This week in esports: MTG, KSV, HyperX and the OWL

As we enter December, the month of festive cheer, the esports industry shows no sign of slowing down or letting us have a seconds rest. There has of course been an array of big news this week. MTG has launched an investment fund looking at online competitive gaming, VR, AR and esports companies whilst KSV Esports has expanded and acquired the League of Legends world champion roster Samsung Galaxy. Elsewhere HyperX has announced its first NBA 2k League sponsorship and the Overwatch League has handed a six month ban to a player before the competition has even started. 

MTG launches $30 million investment fund targeting online gaming, esports, VR and AR

Modern Times Group (“MTG”) has launched a $30 million (£22.3m) investment fund that is set to target both US and European online gaming companies.

According to the report from Sports Business International, the fund will complement the broadcaster’s larger-scale acquisitions. The company intends to use the fund to invest in five to 10 companies per year over the next three years. 

The fund will be used to target companies that present “strategic value to the group” in the fields of online gaming, esports as well as gaming-focused virtual reality and augmented reality. 

MTG are best known in the industry for acquiring 74% of ESL back in 2015 and thus are no strangers to the world of esports.  

Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG President and CEO, said: “We are stronger than ever in our traditional markets, with exciting content that engages diverse audiences across multiple platforms and on every screen. At the same time, we are leading esports into the global mainstream, captivating hundreds of millions of online gamers, and creating video content that generates billions of views across the world.”

Read the full article here.

KSV Esports acquires Samsung Galaxy

KSV esports, the organisation that holds the Overwatch League Seoul spot has today announced its expansion into League of Legends with the acquisition of recently crowned world champions Samsung Galaxy.

Image Credit: LoL Esports // Riot Games

The move now sees KSV compete across PUBG, Overwatch, League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm. League of Legends is arguably the biggest esport in the world, and Samsung Galaxy, the team acquired recently made history in their own right. They toppled and arguably ended the SK Telecom T1 dynasty by defeating Faker and co by three games to zero in the grand finals. Over 40,000 fans packed the Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium in Beijing and 60 million more online for the aforementioned final.

In addition, KSV will open a Shanghai office to support the team’s operations in China. The release states that the opening will support “the extensive fan base of all of KSV’s teams throughout China”. 

Read the full article here.

HyperX announces first NBA 2K League team sponsorship

HyperX has today announced its first NBA 2K team sponsorship, with news that it has become the official gaming headset partner of the future Dallas NBA 2K League team and the Dallas Mavericks. 

HyperX will work with the Dallas Mavericks at NBA home games. This’ll mean fans can expect plenty of ‘in-arena activities’ including digital signage, giveaways and concourse activities. This will be kicked off on December 2nd at the Mavericks vs LA Clippers game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. NBA fans will have the opportunity to try out HyperX gear and play NBA 2K18 or Battlefront II games while using HyperX gaming headsets

With the inaugural NBA 2K draft and season to begin in spring of 2018, HyperX is making itself known as a first mover in the space.

Mark Cuban, Owner of the Dallas Mavericks and the Dallas NBA 2K league team commented: “We see the NBA 2K league as a great way to provide entertainment value and partnering with HyperX is a valuable part of our plan to build a competitive NBA 2K League team.

“HyperX brings an abundance of experience in the gaming community and will be a valuable partner both on and off the court during esports tournaments and events.”

Read the full article here.

Overwatch League player banned for 30 matches before the season starts

The Overwatch League is yet to get underway, yet Blizzard have set a precedent for anyone that falls foul of their rules by banning Philadelphia Fusion’s Su-Min “Sado” Kim for the entirety of preseason and the first 30 matches of the inaugural season.

The suspension comes after Kim has been found to breach the Blizzard End User License Agreement by participating in “account-boosting” schemes. Effectively, Kim has been paid to boost others skill level by playing on their accounts. 

It comes just days before the preseason for the inaugural Overwatch League gets underway and shows that Blizzard will take a heavy handed approach to anyone in breach of rules and regulations. 30 games when compared to traditional sports is a huge amount of time.

One would assume that like in traditional sports, a format that Blizzard seems keen to replicate, Kim will continue to receive salary from his organisation but will be resigned to watching from the sidelines as the Fusion make their bid to become the first OWL champions. 

Read the full article here.