Schalke 04 possibly selling LEC spot, OverActive Media unveils esports venue plans | ESI Digest #31

26 February 2021


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.

On this week’s ESI Digest we cover, Schalke 04 potentially selling its LEC spot, OverActive Media announcing plans to build a new esports venue, Garena Free Fire’s 2021 esports ‘roadmap’, Riot Games launching its VCT Game Changers programme, plus Twitch Rivals’ collaboration with Dunkin’.

This edition of the ESI Digest is in partnership with apparel and esportswear firm We Are Nations.

Schalke 04 open to selling LEC spot for up to €20m

German football club Schalke 04 is looking into the possibility of selling its place in the League of Legends European Championship (LEC), according to reports by French newspaper L’Équipe. The club later confirmed that it is potentially selling its spot. 

Schalke’s LEC spot is estimated to cost anywhere up to €20m (£17.2m), which is significantly higher than the €8m (~£6.89m) price tag that the esports organisation reportedly paid in 2019 to enter into the franchised league.

OverActive Media announces plans to build 7,000-seat esports venue

Photo credit: OverActive Media

OverActive Media, the parent company of Toronto Defiant, Toronto Ultra, and MAD Lions, has announced plans to build a 7,000-seat esports and entertainment venue at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Canada.

The venue, projected to be completed in 2025, is set to include a ‘theatre-style entertainment venue and hotel complex’, whilst also becoming the new ‘home’ of the company’s Call of Duty League and Overwatch League franchises.

Garena Free Fire unveils 2021 esports ‘roadmap’ 

Game developer and publisher Garena has revealed the 2021 ‘esports roadmap’ for its mobile title Free Fire.

According to the announcement, the Free Fire World Series (FFWS) is set to return with two editions in April and November. Moreover, the publisher will launch a new event called Free Fire All Stars.

Riot Games launches VCT Game Changers

Credit: Riot Games

Riot Games has announced the launch of VCT Game Changers, a new VALORANT programme that focuses on creating opportunities and exposure for women and other marginalised genders.

Game Changers will consist of two core competitive initiatives, the VCT Game Changers Series and the VCT Game Changers Academy.

Twitch Rivals brews up Dunkin’ collaboration

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American coffee and doughnut company Dunkin’, also known as Dunkin’ Donuts, has teamed up with Twitch Rivals North America for a series of custom activations.

In addition to being named the official fan fuel of the competitive gaming series, Dunkin’ will feature in exclusive challenges, rewards, and events during Twitch Rivals’ tournaments throughout 2021. The first of which kicked off on Wednesday with the Twitch Rivals: VALORANT Series 1, a three-day round-robin tournament featuring a $50,000 (~£35,309) prize pool.

ESI Digest, in partnership with We Are Nations, is part of the 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.