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The Esports Ecosystem On Track To Reach $1.8 Billion By 2022

George Miller

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The Esports Ecosystem On Track To Reach $1.8 Billion By 2022
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

While esports may have once stood for a subset of sports culture, it has grown into a full industry in its own right. Esports and gaming have burst into the mainstream in recent years, transforming from a vibrant niche to a central form of entertainment around the world, and ticket sales are transitioning from the arena, to the internet. That shift has been powered by championing from mainstream celebrities and an increasing amount of coverage from traditional outlets like ESPN, and, at least in part, the breakneck rise of Fortnite. A report from Business Insider’s Insider Intelligence stated that: “As competitive video games continue to integrate into popular culture, global investors, brands, media outlets, and consumers are all paying attention. Total esports viewership is expected to grow at a 9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2019 and 2023, up from 454 million in 2019 to 646 million in 2023, per Insider Intelligence estimates.

That puts the esports audience on pace to nearly double over a six-year period, as the 2017 audience stood at 335 million.” The pop-culturization of esports has helped power the explosions in esports investment and revenue. Esports has hit this stratosphere in large part because of the social component of live streaming and gaming. Video gaming-specific streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming give fans a direct connection to the players and teams, while more mainstream socials have allowed those connections to flourish. Certain esports organizations, like FaZe Clan, are also moving aggressively into areas like merchandise, lending their brands more notoriety than if they’d stuck to esports alone. Active tech companies in the markets this week include Versus Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VS), Caesars Entertainment, Inc., Penn National Gaming, Inc., Glu Mobile Inc. (NASDAQ: GLUU), Super League Gaming,.

Rick Yang, partner at NEA — a venture capital firm that invests in esports — underscored this in a conversation with Insider Intelligence: “I actually think of esports as the mainstreaming of gaming, or the pop culture instantiation of gaming versus the pure idea of these players becoming professionals to compete at the highest levels.” It’s essential to think of the esports opportunity in this way — one inclusive of gaming, media, pop culture, and commerce — as it shines a light on opportunities beyond gaming events alone.

Versus Systems Announces Strategic Partnership With Frias Agency – Versus to Work with the Agency Representing Constellation Brands, Corona, Crush + Canelo Alvarez & Matchroom Boxing – Versus Systems today announced a strategic partnership with full-service experiential marketing agency, Frias Agency (“Frias”), to power the technology behind interactive experiences for live events and digital activations.

Frias Agency clients include iconic beverage brands from Constellation Brands, such as Corona, Cerveza Modelo, Cerveza Pacifico, Crush, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, Blue Chair Bay, and Casa Noble. Frias also works with major athletes like Canelo Alvarez and sports promoters like Matchroom Boxing and Premier Boxing Champions. The Versus partnership with Frias expects to extend prizing into live sporting events starting Summer 2021 for soccer, boxing, wrestling and MMA, as well as live music festivals and tours.

“Versus is proud to announce another world-class partner to help us to bring our real-world prizing and rewards to global audiences,” said Matthew Pierce, CEO of Versus Systems. “We look forward to working with Frias and their partners to bring rewards to players and fans at some of the world’s most exciting live events, whether they’re at the venue, at home, or wherever they’re watching from.”

“We are thrilled to bring the unique experiences Versus Systems builds to our events,” said Andre Martelly, CEO of Frias. “The combination of Versus’ technology and our multi-national, multi-platform audience reach will produce mutual benefits for years to come.”

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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
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

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
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

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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