effect on other people”

What I love the most is actually a good prank, a really good prank that is based on misinformation. If you create a prank, you create an alternate reality in somebody’s mind. They think that something else is happening than what is actually happening and they are completely bamboozled. That’s what I enjoy the most on that spectrum. I love creating experiences for people, be it … to make a little joke, to draw something on a piece of paper that is enjoyable, to maybe record a video of some kind, or design a stadium.

ESI: Talking about videos, what was it like to record the No Doubt video for your wife’s birthday?

Michal: No Doubt “Don’t Speak” is and inside joke with my wife. I used to troll her by singing it. At the time I lost a bet and as part of losing I received a cap of 25 Euro for getting her a present. I decided to give her one completely for free. I decided to go all out and embarrass myself as much as possible and the guys from the office made, for the amount of effort that we put into that, a fantastic music video.

ESI: I’m surprised not many people know about it. I’ve been showing people around the event all weekend, so you might get that question a lot.

Michal: Thanks for that.

ESI: More than welcome.

Michal: People actually think I’m not wearing underwear in the last shot, but I am. I promise I am.

ESI: Moving quickly on….can you tell us about the relocation to LA ?

Michal: The reason why we went to the US is because I needed to challenge myself in a different environment, in another country before going back home. I wanted to do something good in esports over there and I did. It’s looking good.

ESI: IEM ESL and Intel have been together forever, how did the relationship with Intel start and how do you maintain it?

Michal: Intel has been a partner of ESL since 2001 or something in one capacity or another. The global partnership with Intel started in, I believe, 2008, 2007 with Intel Extreme Masters when Intel decided to sponsor and improve what we were doing and have stayed around ever since.

This partnership has been ongoing on for 12 years now and, by a decade, breaking the record at Intel for a global marketing program duration. They have never had, “a campaign” that is even half this long. It’s unprecedented at Intel to see something go on for this long. You can’t really argue with the results though, can you?

At this point, with some people at Intel, all we need is a look and a wink and we both know what’s happening and what we’re doing. It’s a relationship built on trust. Obviously, you can’t work hand in hand with somebody for so long without trust. They trusted us in coming to Katowice for the first time when nobody had done an event dedicated to esports in a venue of this size.

“We held hands together and jumped off a cliff”

It turned out, we could fly, but it could have been a very different story. It took a lot of bravery on their behalf to trust us. On our end, we’ve accommodated Intel as much as possible. We, let’s call it, pushed the way you do content marketing for brands.

People don’t know how much Intel have really done for esports. They’ve been around since starting with the first CPLs. On that note, the budget line item at Intel that is in use for the Intel Extreme Masters is the same line item that used to be CPL’s. If you look at Intel’s involvement in esports, it’s practically from the start and they don’t get enough credit for it.

Look at what they’ve managed to build with us, as a brand and a technology company … Obviously, consider my position of where I’m speaking from, but

“I see Intel, brand-wise, as an industry leader in esports”

ESI: Where do you see all of this going in the next couple of years?

Michal: It’s tough to predict because esports moves along with technology and software platforms. I do believe however that it’s going to broaden in scope, with multiple types of esports. Just like in the beginning, there was just wrestling and running in the ancient times, and now it’s riding bikes, driving cars and flying planes. I think esports is going to branch out in to multiple directions. The VR branch, AR branch, mobile branch, and so on and so forth.

I feel like the next big leap will come with the next big genre. It seems like battle-royale might be it. The initial signs have been extremely positive.

There’s also going to be a battle between the two ideas of open competition preferred by companies like Valve, and a closed ecosystem preferred by companies like Riot. There’s a diversity of thought about this at Blizzard, as far as I know but It will be interesting to see how those approaches clash and to see which one is more viable than the other.

 “People are trying new things in esports. 20 million dollar franchises as an example”

ESI: What did you think when they first announced the $20 million franchise slots?

Michal:  They attempted something very intrepid, Christopher Columbus style, “I’m just gonna sail west and see what happens”, Well, he found America. We’ll see if they find a continent or if something else happens.

