This week in esports: Gfinity, BBC, ESIC and the Overwatch League

There’s been a substantial amount of big news this week across the esports industry. Gfinity has continued to make waves this week with two big announcements. First, the acquisition of CEVO for $2.7 million and next a deal which will see four hours of Elite Series action broadcast on the BBC each week. Elsewhere, ESIC released the results of its survey which has led to ESL amending the code of conduct and the previously banned match-fixers from iBuyPower to being allowed to compete in ESL competition once more. Finally, some more news from the Overwatch League; with Blizzard revealing more details of player remuneration and the roster management policy.

Credit: Gfinity

Gfinity Elite Series to be broadcast on BBC Three

The Gfinity Elite Series will be broadcast for four hours each week until its completion on BBC Three, in collaboration with BBC Sport.

The deal will see tournament games and exclusive short-form video content from Gfinity’s Elite Series broadcast for the next six weeks, with live Elite Series coverage every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. As per the Elite Series schedule, Street Fighter will be broadcast on Friday, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on Saturday and Rocket League on Sunday.

The partnership will also bring lifestyle segments and editorial, focusing on the Elite Series players and their stories.  BBC Three will show one hour of Street Fighter, two of Counter-Strike and one of Rocket League each week and will also provide a live blog around each broadcast. 

The announcement has been met with mixed reaction from the public — with some truly hilarious responses as we’ve come to expect when esports meets mainstream media.

Read the full article here.

Gfinity acquires CEVO

It’s most definitely not been a quiet week for London based Gfinity. The UK esports company announced its $2.7m (2.1m) purchase of the entire issued share capital of CEVO, a USA-based global provider of services and technology to the esports industry.

The acquisition of CEVO includes technologies such as its tournament management system, its anti-cheat software – used by a number of major operators in the industry (including Gfinity) – and a range of esports broadcast products.

CEVO has been involved with Gfinity in the past, such as for last year’s CEVO Gfinity Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Pro League and Gfinity Elite Series. In fact, CEVO has supplied technology to Gfinity for the last three years. With this acquisition, Gfinity have laid down a marker for their aims to continue to expand on an international scale, having already hosted events this year in the UK, Mexico, France and the USA.

Read the full article here.

ESIC releases results of survey, iBP players unbanned

The Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) has today released the responses on its survey focused on the appropriate sanctions for those caught cheating in esports. 

The survey saw 7,500 responses from those in the esports community at large. Quite notably, ESL, which is a member of ESIC, has changed its sanctions accordingly. ESL will also be lifting the indefinite ban on ex-IBUYPOWER players, and tournament rules for all events will differ from August 1st. You can read the full details of ESL’s statement on the matter here.  

On the matter of IBUYPOWER (IBP), ESIC recommended that the banned players are unbanned and allowed to re-enter professional CS:GO from August 1st. ESL has confirmed that it concurs with this and the bans will be lifted. 

ESIC argued that “whilst the players are clearly culpable and should have known better, the rules surrounding this sort of activity were not clear at the time, no education had been provided to the players and the procedures used to sanction them were not transparent and did not comply with principles of natural justice”.

Read the full article here.

Overwatch League announces details of player remuneration

Credit: Blizzard

Blizzard’s Overwatch League has taken another leap with details of player remuneration policy as well as benefits that each player will be legally entitled to under league regulation. 

he release from Blizzard outlines a few key benefits that are included in the Overwatch League Player Agreement. They read as follows:

  • Teams will sign players to one-year guaranteed contracts with the option to extend the contract for an additional year.
  • The minimum salary for players is USD $50,000 per year.
  • Teams will provide players with health insurance and a retirement savings plan.
  • Teams will distribute at least 50% of their team performance bonuses (i.e. money from winning playoffs and other League events) to their players directly.

The initial prize money or “team performance bonuses” available to teams will be $3.5 million for Season 1, with the winners receiving at least $1 million in performance related bonuses. Thus a minimum of $500,000 will be fed through to the players on the winning teams.

Read the full article here.