100 Thieves raises $60m, S1mple enters RAID: Shadow Legends | ESI Digest #71

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 100 Thieves’ $60m funding round, S1mple entering RAID: Shadow Legends, Kenny Vaccaro founding G1, David de Gea launching Rebels Gaming, VALORANT Champions Tour’s Aim Lab expansion.

100 Thieves secures $60m funding round

North American esports organisation 100 Thieves has raised $60m (£45m) from its Series C financing round.

The financing round was led by Green Bay Ventures with support from existing and new investors such as Breyer Capital, Aglae Ventures, Tao Capital, and Willoughby Capital, among others. According to the release, the investment sees 100 Thieves have a value of around $460m (~£345.5m).

NAVI’s S1mple announced as playable character in RAID: Shadow Legends

Image credit: Plarium/ RAID: Shadow Legends

Mobile video game developer Plarium has announced that Natus Vincere (NAVI) CS:GO player Oleksandr ‘S1mple’ Kostyliev will become a playable Legendary Champion in RAID: Shadow Legends.

The partnership is a continuation of a larger collaboration between RAID and NAVI that began in January 2021. Since the deal was first announced, RAID has been the organisation’s jersey sponsor throughout this year’s competitive run.

Former NFL player Kenny Vaccaro co-founds esports organisation G1

Image credit: G1 and Jamie Thomson

Former NFL safety Kenny Vaccaro has teamed up with entrepreneurs Hunter Swensson and Cody Hendrix to launch a new esports organisation named Gamers First (G1).

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, G1 seeks to become an organisation that is built on ‘character, drive, passion and energy’.

David de Gea launches esports organisation Rebels Gaming

Image credit: Rebels Gaming

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has entered the esports industry by launching a new organisation called Rebels Gaming.

According to the release, the organisation will look to initially compete in League of Legends, VALORANT, and Rainbow Six Siege.

VALORANT Champions Tour expands Aim Lab partnership

Image credit: Riot Games

Game publisher Riot Games has expanded its partnership with FPS performance and training platform Aim Lab to include VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Latin America and EMEA, as well as the series’ global events.

The deal between Aim Lab and Riot Games was initially signed in January and covered only VALORANT’s North American Challengers circuit.

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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.