There’s no blueprint for esports. Maybe what Valve is doing is the best way, maybe what they are doing is the best way, maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle, or maybe there is another solution altogether. The thing is, we have so many interesting tools and options in esports that we haven’t explored yet. We haven’t reached the limits of the growth of esports. It’s a fascinating time because it’s all developing and it’s all taking shape. It’s kind of like the Big Bang of esports really.

ESI: With all that in mind, what is on top of the Carmac wish list?

Michal: It’s to be able to see new people emerge and break all of our ideas about how their game can be played and completely redefine the standards of excellence. That would be my one wish because it will make esports so fascinating to watch!

The Global Esports Forum 

The day before this interview, CARMAC delivered a deep dive session during the Global Esports Forum on Enabling Talent Growth via Esports Economies. After drawing parallels between Michael Jordan and Faker he brought up his main point of:

“Create a star that inspires other stars”

He then asked the room how they would go about it but quickly moved on to explain that training, sports science and knowledge sharing should be the main areas of focus.

“You are only as good as your practice partners”

“Increasing salary constantly and maxing out players practise time on top of a full time schedule doesn’t necessarily make them better” he added. “Sports science, better accommodation and amenities do. But don’t overdo it. No need for 5 cooks if you have one already.”

He ended his deep dive by explaining that the more connexions between players brings about faster metagame changes, fresh ideas and better training. That training doesn’t scale, sports science doesn’t scale but knowledge sharing scales infinitely.

“Invest into skill diversity”

If you liked this piece, then our interview from IEM Katowice with Hicham Chahine, CEO of NiP, might be another you’ll enjoy. You can read this here. 

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Newsbot posted TEO - Esports Nutrition Provider Runtime Raises 7-Digit Seed Round in The Esports Observer.

Runtime, an esports startup focused on bringing nutrition products to the gamer market, has raised a seven-digit seed round, led by Everblue Management. Other participants include existing investor BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, along with Döhler Ventures, Food Angels Germany, and angel investors. Runtime began as a BITKRAFT incubated company, launching its online store in January 2017....

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Newsbot posted ESI - Obey Alliance acquired by Infinite Esports & Entertainment in EsportsInsider News.

Obey Alliance has been rather quiet on social media and on YouTube as of late, and now we know why: the organisation has been acquired by Infinite Esports & Entertainment. The holding company was formed last year by Neil Leibman and Chris Chaney.

Infinite Esports & Entertainment is the holding company for a number of ventures, including esports organisations OpTic Gaming and Team Allegiance. It has also created its own companies to compliment those it has acquired, including No Scope Media, NGAGE Esports, GG Esports Academy, among others.

The statement released by Obey Alliance explains that “it’s the same Obey, the same folks in the same roles, but now we have a LOT more to work with.” Leibman is the co-owner of the Texas Rangers, so Infinite seemingly has a lot of finances to work with – as well as the dozens of employees it has recruited over the last few months.


— Obey Alliance (@ObeyAlliance) March 14, 2018

The statement describes the immediate plans for the organisation, which include pushing for growth in esports, creating a solid platform for its content creators to grow their brand, and ensuring the organisation’s success moving forward. The organisation currently has competitors in Smite and the H1Z1 Pro League, but it’s predominantly known for Call of Duty videos – amassing over 500,000 subscribers on YouTube.

Esports Insider says: OpTic Gaming’s transition to be owned by Infinite is quite topical at the moment, so it seems a bit of a weird time to announce that another organisation has been brought in under the same roof. Nonetheless, the holding company has plenty of talented staff members to help develop Obey Alliance in esports.

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Newsbot posted TEO - Snickers Becomes the Latest Non-Endemic Brand to Sponsor RLCS Season 5 in The Esports Observer.

Snickers is the latest sponsor for the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS), joining before the fifth season begins. The Mars-owned chocolate follows two other non-endemic brands—Statefarm and Old Spice—in sponsoring the competition. This announcement follows Snicker’s recent sponsorship of the esports team, FlyQuest, who also received support  in January by 5-Hour Energy. FlyQuest fields teams...

