Esports Insider reveals Finalists for The Clutch 2023

The Clutch 2023 finalists

Events and media company Esports Insider has announced the finalists for pitch investment competition The Clutch, which takes place this year on October 19th during ESI London 2023.

The four finalists will pitch live at ESI London in front of a panel of judges, where the winner will receive £3,000 alongside business and mentorship support from The Clutch 2023 headline partners HSBC UK and EXCEL ESPORTS.

ESI London 2024

The Clutch is a pitch investment competition that sees startups in esports, video games, and the creator economy in need of funding or mentorship pitch their business ideas.

Esports Insider has named The Clutch 2023’s four finalists (in no particular order):

  • UNEVN – Esports-focused portable gaming setup

UNEVN is an esports-ready, all-in-one portable gaming setup designed to make the frequent travel required of esports easy. Boasting a made-for-esports design and claiming a 1-minute setup time, UNEVN aims to simplify the process of setting up at bootcamps and LAN parties.

  • Mapshot – Branding agency with focus on in-game branding experiences

Mapshot is a branding agency that creates bespoke in-game experiences for brands and advertisers. Spanning games like Counter-Strike, Fortnite, Roblox and Minecraft, Mapshot seeks to build captivating brand experiences for players by creating themed but authentic worlds in players’ favourite games.

  • GameStars Inc. – Mobile competitive platform for after-hours gamers

GameStars is a competitive gaming platform for ordinary mobile gamers. Seeking to extend competition beyond the confines of the top tier and into the hands of everyday gamers, GameStars acts as a platform where any of the millions of mobile gamers for major titles like PUBG Mobile, Brawl Stars and Clash Royale can take part in national & international leagues to compete for prizes.

  • SONIX app – Ultra-low latency and HD voice chat designed for gamers.

SONIX builds on the need for fast and reliable communications in competitive gaming with an ‘ultra-low latency’ and HD voice chat solution. The company aims to disrupt entrenched mass-market competitors such as Discord and TeamSpeak by offering what it claims is the fastest voice chat in the world. Currently partnered with prominent French esports organisation Karmine Corp, SONIX bills itself as designed for esports teams and competitively-minded ‘gaming crews’.

Alongside this year’s four finalists, Esports Insider’s internal decision-making committee decided to grant honourable mentions to: esports player stock market, micro-gaming influencer firm, and teamwork-improving AI analytics tool

What is The Clutch?

The Clutch 2023 judges
The judges for The Clutch 2023

The Clutch is Esports Insider’s pitch investment competition. It has been a regular feature at esports business conference ESI London since 2019. The Clutch is open to startup companies in or prior to their first seed round that have a focus on esports, video games, or the creator economy space.

The four finalists will be given five minutes to pitch their proposals to a panel of four expert judges, which can be presented via video, slideshow presentation, a mixture of both, or entirely through speech. This strict 5 minute pitch deadline will be followed by a 10 minute window for the panel to ask questions.

The Clutch 2023’s live pitch segment will take place from 16:40 till 17:45 BST on October 19th at ESI London. This year’s judges include:

  • Will Turner – Head of Strategic Growth, Partnership & Innovation, HSBC UK
  • Kartik Arya – Co Head, HSBC Kinetic
  • Mark Carter – Commercial Director, EXCEL ESPORTS
  • Lisa Hau, COO, Bidstack

The winner will walk away with £3,000 cash, a trophy, as well as business support from The Clutch’s partners. This year’s headline partners, HSBC UK and EXCEL ESPORTS, will provide business opportunities through HSBC’s global network, access to marketing workshops and brand building with EXCEL ESPORTS, and usage of EXCEL’s London and Berlin offices.

Additional prizes will be provided by HSBC UK and EXCEL ESPORTS, the Official Incubator Partner University of Warwick’s Creative Futures, and the Official Community Marketing Partner Socially.

Previous winners of The Clutch have gone on to see major success. Winners from earlier editions have included the likes of Mouseskins, and iTero Gaming.

Tickets to watch The Clutch — alongside attending industry panels, workshops, networking and two days of social activities — can purchase tickets to ESI London 2023 here.

Esports Insider