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Fnatic Raises $10 Million and Launches Crowdfunding to Accelerate High-Performance Esports

George Miller

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Fnatic Closes Massive Crowdfunding Campaign; Surpassed Goal by 200%+
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Fnatic, a leading global esports brand, today announces that it has raised $10 million in an internal round led by Beringea with participation from existing investors Unbound, LVL1 Group, JHD as well as key management. The funding will be used to support the global growth of its pioneering esports brand and drive the success of its leading high-performance teams. Fnatic has now raised nearly $35 million across its various funding rounds.

Building on the momentum of this investment round, Fnatic has also announced that it has launched a crowd equity campaign with Crowdcube, the world’s largest crowdfunding platform. Through this campaign, Fnatic will provide a unique opportunity for its growing fanbase to invest in the business and play a part in its mission to seek out and level up the next generation of gamers. This campaign offers a chance for its fanbase to help shape the future of Fnatic.

“We’ve been looking to conduct a crowdfund campaign for a while,” said Sam Mathews, founder and CEO of Fnatic. “This investment provides the perfect opportunity for our community, friends and enthusiasts to join our established investors and own a piece of Fnatic. Crowdfunding is a dynamic and increasingly popular way to fundraise as it provides an opportunity to transform our active and engaged community into investors by giving them the chance to get closer to our journey than ever before. We’re very excited to be working directly with our audience, partnering with them to shape the future of Fnatic, and of entertainment, sports and gaming performance.”

This crowdfunding campaign reflects Fnatic’s ambition to innovate and continuously enhance gaming performance while making it accessible to all. The proceeds of this campaign will be directly allocated to initiatives that will foster the advancement of Fnatic’s mission to seek out and level up the next generation of gamers.  Esports viewership and gaming has boomed in the past year, and this campaign offers investors the opportunity to both support a leading global esports brand and to play an active role in furthering the growing esports movement.

This past year saw viewership of esports skyrocket. Over the past three years, Fnatic has been ranked consistently as one of the most viewed teams among western esports fans and is the second most watched team of 2020 with over 110 million hours watched, to date. As one of the most globally recognised and successful esports brands with total cash winnings nearing $16 million across 903 tournaments, Fnatic continuously sets the bar through community activations and innovative brand partnerships with world renowned brands such as BMW, Gucci, OnePlus, AMD, Monster, Hisense and more.

“Esports is an industry experiencing explosive growth, and yet in many ways is still in adolescence,” said Karen McCormick, Chief Investment Officer of Beringea. “Having evaluated the industry from many angles, Fnatic was a relatively simple investment decision given the premier status of the brand, consistency as a true performance company, and growth and engagement of the fan base. The business has also become a global leader in a very capital efficient way, building a standout team while maintaining a clear focus on economics and profitability.”

Since Crowdcube was founded in 2011, it has helped more than 1,120 raises successfully fundraise. With more than 900,000 members, a total of £1bn has invested on the platform to date. In good company, notable businesses that have successfully raised through Crowdcube include Revolut, BrewDog, Monzo, Carwow, Freetrade and Mindful Chef. Fnatic plans to raise £1 million ($1.3m) through this campaign, which will be open to the public on November 19th. For more information, please visit https://invest.fnatic.com

eSports

League of Legends ‘MSI’ and VALORANT ‘Stage 2 Masters’ live events to take place in Reykjavík, Iceland in May

George Miller

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League of Legends ‘MSI’ and VALORANT ‘Stage 2 Masters’ live events to take place in Reykjavík, Iceland in May
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Riot Games announced that two of its biggest esports events of the year will take place back-to-back this May in Reykjavík, Iceland. Additionally, as Riot Games continues to expand its esports footprint, the company has expanded its partnership with Verizon as the official 5G partner, supporting both LoL Esports Global Events and VALORANT Esports.

The League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), which was cancelled last year due to COVID-19, will kick off competition between the top 12 teams from the regional leagues on Thursday, May 6 and culminate with the final on Sunday, May 23.

The VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Masters Reykjavík, beginning the next day on Monday, May 24, will be the first VALORANT esports event to feature live international competition, bringing together the top 10 teams from around the world to fight for a spot at VALORANT Champions later this year. VCT Masters Reykjavík will conclude with a final scheduled to take place on May 30th.

Competition for both events will take place in the Laugardalshöll indoor sporting arena as Riot brings best-in-class esports competition from two titles to Iceland for the first time.