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Newsbot posted ESI - Super Evil Megacorp partners with Alibaba Group, via Alisports in EsportsInsider News.

Super Evil Megacorp, the developer behind the mobile esports title Vainglory, has announced a new partnership with Alisports, the sports branch of Alibaba Group. 

Kristian Segerstale, Super Evil Megacorp

Alisports is also the host of the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG).

Vainglory will expand its esports ecosystem by becoming part of the WESG 2018 lineup. The first mobile only esport integrated with the tournament structure for 2018, Vainglory will stand alongside the other titles which include CS:GO, Dota 2, Hearthstone, and StarCraft II.

Chinese e-commerce juggernaut, Alibaba, formed the Alisports division back in 2015 and set their sights on ‘improving the sports industry through technology’.

More recently, Alisports secured an Olympics sponsorship deal until 2028 alongside Coca-Cola and Samsung. In 2016 Alisports formed WESG, an international esports tournament that saw 63,000 participants from 125 countries compete for a share of $5.5m (£m). 

The WESG 2017 Grand Finals are taking place this week in Hainan, China during which time Vainglory will be revealed during a live showcase as the latest title to be added to the WESG 2018 ranks.

This will be the first-ever Vainglory 5v5 cross-region esports event, with teams representing the likes of China, Korea, Indonesia, and Singapore. 

Kristian Segerstrale, CEO of Super Evil Megacorp commented: “We’re extremely excited to partner with Alisports, a brand that is playing a pivotal role in developing the sports and esports industries.

“The partnership signifies an important step for Vainglory esports and comes at a perfect time with the recent launch of 5V5. We’re excited to offer our teams a global platform on which to compete and we hope the community will join in to support their local teams competing in WESG.”

“Our ambition for the World Electronic Sports Games is to incorporate the most influential titles in each genre in order to unite fans and talent from each corner of the world. Our current line up sees some of the most popular games played and welcomes the best teams. We are always looking to evolve,” said Jason Fung, Global eSports Director of Alisports. “Vainglory is one of the world’s biggest mobile esport with one of the most engaged communities. We’re excited to welcome Vainglory teams and fans to WESG 2018.” 

Alibaba is of course a major competitor to Tencent too, the company behind League of Legends and Arena of Valor, meaning this rivalry now involves Super Evil Megacorp and Vainglory. Alibaba has also been in the news this week with their esports Olympics ambitions, and the fact that they’re keen to support this goal as long as the titles selected are neither violent nor gory. 

Alibaba CEO Zhang Dazhong recently stated that they are “pushing for soccer, car racing and other games to be endorsed as an official competitive sport”. The CEO of the company, which it’s worth noting is signed on as a key sponsor of the Olympics until 2028, also stated that “given the fast-moving nature of technology and games, reviewing games annually, as opposed to every four years, would be best for the Olympics.”

Esports Insider says: This is huge news for Vainglory and Super Evil Megacorp, and frankly mobile esports in general. A partnership with Alisports is a major achievement; and the company’s commitment in the form of a long term investment into the Olympics, is evidence of their more global aspirations going forward. We look forward to seeing an esports division of the Tencent and Alibaba battle play out too!

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Newsbot posted TEO - Super Evil Megacorp’s Vainglory Added to WESG 2018 in Partnership with Alisports in The Esports Observer.

Vainglory is being added to next year’s WESG lineup in an official partnership between the game’s developer Super Evil Megacorp and Alisports, organizer of WESG and subsidiary to Chinese e-commerce and retail giant Alibaba. The partnership was announced at this year’s WESG, currently ongoing. “We’re extremely excited to partner with Alisports, a brand that is playing...

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Newsbot posted ESI - RFRSH Entertainment grows staff, expands to London in EsportsInsider News.

Nikolaj Nyholm, RFRSH Entertainment

RFRSH Entertainment‘s BLAST Pro Series commenced in November last year and now the company has announced its expansion to offices in London to coincide with the addition of a few key employees in its management group.

