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New York witnesses the first Esports Activate showcase which got off to a flying start this morning



Esports is nearly a billion-dollar business that has grown at an extraordinary speed. Photo credits:
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Featuring an array of America’s leading esports organisations, the first Esports Activate showcase got off to a flying start this morning in New York. Becoming a launching pad for the organisations to present their digital, media, experiential, and sponsorship inventory to marketers and buyers the event comprised diverse panels featuring high-level media executives who explicated their work with esports and threw light on why they feel it is so important to foster partnerships.

Esports is nearly a billion-dollar business that has grown at an exceedingly great speed, particularly over the past five years. Male millennials and Gen-Zers are the core audience for the genre that has grown by leap and bounds, but not all. In fact, 1 in 3 esports fans is female, and it’s increasingly becoming a social experience one can share with friends and family.

Guy Costantini, Skydance Media VP of global interactive marketing said: “Esports now has two different audiences. There are the people who have ample time to play games for hours on hours per week, and then there’s an audience who want to watch people play at the highest level, but don’t have the time to dedicate multiple hours to a game.”

Esports interaction is happening at a wide array of venues, not just in front of a screen. “Yes, esports combines digital and entertainment, but this is an audience that values social interactions at gaming conferences and live events,” said Craig Levine, the Chief Strategy Officer for ESL, the world’s largest esports company. “Live events are a big piece of esports’ success, and an important way for brands to successfully integrate.”

When it comes to esports, social interaction and conversation are significant. This is a digital sport for a digital generation, said Hi-Rez, COO Todd Harris, and it attracts an audience that is engaged, sophisticated and discerning when it comes to brand integration.

“The esports audience has a nose for BS. They don’t like ‘logo slaps’ but they do like value exchange with a brand,” said Harris. “When there is good content within the game or on YouTube, then they will support that brand tremendously.”

Shi Deng, the Co-Founder of the Big Blue Esports team, Boston’s esports management and events company, echoed Harris’s sentiment.

“Slapping your logo on a broadcast is a weak way to engage with your audience,” said Deng. “It’s almost like selling out your community, and we want brands to contribute to the community.”

Some of the most successful and high-profile brands in the esports space include lifestyle brands like Red Bull as well as Coca-Cola, T-Mobile and Toyota.

The line between esports and traditional pro sports leagues appears to be blurring, so much so that 17 NBA teams will be part of the upcoming NBA 2K league, a competition it created in partnership with Take-Two Interactive, the developer of the popular NBA 2K series. The league’s first season begins in May, and NBA teams will begin drafting their esports players in the coming weeks.

Once each franchise selects the five people who are going to represent it, they will be official members of their respective organiSations in April. The players will get a proper contract and sponsorship deals, just as NBA players do.

“What’s happening in the traditional sports world only helps us, and the fact that NBA and NFL teams are getting into the space is having a positive impact on business,” said OpTic Gaming president Ryan Musselman.

Because esports is still relatively new, it has a unique opportunity to leapfrog how other industries use data, particularly the traditional pro sports leagues, said Jon Gosier, a venture capitalist who recently founded AudiGent, an audience intelligence platform which provides artists and other influencers with new ways of monetising data.

Early on in the esports era, data was not even being considered by many brands. According to Octagon vp of insights and strategy Noah Kolodny, a good deal of his agency’s clients was interested in getting involved because esports was new, different, and there was a lot of buzzes involved.

“But then we saw spending $45 million, and as more non-endemic partners came into the space, it became harder for our clients to go to their Chief Marketing Officers and say, ‘Esports will sell products,’ without having any data to prove it,” said Kolodny.

TV is also transforming esports and pro gaming in general. As pro gaming continues to grow, so has interest in televising esports among the broadcast and cable networks. TBS has aired 21 esports telecasts since the summer of 2017, which is more than Disney XD (13), and ESPN2 (five). ESPN and NFL Network have also aired esports.


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MARE BALTICUM Gaming & TECH Summit 2024


SuperGaming Reveals Nationwide Grassroots Indus Battle Royale Esports Tournament Series With Rs. 5,50,000 Prize Pool



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Made-in-India battle royale Indus is hosting its first ever series of nationwide grassroots esports tournaments dubbed Indus Inferno. This is SuperGaming’s summer special of tournaments with prizes and bragging rights on the line — but most importantly: a chance for players to experience Indus at the highest skill level and be the best in India’s first new-generation battle royale.

Created by award-winning Pune-based developer SuperGaming, Indus is an Indo-Futuristic battle royale slated for mobile, PC, and consoles with pre-registrations live on Google Play for Android. Pre-registrations for the game have crossed 10 million already.

Indus Inferno kicked off with the Regional Scrims featuring a Rs. 50,000 prize pool this week. The scrims were met with immense excitement, with players hailing from multiple cities across India.

The Indus Inferno Finale scheduled to take place on 1st June will feature a lucrative prize pool of Rs. 5,00,000.

Player registration for the Open Qualifiers is now open and will end on 19th May. The Qualifiers are set to run from 20th May to 24th May. It is important to note that only the top 2,000 players from the Inferno in-game Leaderboard will be eligible to register for the qualifiers. The top 10 winning teams from the Open Qualifiers will earn coveted spots in the finale, joining the invited esports teams for an epic showdown.

