1) Over $4 Billion Has Been Invested into Esports in March 2021
Did you know that more than $4 billion were invested into Esports… In March alone?
We have mentioned all of these investments (mostly acquisitions) in the past “News of the Weeks” but here’s a summary of them all:
- Overwolf ($75m raised)
- Envy Gaming ($40m raised)
- Rivalry ($20m raised)
- Luckbox ($17.8m raised)
- NODWIN Gaming (~£16.18m)
- Maestro ($15m raised)
- 1v1Me ($2m Pre-Seed raised)
- Organization.gg ($600K+ raised)GGWP ($350K raised)
- GameSquare x Reciprocity ($11.57m)
As you can notice, all of these companies together don’t make that gargantuan number. That’s because the biggest investment (around $4 billion) came from the acquisition of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang developer, Moonton.
2) The $100K “Annihilator Cup” Hosted by AT&T
On April 2, AT&T started its first-ever live-streamed esports event with Twitch streamers competing for a $100K prize during five weeks, on five different games: Apex Legends, Among Us, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Halo3, and Mortal Kombat 11.
With a total of 20 players, the roster contains current C9’s PVPx and former Shroud, 100 Thieves’ Yassuo, Mizkif, Emiru, among others, and includes legendary casters Lauren “Pansy” Scott (CS: GO) and Chris Puckett (Halo 3).
3) NFT Collections: Sentinels, 100 Thieves, and Tfue Joins The Digital Party
Without a doubt, “non-fungible tokens” or simply “NFTs” is today’s buzzword and for great reasons of being. Teams like Sentinels and 100 Thieves, as well as former FaZe clan star Tfue, know that.
That’s why Sentinels released 200 NFT trophies for their Masters 1 at $51.28 or 0.025 Ethereum. It’s available for sale on Rarible but just for a limited time (82 out of 200 still out).
The first champions. The only trophies.
Only 200 get to own the first SEN-FT. pic.twitter.com/HrtWxAe2AL
— Sentinels (@Sentinels) April 2, 2021
100 Thieves joined the party with eight pieces from the Infinity apparel collection.
Listed on foundation.app/100thieves, four were given to fans and the other four went for auction on April 6 and they were sold over 1.00 ETH (Ethereum base price is around $2,000).
— 100 Thieves (@100Thieves) April 6, 2021
Last, but not least, the Tfue (Turner Tenney) NFT collection is called the “NFTfue King of Gaming Collection“, and it includes three animations and bobbleheads.
The auction at OpenSea.io started today (April 8) and it closes down on April 10 at 7 pm EST.
Introducing the NFTfue King of Gaming Collection – my own personal NFT series bringing me to life through special edition game characters! RT for your chance to win a Tfue NFT Bobblehead! Visit https://t.co/gm72oFIlY1 for more information about my NFTs and how to buy! #NFT pic.twitter.com/TsH9K9DLNW
— Tfue (@TTfue) April 6, 2021
4) MADMONQ x BLAST Premier + tilr Corporation x Skinz.gg = New Partnerships
Two big esports partnerships were made public during the same week of April.
The first one is between BLAST Premier and gaming supplements MADMONQ to provide in-game health-focused content during the CS:GO Spring Season BLAST’s broadcasts that will take place from April 13 to April 18.
Another big wellness brand name, Skinz.gg shakes hands with AI hiring platform tilr Corporation to host a job board with its skill matching/mapping algorithm inside Skinz’s website. They plan to ease the hiring process for both job seekers and hiring managers.
Although it’s quite a weird mix, partnerships that help the final user to get the desired job (especially in a post-pandemic situation) will always be well-received.
5) Partnerships Renewed: PSG Esports x Betway + Misfits Gaming x SoFi
We just saw companies that are starting to work together and now we’ll see those that have been collaborating for years.
As in the case of Betway and PSG.LGD first partnered in 2018 and signed a six-figure deal one year after with the Dota 2 team. So they’ll keep associated with more LDG Gaming and other esports future endeavors.
— PSG Esports (@PSGeSports) March 29, 2021
The same can be said about Misfits Gaming Group and its partnership renewal with SoFi.
They first started to sponsor Florida Mutineers (Call of Duty) and the Florida Mayhem (Overwatch) in 2019, where the company benefited from a 56% increase in brand trust.
The plan now is to collaborate on original content related to financial literacy, which is going to be published on the MGG content creator channels, as well as the official team one.
