Esports investment report, February 2022: VSPN, Metafy, Astralis

After an immensely important January for the world of esports, February saw investments, mergers, and acquisitions get back to a regular pace. However, that doesn’t mean that we’re short on good stories,

From VSPN going public in Hong Kong to Astralis buying an online TV station, here’s a look at the biggest esports investment stories for February! 

Spotlighted Story 

EVOS Esports launches a basketball team

ESJ Evos basketball
This article first appeared in The Esports Journal Edition 10

Asian esports organisation EVOS Esports made an interesting venture recently. The company, most known for its rosters in a number of mobile esports titles, expanded to traditional sports and started a basketball team that will compete in the First Indonesian League.

The new team, called EVOS Thunder, shows what can happen in the future of esports.

VSPN files for Hong Kong IPO

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: VSPN

One of the largest tournament organisers in Asia, VSPN, has made plans to go public in the near future. The company plans to grow infrastructure and operations in Asia and then make plans for expansion in the West. 

In 2021, VSPN raised $60m during its Series B+ investment round and an undisclosed ‘multi-million’ round later in the year.

Metafy raises $25m

Metafy platform logo
Image credit: Metafy

Esports coaching startup Metafy secured a funding round of $25m, part of which will be used to give back to the community through tournaments and events.

This is the largest investment in an esports-coaching startup ever and was led by Tiger Global Management, a company that invested in Facebook and Spotify, as well as Seven Seven Six ventures, the VC company founded by Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

REWE becomes a partial owner of SK Gaming

Image credit: SK Gaming

After Lidl and SK Gaming’s partnership concluded, the German esports organisation did not waste any time and found another retailer. REWE first partnered with SK Gaming last year and has since doubled down on the partnership in February 2022 by officially entering the company’s ownership group.

REWE joins Deutsche Telekom, Mercedes-Benz and 1.FC Köln in the ownership group.

Astralis acquires Danish internet TV station 

Image credit: Astralis / PIXEL.TV

Danish esports organisation Astralis has acquired the first internet TV station in Denmark, PIXEL.TV.

According to the release, the acquisition is expected to enhance the digital production capabilities of Astralis, while still producing PIXEL.TV content. 

Kairos Group acquires Horizon Union

Gaming media company Kairos Group has acquired Manchester-based gaming and esports organisation Horizon Union.

As a result, the organisation will become a part of the Kairos Group, a company that includes esports and gaming agency Kairos Media and Kairos Ventures, as well as Turopium Sports and Entertainment. 

The University of Warwick receives a £135,000 grant for esports mentoring programme

warwick university esports centre players
The University of Warwick opened its Esports Centre in May 2021. Image credit: University of Warwick

The University of Warwick has announced it will receive a £135,000 government grant to provide opportunities to young people through esports.

The funds will be used to provide experiences and opportunities to 16 to 24-year-old ‘NEETs’ — young people that are not engaged in education, employment, or training.

NC State receives $16m to build esports facilities on campus

NC State University photo
Photo credit: NC State University

North Carolina State University has received a $16m grant from the state government to establish esports facilities on its campus.

Approximately $12m will be allocated towards an on-campus esports arena while $4 million will be put towards building a mobile gaming centre or ‘esports truck’. 

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