After a big week for the esports industry last week which saw Gfinity hit BBC Three, the release of the results of ESIC’s comprehensive survey and Overwatch League news, this one was a quieter seven days all things considered.
Still there were a couple of major deals in the form of an $11 million investment for tournament platform Smash.gg and a cool arrangement between ELEAGUE and GEICO which should do a lot for the grassroots scenes of the titles it selects. This week also saw two new teams join WESA and some bizarre news about the Gamer Gauntlet cruise.
ELEAGUE and GEICO partner up
This week saw a cool partnership announced between Turner Sports’ ELEAGUE and insurance company GEICO for a new amateur tournament series. This will kick off with FGC favourite Street Fighter.
The official title will be the GEICO ELEAGUE Amateur Series, and will take place in September (1-4) at PAX West in Seattle. The tournament will feature Street Fighter V and will be live streamed through both ELEAGUE’s and insurance company GEICO’s Twitch channels.
Smash.gg receives $11m in investment
Smash.gg, a platform that facilitates esports tournament creation, has raised an impressive $11 million (£8.31m) in Series A capital, it was announced this week.
Smash.gg enables organised esports tournaments to be created by fans and players. The founders started in February 2015 after they grew frustrated with waiting for game publishers or tournament organisers to host events. They forged that frustration into an opportunity, and in making Smash.gg they enabled local organisers to create events.
Sponsors drop out of Gamer Gauntlet cruise
The Gamer Gauntlet 2017 Cruise has been advertised for close to a year now as the “Ultimate Video Game Cruise” and, for a time it looked like a legitimate venture with partners like Red Bull, Meta Threads, Esports Arena, and Matcherino to name just a few.
As it transpired it appears that Red Bull were not even aware of the event and subsequently ‘dropped’ their sponsorship, after an investigation by MoneyMatches CEO Zach Smith. MoneyMatches had been due to take part as the official betting partner of the cruise event.
Splyce and North join WESA
North and Splyce are the latest teams to join the WESA ranks as full members. This brings the total WESA team membership up to 13.
Although WESA faced staunch criticism after initial launch, the continued welcoming of new teams suggests that many are becoming more accepting and the organisation is making progress in its bold aim to “professionalise esports, and solidify its place as the leading global esports association”.