There’s been more hustle and bustle in esports this week with not one but two Overwatch League teams named, a substantial investment in Cloud9 courtesy of WWE and others, news from the British Esports Association, Katowice 2018, a significant deal between Genius Sports and DreamHack and more.
As ever, we have all the major industry goings-on of the past seven days it laid out for you here.
We now know the names and looks of two of the teams in season one of the Overwatch League; Boston Uprising and Seoul Dynasty. These were both unveiled this week, though the latter name has been rumoured for some time.
Boston Uprising is backed by the Kraft Group whilst Seoul Dynasty is owned by KSV. Of the Boston Uprising choice, Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group said: “We are excited to unveil our team name, logo and colors for our newest sports property.
“Esports already has a large global audience, with Overwatch being among the most popular games with more than 35 million players worldwide. We look forward to introducing sports fans in Boston to the new Overwatch League with a local team they can support. We are also eager to use the Boston Uprising to introduce Boston and our franchise to the global community of esports. We are currently assembling a team that we anticipate will compete for championships, as Boston sports fans have come to expect from all of their professional teams.”
There are now just six franchises left to reveal their names; London, Miami, Houston, Philadelphia and the second Los Angeles team.
Cloud9 raises $25m from WWE and other sources
Cloud9 have raised $25 million (£18.9m) in their first round of venture capital financing from a number of high-profile companies in media, sports, and entertainment.
Investors include the WWE, the Beverly Hills Sports Council, Raul Fernandez (co-owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment), Michael Ovitz (co-founder of the Creative Artists Agency), venture capital firm Founders Fund and a joint investment from tech investorsDavid Sacks and Bill Lee, according to ESPN.
With Cloud9 having secured spots in both the Overwatch League and the NA LCS their outgoings will be considerably higher in the near future and so this investment comes at a vital time for the org. Read more here.
British Esports Association and Enemy of Boredom Academy
The British Esports Association has entered into a partnership with the Enemy of Boredom Esports (EOB) Academy, a series of workshops for young people which is backed by the Prince’s Trust.
The EOB Esports Academy offers education programmes for those aged between 14 and 30. These are designed to help young people and those currently out of work learn new skills, access new opportunities and find employment. Find out all about this deal here.
Genius signs data partnership with DreamHack
Genius Sports, has signed an extensive data and integrity partnership with tournament organiser DreamHack.
The agreement in place between the two companies will not only see Genius Sports distribute data and video streaming from DreamHack’s esports event across the regulated betting market globally, but will also see Genius Sports lend its integrity services in protecting DreamHack competitions from the threat of match-fixing.
Within the role as “Official Data and Integrity Partner”, Genius Sports will alert DreamHack to suspicious betting patterns which will be identified by a sophisticated integrity monitoring system which is already used and applied across both regulated and unregulated markets across the world.