This week in Esports: Lyon go to China, Gfinity reveal plans and plenty more

It’s almost becoming cliche to announce that it has been yet another frantic week in the esports industry. We would be lying if we said otherwise, though. 

French club Lyon have announced a FIFA team in China; Gfinity has revealed details of the Challenger Series; Meltdown and Discord have partnered; Team Secret has shuffled their management and last but not least Rocket League has secured some big name sponsors. 

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Olympique Lyonnais launch FIFA esports team in Beijing

Olympique Lyonnais have made a surprise move this week by revealing a FIFA team; not in Europe but in China. The French football club already have a presence in FIFA, with Fouad “Rasfou” Fares their representative. 

In China the OL recruits will be playing not FIFA as we know it in the UK but a version of the game called FIFA Online 3. It’s a free to play version developed by EA but published by various companies in China, South Korea, Thailand and other countries in Asia. It has a sizable player base and community with over ten million monthly users. 

Read the full article here.

Gfinity reveal first two esports in their Challenger Series

The Gfinity Challenger Series is an intriguing initiative aiming to build a sustainable ecosystem for aspiring esports players whereby they can climb a leaderboard with the eventual opportunity to represent a professional team. 

The initial announcement came with Gfinity revealing that CS:GO would be the first title that they would run in the Challenger Series. They then revealed later in the week that Street Fighter V would be the second game. 

The design of the leaderboard is such that the top thirty will enter the Elite Draft before certain players are lucky enough to compete in the Elite Series at a professional level. 

Read the full article here.

Meltdown announce partnership with Discord

Sophia Metz, Meltdown Bars

Meltdown Bars has announced a partnership with Discord to ‘power communications at all its locations worldwide’. 

Meltdown is an esports bar chain with centrally run locations in Paris, Berlin and London with a number of franchise bars further afield throughout Europe and Canada. There are currently Meltdown bars in  Brussels, Cologne, Budapest, Madrid, Valencia, Toronto, Quebec and Montreal. 

Sophia Metz, Meltdown Bars Founder, told Esports Insider: “Discord is definitely the best app on the market, and I am proud to announce a long-lasting partnership with a brand who shares our DNA and our thirst for innovation.”

Read the full article here.

Team Secret announce C-Level shuffle

Team Secret have announced that Kemal Sadikoglu would no longer be a director with the company whilst John Yao would be Secret’s newly appointed CEO. 

Co-founders Clement “Puppey” Ivanov and Matthew “Cyborgmatt” Bailey announced the appointment in a post addressing their partners, sponsors and fans. 

The announcement on the websites welcomes Yao, saying “John brings seasoned executive experience to the team, an impressive track record of business success, and perhaps most importantly – a passionate devotion to Team Secret’s mission”. 

Additionally, the payment feud that rocked the organisation months back has resurfaced as Puppey posted on social media that they had fulfilled obligations to previous players. As it transpires, they hadn’t and Jacky “EternalEnvy” Mao has suggested he is still owed a staggering $250,000 (£205,000) by the organisation. 

Read the full article here.

Rocket League reveal two big name sponsors

The Rocket League Championship Series Season 3 kicks off tomorrow and it has revealed Brisk, Pepsico’s ice tea brand, and Old Spice as sponsors.

Whilst unknown on UK shores, Brisk drives $1 billion in annual revenue. It has worked in the esports space before by sponsoring OpTic Gaming.  It’s great to see a fun spectator game and slightly “lighter” esport on the eye receive the sponsorship it deserves and the third season of the Championship Series is definitely an event worth watching.

Read the full article here.