“We are thrilled to showcase high-level Riot esports competition to a country as stunning and unique as Iceland, underscoring that passion for our esports can be found in every corner of the globe,” said John Needham, Global Head of Esports for Riot Games. “Both MSI and VCT Masters will introduce us to breakout stars to watch this season, and also serve as the initial events for Verizon’s extended and much-appreciated commitment to our esports ecosystem.”

In addition to MSI and Masters 2, Verizon’s multi-year agreement as the Official 5G Partner also extends to the biggest global events of the LoL Esports and VALORANT competition calendar. This includes the League of Legends World Championship (“Worlds”), which makes its return to North America in 2022; LoL Esports All-Star Event; three VALORANT Champions Tour Masters events; and VALORANT Champions. The partnership also includes the VALORANT North America Challengers.

Verizon also is a key partner in VALORANT’s recently announced VCT Game Changers, a program that will host monthly tournaments to give female players more opportunities to compete at the semi-pro and grassroots level.

This partnership just serves as the latest iteration of Verizon’s consistent support of Riot’s esports business. Since 2020, Verizon has been the Official 5G Partner for the League Championship Series (LCS), providing support for LCS through original video content and in-broadcast sponsored segments. Their support extended to VALORANT First Strike: North America, the first official tournament for Riot’s premier tactical shooter, as well as The Wild Rift Invitational – the world’s first Wild Rift esports event featuring LCS players and celebrities.

“Expanding our partnership with Riot esports allows us to build on the success of the past year and continue expanding the opportunities to leverage the power of 5G Ultra Wideband for player and fan experiences across both LoL and Valorant,” said Yvette Martinez-Rea, Vice President, Sponsorships and Partnerships at Verizon. “We’re also very proud to put our support behind VCT Game Changers to provide more opportunities for female players at all levels.”

“We were thrilled to have Verizon on board as a partner for the LCS and Wild Rift last year, so to expand on that relationship across the biggest esports events in the world with both LoL and VCT is meaningful validation of what we are creating here at Riot esports,” said Naz Aletaha, Head of Global Esports Partnerships and Business Development at Riot Games. “Our aspiration to consistently deliver unforgettable experiences and initiatives for fans is a passion we’re proud to share with Verizon, and we look forward to leveraging their expertise and best-in-class technology across our sports.”

The Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) is a foundational battleground in the annual LoL Esports season, where rising stars and teams make a global name for themselves. Held between the first and second splits of the season, the best teams from each of the 12 regional leagues compete for the title. This year, a new format will open with three stages, beginning with Groups, in which all 12 teams split into three groups of four teams, each playing a Best of 1 double round robin. The top two teams per group will advance to the next stage, where the six remaining teams will play another Best of 1 double round robin. The top four teams will advance to a playoff bracket, and play in a Single Elimination, Best of 5 Semifinal followed by Finals.

VCT Masters Reykjavík will bring top VALORANT teams from around the globe together for the first time to determine who will stand as the best VALORANT team in the world heading into the second half of the season. Starting in April, thousands of teams will attempt to qualify for Masters Stage 2 through their regional Challengers events, with the 10 teams securing a spot in Reykjavík.

“VCT Masters Reykjavik is our next big step in further establishing VALORANT as the fastest-growing global esport,” said Whalen Rozelle, Riot Games’ Senior Director of Esports. “We have some of the most passionate fans around the world, and we’re committed to giving them a live event so that they can see how their favorite teams stack up internationally for the first time ever.”

Teams from both sports will quarantine upon arrival in Iceland. For the health and safety of the players, staff, and local residents, the events will be unable to accommodate a live audience, however all MSI and VCT Masters Stage 2 matches will be broadcast live globally across various digital platforms.

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eSports

Virtus.pro and HyperX extend the partnership

George Miller

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Virtus.pro and HyperX extend the partnership
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Virtus.pro and a manufacturer of memory storage devices and computer peripherals HyperX will extend their partnership that started in March of 2020. HyperX remains the partner of our first rosters in every discipline.

Our cooperation with HyperX started a year ago. During this time we hosted a number of raffles and prize draws that were of great interest to our fans.

This year our cooperation is going to boost up: more interesting projects for the fans as well as the HyperX logo on the chest of our jersey.

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Asia

Olympic Council of Asia and AESF Introduces the ‘Road to Asian Games’ Campaign for 2022 Asian Games

George Miller

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Olympic Council of Asia and AESF Introduces the ‘Road to Asian Games’ Campaign for 2022 Asian Games
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) has confirmed the introduction of the new program, ‘Road to Asian Games’ for the upcoming 2022 Asian Games. In addition, the OCA has confirmed again the appointment of the AESF as the only Technical Delegate who will take charge of all the matters of technical conduct for Esports events at the 2022 Asian Games.