RFRSH is working on multiple international events, and as such, it needed to expand its team and locate itself in a strong location. The company also went through an internal restructuring to better equip itself for the BLAST Pro Series, along with its other ventures.

Nikolaj Nyholm, CEO, RFRSH Entertainment discussed the new hires in a statement: “We have recently brought in Alexander Lewin (VP Programming & Distribution) and Ben Oliver (VP of Creative & Original Content) and last week Robbie Douek joined us as President & CCO. They will be based in London, but together with the rest of the management team they will be responsible for the further development of RFRSH Entertainment and BLAST Pro Series, including new concepts within originals, reality- and live products and productions.”

The BLAST Pro Series is perhaps best known for hosting Counter-Strike: Global Offensive live from the Royal Arena in Copenhagen. RFRSH is on the cusp of announcing other ideas and ventures it has planned, with Nyholm explaining that “we are constantly growing all our properties and expanding into new areas, and over the coming months we will announce a range of new, innovative initiatives and original media concepts together with new international stops in BLAST Pro Series.”

“With this in mind, I am extremely pleased we can now announce some significant additions to our management team together with a restructuring of our existing resources,” he continued. “This will enable RFRSH Entertainment to strengthen and build on the existing success to move into new areas of the esport business.”

Esports Insider says: The premise behind the BLAST Pro Series is exciting, so RFRSH deciding to grow its team and opening an office on our doorstep in the English capital sounds like a sensible, and necessary, move!

RFRSH Co-Founder Jakob Lund Kristensen is speaking at our event next week, the ESI Super Forum, on the topic of sponsorship and brands in esports, alongside Hashtag United, Super Evil Megacorp and Fnatic

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Newsbot posted TEO - Tyler “Ninja” Blevins Teams up with Drake in Fortnite, Smashes Twitch Record in The Esports Observer.

Tyler “Ninja” Blevins was already the most popular streamer on Twitch coming off of a record-breaking week. But now, the former Halo pro might be the most popular gamer in the world. Ninja initially teamed up with Grammy-award winning rapper Drake in Fortnite duos and subsequently smashed the record for peak concurrent viewers for a...

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Newsbot posted ESI - Arlington plans to open esports stadium by autumn in EsportsInsider News.

It looks as though there’ll be a new esports stadium in the US by the autumn. The city of Arlington has announced that they have plans to build an esports stadium in the city, and it’s intended to be the largest dedicated venue in the States. Arlington is already home to many professional sports teams such as the Texas Rangers, the Dallas Cowboys, and the WNBA’s Wings. By building an esports venue, Arlington will be setting foot into the esports world. 

Mayor Jeff Williams had this to say about the city’s ambitions in esports: “Being on the forefront of new ideas and setting trends is in our DNA and part of who we are as The American Dream City.”

“Esports Stadium Arlington will further cement our city’s status as a national and international tourist destination. Players and fans will come here for the tournaments and they’ll stay even longer to experience everything Arlington has to offer.”

Brian Mirakian, Senior Principal, Populous had this to say about the construction of the new stadium: “This esports stadium will transform the Arlington Convention Center and position the city as the epicenter for esports in the heart of North America.”

“Esports fans will encounter a live experience unlike any other, by way of space for up to 1,000 spectators, VIP amenities and year-round event potential.”

The new stadium will be managed by NGAGE Esports and Jonathon Oudthone, President, NGAGE had the following to say about collaborating with the city of Arlington: “We are extremely excited for the opening of Arlington’s Esports Stadium, and see it as nothing short of a milestone for the industry.”

“Our collaboration with the city of Arlington will give Texas and American esports a platform worthy of the vitality and impact it’s so swiftly developed.”

Esports Insider says: Opening an esports stadium in Arlington such as the one they’ve planned will hopefully help to make the city a great location for esports. This is further proof too that esports is slowly becoming a great venture for major cities and companies alike.

