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Esports Gambling Website Rivalry Partners with MoonduckTV to Give Fans a Way to Watch $33.5M+ Esports Event

Zoltan Tundik

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As the esports scene continues to grow, eighteen of the world’s best teams are coming together from August 15th – 25th to battle for their share of a $33,500,000+ prize pool. This annual event, known amongst fans of the popular esport Dota 2 as TI9, short for The International 2019, has been held in Seattle for 6 of the last 7 years, with the 2018 event held in Vancouver. This 2019 edition makes its way to the other side of the world to host city Shanghai.

TI9 being based in Shanghai has fans thrilled in China and other Eastern time zones but has left those in European and Western time zones searching for viewing options as they find themselves 12 to 15 hours behind Shanghai, often sleeping while their favorite teams and players battle for the title.

Renowned Dota 2 esports broadcaster MoonduckTV has partnered with Rivalry.com to host the Jungle Jam in Denver, Colorado for fans who want to enjoy the main event of TI9 but not disrupt their lives too dramatically. Hundreds will attend the event in person while hundreds of thousands will watch the stream online through Twitch.

Some of the best casters and analysts in the world will descend upon Denver to add their own personal flair to

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

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GRID Becomes the Official esports Data Partner of Pinnacle

Niji Narayan

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GRID Becomes the Official esports Data Partner of Pinnacle
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Pinnacle.com has announced GRID as its official esports data partner. The deal was officially announced by Pinnacle Trading Director Marco Blume and GRID CEO Moritz Maurer.

The deal grants Pinnacle the rights to access GRID’s esports data to enhance its esports betting products. In addition to providing data, GRID will also act as a B2B partner through the promotion of Pinnacle Solution to its betting product clientele.

“We’ve gone from being one of the only bookmakers offering esports to having all the big names posting markets across different titles in the last few years. There’s no question that the quality of our product is head and shoulders above anything else out there but we know we can’t stand still and we have to work hard to stay at the top. This deal with GRID is an important part of the esports evolution at Pinnacle. We have a reputation to maintain and thanks to the quality of data that GRID can provide, we’re only going to keep improving,” Marco Blume, Trading Director of Pinnacle said.

“There is no secret as to Pinnacle’s expertise across traditional sports and track record as a pioneer in esports betting. To align ourselves with such a powerful and well respected brand pays tribute to the work we have carried out to date in executing on GRID’s vision of building a scalable data infrastructure across the most relevant esports titles whilst hitting the mark in regards to the quality of the data solutions we provide. Combining an unrivalled market share in official data assets with Pinnacle’s trading powerhouse is an exciting proposition to bring to the market,” Moritz Maurer, CEO of GRID said.

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VENN-The New Home For Gaming, Esports And Pop Culture Entertainment

George Miller

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VENN-The New Home For Gaming, Esports And Pop Culture Entertainment
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Gaming industry visionaries Ariel Horn, the four-time Emmy winning producer that pioneered esports broadcast production at Riot Games and Blizzard Entertainment, and Ben Kusin, seasoned entrepreneur and former Global Director of New Media at Vivendi Games, announced the creation of VENN – a new network launching in 2020 with live studios in New York and Los Angeles, aimed at gaming, esports and entertainment audiences. With $17 million in seed round funding from investors spanning multiple industries, this new post cable TV network will cater to the $150 billion global gaming industry and live at the intersection of entertainment and gaming cultures.

“Video games continue to define the culture of today’s youth. Streamers, casters, content creators, esports athletes – these are our new celebrities,” said Ben Kusin, Co-CEO of VENN. “VENN is giving this generation an overdue home and a heartbeat, with bi-coastal broadcast studios incorporating live audiences, premium production values, a 24/7 linear offering, and engaging and innovative formats that elevate and promote a culture traditionally overlooked by broadcast media.”

“We’ve been polishing our craft on global stages for years while dreaming up new ways to create memorable esports broadcast experiences,” said Ariel Horn, Co-CEO. “VENN will bring together the best and brightest talent to apply the same creativity and big-picture thinking to greater gaming and entertainment content, building a bridge from our industry into the world that surrounds it.”

The investment round is co-led by BITKRAFT, the first esports investment fund in the world with a diverse global portfolio of more than 35 companies across its two fund generations.

“It’s about time we significantly raise the bar for video content in gaming and esports. We need to elevate the stars and stories in our community and provide a better and larger opportunity for brands to reach gamers. We have no doubt that Ariel and Ben are the guys to get this job done and are incredibly excited for a new level of entertainment value in gaming and esports,” said Jens Hilgers, Founding Partner of BITKRAFT.

