Media rights on the rise, WISE Ventures launches Version1 | ESI Digest #4

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 new media rights deals for ESL and Riot Games, Gen.G Esports’ plans for regional growth, and WISE Ventures Esports’ new team brand.

Bilibili lands exclusive Chinese rights for League of Legends World Championship, more

Riot Games announced an agreement with Chinese streaming video platform Bilibili that grants it exclusive broadcasting rights to its major League of Legends global events.

The three-year deal will begin with this autumn’s 2020 League of Legends World Championship and also include the annual Mid-Season Invitational and All-Star events.

In December 2019, Beijing News reported that Bilibili had paid 800 million yuan (now £87.9 million) for an exclusive three-year deal to broadcast the League of Legends World Championship, although today’s release is the first official announcement on the matter. No official terms were disclosed.

ESL, DreamHack sign Brazilian media rights deal with Omelete and Globo

Sister companies ESL and DreamHack, under parent MTG, added yet another regional streaming deal to their collective portfolio, this time in Brazil.

The companies announced that they had partnered with Brazilian television network Globo and entertainment website Omelete to broadcast Counter-Strike: Global Offensive events.

The three-year deal will span all of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournaments in the ESL Pro Tour, which takes place across numerous ESL and DreamHack competitions. All of the competitions will be broadcast in Portuguese language as a result of the deal.

Gen.G partners with Red Card Global to aid Southeast Asia expansion

Gen.G Esports announced that it has enlisted the services of sports marketing agency Red Card Global as it eyes expansion within the Southeast Asian esports market.

Founded in 2005, Red Card Global has been involved in many traditional sports partnerships in the SEA region, including with brands such as Coca-Cola, Puma, and Toyota.

WISE Ventures Esports launches Version1 brand, enters Rocket League

WISE Ventures Esports, the parent company of Call of Duty League franchise Minnesota RØKKR, launched Version1.

The new brand, which is co-owned by the Wilf family and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, has initially entered Psyonix’s title Rocket League. Version1 will compete in RLCS X, the newly-formed esports initiative from Psyonix for its Rocket League title. RLCS: The Grid, which begins on August 7th, will include the brand.

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.