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Kambi Group plc acquires esports data and odds provider Abios

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Kambi Group plc signs long-term sportsbook platform and front end agreement with Svenska Spel Sport & Casino
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Addition of market-leading esports company enables Kambi to capitalise on exciting global opportunities presented by growing vertical

Kambi Group plc has acquired global esports specialists Abios in a deal which transforms Kambi into a leading provider of esports products and services as it seeks to capitalise on the emerging opportunities within this rapidly growing vertical. The agreement consists of an initial consideration of SEK150m, paid in cash, with up to SEK120m to be paid in earnouts related to product development and the future revenue performance of Abios.

Founded in Stockholm in 2013, Abios is a B2B esports company which provides data, odds and visualisation services to industry operators including Kindred Group, LeoVegas Group and Pinnacle Sports, as well as major technology companies such as Microsoft. Its services are delivered by approximately 40 staff members based in Stockholm and Manila.

In 2020, Abios generated revenue of SEK18m and, following the acquisition, will continue to provide products and services to both Kambi and non-Kambi customers, in turn broadening the Group’s revenue streams and expanding Kambi’s reach into new business areas.

Spearheaded by CEO Oskar Fröberg and CTO Anton Janér, both of whom will remain in their leadership roles following the acquisition, Abios is a major player in the esports landscape, driven by its in-house data management and technology, as well as its deep knowledge and passion for esports.

The combination of these valuable capabilities will enable Kambi to offer a best-in-class esports product and expedite Abios’ growth, and is fully aligned with Kambi’s strategy to integrate specialised high-tech trading units into its modularised platform.

The esports wagering market is on a steep growth trajectory and is projected to double in size by 2025, representing an important future revenue stream for Kambi given the current and latent opportunity in Europe and the United States, respectively.

Kristian Nylén, Kambi Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder said: “The esports category has long been under careful consideration by Kambi and we now feel it’s the opportune moment to take the next step and build out our capability in what is a vertical of great global potential. In Abios, we gain the esports DNA we keenly sought, and which complements the heritage and experience we already possess in sports betting.

“Oskar and Anton have built a fantastic team that knows what it takes to succeed in esports and I’m excited to not only see the Abios business grow, but also what the integration of Abios to Kambi’s modular platform will bring to esports betting in the future.”

Oskar Fröberg, Abios Chief Executive Officer said: “Having built a strong relationship over many years, we believe Kambi to be the optimal partner for Abios. Not only do they trust in our people and capabilities, but we share the same values and long-term vision. The opportunity in esports is compelling as ever and we look forward to exchanging knowledge with Kambi and adding their experience and muscle power to our entrepreneurial nature.”

Asia

Team Liquid, Ninjas In Pyjamas, ENCE, and BIG join $350,000 Skyesports Masters 2024 in India

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Skyesports, the premier esports tournament organizer based in India catering to gamers across Asia, has officially announced the initial lineup of invited Counter-Strike 2 teams set to compete in the highly anticipated Skyesports Masters 2024, as the company eyes global expansion. Scheduled to unfold offline in India from April 8 to 14, this thrilling event promises a week-long spectacle of intense Counter-Strike action, as eight formidable teams lock horns to become the ultimate masters and for a share of the staggering $350,000 prize pool.

Among the distinguished participants revealed in this first wave of invitations are some of the most renowned names in Counter-Strike esports:

  • Team Liquid

  • Ninjas In Pyjamas

  • ENCE

  • BIG

Team Liquid and Ninjas In Pyjamas are two of the most notable names in Counter-Strike esports, with the latter being a Major winning organization. Furthermore, ENCE is a world-famous team from Poland, headlined by the 4-time Major winning player, Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander. Last but not the least, Germany’s BIG will also be competing in the Skyesports Masters with a stellar lineup.

The four teams will be joined by two more invited teams and the champion of the Europe Qualifiers. Finally, the champion of the India Qualifier will also compete in the Skyesports Masters 2024, providing the home fans with a local team to rally behind. The details for the Europe and India Qualifiers will be revealed at a later date. With the final eight teams, fans are set to be treated with intense Counter-Strike esports action as the world’s best lock horns for the title. Stay tuned to Skyesports’ Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook handles for more information.

With notable teams participating, a $350,000 prize pool, and a seven-day LAN event, the Skyesports Masters is set to feature nail-biting Counter-Strike esports action for fans. The eight teams will compete in a double-elimination bracket to determine the champion.

The Skyesports Masters is a part of Skyesports’ 2024 roadmap for Counter-Strike 2, which includes a total prize pool of $1 million across six international tournaments, as Skyesports solidifies its presence in the global esports roadmap for the FPS. The first of these is the Skyesports Grand Slam 2024, set to take place in Pune, India from March 14 to 16 with four teams – one from India, one from Australia, and two invited international teams – locking horns for a chunk of the $50,000 prize pool.

 Besides the Skyesports Grand Slam and the Skyesports Masters, Skyesports will be bringing the Championship 6.0, Skyesports Souvenir Colombo, Skyesports Global Tour in Thailand, and the India vs Pakistan Series in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The Skyesports Masters was launched in 2023 with an impressive $240,000 prize pool. In its first year, eight esports organizations competed across a month-long regular season leading into the Playoffs in Bangalore, India for the title. Now, the premium IP is being expanded in 2024 with a bigger prize pool and international teams.

