Canadian esports and entertainment company X1 Esports has agreed to acquire Rocket League news outlet ShiftRLE and hire its key staff.
X1 Esports will purchase the entirety of ShiftRLE in return for $50,000 (~£41,500) in cash; roughly CAD$150,000 (~£97,000) worth of X1’s common shares distributed to each of ShiftRLE’s four key personnel; and a 7% share of gross revenues that Shift earns in the first 36 months following the closure of the deal.
The 7% gross revenue share in the deal is capped at a maximum of $250,000 (~£208,000), paid in cash or common shares.
The acquisition also sees X1 agree to hire each of Shift’s four key personnel to continue running the outlet. Jalen Jones, Co-founder of ShiftRLE, will act as the Operations Manager of Shift Media. Achilleas Vaios Fotiou, also Co-founder of ShiftRLE, will be the organisation’s Investigative Lead. Martin Faltus will become Digital Content Lead, and Louis Sliwa will assume the role of Designer and Community Manager.
ShiftRLE — RLE being short for Rocket League Esports — is an online news outlet that breaks and reports roster moves, transfers, behind-the-scenes tryouts and other news from the scene. X1 claimed the outlet is seeing ‘strong user engagement and growth’, in part thanks to Rocket League’s continued growth as an esport.
Shift was first established in April 2020 as a Twitter account, before launching a website as it looked to monetise its growing audience. According to its sales deck, Shift offers brand activations across its platforms and has plans to expand its content creation avenues, including through video and live streamed content.
The sales deck also claims Shift received 1.3m profile visits on Twitter between December 13th, 2021 and January 3rd, 2022 — the latest transfer window for Rocket Leagues’ main esports circuit RLCS.
X1 Esports said the acquisition, which comes in the form of an Asset Purchase Agreement (APA), would help deliver on its core strategic priorities of building out its esports and video game portfolio. Moreover, the deal will look to strengthen X1’s position in video game media. X1 owns other esports assets, including British esports organisation Rix.GG.
Since X1 is a publicly traded company, trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange, the deal is still subject to closing conditions, including X1 entering into consulting agreements with the four key Shift personnel. The deal is expected to close within 10 days of the execution of the Agreement.
The acquisition marks a positive turn in an otherwise tough time for endemic esports news publications. In July, Inven Global closed its editorial department, and in March Upcomer laid off the bulk of its writing staff. CS:GO outlet Rush B media also shut down in February.