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Sports veterans start esports advisory firm

Niji Narayan

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Photo source: digitalsport.co
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Mike Sepso, a co-founder of Major League Gaming (MLG), has teamed up with former National Basketball Association (NBA) executive Bobby Sharma to launch Electronic Sports Group (ESG), a new global advisory firm for the esports industry.

The new entity will strive to speed up the development of competitive gaming by helping the clients make strategic business decisions in advertising, finance, sports and media industries.

Former HBO Sports president Ken Hershman will also join ESG to take up a partner position with the new company.

More recently, however, the likes of HP, Intel and Mastercard have signed esports partnerships, while other companies have realigned their sponsorship budgets to pledge more towards the gaming industry.

“The biggest hurdle for esports to overcome in 2019 is to attract meaningful investment from brands. The challenge is authentically connecting brands with a large, global audience. A key challenge for rights holders and brands is a level of comfort and understanding. ESG hopes to be a key participant in bridging that divide.” concluded Sepso.

 

eSports

Lamborghini Enters eSports Arena

Niji Narayan

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Lamborghini Enters eSports Arena
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Car manufacturer Lamborghini has entered the world of esports with The Real Race, a global esports competition open to Assetto Corsa Competizione players of all levels. Assetto Corsa Competizione is an extraordinary racing simulation game developed by Kunos Simulazioni.

The tournament started on 29 May with five qualifier weekends, before culminating in a live final at Lamborghini’s headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy.

The Real Race will be Lamborghini’s first official entry into eSports, delivering a new sim racing championship blending the real and virtual worlds of racing. Assetto Corsa Competizione was developed alongside car manufacturers and provides a dynamic platform for Lamborghini’s latest racing series.

The top three players from the tournament’s live finals will enjoy a three-day experience in Italy, the home of Lamborghini. Players will have a chance to train alongside Lamborghini Squadra Corse drivers and to drive a real Lamborghini race car at an internationally- renowned racetrack. The competition is open to all experience levels.

Five qualifier weeks take place from 29 May to 2 August. The top three players from the first and last qualifier weekend and top two players from the second, third and fourth weekend, will be whisked away by Lamborghini to the live final on 18 September, where the best drivers will be determined.

“Sim racing is one of the fastest growing sectors in eSports, with eSports increasingly important to younger generations. I also follow it closely! This is an opportunity for us to combine the excitement of virtual racing with the appeal of Lamborghini cars and our motorsports program. ESports creates an environment where race heroes and top drivers can be challenged by anyone. This encourages wider engagement with real-life racing, reflected by Lamborghini’s investment in this new sports platform,” Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini, said.

“I’ve paid close attention to the rise of eSports. Seeing the realism of racing games and how drivers are using racing simulators to practice, or professional eSports players going from simulation to the real thing, is just incredible. The Real Race is designed to portray realism and professionalism. Skills in sim racing are so transferable, which is why Lamborghini wants to give players an opportunity to test drive the real thing as part of the prize. There’s nothing quite like getting behind the wheel of a Lamborghini,” David Coulthard MBE, former Formula One racing driver, who will be the studio-based commentator for the live event, said.

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eSports

NBA 2K League Season 3 Week 5 Preview

George Miller

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NBA 2K League Season 3 Week 5 Preview
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Blazer5 Gaming point guard Nidal “Mama Im Dat Man” Nasser was named NBA 2K League Player of the Week for Week 4 of the 2020 NBA 2K League season. Having set the NBA 2K League record for most points in regulation with 77 points against Bucks Gaming last week, Nasser has led Blazer5 Gaming to a 4-1 record on the season. Blazer5 Gaming will visit Kings Guard Gaming on Wednesday, June 3 at 9 p.m. ET and Warriors Gaming Squad on Friday, June 5 at 9 p.m. ET.

