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RIOT GAMES, FREAKS 4U GAMING and SPORTFIVE partner up to produce and commercialize the 2021 VALORANT CHAMPIONS TOUR

George Miller

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RIOT GAMES, FREAKS 4U GAMING and SPORTFIVE partner up to produce and commercialize the 2021 VALORANT CHAMPIONS TOUR
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Riot Games and Freaks 4U Gaming have agreed to a partnership for the tournament organization and broadcasting of the 2021 VALORANT Champions Tour. SPORTFIVE complements the partnership as a comprehensive marketing partner for the Challengers, Challenger Finals and Last Chance Qualifiers in Europe, CIS countries and Turkey.

Esports publisher Riot Games, Freaks 4U Gaming, one of the leading esports content creators worldwide, and global sports business agency SPORTFIVE have joined forces to establish and commercialize the first edition of the VALORANT Champions Tour in Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and Turkey.

Last November, Riot Games announced the 2021 VALORANT Champions Tour as a global competitive gaming ecosystem with the goal of making VALORANT the next big cross-generational esports title.
For broadcasting and tournament organization in Europe, CIS countries, and Turkey, Riot Games has secured the full expertise of Freaks 4U Gaming, building upon their existing League of Legends collaboration in the German speaking markets. As well as producing the main broadcasts in each territory, Freaks 4U Gaming will also localize the broadcasts in German (via Agent’s Range) and French (via 1PV).

To ensure the best possible coverage on the marketing side, SPORTFIVE complements the strategic collaboration to acquire potent partners for the 2021 VALORANT Challengers, Challenger Finals and Last Chance Qualifiers in Europe, CIS countries and Turkey together with Freaks 4U Gaming as a co-commercialization partner.

Daniel Ringland, Head of VALORANT Esports for Europe and MENA at Riot Games, said:
“We couldn’t be more excited to launch our partnership with Freaks 4U Gaming and SPORTFIVE to bring the future of VALORANT esports to Europe, Turkey, and the CIS. Both companies bring a wealth of experience, expertise, and enthusiasm to the table and I’m confident that together we will build something fans love.”

Michael Haenisch, CEO at Freaks 4U Gaming, said:
”We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Riot Games and to closely collaborate on the creation of the VALORANT esports eco-system by producing and broadcasting the 2021 VALORANT Champions Tour in Europe, CIS and Turkey. Together with Riot Games and SPORTFIVE, we aim to build a sustainable foundation for VALORANT esports by establishing meaningful brand partnerships leading to a great player and viewer experience.”

Thomas Ottl, Executive Director Global Esports at SPORTFIVE, added:
“Being responsible for the marketing mandate for one of the hottest esports titles of the upcoming years is a tremendous pleasure for us. With our expertise and our global sales force, we’re excited to open up a unique opportunity for brands to become a top-tier partner. Furthermore, to enlarge our portfolio within our partnership with Freaks 4U Gaming and Riot Games makes us excited and is a great next step in our relationship.”

Earlier this month the VALORANT Champions Tour kicked off in Europe with the first of three Challenger tournaments in Stage 01, followed by the first of three Challenger tournaments in the CIS and Turkey last weekend. During the Challengers, participating teams play for a total prize pool of EUR 177,500 and the qualification for the first 2021 VALORANT Masters event in March, where additional USD 300,000 prize money will be at stake.

The three Regional Challengers and the Masters will be played entirely online with top matches streamed on the respective Twitch and YouTube streams.

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Trinity Gaming joins hands with sports communication firm Artsmith to create career awareness in gaming and esports ecosystem

George Miller

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Trinity Gaming joins hands with sports communication firm Artsmith to create career awareness in gaming and esports ecosystem
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Trinity Gaming—India’s top gaming talent management company, has signed sports communication agency Artsmith to create awareness among the gamers & influencers wanting to pursue a career in gaming content creations and how they can monetise and create a brand for themselves. With this partnership, the country’s one of the top new age communication firms Artsmith, which specialised in sports and esports PR, has added Trinity Gaming to their esports bouquet of the client list.

Currently managing more than 250 top content creators in India, Trinity Gaming has successfully established a strong platform for these specialised gamers and has transformed them into entertainers and influencers who bring much more value than just merely playing in the gaming ecosystem. The company, which was founded in 2019, has channelised the passion for gaming among millennial gamers and transformed it into a viable career option for many. Committed to bringing professionalism to the ecosystem, they have been one of the first movers in the sector and currently curate content for some of India’s top brands.