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Newsbot posted TEO - ESL Pro League Expands Into South America, Winner to Attend Finals in The Esports Observer.

Say hello to LA LEAGUE, the newest addition to ESL‘s Counter-Strike Pro League. LA LEAGUE will see South America integrated to Pro League, complete with open qualifiers and culminating in a finals event that seeds its winner directly into the Pro League finals. “After the open qualifiers taking place on March 24-25  and closed qualifiers on March...

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Newsbot posted TEO - Infinite Esports & Entertainment and Arlington, TX, Partner to Build Esports Stadium in The Esports Observer.

City of Arlington, TX and Infinite Esports & Entertainment have announced a partnership to bring a dedicated, state-of-the-art esports venue to the Dallas-Fort Worth Area. The Esports Stadium Arlington is due to open in the Fall of 2018, with the announcement claiming this would be the largest esports stadium in the United States at launch....

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Newsbot posted TEO - VIDEO INTERVIEW: Jonas Vikan, Global Tournament Director at ESL in The Esports Observer.

n August 2017, ESL brought aboard former Counter-Strike professional player and commentator Jonas “bsl” Vikan as its global tournament director. This is a role that lies at the heart of professional esports, ensuring the games are conducted with fair play in mind, and that relationships between players, teams, and the organizer remain in a good...

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Newsbot posted TEO - OPINION: Latest PUBG Hire Hints at Developer-Run League in The Esports Observer.

On March 12, former Blizzard employee Alex Penn tweeted that he was starting his first day with PUBG Corp in Santa Monica. An esports professional moving from Blizzard to work on PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS might be newsworthy on its own, but what was truly interesting about the tweet was Penn’s job title. Penn was hired to...

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Newsbot posted ESI - Javier Mascherano enters esports to develop Latin American scene in EsportsInsider News.

Javier Mascherano, Argentinean and former FC Barcelona footballer, is venturing into the esports industry by partnering with a Latin American esports agency, eSports Planet.

Mascherano’s goal in esports is to develop both football content and tournaments for the Latin American community.

Javier Mascherano discussed his foray into esports in a statement: “I’m very aware about esports content importance in Europe, USA & APAC regions but Latam is the region to grow. I’m pretty confident about our possibilities as an agency that wants to work with different partners to lead this field in Latam.

Robert Borrego, CEO, eSports Planet also had his say on the partnership: “We are very proud and happy to join forces with Javier in order to develop esports in Latin America. He will be very important to catch people’s attention in our esports football developments and tournaments.”

Some of the work eSports Planet is involved in includes development tournaments and offering consultancy for those in esports who want to target millennials. The agency is based in Argentina and wants to expand throughout Latin America over time – citing that it’s the “region with the great potential to grow” when it comes to esports.

Mascherano’s involvement in esports has followed FC Barcelona‘s own venture into the industry. The Catalan football club has joined an upcoming competition that’s organised by eFootball.Pro (whose President and Founder is Gerard Piqué) and Konami, fielding a team and competing internationally.

Esports Insider says: Yet another iconic football figure has joined esports, and it’s for a great cause. Latam is indeed under-developed and under-exposed when it comes to competitive gaming, so hopefully Mascherano and eSports Planet can do their bit to develop the growing scene.

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Newsbot posted ESI - Rocket League Championship Series welcomes Snickers as sponsor in EsportsInsider News.

Season 5 of the Rocket League Championship Series is underway, and it’s been announced that Snickers has jumped on board as the official sponsor. Snickers has joined the ranks of State Farm and Old Spice as partners of the RLCS.

Psyonix‘s Rocket League Championship Series sees eight North American teams face off against each other in their own league, as well as eight European teams battling it out in their own region-specific league. The regular season will run for five weeks with teams playing best-of-five games, and includes organisations such as Cloud9, NRG Esports, Evil Geniuses, G2 Esports, Team EnVy, Fnatic, Paris Saint-Germain Esports, and more.