DEFENDING THE CROWN: Anchored by 2019 NBA 2K League All-Defensive Team member Yusuf “Yusuf_Scarbz” Abdulla (Canada), Kings Guard Gaming’s defense has turned heads in the first four weeks of the NBA 2K League season. On May 28, Sacramento held Jazz Gaming to seven points in the first half, setting the record for the least amount of points allowed in one half. Kings Guard Gaming’s impressive defense will get its biggest test of the season when they host Blazer5 Gaming Wednesday, June 3 at 9 pm/et.

ROOKIE DUEL: Two of the most talked about rookies in the NBA 2K League will meet
when John “JBM” Mascone and Wizards District Gaming hosts Kimmani “Splashy” Ingram and Jazz Gaming on Friday, June 5 at 9 p.m. ET. Mascone was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft delivered by Panera Bread while Ingram was the No. 10 overall pick.

WEST COAST SHOWDOWN: Entering the 2019 NBA 2K League Playoffs as the No. 8 seed, Warriors Gaming Squad pulled off the upset against Blazer5 Gaming, the top seeded team.  The teams will meet in the NBA 2K League “Game of the Week” on Friday, June 5 at 9 p.m. ET.  Both teams had coaching changes in the offseason.  Golden State hired Mike Newton, a former member of the NBA G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors coaching staff, while Portland tabbed Andrew Maxie, a former professional basketball player who played in Australia, Italy, Ireland, Macedonia, Mexico and Canada.

THREE MORE: In addition to tonight’s broadcast, ESPN2 has picked up three additional nights of NBA 2K League competition –Friday, June 5, Tuesday, June 9 and Wednesday, June 10.  Games begin at 7 p.m. ET.

THIS IS NOT A GAME – BP: From Bridgeport, C.T., Michael “BP” Diaz (Puerto Rico) began playing NBA 2K in 2011, but when he was 15 years old his entire life changed.  The future 2K League player was diagnosed with keratoconus, a progressive eye disease that has left him blind in his right eye. Despite this challenge, he was selected with the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft by Kings Guard Gaming and was named a finalist for the 2019 NBA 2K League Most Valuable Award.

Acquired by Hawks Talon GC in arguably the biggest trade in league history, the dynamic point guard has led the Atlanta squad to a 3-2 record in the 2020 season.  Diaz and Hawks Talon GC will host Warriors Gaming Squad on Thursday, June 4 at 9 p.m. ET.

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eSports

Esports Entertainment Group Appoints Industry Veteran Magnus Leppäniemi as VP of Marketing and Head of Esports at Vie.gg

George Miller

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Esports Entertainment Group Appoints Industry Veteran Magnus Leppäniemi as VP of Marketing and Head of Esports at Vie.gg
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Esports Entertainment Group, Inc., a licensed online gambling company with a focus on esports wagering and 18+ gaming, today announced that Magnus Leppäniemi has joined the Company as Vice President of Marketing and Head of Esports at Vie.gg. Mr. Leppäniemi is a gaming industry veteran and brings more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience.

“Magnus is a proven marketing executive with invaluable knowledge of the gaming and esports industry,” commented Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group. “Over more than two decades in gaming, Magnus has built an extensive network of relationships that could provide tremendous value as we execute on our global growth strategy.”

Since beginning his career in the gaming industry in 1996, Leppäniemi has sold and managed global esports partnerships for major brands and partners like Intel, BenQ Zowie, Electronic Arts, Activision, ESL, and the NBA. Prior to joining Esports Entertainment Group, Leppäniemi was Global Sales Director for Wehype. Previously, he served as Sales Director North America at DreamHack, a Swedish production company specializing in esports tournaments and other gaming conventions.

“I’m very excited to join the Esports Entertainment team,” commented Leppäniemi. “As the first online betting company to list on NASDAQ, the Company has a great pedigree that we can continue to build on. We want to build trust with the players, fans, teams, publishers, and the community and give them a unique esports experience. Esports betting is here to stay, and we want to build the premier platform in the industry that benefits the gaming and esports communities. I look forward to accelerating our marketing efforts, refining our go-to-market models, and building out our esports initiatives.”

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