Cloud9 launches female VALORANT team, VSPN secures $100m funding | ESI Digest #16

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 Cloud9’s all-female VALORANT team, Casemiro launching CaseEsports, the Tencent-led $100m VSPN funding round, DreamHack Sports Games’ partnership with eManager, plus YouGov’s ‘Gaming and Esports: The next generation’ report.

Cloud9 signs female VALORANT team, expands AT&T partnership

North American organisation Cloud9 has announced the signing of an all-female VALORANT roster.

The team formerly known as Team MAJKL will now compete as ‘Cloud9 White’. Moreover, the organisation’s all-male team will be rebranded to ‘Cloud9 Blue’.

It was also announced that the organisation has expanded its partnership with telecommunications company AT&T. The expansion will see the company become a sponsor of Cloud9 White.

VSPN secures $100m in Tencent-led Series B funding round

Total esports solutions provider Versus Programming Network (VSPN) has raised ‘close to’ $100m (~ £76.23m) in its latest Series B funding round, according to the firm.

The funding round, led by Tencent Holdings, saw investments from Tiantu Capital, SIG (Susquehanna International Group), and Kuaishou.

Lighthouse Capital was named as the exclusive Financial Advisor for VSPN’s round of funding.

Real Madrid player Casemiro enters CS:GO scene with CaseEsports

Real Madrid professional footballer Casemiro has followed in the footsteps of various other sports stars by launching his own esports organisation, CaseEsports.

Alongside the launch of the organisation, CaseEsports also revealed that its first venture into the industry is through CS:GO after signing a full Brazilian team.

DreamHack Sports Games partners with eManager to create eSuperliga fantasy game

DreamHack Sports Games, MTG’s sports simulation business unit, has partnered with eManager to launch a FIFA esports fantasy game, in which fans create a ‘dream team’ from eSuperliga players.

The fantasy game will be accessible via eManager’s platform and allows eSuperliga fans to compete for ‘sponsor prizes’ during the upcoming FIFA competition, which commences on November 3rd.

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YouGov report: 37 percent of UK consumers are ‘familiar with esports’

Despite the growth of esports in the UK, recent figures highlight that only 37 percent of the country’s consumers are familiar with what the term means, according to YouGov’s ‘Gaming and Esports: The next generation’ whitepaper.

In comparison, YouGov has revealed that China’s ‘esports familiarity’ percentage is 72 percent and that 67 percent of Danish consumers can correctly describe the industry.

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.