This week in Esports: More Vegas, Lagardère partner with SK and BITKRAFT Esports Ventures

We barely go a week without multiple large investments in the esports space, and whilst it has undoubtedly been quieter in the last seven days there’s still been no shortage of interesting stories from around the world. There was more activity in Las Vegas this week, with both Unikrn and Millennial Esports making moves in Nevada. Lagardère Sports has continued its esports push with a substantial partnership, whilst there’s sombre news out of Korea as an Overwatch player and manager face a legal battle after a match fixing scandal.

On Thursday BITKRAFT Esports Ventures revealed some major plans which should get the attention of start ups and those with big ideas but a lack of capital.

Unikrn to acquire LEET 

Esports only bookmaker Unikrn have made their latest move by acquiring Vegas based company LEET.

LEET works with casinos primarily in Las Vegas but elsewhere too. The company is focused on helping them to run their own in-house esports tournaments. For example LEET has worked with the Downtown Grand, which became the first casino in Las Vegas to offer esports before the apparent Vegas boom. Unikrn and LEET will continue to work these casinos whilst creating further engaging experiences for the casino industry.

It comes after recent news of the MGM Group building a 30,000 square foot multi-tiered arena in its Luxor venue in Las Vegas.

Read the full article here.

Millennial Esports to acquire Stream Hatchet

The owners of Las Vegas’ first dedicated esports space “thE Arena” have continued their expansion with the acquisition of Barcelona based company Stream Hatchet.

The deal will see Millennial Esports issue 2,951,973 common shares of Millennial Esports at an issuance price of $0.225 per share as well as paying 125,000 EUR (£106,000) to former security holders of Steam Hatchet.

Stream Hatchet is a data analytics company based in Terassa, Spain. It provides analytics and business intelligence for persons and entities involved in game streaming. It provides holistic data to its users and the users are then able to make dcisions based on the data. Current users of Stream Hatchet are streamers, Esports organisations, video game producers and advertising agencies. The company also offers solutions to its users by providing data, insights and intelligence they need. It looks to assist advertisers in entering esports through targeting streamers. Stream Hatchet currently tracks all the broadcast activity on Twitch, Azubu, Hitbox and Beam.

Read the full article here.

SK Gaming partner with Lagardère Sports

Lagardère Sports represents the likes of Borussia Dortmund and PSG outside of esports, and inside the space they’ve already partnered with Team ROCCATT and Unicorns of Love. The agency is based in Hamburg, as are ROCCATT, whilst SK are a short trip south in Cologne meaning it’s another native partnership. With SK’s involvement in CS:GO however it’s a first move into the Valve title by the agency, and in Super Evil Megacorp title Vainglory too.

Lagardère will look to open up new opportunities for SK Gaming, to help grow the brand and keep its teams competing with the best of the best at tournaments around the world.

Alexander T. Müller, Managing Director of SK Gamingcommented: “Lagardère understand the rich history we have in esports and acknowledge the unique position of our teams. We are proud to have such a strong partner on our side and are very much looking forward to push our vision of SK Gaming forward together.”

Read the full article here.

Match fixing scandal in Korean Overwatch results in legal action

The player manager and coach of Korean Overwatch squad Luminous Solar have been booked without detention in South Korea after attempting to qualify for the OGN Overwatch APEX Challenger Season 2 by match fixing. 

The criminal charge specified by the Gyeonggi Bukbu Provincial Police Agency was interference with business. Both the player and coach have already been banned by OGN, following an internal investigation conducted last February. The investigation related to the wildcard qualifier quarter finals between Luminous Solar and UnLimited which the former won. 

The evidence suggests that Jin Seok-hoon and Baek Min-jeh offered sponsorship for UnLimited should they agree to forfeit the match. It was also discovered that they produced a fraudulent doctor’s certificate in order to field a last minute substitute in the match. The player from UnLimited, Choi Yoon-soo was also banned from participating for the next season of OGN Overwatch APEX Challenger.

Read the full article here.

BITKRAFT Esports Ventures launches and reveals plans for start up funding

The company left it till late in the week to announce some big news. BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, in a group of three founders led by esports and ESL veteran Jens Hilgers, have launched the first dedicated esports venture funding group. In its first closing BITKRAFT raised €18m (£15.1m) and with a target final close of €30m (£25.3m), it will invest between €100,000 to €400,000 (£84,000 to £337,000)  in each startup.

Hilgers said: “This fund is the culmination of building and scaling esports and creating outstanding services and products that increase enjoyment for both players and fans. This fund is also about living my passion and creating a platform to support those who share this dream and have the drive to create intrinsic value in esports.”

Read more here.