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Riva Technology and Entertainment and Galaxy Racer acquires VY Esports in play to own MENA/SEA fan engagement, Raine Ventures senior executive to join their advisory boards

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Riva Technology and Entertainment and Galaxy Racer acquires VY Esports in play to own MENA/SEA fan engagement, Raine Ventures senior executive to join their advisory boards
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Riva Technology and Entertainment (RTE), the leading gaming and technology investment group, together with its sister company, Galaxy Racer (GXR), the largest esports, gaming and lifestyle organisation in the world, has announced its acquisition of VY Esports.

The VY Esports platform POPC Lounge enables creators to connect with their superfans through monetized digital experiences involving livestreams, 1:1 live video chats, merchandise sales, and other unique online engagements. The company also services the live events industry by creating a hybrid model, adding a new revenue stream so viewers from around the world can access selected live content and interact with talents through digital activations. The POPC Lounge platform will serve as the virtual arm for the upcoming ‘POPC Live!’ mega event in Dubai that is beginning in March 2022.

Founder and CEO of Riva Technology and Entertainment, Founder and CEO of Galaxy Racer, Paul Roy, said: “We are excited to announce Riva Technology and Entertainment and Galaxy Racer’s acquisition of VY Esports, which we absolutely believe will bring amazing synergy to our group of companies. We are delighted to work with our new board member from VY Esports and advisory board member from Raine Ventures, as we leverage on their expertise to grow the business. They will play an important role as we continue in our endeavour to develop compelling experiences for our audiences as we head towards global domination in the esports, gaming, lifestyle and entertainment ecosystem. I am delighted to welcome Oleg Butenko to the board of Riva Technology and Entertainment. His extensive experience across technology, esports and entertainment will give us an exceptional cutting-edge advantage and will be an asset to the board.”

Founder and CEO of VY Esports, Oleg Butenko, said: “We are thrilled to be part of Riva Technology and Entertainment and Galaxy Racer, as we strongly believe in Paul Roy’s vision. With the POPC Lounge platform we will push hyper growth across the vast RTE and Galaxy Racer influencer network. As we scale globally, we will bring direct, monetizable, fan engagement to major regions like South East Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the United States by offering a new strategy for monetizing virtual engagements between creators and fans.”

Managing Partner of Raine Ventures, Gordon Rubenstein, added: “We are confident with Paul Roy and Oleg Butenko’s strategic vision, their deep industry knowledge and excellent foresight, they will be able to elevate the group to the next level and we believe they have the opportunity to aggressively grow the platform.”

VY Esports was founded by CEO and founder Oleg Butenko, a digital entrepreneur who has founded businesses focused on music, telecom, and esports. As part of the acquisition, Oleg Butenko, Founder and CEO of VY Esports will be joining the board of Riva Technology and Entertainment. Additionally, Gordon Rubenstein, Managing Partner of Raine Ventures will be joining the advisory boards of both Riva Technology and Entertainment and Galaxy Racer.

Riva Technology and Entertainment (RTE) was founded in 2002 with a global presence stretching from the USA to East Asia. RTE has successfully been delivering the “vision of
tomorrow”. RTE’s group of companies hold an industry advantage in their ability to successfully take every project from concept to execution; all housed under one roof. The complementary companies cover location-based entertainment, brand and Intellectual Property licensing, content development, consumer products, gaming, and esports.

RTE has a 20-year history of dealing with partners in multiple sectors of the gaming industry, evidenced by their highly experienced core team.

eSports

BEA to Open an Esports Performance and Education Campus at Riverside Sunderland

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The British Esports Association (BEA) has announced that it will open an esports performance and education campus at Riverside Sunderland, which will nurture and support the next generation of talent, as interest and engagement in esports grows in the UK.

BEA has made a multi-million-pound commitment to the city of Sunderland, having acquired former retail premises adjacent to the Stadium of Light, where it will establish its National Esports Performance Campus (NEPC).

The NEPC will become a centre of excellence, providing access to state-of-the-art equipment, training and investment that will support Sunderland, the North East and the UK to become a globally-recognised esports hub capable of attracting and developing the world’s best esports talent.

The campus will offer educational and coaching courses for players and all other roles within the esports industry and feature dedicated esports classrooms, performance rooms, streaming booths for shoutcaster skills and an arena space. It will also play host to regular esports events, community tournaments, summer camps and be used as a training base for the Great Britain esports team, which recently took part in the Global Esports Games in Singapore.