After the group stages, two teams from each division will automatically qualify for the RLCS Finals, the top six will advance to the Regional Playoffs, and the bottom two teams will be relegated to the Promotion Playoffs. The teams who reach the Regional Championships will automatically make it into Season 6 of the league, and the top four from the event will qualify for the RLCS Finals.

More and more household names are entering the esports industry, but Snickers isn’t new to the scene. The chocolate brand currently sponsors FlyQuest in the North American League of Legends Championship Series, and it became a sponsor of ELEAGUE in 2016.

Esports Insider says: The Rocket League Championship Series is growing in popularity, and with many notable organisations competing every week, it’s not a bad move for Snickers to get involved. Add this to the company’s current esports sponsorships and it’s safe to say that it’s involved in many of the big esports titles.

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Newsbot posted ESI - Oskar Fröberg – Abios – Take a seat at the esports data roundtable in EsportsInsider News.

The subject of data in esports and the potential of properly ‘harnessing’ is one which comes up again and again. From usage by teams, to media, to betting companies and beyond the sourcing of accurate, reliable and live data is in increasingly high demand. One company offering this service is Stockholm based Abios. 

Oskar Fröberg, Abios

Oskar Fröberg is the CEO of Abios, formerly the consumer facing Abios Gaming, and is one of the speakers at our upcoming ESI Super Forum on March 22nd. Abios will be hosting an esports data focused roundtable for attendees on the day. We checked in with him ahead of time to see what we should expect from it. 

ESI: Abios has grown considerably in the past twelve months. Which roles have you been hiring in, and how has the transition been moving out of the ‘start-up phase’?

Oskar: Our journey and growth the past twelve months is beyond what we could have imagined a couple of years ago. As you mentioned our team has needed to expand quickly in order to handle the interest in our products and to ensure our continued enhancement and development of our future offerings.

Abios is basically made up of three departments: editors, sales and development. In the past 12 months we have been expanding all three departments but mainly expanding development and sales. Going forward we will continue to recruit more to the sales and developer team with an emphasis on finding the right people who fit into our team and culture rather than just recruiting for the sake of expanding.

“Clients of Abios range from global giants such as Samsung based in South Korea to the streaming platform Smashcast, local news and community sites like Fragbite, teams like Cloud9 and betting industry companies such as BetConstruct”

I am not sure if I would consider Abios as having left the start-up phase yet as the entrepreneurial spirit still characterises us and our work climate. We are a very close team who are all working towards the goal of being the best and largest in esports data.

The last 24 months have really proven that there is a high demand for our products which has been an amazing journey and an exciting transition. The perhaps most substantial difference between us and a typical company in the start-up phase is that we are financially stable and we are very excited to see what we can achieve this year!

ESI: What can attendees of the ESI Super Forum expect from your data focused round table?

Oskar: First of all I would like to say that we are very excited for the round table discussion focused on esports data. We look forward to speaking and it is always great to get the chance to share knowledge about something in a space where many still have a lot to learn.

“Attendees can expect to learn more about exploring the esports landscape and the match data supporting the industry”

Attendees can expect to learn more about exploring the esports landscape and the match data supporting the industry. We will discuss some of the possibilities and challenges there are with esports data (and ultimately esports odds) as of right now and we will of course open up for discussion and are happy to answer any questions.

Some of the points that will be discussed include:

– Data availability differs tremendously from game to game.

– The challenges of sourcing accurate esports data from tournament providers.

– The esports ecosystem.

– The live data “problem”.

ESI: You package up data differently dependent on the client’s needs, and you work with teams such as Cloud9. In what way do you work with the teams themselves, we assume they’re a lot more demanding and want more intricate detail than most…

Oskar: The API is sold in different packages containing very different level of detail in order to cater to all needs and clients of all sizes. The clients of Abios range from global giants such as Samsung based in South Korea to the streaming platform Smashcast, local news and community sites like Fragbite, teams like Cloud9 and betting industry companies such as BetConstruct.

The way we work with teams differs from team to team. Some teams simply want to have a match ticker with upcoming matches, live streams and tournament information on their team website. Others want to analyse their  own and their opponents gameplay by diving deep into our Play-by-Play data.

