This week in Esports: Plays.tv, Nazara Games and ESIC all busy

There’s been some huge figures floating around esports this week, with Plays.TV attracting $15m (£12m) in funding and Nazara Games committing to $20m (£16m) investment in Indian esports. On the less glamorous yet intrinsically important side of esports, the Esports Integrity Coalition have joined forces with ICSS Europe to better tackle gambling integrity issues in the burgeoning industry. 

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Plays.tv attracts $15m investment

There’s more famous names involved in this one. The company which allows gamers to share their best moments has attracted a staggering $15m (£12m) in Series A investment.

The notable investors include the investment fund associated with the owners and executives of the San Francisco 49ers, basketball star Jeremy Lin, Accel Partners, Tenaya Capital, DAG Ventures and Founders Fund.

Jeremy Lin is no alien to the esports world. The basketball has confessed his love for popular Valve title Dota 2 on a number of occasions and has regularly featured in video footage at some of the biggest world tournaments. 

Lin stated: “Similar to watching game tape after NBA games, I love how Plays.tv allows gamers to analyse their own replays. This enables players to identify what’s working and what can be improved. I’m excited to see the pros continue to transform their game with tools like Plays.tv.”

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Nazara Games commit to huge investment in Indian esports

Mobile games publishing company Nazara Games plans to invest approximately $20m (£16m) to develop the Indian esports ecosystem over the next 5 years.  

The aim is to build a ‘vibrant and all-encompassing ecosystem for esports in India’, with a longer term goal of establishing Indian esports teams which can challenge in the top tier competitions globally across the main titles. 

Nitish Mittersain, Founder & MD, Nazara Games stated: “Esports has become a cultural phenomenon in the last few years. Countries in Europe, Korea, China and US have seen massive growth in the number of players and spectators. Asia-Pacific accounts for 44% of the audience and is the fastest growing region globally. Given, improving internet connectivity in India today, launching an esports league seemed the perfect way to reach out to the large group of esports enthusiasts in India.”

With such a huge population, there’s definitely potential with the right investment and education for India to become a force in the esports world. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops over five years, but what a start.

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ESIC and ICSS Europe join forces

Whilst the integrity side of esports may be far from the glamour and glitz of CS:GO competitions being played in Las Vegas, it’s vitally important to the stability and future of the industry.

ESIC have had a busy week, with the first “Future of Esports in Las Vegas” Summit hosted in Nevada this week before penning a partnership with ICSS Europe. Read more about the Summit here.

ICSS Europe will help ESIC to enhance education around anti-corruption for players, competitors, game developers and tournament organisers. The organisation will also support the development of awareness initiatives to promote integrity across the industry and provide investigative support on match-fixing investigations. This will include liaising with betting analysts, conducting interviews, carrying out research and obtaining statements.

ESIC commissioner Ian Smith said: “We share the same vision – for sport played to win and free of manipulation and corruption – and it has, consequently, been an easy and obvious decision to work together. I’m certain the esports community will see quick results from this collaboration and I’m looking forward to working with Emanuel and his team over the coming months.”

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