6) TSM University: Brand New Collegiate Program
The Team SoloMid University or just “TSMU” is a new Discord server for esports aspiring professionals who would like to learn more about the industry and engage with both the amateur and pro-community.
TSM’s product manager Allie Hahe says you’ll get “career panels, question-and-answer segments with top industry professionals, and tournament watch parties, all for free.”
Introducing our brand new collegiate program, TSMU!
Your go-to free community for learning, gaming, networking, and much more in the world of esports and TSM!
— TSM (@TSM) April 6, 2021
If you’ve been planning on taking the first step and making great connections and/or get the right perspective of the industry, then its internship programs are also for you.
7) ESIC and FBI Work Together on CS:GO Match-Fixing Investigation
The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) started to investigate match-fixing right when the scandal coaches exploiting a spectating bug was recently heard of. But while in-game experts thought this could be easily solved with VODs, they’re still going all in.
Ian Smith, ESIC commissioner reported betting agencies got their dirty hands into it, bribing teams to lose matches to force profits in favor of betting syndicates.
That’s where the FBI comes in. They work for RICO (also known as the “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act).
While a good part of the match-fixing evidence has been retrieved from Discord and no results have been publicly announced after a year of ongoing research, it seems like the ESIC is close to reaching the verdict. It’s yet to be known which leagues were involved.
8) Tournaments: Halo Infinite + PUBG Mobile World Class
Nothing makes esports fans happier than brand new esports tournaments IPs.
While Halo is no new to esports, Tashi announced on Twitter that Microsoft found a place and date for the first-ever Halo Infinite event (possibly held in the series Championship Series). More details might be announced in the summer if the pandemic doesn’t change it.
I’m planning to have a great weekend, hope you are too. GLHF to everyone competing. pic.twitter.com/8kwxxygpRT
— Tashi (@Tashi343i) April 3, 2021
It’s worth mentioning that this is not the first attempt to make Halo Infinite’s esports happen. Microsoft announced a deal with Esports Engine in 2020 to run the Halo Championship Series.
Well, console players aren’t the only lucky ones, because PUBG Mobile Esports is adding seven new regions (North America, Brazil, LATAM, CIS, Turkey, Arabia, and Western Europe) for competitions and a brand new World Class Tournament.
The PUBG MOBILE Pro League (PMPL) 2021 program schedule is also out, covering four regions with a total $14 million prize pool.
9) Teamfight Tactics (TFT) Fates Championship Is Here
Riot Games’ auto-battler has grown a lot since its 2019 release. So much so, that the second Teamfight Tactics (TFT) Fates Championship tournament (or Fates Worlds) is now being contested for a total $250,000 prize pool.
During three days (April 7, 8, and 9), you can watch the 24 players from eight regions battling either on Riot’s YouTube and Twitch channels, or respectively competitor’s live streams. Here’s a list of them all:
- EU/CIS/TUR (six players): Pas De Bol, Lyyyress, Bränk, ZyKOo, Ginggg, Lallana
- NA (four players): Mismatched Socks, Kurumx, DQA, RamKev
OCE (one player): Razza
- CN (five players): Juanzi, Huanmie, Luoyi, Kezi, Saopimi
- KR (three players): Palchaseon, Ting Ding, Gangcheondung
- JP (one player): Yatsuhashi
- BR (two players): Shinri and Narkesh
- LA (two players): GOAT Lion and PieHat
10) LoL: DAMWON Gaming World Skins and Pentakill Return at 2021 LCS Mid-S. Showdown
More from Riot but this time in the form of League of Legends: the splash arts for Worlds 2020 Damwon Gaming’s championship winner skins are finally out, after seven months of wait.
The design is inspired by the blue-and-silver color palette they had last year.
The 2020 DAMWON Gaming World Champions Skins
Nuguri – Kennen
Canyon – Nidalee
ShowMaker – Twisted Fate
Ghost – Jhin
BeryL – Leona pic.twitter.com/zVzBcBQppu
— Korizon (@KorizonEsports) April 3, 2021
Sadly, no more information has been released (release date or in-game models and animations) but they compensate it somehow with the comeback of PENTAKILL, LoL’s virtual metal band.
The original band members (Yorick, Karthus, Sona, Mordekaiser, Kayle, Olaf) will play on the LCS Mid-Season Showdown final (April 11) at the Greek Theater, presented by Jørn Lande, after four years since the “Grasp of the Undying ” album came out in 2017.
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) April 6, 2021
Loves Gears of Wars. Hates Lag. Jesus is the go-to guy for football and esports. He never fixed the Red Rings off his Xbox 360.
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