Chester King, chief executive officer at BEA, said: “The UK is Europe’s second-biggest video game market and ranked 6th globally – this speaks to the potential of esports which will capitalise on gaming’s popularity, with talented competitors emerging and a growing audience keen to spectate and enjoy esports as a leisure activity. This is a market that we know will explode in the UK and we want to support its growth.”

“Sunderland is a hugely ambitious and future-focused city and that aligns very much to BEA and esports, which has vast growth potential and ties into Sunderland’s strengths in gaming, digital and sport. The campus will be an inspirational site, a place for players and coaches to work, learn and develop. This is a much-needed facility and through my team’s experiences we understand its importance.”

Patrick Melia, chief executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “Esports has been a phenomenal global success, and it is a huge growth market in the UK, that will be realised over the coming years. BEA’s move puts Sunderland at the beating heart of that, and we couldn’t be more pleased.”

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “This is a truly game-changing development for Sunderland, and we could not be more excited about having BEA choose the city for its NEPC.”

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eSports

BLAST Premier Extends its Partnership with CS.MONEY

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Leading esports tournament organiser BLAST Premier has extended its partnership with skin trading platform CS.MONEY, taking the collaboration to four years.

The partnership will be centred around educating and engaging esports and Counter-Strike fans on the wide spectrum of skins available to trade and purchase online.

The deal is the first in a number of commercial deals that BLAST will be renewing for 2022, as the company continues to increase the value of its global partnership portfolio in line with its renewed commercial development and future growth plans.

The partnership will see BLAST and CS.MONEY collaborate on a series of premium, player-led content pieces throughout the year along with owning the broadcast segment “Play of the Day”. CS.MONEY will have access to a number of physical and digital branding assets across BLAST Premier’s seven events in 2022, which typically reaches a global audience of over 150 territories in 18 different languages.

Over the last few years the partnership has become famous for its much-loved CS:GO skin content that features the world’s best players taking part in a number of challenges and games that highlight their knowledge and love for skins.

“Extending the sponsorship into a fourth year is testament to the belief and satisfaction CS.MONEY have shown in this partnership, that we’ve built up from 2019. The result of this hard work is shown by their skin trading platform becoming synonymous with our Counter-Strike tournament and we hope to build on this further in 2022. Four years is a long time in esports and we’re really proud of the content and activations we’ve delivered during this period,” Oliver Clarke, Head of Brand Partnerships for BLAST, said.

“Skins have been for a long time a natural part of Counter-Strike ecosystem along with esports. This is why it is so important for us to support the CS:GO community by allowing them to trade skins safely and comfortably and by supporting events like BLAST Premier as well. We want Counter-Strike fans to have more emotions not only from having a new skin in their favourite game but from watching spectacular games. And I am sure that our partnership with BLAST will play a major role in that,” Artsiom Rabtsau, Chief Marketing Officer at CS.Money, said.

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Yesports Closes $2.25M Round to Launch Esports Metaverse Platform

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Yesports, the world’s first eSports engagement platform, has raised $2.25m during its round of seed funding.

The list of investors includes Polygon Studios, Alphabit, Cosmos, Kernel Ventures, Mozaik Capital and NGC Ventures. The fund raised will be used for the development of its NFT-based esports marketplace and esports-focused metaverse.

Yesports represents the first cross-chain metaverse engagement platform (MEP) designed to enable more than 500 million eSports fans worldwide to engage fully with their favourite teams in custom-built metaverse experiences.

The Yesports platform will provide access to exclusive content, community initiatives, merchandise, and more by acquiring or holding NFTs.

The raise follows an initial grant from the $100m gaming-centred NFT fund Polygon Studios founded in July.

Via the Yesports marketplace, fans can trade eSports NFTs across a range of ecosystems, including Moonbeam, Ethereum, Polygon, Binance Smart Chain (BSC), and other EVM-compatible layer-1 blockchains.

Yesports will also collaborate with teams to provide fans with a private metaverse experience, allowing them to vote using DAO tokens and access clubhouses and private team NFT marketplaces.

CEO and Founder of Yesports, Sebastian Quinn, explained Web3 and the emerging metaverse allow for much greater fan participation, engagement and ownership.

“Yesports is the Web3 upgrade the eSports sector has been waiting for and will serve as a portal for eSports fans to participate in this new paradigm,” he said.

“We can’t wait to get building with teams all over the world.”

Steven Bryson-Haynes, VP of Business Development, NFT & Gaming at Polygon Studios, said: “The team at Yesports are building something extremely valuable to the rapidly developing Web3 landscape”.

“The eSporting sector’s fan base and viewing figures are expanding all the time and Yesports will galvanize this by enabling an outlet for fan engagement,” he added.

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