ESI Sponsor Spotlight – May 2019 Edition

“Sponsor Spotlight” is a monthly series here at Esports Insider that will highlight some of the top sponsorship or partnership stories from the previous month on ESI. The main aim of the series is to highlight some of the biggest things happening in esports, be those new non-endemic partnerships, long-term investments or extensions of major deals.

May was a month of acquisitions. From popular esports game developer Psyonix being acquired by Epic – famous esports organisations Evil Genius being acquired by PEAK6 Investments and one of Europe’s top regional esports teams MAD Lions joining one of esports biggest groups in OverActive Media. You’ll find details on the stories below in our brief recap of May 2019.

Rocket League developers Psyonix acquired by Epic

Rocket League Esports Shop
Image credit: Psyonix

Right at the start of May, news dropped that Rocket League developer Psyonix had been acquired by Epic. The deal will see Rocket League’s esports scene more resources to flourish in future, whilst the has now moved to the Epic Game Store, with the Steam version still supported.

At the time of the announcement, a statement on the Rocket League website read: “We think this is a great move for the Rocket League Esports ecosystem because it significantly increases our potential reach and resources, just like it does for the game itself.”

“We really do believe that you’ll find our future in esports to be very exciting — especially in the near future, where on June 21-23 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) finals will end our 7th season with a bang!”

With the above-mentioned event taking place this weekend, it will be the first real test of the new owners, though it’s not likely that we’ll see any major changes until 2020.

OverActive Media announces acquisition of MAD Lions E.C.

OverActive Media MAD Lions E.C.
Image credit: MAD Lions E.C.

The first of the May 29th doubleheaders saw OverActive Media, the parent company of Splyce and Toronto Defiant, had acquired Spanish esports organisation MAD Lions. MAD Lions are very well known in the Spanish esports scene and at the EU Masters 2018 the team put themselves in front of EU fans as they proved to be a formidable force, so much so that four of its roster joined LEC teams with Nemesis joining Fnatic and Selfmade, Crownshot and Werlyb joining SK Gaming.

Speaking at the time, Chris Overholt, President and CEO of OverActive Media, had this to say: “This acquisition is another exciting step forward in OAM’s international growth strategy, allowing us to broaden our global fanbase across Spain and into Latin America. It also adds to our industry-leading asset mix, creating even more opportunities for our current and prospective marketing partners and investors.”

The move saw MAD Lions LoL merge with the Splyce Academy team with its FIFA, Fortnite, Brawl Stars, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Clash Royale all joining OverActive Media.

Evil Geniuses acquired by PEAK6 Investments

Evil Geniuses PEAK6 Investments
Image credit: Evil Geniuses

The second of our two acquisitions saw Chicago-based investment firm PEAK6 Investments acquire Evil Geniuses. Nicole LaPointe Jameson assumed the role of CEO, with Evil Geniuses COO Philip Aram staying on in his role, with a focus on gaming performance.

From the official announcement at the time: “Since the divestment from Twitch in 2016, our staff, headed by COO Phillip Aram, has been working tirelessly to maintain the legacy of excellence and trust that we’ve built up over years of competition. We believe that PEAK6 shares these values, and is the right partner to maintain them with.”