ESI: Are you seeing an increase in media focused clientele, do you expect (or hope for) more data driven content on a wider scale going forward?

Oskar: The main clientele as of right now is betting related companies as I think they are both able to make money and have a clear understanding of how they intend to generate revenues.

We do however certainly hope for a larger increase from the media side and I believe that it will come when the industry has matured further. I know that the media side is huge in football so why should it not be the same for esports in a couple of years?

ESI: Stories such as Betway partnering across a multitude of ESL events, and Redeye becoming an ambassador for Luckbox – we can assume these are music to Abios ears. How key is esports betting to your business, and what are the major challenges for it in 2018?

Oskar: Esports betting is absolutely key for us as of right now as it is the betting related companies which are our primary source of revenue. Different partnerships across the scene along with large companies entering is absolutely great because it creates a stronger legitimacy around esports. As the landscape grows and becomes more stable we expect that all the companies who have been able to create a strong foundation will prosper. Abios has been around for five years now and I still think that we have only seen the beginning of what esports holds for us.

“Esports betting has come a far way since we started and still has a long way to go”

If you are interested in some of the many challenges in esports such as providing relevant and live odds then we invite you to come by our round table discussion on the 22nd of March at the ESI Super Forum in connection with Betting on Football.

ESI: You launched in 2015, and later shifted away from a consumer focus to a primarily B2B model. With bookmakers one target area, what are your views on the progress of esports betting offerings in the past year?

Oskar: We actually officially incorporated and thus founded the company in 2013 on the 15th of March.

A couple of months later (August 2013) we released the first version of our B2C website which was a calendar and TV-guide for esports. Around two and a half years ago we pivoted to becoming a world leading B2B provider of esports data and live scores.

Esports betting has come a far way since we started and still has a long way to go. The challenges of esports compared to regular sports are many seeing as the games are first of all digital but they also change over time with new updates and patches being deployed. The relevance of old data in esports is far below that of football for example.

Challenges like these are among what we at Abios are hard at work with.

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Newsbot posted TEO - Old Spice Announced as Official Sponsor for Overwatch Contenders NA in The Esports Observer.

The North American division of Overwatch Contenders, a developmental competition for the Overwatch League, will feature male grooming brand Old Spice as a sponsor for its first year. Announced via Twitter, little else is known about the Overwatch Contenders partnership at this stage, or whether more sponsors are planned for NA or other regions. Alongside a history of activations within the...

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Newsbot posted ESI - Overwatch Contenders welcomes Old Spice as official NA sponsor in EsportsInsider News.

Old Spice has ventured into esports once more by becoming the official sponsor for the North American region of Overwatch Contenders.

This region is perhaps the most popular of the seven that will compete, especially since a number of Overwatch League teams have academy teams competing there. Other NA teams include the academy teams for Philadelphia Fusion, San Francisco Shock, Houston Outlaws, Boston Uprising, New York Excelsior, Florida Mayhem, and Los Angeles Gladiators.

The North American division of Overwatch Contenders began on March 11, and it sees aspiring professional players face off against each other with the hopes of competing in the Overwatch League. Just like in the other regions, 12 North American teams will compete in three seasons each year, followed by regional playoffs.

Blizzard had already brought in some well-known brands as sponsors for the Overwatch League, such as Toyota, T-Mobile, and Sour Patch Kids. Each franchise within the league can have its own roster of sponsors, just like Los Angeles Valiant’s jersey sponsorship with Ash vs Evil Dead.

To celebrate this new sponsorship, Old Spice aired an advert during the Contenders stream. This ad in particular is just another in a long line of creative, chuckle-inducing videos – it tailors to hands, which are obviously a gamer’s most vital tools. As you can see below, it advertises the Old Spice Hand Gym!

Esports Insider says: The Overwatch League has proved a success thus far in terms of popularity and viewership, so we see why Old Spice decided to get involved in some capacity. Overwatch Contenders is a promising concept, and the fact they’ve chosen the most popular region makes a lot of sense. It’s a solid pick-up for the league.

