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 Team Vitality’s new facility in Stade de France, OPL’s closure, G-Loot raising $56M, ReKTGlobal closing $35M, and IBM entering esports.
Vodafone Giants forms parent company Good Game Group
The founders of Spanish organisation Giants Gaming, known as Vodafone Giants through a sponsorship, launched Good Game Group.
The esports division of Good Game Group consists of Vodafone Giants and the recently-acquired x6tence. The second sector, GG Media, is responsible for entertainment and content creation. Esportmaníacos, the latest acquisition from Giants Gaming, will deliver live broadcasts on Twitch in 2021. BCN Fighters and GGM Studios will both review esports news – though the former will focus more on the fighting game community.
Riot Games dissolves Oceanic Pro League
Riot Games announced that the Australia and New Zealand-based League of Legends pro-league, the Oceanic Pro League (OPL), will cease operations immediately.
Riot’s Sydney office will also close and players in the OCE region will be integrated into the North American player pool. 2021 Mid-Season Invitational and World Championship qualifiers will still be held for the region.
G-Loot secures $56M in funding round
Swedish esports start-up G-Loot secured $56M (£43.2M) in its latest funding round.
Alongside expanding its presence in North America, the capital will be used to prepare the platform’s entrance into console gaming, further growing its audience. “In the future, we want esports to be available to any gamer, in any game, on any device, anywhere.”
ReKTGlobal raises $35 million from Summit Partners
Global esports infrastructure firm ReKTGlobal, the parent company of Rogue and London Royal Ravens, raised $35 million (£27 million) in funding.
The debt capital raise came from Summit Partners, a private equity and investment firm that oversees more than $21 billion (£16.2 billion) in total assets. ReKTGlobal plans to further expand its product portfolio, attempt to accelerate growth by hiring additional executives, and further monetise its existing assets.
IBM enters esports with Overwatch League data and sponsorship deal
Global technology and data services firm IBM entered into an analytics and sponsorship deal with Overwatch League, which runs through the 2022 season.
IBM is currently developing various data-driven solutions for the league using its IBM Watson artificial intelligence and cloud-based infrastructure. The firm will create tools to help the league process in-game data, produce more accurate ranking information, and create predictive analysis elements for broadcasts.
Team Vitality and Renault unveil performance facility in Stade de France
French organisation Team Vitality, working alongside the Renault Group, strengthened its F1 Esports team ahead of the new season.
A new performance development centre located in the heart of the Stade de France is entirely dedicated to the training of Team Vitality athletes. The new facility, named Renault V.Performance, can accommodate up to three teams at once and is equipped to allow the team’s medical and sports teams to work directly on site.
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.