BIG, FURIA, Heroic added to ESL Pro League, NIP secures crypto deal | ESI Digest #65

22 October 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; FURIA, BIG and Heroic being announced as the latest ESL Pro League member teams, Ninjas in Pyjamas launching Shinobi Sports and partnering with Zilliqa, Riot Games unveiling its 2021 World Championship rings, Fnatic hiring an Esports Operations Lead, plus SPORT1 extending its RLCS broadcast deal.

ESL Pro League adds Furia, BIG and Heroic as member teams

Tournament organiser ESL has unveiled BIG, Furia and Heroic as the latest partner teams for the ESL Pro League.

According to the release, the three teams applied for a spot in the ‘Louvre Agreement’ individually, with the bids totalling almost $20m (~£14.5m). In March this year, ESL announced the launch of its ‘Request for Proposals’ process for esports organisations looking to become a member team.

Ninjas in Pyjamas launches Shinobi Sports, partners with Zilliqa

Image credit: NiP / Aser Ventures

Swedish esports organisation Ninjas in Pyjamas and investment platform Aser Ventures have announced the launch of a joint venture called Shinobi Sports.

The new venture will offer a suite of management, studio, and media services to sports teams looking to explore esports. Moreover, the organisation has also teamed up with blockchain company Zilliqa to create virtual experiences for ‘esports and crypto enthusiasts’.

Riot Games and Mercedes-Benz unveil 2021 Worlds Championship rings

Image credit: Riot Games

Game publisher Riot Games, in collaboration with German automotive giant Mercedes-Benz, has unveiled a commemorative championship ring for the 2021 League of Legends World Championship.

Riot Games and Mercedes-Benz will present each member of the 2021 World Championship winning team with one of the custom-fitted championship rings following the Worlds Final in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Fnatic hires Stuart Brown as Esports Operations Lead

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Fnatic

London-based organisation Fnatic has appointed Stuart Brown, formerly of The Football Association (FA), as its first Esports Operations Lead.

According to a release, the newly created role intends to provide all of Fnatic’s rosters with ‘best-in-class team management’.

SPORT1 and Psyonix extend Rocket League broadcast partnership

SPORT1 x Psyonix
Image credit: Psyonix

German television broadcaster SPORT1 and video game developer Psyonix have extended its existing Rocket League partnership.

As a result, the 2021-22 Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) will be shown live on eSPORTS1 and eSportsONE in select European countries. The year-long extension includes some European RLCS matches being shown on free-to-air television from 8PM CEST every Sunday. 

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ESI Digest 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.