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eSports

Zebronics Unveiled as Gaming Peripherals Partner for the Skyesports Champions Series, an INR 10,00,000 BGMI Esports Tournament

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Skyesports, India’s leading esports tournament organizer, has onboarded Zebronics, the country’s leading brand in IT & gaming peripherals, home & personal entertainment, and lifestyle accessories as the gaming peripherals partner for the Skyesports Champions Series, an INR 10,00,000 esports tournament in Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI).

The Skyesports Champions Series features India’s top esports teams competing for glory in BGMI across the semifinals (Feb. 28 to March 4) and the grand finals (March 5 to 10). With an exclusive livestream on YouTube in multiple languages, the tournament is set to captivate gaming audiences from across the country.

Zebronics, as the gaming peripherals partner, will be showcasing its exceptional array of products designed to meet the diverse needs of gamers. Additionally, the company’s vision of elevating esports talent in India has been met with the Skyesports Champions Series, a tournament that featured open-for-all qualifiers, giving a chance to every gamer from every nook-and-corner of the country to compete professionally.

Commenting on the association, Yash Doshi, Director, Zebronics said, “The prospect of collaborating with Skyesports for SCS 2024 fills us with immense enthusiasm. This collaboration perfectly embodies our commitment to fostering the gaming ecosystem in India and providing gamers with unparalleled experiences. We eagerly anticipate the journey ahead, interacting with gamers on various platforms and delivering innovative gaming peripherals. Together with Skyesports, we are poised to make significant strides in advancing the esports landscape and supporting its evolution.”

Reflecting on the partnership with Zebronics, Shiva Nandy, Founder and CEO of Skyesports, added, “Building upon our successful collaboration during the 2023 edition of the Skyesports Champions Series, which garnered a peak viewership of 131,000, we are delighted to welcome Zebronics once again as the gaming peripherals partner for the SCS 2024. This partnership not only serves to showcase Zebronics’ impressive gaming-centric products directly to our gaming community but also signifies Zebronics’ long-term commitment to elevating the esports landscape of the country – a vision we share.”

After a series of intense open qualifiers, only 24 teams remain in the semifinals of the Skyesports Champions Series (SCS) 2024. This includes the countries’ top esports teams such as iQOO Soul, Revenant Esports, Blind Esports, Gods Reign, Orangutan, Entity Gaming, and more.

Set to happen from Feb. 28 to March 4, the semifinalists battle it out in BGMI for the 16 slots in the Grand Finals. All the action will be broadcast live from 1 PM IST onwards in Hindi and Tamil on the Skyesports YouTube channel.

Finally, the top 16 teams will compete in the Grand Finals from March 5 to 10, aiming to claim the title of the Skyesports Champions Series 2024 champions and seize a lion’s share of the INR 10,00,000 prize pool.

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Asia

Saudi’s Savvy Games and Esports Delegation Conducts High-level Visit to Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu

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HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, Chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation and Vice Chairman of Savvy Games Group (Savvy), and Brian Ward, CEO of Savvy, have this month led a senior business delegation to China. The delegation was accompanied by senior leaders from VSPO, the leading Chinese esports company, including Dino Ying, co-founder and CEO, and Danny Tang, co-founder, CFO and head of strategy.

Visiting Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu, the delegation engaged with current and future partners in China’s games and esports industry. The visit further strengthened commercial partnerships between China, the world’s biggest esports market, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as it implements Vision 2030 and becomes a leading global hub for gaming and esports.

In 2023, Savvy, wholly owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, invested $265 million into VSPO, becoming the largest international investor. Savvy’s long-term investment is helping VSPO to continue to deliver on its global strategy and accelerate the growth of mobile esports.

The meetings in the visit also covered preparations for the inaugural Esports World Cup (EWC) which will take place in Riyadh in the summer of 2024.

HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, Vice Chair of Savvy Games Group, said: “We learned so much from this trip. We will work with VSPO to connect global esports markets and build Saudi Arabia into the hub of the global esports and gaming market. Through long-term investment and capital deployment, we will build a sustainable and profitable global esports ecosystem.”

Brian Ward, CEO of Savvy Games Group, said: “China’s position as the largest esports market, with over 400 million fans and significant industry revenue, underlines the valuable role the Chinese market will play in supporting the continued development of Saudi Arabia’s thriving gaming and esports sector. This visit provided a valuable opportunity to strengthen Savvy’s connection with our partners at VSPO, as well as building our insights and network within one of the world’s foremost games and esports markets.”

Dino Ying, Chair of VSPO, said: “Two years ago, I communicated with Savvy for the first time in a Zoom call. At that time, I realized that although we were from two different markets, our ideas on technological innovation, the future of esports, player ecology and professionalization were very consistent. That’s why we were already thinking about how to cooperate, not whether to cooperate. Now we are more confident because we have a shared vision and a friendship, and we plan to make more innovation for the industry together with Savvy in the future.”

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