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Newsbot posted ESI - New York Excelsior owner recruits Red Bull events manager in EsportsInsider News.

Ben Nichol

Sterling.VC, a sports, media, and real estate company, has recruited Ben Nichol as its Head of Events and Business Development.

Sterling.VC is part of Sterling Equities, which is co-owned by Fred Wilpon – the owner of the New York Mets and Overwatch League franchise New York Excelsior.

Ben Nichol previously worked for Red Bull Media House in the esports division, starting in January 2014. His most recent position though, was as the Senior Program Manager for Events for the company – which began in November 2016 and lasted until February, where he was then acquired by Sterling.VC.

Not only that, Nichol has experience in casting and commentating esports events, working for ESL, MLG, Blizzard, DreamHack, ASUS, and other organisations in the scene up until 2013. NYXL’s previous pick-up happened in January of this year, with the acquisition of David Kopelman as Head of Sponsorship for the franchise. Despite this, no jersey sponsorship has been revealed thus far.

Nichol took to Twitter to say he’s “excited for this to finally be official,” and that he will post a “blog or something later with my thoughts”. New York Excelsior is currently sitting at the top of the Overwatch League, which is currently in its second stage, with a record of 14 wins to 2 losses. They topped Stage 1 of the league but came second in the playoffs after losing to London Spitfire. 

Esports Insider says: All of Nichol’s esports experience will likely add up to him being a great acquisition for Wilpon and co., who are venturing more and more into esports as time goes on. It can’t hurt that NYXL are currently at the top of the OWL either!

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Newsbot posted TEO - Most Watched Twitch Content of the Week, March 05 – March 11, 2018 in The Esports Observer.

Last week on Twitch, Fortnite maintained its lead on League of Legends, the Dota 2 Major had a strong showing in Bucharest, and Rainbow Six Siege made another Top 10 appearance thanks to growing interest in the game. Every week, The Esports Observer breaks down the most watched Twitch content from a curated list of more than...

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Marian Härtel replied to Girls in esport.

Woman (girls) are 52% of the planet's population...so yes, why should they not have any relevance in esports?

Marian Härtel replied to Event: ESPORTS XPERTS 2018.

Thank you for the answer. My Dutch is very limited, so guess I have to think about it. It would be very nice though to meet Nick in person

Guest replied to Event: ESPORTS XPERTS 2018.

It will mostly be in Dutch

The international speakers will speak in English


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    • This is part 2 of the article. Part one can bei found here. The objective of this list is to give you an insight on the best eSports teams from around the world. The industry of eSports is currently worth around $700 million and it is set to be worth over $1 billion by 2020. So, let’s have a look at the teams that have made the eSports industry a global phenomenon. The figures for each team are the (as much as known) overall earnings achieved by the team through participating in events and tournaments. The wording "semi-professional" should not be taken as something negative, we just tried to sort the teams in some way.
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    • In this video we explore how you can start a startup in the growing eSports area. Get your free Startup Idea course (click on "Preview" in the curriculum): https://goo.gl/ZjZK1F Welcome to our Startup Trends series where we explore the growing startup trends to give you an overview and plenty of ideas for your own startup. This second one is about eSports. Next up: Drones, Virtual Reality and many more! Tell us in the comments which area you want us to investigate.
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    • Shortly before Christmas I wanted tou publish part two of my comments on Esport and the related contracts.

      As announced, this part of the series will deal with professional players. In the past, it was unusual for players to have their own contracts with clubs/teams. A large part of the esports scene operated in the hobby area. In the best case, the whole thing could be described as semiprofessional, because the player themselves had their own income via YouTube/Twitch, or because there was an agreement that profits from tournaments would be shared fairly.

      As a general rule though, professional players should only work on the basis of a signed contract. Even if this is not yet customary in many cases,I must advise against this as a lawyer. Contracts generally provide security and regulate a fair coexistence.

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