Additionally, VENN brings together an elite consortium of investors spanning the worlds of gaming, sports, entertainment, culture and business. Included in this group are:

–  Marc Merrill, co-founder of Riot Games
–  Mike Morhaime, co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment
–  Amy Morhaime, former head of global esports, Blizzard Entertainment
–  Kevin Lin, co-founder of Twitch
–  aXiomatic Gaming, a premiere esports investment group with holdings in gaming and esports properties including Team Liquid, Niantic and Epic Games
–  BDMI, a corporate venture capital arm of Bertelsmann, the global media, services, and education company
–  YuChiang Cheng, co-founder of World Golf Tour and President of Topgolf Media
–  Lifeline Financial Group, a full-service multi-family office based in Beverly Hills, representing high profile clients across sports and entertainment
–  Reimagined Ventures, the private capital group of Alec Litowitz, founder of Magnetar Capital and Cloud9 investor

“The exciting thing about VENN is its potential to expose what is so compelling about gaming culture to a wider audience,” said Marc Merrill, Co-Founder, Riot Games. “I look forward to seeing the content they create and the opportunities they’re going to open up for players everywhere.”

Designed for fans across all platforms, VENN was created as a singular media brand to unite a fragmented media marketplace. Its content will span multiple categories of entertainment, with original programming produced both in-house and with some of the biggest names and creators in gaming, entertainment, streaming, and esports.

“I’m proud to support the team at VENN on an exciting new milestone for digital entertainment,” said Mike Morhaime, Co-Founder, Blizzard Entertainment. “Having a central location for high quality content from across the industry is an important foundational step for gaming communities.”

“The explosion in gamer-driven digital entertainment over the past decade has shown that traditional models must evolve to keep up with this new audience,” said Keith Titan, Partner at BDMI. “We believe that Ben and Ariel bring the passion, experience, and authenticity critical to creating content that serves, engages and challenges the digital audience. We’re thrilled to be part of their support network as they put this bold new vision into action.”

“VENN will be everywhere the gaming audience consumes content: Streaming platforms, VOD, 24/7 linear and social networks,” said Ariel Horn. “Pioneering a truly interactive broadcast network will enable the kind of experiences these audiences demand.”

More information on VENN will be released in the coming months and you can learn more by visiting the company’s website – www.venn.tv and following VENN on social media @watchvenn.

 

About VENN:

VENN is a new 24/7 post-cable TV network aimed at gaming, esports and entertainment audiences. Launching in 2020 and broadcasting live from studios in New York and Los Angeles, VENN will be distributed across a broad range of media platforms and offer original programming produced in-house and in partnership with some of the biggest names and creators across industries.

Source: VENN

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ESIC Announces Rebrand From “Coalition” To “Commission”

George Miller

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ESIC Announces Rebrand From “Coalition” To “Commission”
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ESIC announces a rebrand from Esports Integrity Coalition to Esports Integrity Commission. This change comes as ESIC refines its operational strategy to more meaningfully target the integrity needs of the international esports industry.

ESIC was founded in 2015 by key esports stakeholders and operated as a ‘Coalition’ of members. Since then, ESIC has delivered a steady stream of integrity outcomes for the esports industry including an Anti-Corruption Program, Anti-Doping Program, Player Codes of Conduct, and several other best practice standard schemes. The implementation of these best practice Codes by leading esports stakeholders such as ESL, Dreamhack, and many others has allowed ESIC to make tangible contributions to the industry, in the form of sanctions against individuals who attempt to use esports as a vehicle for fraud. Most recently, ESIC cooperated with the Victorian Police in Australia in an investigation leading to the arrests of six individuals allegedly fixing esports matches for profit.

The Esports Integrity Commission will continue to serve the industry in dispensing its integrity function to a variety of esports stakeholders internationally. With a proven track record in delivering results as an integrity body commissioned by its members, for the benefit of its members and industry at large – ESIC is poised to take on a significantly more ambitious mandate, filled with new initiatives.

In light of this refined approach, ESIC has put a call out for the buy-in of industry stakeholders seeking to contribute to the overall sustainability of the industry in order to work together for the continual growth of esports internationally.

Ian Smith, Commissioner of the Esports Integrity Commission: “I am really proud that we have reached the point where a rebrand helps us evolve at the same speed as the esports industry is evolving. We have been around for four years and the growth in the industry has been phenomenal and I am pleased that it has been the same with us. I look forward to the increased professionalisation of both ESIC and the esports industry. I am particularly looking forward to announcing our new chairman in the coming weeks.”

Stephen Hanna, Director of Global Strategy and Partnerships at the Esports Integrity Commission said: “As the foremost integrity body in esports, it is the responsibility of ESIC to deliver integrity beyond its initial coalition of members and to the broader esports industry. This move reinforces ESIC’s desire to serve the broader industry’s changing needs. Alongside this rebrand, we will be announcing several new initiatives which will bring integrity to a variety of new esports stakeholders.”

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