It’s been a busy one this week in the esports industry.
From embargo to embargo, we’ve seen announcements of serious investment into the likes of Super Evil Megacorp, Millennial Esports splashing the cash to acquire a majority stake in Eden Games and who-knows-what amounts dropped by Cloud9 and Stan Kroenke on the most recently announced Overwatch League slots.
Elsewhere BITKRAFT Esports Ventures has made two new senior hires for its stateside office, Chipotle has entered esports via a partnership with OpTic Gaming, Finland has become the latest to officially recognise esports players as athletes and the powers that be at the Paris 2024 Olympic Committee confirmed they are considering the inclusion of esports in the event. We’ve also seen FC Basel 1893 add two more FIFA players to its roster.
Two new Overwatch League spots go to London and Los Angeles
You don’t get any news about the Overwatch League slots for ages, and then two come along at once. Fans of the Activision Blizzard title in London now know for sure that they’ll have a team to cheer for in the forthcoming OWL after this week’s announcement that Cloud9 have snagged the spot.
Jack Etienne, Founder and CEO of Cloud9, commented: “We are thrilled that Cloud9’s formidable fan base throughout Europe and the UK now has a local team to call their own.”
The other slot saw a second given to the city of Los Angeles with the Kroenkes (Stan and Josh) getting involved. Stan Kroenke is already heavily involved in team ownership with Arsenal FC and the LA Rams to name just two.
Chipotle has teamed up with OpTic Gaming
Another week, another big brand name in esports. Everyone’s favourite Mexican Grill chain Chipotle went live with a partnership with OpTic Gaming.
Chipotle featured in an episode of the team’s Vision series which saw the players chowing down, and Team CEO Hector Rodriguez confirmed: “Chipotle is already a huge part of our organization’s everyday life.
“This partnership fits in well with the busy lifestyles of our pro players and our OpTic Strength initiative, which helps promote the benefits of a balanced, healthy lifestyle. We look forward to introducing the brand to esports.”
This partnership will kick off with a competition for fans to win an all expenses paid trip to meet the team and spend some time with them, and we’ve no doubt it’ll be expanded onwards. Consultancy group rEvXP saw this partnership to fruition.
Super Evil Megacorp has secured a further $19m in investment
Super Evil Megacorp, the developer of mobile esports title Vainglory and winner of ESI’s coveted best developer name award, revealed that the company has secured an additional $19 million (£14.6m) in investor funding this week.
The funding comes from previous investors which include CrossCut Ventures, General Catalyst, Initial Capital, Raine Ventures, Signia Venture Partners, and ZhenFund. Overall, the company has raised $63 million (£57.4m) so far.
Millennial Esports acquires majority stake in Eden Games
Millennial Esports Corporation has announced its latest move in its esports expansion strategy with the acquisition of a majority stake in Eden Games.
The Canadian company has secured an agreement for 82.5% of the French racing games publisher with a €9 million (£8.1m) investment.
Alex Igelman, CEO of Millennial Esports commented: “Millennial Esports has made the acquisition of Eden Games to expand its offering in Motorsport gaming quickly.
“Eden Games has an almost unrivalled reputation as an independent racing game developer with the huge critical and commercial success of both Test Drive Unlimited and V-Rally. Their successful recent move to mobile games with their first title Gear.Club brought them to our attention.”
Paris 2024 to consider esports for the Olympics
Esports has been confirmed for the 2022 Asian Games and now it seems it could be joining the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is to discuss the possibility of esports entering the competition at the 2024 Games in Paris.
The Paris bid team is keen to discuss the potential of esports being added to the programme with the IOC. The move would aim to appeal to some of the legions of typically younger fans of esports tournaments.