Riot Games unveils esports plans, Fnatic appoints Julien Dupont | ESI Digest #41

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.

In this week’s ESI Digest we cover, Riot Games’ VALORANT, Wild Rift, and Teamfight Tactics esports plans, Julien Dupont joining Fnatic, Beastcoast’s $2.5m pre-seed investment, OverActive Media’s Red Bull partnership, Vodafone Giants’ Nesquik deal.

This edition of the ESI Digest is in partnership with REELY.AI

Riot Games unveils esports plans for VALORANT, Wild Rift, and Teamfight Tactics

Riot Games has revealed that League of Legends: Wild Rift, the publisher’s mobile MOBA title, will launch its first-ever global esports tournament in the fourth quarter of 2021. 

The announcement was made during Riot Games’ media event earlier today, with details surrounding future esports plans for Teamfight Tactics and VALORANT, activations regarding League of Legends, and a new partnership with peripherals firm HyperX also revealed.

Beastcoast closes $2.5m pre-seed funding round

beastcoast funding round
(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Beastcoast, Marko Blažević

North American esports organisation Beastcoast closed its pre-seed funding round at $2.5m (~£1.8m). 

The capital raise saw participation from Andover Ventures, Elevate Ventures, and Techstars, alongside angel investors Steven Temares (formerly of Bed Bath & Beyond) and Scott Dorsey, a Managing Partner at High Alpha Ventures. The funding has been utilised over the last two years throughout the pre-seed round to facilitate Beastcoast’s expansion.

Julien Dupont joins Fnatic as Partner Development Director

London-based esports organisation Fnatic has appointed Julien Dupont to the role of Partner Development Director.

Dupont previously served as Head of Partnerships at Team Vitality beginning in 2019. In a LinkedIn post, Dupont said that Fnatic aims to grow its audience to ‘1bn Fnatics’ in the future, ‘in which gaming is the driving force behind humanity’s creativity’.

OverActive Media strikes Red Bull partnership, announces new gaming studio

Photo credit: OverActive Media

OverActive Media, the parent company of MAD Lions, Toronto Ultra, and Toronto Defiant, has announced the Red Bull Gaming Studio after striking a multi-year partnership with the energy drinks brand.

The Red Bull Gaming Studio, located inside OverActive Media’s new headquarters in Toronto, is expected to host gaming events such as tournaments, speaker sessions, artist performances, live events, and broadcasts.

Vodafone Giants partners with Nesquik

Photo credit: Vodafone Giants

Spanish esports organisation Vodafone Giants has announced a partnership with Nestlé-owned drink-mix brand Nesquik.

As a result of the partnership, Nesquik’s logo will appear on Vodafone Giants’ jerseys and on the organisation’s social media platforms. The agreement will also see both entities collaborate on a range of activations. This includes producing new content, providing ‘experiences’, and creating giveaways.

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ESI Digest, in partnership with, is part of the ESI Podcast 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.