Each week, ESI Digest breaks down the weekly happenings in the esports industry, making sense of things so you don’t have to. As well as being housed on YouTube, ESI Digest is available on all major podcast platforms and is also available in written form below.
This week on ESI Digest, we cover three executives departing FaZe Clan and starting afresh, Eden Park’s new esports facility, Dire Wolves’ major changes, Getty Images’ latest moves, and plenty more.
Greg Selkoe, Clinton Sparks, and Wil Eddins all departed North American organisation FaZe Clan and started a new venture named XSET, which aims to prioritise inclusivity and social good.
Sources confirmed to Esports Insider that an internal announcement about Selkoe’s departure was made in May, months before XSET was announced, and that VP of Business Development, Sparks, and VP of Apparel, Eddins, both handed in their letters of resignation this week.
Oceanic organisation Dire Wolves had a busy week, starting with the announcement that it has overhauled its management team – including its owner. Led by Jason Spiller, the team also welcomed Craig Nimmo, Rich Bryan, William Slingsby, and Jordan Gardiner to its ranks.
Shortly after, Dire Wolves unveiled a fresh logo and revealed that it had incorporated teams in FIFA, Overwatch, NBA 2K, and other titles from brands that were all in the same ownership portfolio; effectively consolidating the team brands into one while retaining the players and staff that were housed under them.
Not unrelated to the Dire Wolves family is the announcement of the Eden Park Esports High Performance Centre. Housed at the home of New Zealand’s national rugby club, the facility is owned by Guinevere Capital – the investment and advisory firm that’s somewhat responsible for Excel Esports’ headquarters in London’s Twickenham Stadium.
Dire Wolves and other teams from Australia and New Zealand will be frequent users of the centre once it launches in Q3 2020.
Sports agency VaynerSports announced the launch of VaynerGaming, a new division focusing on esports athletes and gaming personalities.
The agency, which was co-founded by brothers Gary and AJ Vaynerchuk, has signed 2019 Fortnite World Cup victor Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf and already renegotiated the player’s deal with North American organisation Sentinels.
Riot Games unveiled Getty Images as an official partner of its global esports initiatives for League of Legends through 2024.
As part of the deal, Getty Images will “manage editorial photo and licensing requests” for the League of Legends World Championship, Mid-Season Invitational, and All-Star Event. The partnership will commence with the 2020 World Championship, which is slated to take place in autumn.
London-based organisation Demise entered a three-year deal with Italian sportswear brand Kappa.
Kappa will become the official kit supplier of the organisation, launching a range of Demise-branded products from August.
ESI Digest is part of ESI Network, a collection of podcasts encompassing the esports industry. For deep dives into the major areas of esports with subject matter experts, check out ESI Focus. For conversations with key personnel and major stakeholders in esports, ESI Insight is the series for you.