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Esports veterans launch a new esports technology company

Niji Ng

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Photo source: variety.com
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Esports industry veterans Alexander Garfield, CEO of Evil Geniuses, is teaming with some of the top professionals in the industry to launch, Popdog, a new eSports technology and services company. The others who are part of the initiative are Andreas Thorstensson, a former Counter-Strike world champion and co-founder of SK Gaming, Niles Heron, a consultant who part of the development of TechStars, Gener8tor and Detroit’s TechTown, and Colin DeShong. The company will develop solutions to optimise live streaming for tournaments, talent, and publishers. The company has already received a $9 million Series A funding round led by Makers Fund and Korea Investment Partners.

“We’re building our company around the core belief that eSports and gaming video content, born more from technology than any other sports or entertainment verticals we’ve seen, need better technology in order to be properly understood, monetised, and optimised,” says company CEO Garfield in a prepared statement.

“The industry needs a backend, and our mission is to be that backend by supporting the ecosystem as a whole with a comprehensive offering of technology and services. This funding brings us one step closer to fulfilling that mission. We’ve already assembled an incredible team of industry leaders, product experts, and eSports veterans, and we’re excited to begin rolling out a suite of products that we think will make operating in the space transparent and scalable, as opposed to opaque and speculative.”

Alexander Garfield wins the International tournament twice and is best known for his role in helping to build pro-gaming organisations Evil Geniuses and Alliance into eSports heavyweights. In 2014, Garfield sold the teams’ parent company GoodGame to Twitch.

Popdog’s co-founders include CTO and CPO Andreas Thorstensson, CSO Niles Heron, and CCO Colin DeShong.

Niji has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. Besides reporting industry headlines from all around the globe, Niji is also head of the content management team at Impressions Content Management, based in Kerala, India, which offers writing and editing services to clients around the world.

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eSports

Huami Becomes McLaren Applied Technologies’ eSports Wearables Partner

George Miller

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Huami Becomes McLaren Applied Technologies' eSports Wearables Partner
Photo Source: yogonet.com
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The collaboration will see jointly developed co-branded solutions and wearable technologies

 

McLaren Applied Technologies announced that it has entered into a strategic collaboration with Huami Corporation, a biometric and activity data-driven company with significant expertise in smart wearable technology, to jointly develop co-branded intelligent, data-driven, customized performance optimization solutions and wearable technologies in the future.

These co-developed, co-branded products will work seamlessly with mobile applications to provide users with a comprehensive view of their biometric and activity data, particularly in relation to health and wellness-based activities and competitive esports, a market segment of growing popularity over recent years. The collaboration will explore the application of metrics-driven wearables that contribute to the optimisation of human performance in the field of racing, such as body sensors and AI technology.

The first stage of the collaboration will see Huami Partner with the McLaren Shadow Project esports competition. Huami technology will be used to help select the winner of the competition, held at the McLaren Technology Centre between January 16 – 17, 2019. The winner will be chosen from seven finalists after four days of virtual and real-world racing as well as rigorous human performance testing by McLaren Applied Technologies. Throughout the finals week, assessment sessions will include stimulus detection, central processing, physical capabilities and driving skill that will utilise biometric data collected from Huami’s high-quality wearable products to evaluate human performance characteristics exhibited during the event.

Duncan Bradley, Health Unit Business Director at McLaren Applied Technologies, commented:
“This is a hugely exciting announcement for McLaren Applied Technologies. Huami is a global leader in the wearables technology space and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to co-develop products as part of this long-term technical partnership. The involvement of McLaren Applied Technologies in McLaren Shadow Project is a key differentiator between our competition and others in the racing e-sports space. This offering has only been strengthened by this partnership with Huami and we’re pleased to have such a trusted partner on-board to help crown our winner.”

Tommy Tang, Vice President of Huami, said:
“We are excited to be working with world-leading performance design and technology solutions provider McLaren Applied Technologies and official partner to McLaren Shadow Project. We believe that this strategic partnership validates the growth potential of our high-quality wearable technology products and will help broaden our global reach. As part of our strategic collaboration, we will integrate our mutually compatible technologies to develop an innovative wearable design and create a comprehensive user experience. As a partner to McLaren Shadow Project this programme will enable Huami’s devices to be used as an invaluable data source to detail compelling insights about human physical performance that works across different sectors, including wellness and e-sports.”

“As part of our partnership we are honored to help determine the champion of McLaren Shadow Project, based on analysis of the biometric data collected from our premium wearable products,” Mr. Tang continued. “Importantly, we look forward to jointly developing smart technology wearable products that work with mobile applications to provide users with a comprehensive view of their biometric and activity data. Jointly, we can set a new standard in delivering quantifiable and actionable human performance insights.”

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Mercedes-Benz and FC Köln buy stakes in SK Gaming

Niji Ng

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Mercedes-Benz and FC Köln buy stakes in SK Gaming
Photo Source: sk-gaming.com
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FC Köln and Daimler AG (parent company of Mercedes-Benz) have bought substantial stakes in the German multigaming organisation SK Gaming. The companies reached an agreement with ESforce, who will sell 67 per cent of its stake in SK Gaming.. According to the deal, Mercedes-Benz will appear on the front of SK Gaming’s jerseys and FC Köln will have its #effzeh branding present on the sleeves.

ESforce acquired the stake in SK Gaming in September 2016, the team has recently stepped up its involvement in League of Legends as it became one of the new teams to join the franchised League of Legends European Championship (LEC). A move which undoubtedly made the organisation more attractive to investors. ESforce stated that this sale will allow them to focus on its other organisation Virtus.pro.

In a statement, ESforce said: “We are glad to have reached a deal with Daimler AG and FC Koeln. Such a major acquisition deal on the esports market is a showcase of not only our partners’ sincere motivation to contribute to the development of global esports but also SK Gaming’s remarkable performance throughout the years, which has made this brand one of the most well-recognised and beloved by esports fans around the world.

FC Köln has an existing partnership with SK Gaming which began in early 2018.

ESforce went on to add: “As the leading esports holding and one of the key market players worldwide, we strive to keep pace with the development of the global esports industry and act in accordance with all international regulations, among which the World Esports Association’s multiple team ownership rules. Together with other global esports organisations, we will continue to support and bolster esports as well as adhere to highest international standards.”

 

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eSports

Chris Park joins eSports organisation Gen.G

Niji Ng

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Chris Park joins eSports organisation Gen.G
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MLB executive vice president Chris Park has joined the South Korea-based eSports organisation Gen.G its new chief executive officer.

Park has been serving as EVP of products and marketing, managing digital product development, marketing, and international business development at MLB.

His main responsibilities at Gen.G are will be crafting and leading the day-to-day execution of Gen.G’s strategy alongside Gen.G co-founder Kevin Chou. As part of the c-suite mixup, Chou will assume the role as executive chairman.

“I can’t express how thrilled I am about this new journey into the esports world with Gen.G,” said Park, in a statement. “Having spent years with a traditional sports league, it was evident that competitive gaming was booming—well now it’s here and here to stay. I look forward to continuing to build an esports powerhouse in Gen.G, especially here in the US and specifically LA.”

Park will relocate from New York City to Gen.G’s U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles. But his onboarding will be in Seoul, South Korea at the team’s Asian headquarters as part of his onboarding.

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