In a surprisingly busy pre-Christmas week for the esports industry, you’d forgive the Gfinity team for getting in the festive spirit a little early after they made two major announcements this week. The news that Fnatic and Team Vitality will be a part of season 3 of the Elite Series is not to be sniffed at.
Elsewhere we saw another big football club enter the space. Via a deal with Stark eSports GmBH, Hertha BSC have launched their own esports academy. We also saw some esports betting news with a huge Unikrn and MGM agreement, and UltraPlay adding GWENT to its offering.
Team Vitality and Fnatic confirmed for Gfinity’s Elite Series season 3
The next iteration of Gfinity’s Elite Series kicks off in March 2018. This series will see a new title in the form of FIFA 18, with CS:GO being dropped and Rocket League and Street Fighter maintaining their places. Another change for the third season is that it’ll be expanded to ten teams.
Hertha Berlin enter esports
Hertha BSC became the latest football club to make a move in esports this week with their announcement of a dedicated academy.
The capital’s top club have partnered with STARK eSports GmBH to do this which is, in our view, a smart move. It’s also nice to see the club commit to a little more than just signing up a FIFA player, and instead being more ambitious and looking to sign up and nurture the best young FIFA talent. The hope is that they see a good return on this and recognise the potential to expand this academy to beyond just the EA Sports title. Read the full story here.
Unikrn agrees tournament series at the MGM Grand
Massive news from Unikrn prior to Christmas as the company announced a partnership with MGM Resorts International. The company, which is heavily involved in the esports betting space, acquired casinos focused tournament operator LEET.gg, earlier this year and this deal looks set to be a huge win for Unikrn.
What we know so far is that there’ll be weekly tournaments, on Fridays and Saturdays, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. We’ll be keeping a close eye on developments with this one, and you can read all the details here.
UltraPlay adds GWENT to its product offering
Esports betting supplier UltraPlay became the first to offer betting on the evermore popular title, GWENT.
As such the Bulgarian firm now offers markets across 25 titles. Peter Ivanov, Head of Esports trading at UltraPlay had this to say of the news: “Gwent is a perfect choice for a card game that offers endless fun to the players. The eSports betting brands using UltraPlay’s products will be one step ahead of the competition providing another exciting option to their players.”
Catch up on the full story here.