The AESF will be the exclusive organizer of ‘Road to Asian Games’, the official qualifier program and competition of esports to the Asian Games final. The AESF is the first Esports federation to introduce a direct pathway, ‘Road to Asian Games,’ whereby event titles selection and confirmation will be decided by AESF and allow publishers to be part of an Olympic event such as the Asian Games. The campaign will begin in Hangzhou 2022, and with AESF to continue the organization of Esports through to Nagoya 2026, Doha 2030 and beyond. This initiative will be the first of its kind to bring fair and equal opportunities to all publishers and advance esports developments not just to Asia, but worldwide.

With Esports making its debut as a medal event at the Asian Games, the AESF ‘Road to Asian Games’ campaign will also extend beyond the competition scenes. This campaign will lay the foundation in bringing the Olympic Spirit to esports and introduce an education program for participating Esports athletes to share the Olympic Movement and Values not just in Asia, but globally. With plans for the promotion, sustainability and legacies underway, the emphasis will be on education and development in Esports. The key area of focus will be grassroots development, inclusion programs, career pathways, health and wellbeing support, as well as athlete’s rights and protection.

The AESF is excited to accelerate the esports movement from competitive video gaming event into official sport event with the participation in the Continental Games. The AESF plans to include virtual and simulating sports to the ‘Road to Asian Games’ and finals competition as a demonstration event, which will further encourage and expand esports scope from traditional titles which are recognised as console, computer or mobile esports game events. This inclusion will also aim to encourage both sports and esports community to engage in physical activity and promote mental wellbeing.

To officialise the partnership for the ‘Road to Asian Games’ campaign and the confirmation on the roles & responsibilities of AESF, an official Signing Ceremony was held with the OCA Director General Dr. Husain A H Z Al-Musallam, OCA Director of Sports Mr. Haider A H E Farman, AESF President Mr. Kenneth Fok, and AESF Director General Mr. Sebastian Lau in attendance.

Announcing the partnership, Director General of OCA Dr. Husain AHZ Al-Musallam said “It is a great pleasure to officially announce our partnership between OCA and AESF for the new Esports program for our Asian Games and OCA will provide full support for successful Esports events at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. We wish the best to our partner AESF on the journey ahead,” he added.

In line with this partnership, the OCA reconfirms that the AESF is the sole official governing body of esports in Asia and will be fully responsible for all technical aspect of esports competitions at Asian Games as well as any other OCA events.

“I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the continuous support and trust from the OCA. I believe that the Asian Games presents the best stage for us to share Olympic Values with Esports community and we aim to make our Esports communities develop further through this opportunity. Also, we look forward to a successful collaboration with OCA as well as LOC.” said Mr. Fok in a speech during the signing.
Disclosing AESF’s role and responsibility, OCA Director of Sports Mr. Haider A H E Farman added, “Leading up to the Asian Games, the Asian Electronic Sports Federation will have the leading role and take full responsibility in the selection of esports titles in collaboration with the OCA. From the qualifying rounds to the grand finals of each esports event, rest assured that the OCA and AESF, together with LOC will work hand-in-hand, ensuring successful esports events for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022.”

Mr. Sebastian Lau of AESF further conveyed his gratitude during the ceremony, “As the Asian Federation, the AESF is honoured to be organizing the esports qualifiers and the Technical Delegate for the upcoming Asian Games. We will start from Hangzhou, and I am looking forward to exploring more opportunities together with all of you and make the evolution of esports further in Nagoya 2026, Doha 2030 and beyond.”

More than just an Esports event, the ‘Road to Asian Games’ and finals at the 19th Asian Games exhibits the growth of Esports from competitive gaming event to an official sport event and the AESF, with the full support of OCA and LOC, will assure the most competitive and extraordinary esports event to date.

Road to Asian Games Partnership Summary

Esports Event Title Selection
AESF will select the esports event titles to be contested for the qualifiers and finals at the 2022 Asian Game and make the final confirmation on the selected titles in collaboration with the OCA.

Eligibility and Participating Teams
Leading up to the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, the AESF is responsible for identifying the finalists for their respective esports event titles through regional qualifiers as part of the ‘Road to Asian Games’ competition campaign which will lead to the Final at 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Qualifiers and Finals
The AESF will form the qualifying and final tournament structure for all esports events and conduct the qualifiers for all participating Asian countries at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, in collaboration with the OCA.

Community Outreach Programs
As part of the Asian Games community outreach, AESF will deliver and execute the AESF Experience Program with full support from the OCA. Aiming to connect with the esports community and fans alike, this program also aims to deliver the best Esports experience while also attracting new esports fans.

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