Commenting on the tie-up, Abhishek Aggarwal, Co-Founder & CEO of Trinity Gaming, said: “Gaming is all about passion and there are some brilliant minds with amazing ability to create content and these creators did not have the right backing and a strong voice to understand how to create values or a career out of it. We saw an opportunity to create a unique support system where not only the talents are groomed but also amalgamate with brands. According to the recently released EY FICCI 2021 report, online gamers grew 20% from 300 million in 2019 to 360 million in 2020. The numbers themselves validate how big is the community is. The potential is unlimited but creating a strong awareness programme is equally necessary to optimise the opportunities and I personally believe Artsmith has all the necessary experience to roll out this narrative among the gaming community.”

Artsmith, as an agency, brings in years of experience and expertise in creating an innovative mix of PR and digital communication that is innovative and value for money. “Artsmith has the experience and understanding of handholding talents and building a strong brand positioning with maximum visibility. We have worked with top Indian athletes and worked closely to transform them into sustainable content creators as well as influencers and we are confident of positioning Trinity Gaming as a new-age talent management firm with the efficiency of elevating gamers on similar lines and create India’s largest brands story experiences,” said Udita, the Founding Principal of Artsmith.

Artsmith has been successfully managing communications for global sports brands like PUMA as well as creating communications for international and national sporting events and sports leagues in the country. The company has the exclusive communication mandate for premium sports tournaments with Tata Open Maharashtra, India Open—the country’s only Superseries badminton tournament organised by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) being some of the key clients in the roster.

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eSports

XB Systems AG Releases Q1 Trading Update and LOI with Galaxy Group

George Miller

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XB Systems AG Releases Q1 Trading Update and LOI with Galaxy Group
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XB Systems AG, a leading eSports gambling operator, today releases its Q1 trading update, and announces that it has signed a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) to merge with Galaxy Group Ltd.

XB Systems AG, operating under the brand BUFF.bet, announces strong Q1 revenue growth, with Q1 Gross Gaming Revenues (GGR) of €442k, up 197% year on year. On a pro-forma basis, GGR is up over 30% year on year, following the merger between the X-Bet.co and BUFF.bet brands in Q2 2020.

The company has migrated all players across to the BUFF.bet brand, and seen strong growth in GGR per active, showing the underlying strength of BUFF.bet’s eSports offering. In terms of the full year outlook, management has guided to double digit pro-forma revenue growth for FY21.

XB Systems AG also announces today that it has signed a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) to merge with Galaxy Group Ltd, operating under the brand name UltraPlay.

UltraPlay is an award winning eSports B2B software provider, which has returned consistently strong revenue and earnings growth over the past few years. The combination of the XB Systems AG B2C eSports gambling business with UltraPlay’s award winning B2B offering will create a market leading vertically integrated eSports offering.

The combined entity would have generated revenues of over €7m in 2020 on a pro-forma basis, with strong cash generation. While the merger will be done on an equity basis, with Galaxy Group shareholders taking equity in the combined entity, the management is currently considering finance options to facilitate the transaction and accelerate organic growth.

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eSports

PandaScore names new Head of Sales

George Miller

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PandaScore names new Head of Sales
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Oliver Niner tasked with onboarding clients and growing the sales team at esports data and odds provider

PandaScore, the esports data and odds provider, has strengthened its team with the appointment of Oliver Niner as Head of Sales who will play a significant role in driving growth through securing new client partnerships.

Niner has extensive industry experience having held roles at Betgenius, Marathonbet, Oulala Games, PIMS SCA and most recently at start-up platform provider Atlas IAC where he was Commercial Director. His knowledge and experience cover all verticals from sports to casino and beyond.

Niner will use this knowledge and experience to onboard new clients and partners and to establish a sustainable platform for growth and long-term success. He will also be responsible for building out a talented and experienced sales team as part of wider company expansion plans.

Flavien Guillocheau, CEO at PandaScore, said: “I would like to welcome Oliver to the team and look forward to working closely with him as we continue to position PandaScore as the number one esports data and odds provider for the global online gambling industry.

“Oliver has the talent and the experience required to ensure operators are aware of our market-leading products and services and to manage them from signing on the dotted line to integrating and launching our data feeds and odds. This makes him a great addition to the team.”

Oliver Niner, Head of Sales at PandaScore, said: “I am incredibly excited to have joined PandaScore at what is a pivotal moment in the company’s journey. They have already assembled a great team and I am honoured to now join their ranks and to lead sales activity and growth.

“The betting and iGaming community has come to realise the opportunity that embracing esports more fully can bring and Pandascore is a figurehead for that.  My team and I will be taking this message to the market and will enable our new and existing customers to maximise the potential that an esports product, delivered via Pandascore’s odds and data can bring, these are very exciting times!”

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