The following teams have been invited for the Indus Inferno Finale:

  • Team Moggers

  • Team Redlock

  • Team Pushpa

  • Destruction of Game

In addition to this, teams of Indus content creators, community members, several esports organizations as well as winners of past playtests will be present for the tournament. There’s a total prize pool of Rs. 5,00,000 with the winners netting Rs. 2,50,000 and the runners-up, third-place, and fourth place getting Rs. 1,00,000, Rs. 75,000, and Rs. 50,000 respectively. The most valuable player will get Rs. 25,000.

More importantly, the finale will feature India’s top esports team owners so Indus’ best players can have face to face opportunities to be scouted for a career in esports playing Indus. These include:

  • Godlike Esports

  • Revenant Esports

  • Orangutan

  • Entity Gaming

  • Reckoning Esports

  • Carnival Gaming

  • Chemin Esports

  • True Rippers

  • Enigma Gaming

  • Team Tamilas

  • Marcos Gaming

  • TWOB

“With Indus Inferno and previous Indus esports tournaments that we’ve been running since last year such as the Indus Invitational and Indus Unchained, we want to lay the foundation for a sustainable esports ecosystem for our community and the nation at large,” says SuperGaming CEO and Co-Founder Roby John. “Having India’s best esports team owners at the finale is our small way of making that happen.”

SuperGaming is also going to have exclusive rewards, developer panels, and more, so head on over to the official Indus Discord server for all the details.

Players will be able to share their thoughts on various aspects of the game and impact the direction of how SuperGaming crafts its most ambitious title yet through this official esports tournament.

This is inline with how SuperGaming has crafted its biggest hits — MaskGun and Silly Royale. Popular multiplayer shooter MaskGun has amassed over 80 million players since its launch with a relentless focus on putting its players first leading to some of its biggest community members featuring in-game as well as celebrating India-specific events like Diwali.

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Anichess, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands and the progressive chess-based online strategy game developed in partnership with and five-time World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, today announced a partnership with global esports brand Team Secret to further connect competitive gaming and Web3. John Yao, CEO of Team Secret, will join Anichess as an advisor.

Anichess is an innovative chess-based Web3 game developed in a collaboration between Animoca Brands and, the renowned global online chess platform. Anichess provides a novel tactical twist on the classic game of chess by implementing spells that open up new strategies and gameplay, and that require players to rethink the rules of traditional chess as they uncover the expansive lore within the world of the gameboard. Anichess recently raised a funding round of US$1.8 million, led by Sfermion and Amber Group with participation from Fenbushi Capital, Aspen Digital, SNZ Capital, and others (see announcement of 25 April 2024).

Team Secret is a global esports brand dedicated to bringing together the best gamers to compete worldwide, while also delivering entertaining experiences to its fans. It offers advertising and promotional sponsorship, talent and team development, business management, coaching, and other forms of support to both professional and aspiring players in the esports arena.

The partnership between Anichess and Team Secret aims to solidify chess’s esports status by combining a new platform to play and learn on for an engaged audience of up-and-coming online chess masters. Ahead of the player-versus-player (PvP) mode launch later in Q2 2024, Anichess will receive input from Team Secret on its game design as well as support in bringing the spellbinding game to a dedicated community of esports players.

“Esports has always been a core pillar of Anichess’ modernization of chess’ legacy,” said Brian Chan, head of Anichess. “Anichess’s engaging visuals, tools to improve and thrilling spells make it an amazing platform for all competitors, regardless of chess experience. We look forward to those willing to take on the challenge when PvP arrives in-game soon.”

“For how ancient the game of chess is, its esports scene is a fresh, rising star in terms of viewership, player base and tournaments,” said John Yao, CEO of Team Secret. “Anichess is a promising twist on chess, with even more of what makes the original great: compelling tactics, broad recognition and rewards for players willing to think outside the box and surprise opponents. I’m looking forward to guiding Anichess into the realm of esports and integrating the new chess platform into our dedicated community.”

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Kambi and Abios Join ESIC as Anti-Corruption Supporters



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The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has announced Kambi and Abios, its esports data subsidiary, as new ESIC Anti-Corruption Supporters. This partnership signals the alignment of Kambi’s longstanding commitment to corporate probity and sports integrity with ESIC’s ongoing battle against match-fixing and corruption in esports.

Kambi and Abios join a distinguished class of other Anti-Corruption Supporter stakeholders who have historically worked with ESIC to ensure that attacks against the competitive integrity of esports competition are appropriately reported and dealt with. Anti-Corruption Supporters assist ESIC in investigating suspicious betting activity, supporting ESIC’s broader mission to combat cheating and betting fraud in the esports industry. Kambi and Abios’ entrance into the Anti-Corruption Supporter class will see the entities actively work with ESIC to assist in ESIC’s mission to disrupt, prevent, investigate and prosecute all attempts to compromise competitive integrity in esport competition.

Abios’ Managing Director and Founder, Anton Janér, commented: “Our mission at Abios has always been to enable the sustainable growth of esports. As such, we’re incredibly excited to join ESIC in their mission to future-proof esports through combatting match-fixing and other integrity-related malpractices. Fair play is a crucial component in ensuring the viability of esports as a long-term community and investment and we hope to be able to support the industry together with ESIC going forward.”

Stephen Hanna, ESIC’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are pleased to welcome Kambi and Abios as Anti-Corruption Supporters. Kambi and Abios are well trusted and recognised operators in their respective industries, and their entrance into the Anti-Corruption Supporter class of ESIC membership emphasises their shared commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity and fair play within the esports industry.”

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