CouRage and Valkyrae become 100 Thieves co-owners, BMW announces esports manga | ESI Digest #37

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, Valkyrae and CouRage being announced as 100 Thieves co-owners, Astralis Group looking to trade in the US market, BMW Esports launching a manga series, Jackson’s LCS and PENTAKILL partnership, plus GRID’s $10m investment. 

This edition of the ESI Digest is in partnership with RocketReel, powered by 

Valkyrae and CouRage made co-owners of 100 Thieves

100 Thieves CEO Matt ‘Nadeshot’ Haag has announced Rachell ‘Valkyrae’ Hofstetter and Jack ‘CouRage’ Dunlop as co-owners of the brand.

Both Hofstetter and Dunlop joined the organisation originally as content creators — Hofstetter in 2018 and Dunlop in 2019.

In an announcement video posted on YouTube, Haag, Hofstetter, and Dunlop discuss their journey together with 100 Thieves, culminating with Valkyrae’s and CouRage’s co-ownership.

Astralis Group announces intention to trade in US market

Photo credit: Astralis / DreamHack

Danish esports organisation Astralis Group has announced its intention to trade in the US market through a dual quotation on the OTCQX Best Market.

According to the release, the organisation has applied to be publicly listed in the country due to ‘growing US investor interest’ in Astralis Group. If proven successful, US-based investors will be able to purchase Astralis Group shares. The organisation has also stated that the listing is expected to increase liquidity.

BMW Esports creates ‘Heroes of Rivalry’ manga, presents OG Esports as new partner

Screenshot credit: BMW Esports

BMW Esports, the esports division of german automotive company BMW, has unveiled ‘Heroes Of Rivalry’, a manga series featuring its United in Rivalry team partners.

BMW Esports’s United in Rivalry partners include Cloud 9, FNATIC, FunPlus Phoenix, G2 Esports and T1. However, the announcement also revealed that European organisation OG Esports has been announced as its latest addition.

Guitar manufacturer Jackson partners with LCS and PENTAKILL

Riot Games has announced a ‘global collaboration’ between US-based guitar manufacturer Jackson and the developer’s virtual heavy metal band PENTAKILL.

The exact details of what activations will take place have yet to be revealed. However, the collaboration is expected to showcase the ‘instrument’s powerful performance and distinctive style’.

Esports data platform GRID announces $10m funding round

Image credit: GRID Esports

Esports data platform GRID has announced a $10m (~£7.28m) Series A funding round, with NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster investing in the firm. 

Alongside Smith-Schuster, ‘industry leaders’ behind Alinea Capital, Bumble Ventures, and Tar Heel Capital Pathfinder took part in the firm’s funding round, as well as ‘leading investors in the gaming, iGaming and tech industry’.

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ESI Digest, in partnership with RocketReel, powered by, 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.