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Team Vitality, a leading European esports team, receives €20 million investment from entrepreneur Tej Kohli

George Miller

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Team Vitality, a leading European esports team, receives €20 million investment from entrepreneur Tej Kohli
Photo Source: Riot Games
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Team Vitality has announced that it has received an initial €20 million investment from tech entrepreneur Tej Kohli.

The investment is thought to be the largest-ever for a European team. It represents a major boost for the continent’s esports sector, which is currently expanding rapidly and looks set to rival Asian and North American markets.

Through a combination of strong management, ambition and hard work, Team Vitality has quickly established itself as a leading professional brand in Europe with rosters across a number of titles and some notable commercial deals to boot. Vitality will make use of Mr Kohli’s business acumen and global experience to develop and strengthen the team and become a globally recognised brand.

The team’s founders also believe the investment will deliver for the fans. The €20 million sum will serve to develop state of the art facilities, including training and performance centres, as well as a flagship store and office. It will also enable world class athletic teams to be built, and ensure that fans can experience esports entertainment in a more immersive style.

Adding to its strong presence in European esports leagues, Vitality has recently launched a team in the leading FPS title Counter Strike: Global Offensive, better known as CS:GO, that last weekend won the DreamHack Open in Atlanta.

Vitality was also recently confirmed as one of the teams that has secured a long term partnership in newly franchised EU LCS, which has been rebranded to the LEC. This gives Vitality a long term corner stone in Europe’s premiere esports league.

With Mr Kohli’s support, the team plans to first expand its presence in China and Southeast Asia to reach an even wider range of viewers. Southeast Asia is the fastest growing region for esports, with major brands such as Singtel pledging extensive support and the likes of the Malaysian Government committing funds to help grow the industry locally.

Team Vitality, founded in 2013 by Fabien Devide and Nicolas Maurer, is a professional European esports team based in France, with a total of 50+ world class players from 11 countries. The team has a current portfolio of ten games, including League of Legends, CS:GO, Fortnite, PUBG, Rocket League and more.

Active in both European and international competitions, Team Vitality has a wide following in Europe, with a unique community of loyal supporters and an impressive list of AAA- brand partners such as Adidas and Renault.

Mr Kohli is the lead backer of Swiss-based robotics and venture studio Rewired, focused on applied sciences and technologies. His passion for technology and innovation enabled him to recognise the exciting investment opportunity offered by the growing esports market.

With Mr. Kohli’s commitment of €50m, Rewired launched an esports division Rewired GG, one of the largest investment arms in Europe dedicated solely to esports. Through it, he aims to expand the esports industry, as well as develop individual players, games and commercial opportunities. The backing of Team Vitality is Rewired GG’s first investment.

Team Vitality President and Co-founder, Fabien Devide, said:

“This investment marks a truly significant moment in the five-year history of our team and is a result of the hard work of our players, and the unquestionable loyalty of our supporters. We look forward to building on the already great community Team Vitality has established and to welcoming new players and supporters in the future.”

Mr Tej Kohli said:

“Esports is the future of both sport and entertainment and Vitality is one of the biggest and most exciting European teams. I’m thrilled to accompany them on their journey, as they look to become the number one esports team in Europe, and ultimately worldwide. I look forward to using my forty-years of business and technology experience to assist the management team in building a well-respected, world-class team, which will be a dream for every gamer and supporter to be a part of.”

Team Vitality CEO and Co-founder, Nicolas Maurer, said:

“Team Vitality has always strived to be one of the best esports teams in the world. With Mr Kohli’s support we are excited to step even closer to achieving our global ambitions. Team Vitality is set to become leaders in an industry that we believe will soon rival traditional sports in terms of audience and investment.”

 

 

About Team Vitality

Team Vitality was created in 2013 as a Call of Duty team and developed into a console organisation. It started its expansion on the PC esports scene in January 2016 with arrival in The European League of Legends Championship Series (EULCS). With continued growth on major titles and a lot of great results, Vitality’s mission is to bring the most professional environment possible to its players, while providing the best entertainment possible to its supporters. The two core pillars of Team Vitality are excellence and proximity.

 

About Mr Tej Kohli

Mr Tej Kohli is a visionary entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist who rose to success building solutions for e-commerce businesses during the peak of the dot-com boom. Passionate about the potential of disruptive technology, innovation, philanthropy and in empowering young people, Mr Kohli has ensured this is reflected in his work and career. Mr Kohli now invests in innovative technology firms specialising in robotics, artificial intelligence and biotech, through a $100 million fund called Rewired. He has recently committed €50M to Rewired GG, an investment arm dedicated to esports. Beyond this, Mr Kohli carries out philanthropic work through the Tej Kohli Corneal Institute (TKCI), as part of his mission to cure corneal blindness worldwide by 2030.

 

About Fabien Devide

Fabien is President of Team Vitality. His career in the esports industry has covered the full spectrum of roles, from player to coach, manager and president. As a passionate competitor, Fabien’s vision is to take care of athletes, pass on his love for the game and nurture an authentic and close relationship with fans. Since launching Vitality in 2013, he has transformed the team into a true European leader. Today, Fabien’s role is to oversee and manage the sports and brand departments. He is also identified as the definitive voice and expert on esports in France. He has spoken before the national parliamentary working group on esports and was appointed head coach of the efootball National Team by the French Football Federation.

 

About Nicolas Maurer

Nicolas is CEO of Team Vitality. Since the team began, he has taken charge of its operational management. Nicolas looks after Vitality’s structuring, human resources, fundraising and monetisation of the brand via sponsorship, merchandising, commercial operations and revenues from leagues and games management. In just five years, Nicolas has turned Team Vitality into one of Europe’s leading esports businesses. Vitality is today a structured and well-funded operation, thanks to an initial fundraising round that drew EUR 2.5 million in December 2017. These fundraising rounds are among the first ever conducted by an esports club in Europe. Nicolas’ success has been to attract key strategic investors and prestigious sponsors, such as Orange, Renault and adidas. Today, Nicolas manages more than 70 dedicated and passionate people and continues to transform the team into a major actor in the world of esports.

 

eSports

Global Esports Federation Announces Launch of New Commission

Niji Narayan

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The Global Esports Federation Ramps Up International Commercial Focus
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

The Global Esports Federation has announced the formation of a Brand, Marketing, Commercial and Communication Commission to create opportunities within the community and propel esports to the forefront of global events and entertainment.

“Esports has emerged into the mainstream in recent years, evolving to hit the mainstage of entertainment globally. The whole of the Global Esports Federation and the global esports community are optimistic about its continued growth and expansion. We are excited to share our progress and new developments in esports,” Chris Chan, President of Global Esports Federation, said.

The Commission will be led by senior Italian football executive and GEF Board member Lorenzo Giorgetti. Throughout the year, the GEF celebrates the universality of global esports through the staging of regional, continental and international events.

“The Global Esports Federation convenes the stakeholders in the world’s dynamic esports community from different backgrounds, geographies and business models. I look forward to engaging with the world’s commercial brands – established and those emerging – and the market at large to bring tremendous value to the GEF and our worldwide properties,” Giorgetti said.

The Brand, Marketing, Commercial and Communications Commission will drive key priorities in elevating esports globally – to convene an evolving industry, cultivate commercial opportunities and build revenues by driving strategic brand initiatives and partnerships.

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eSports

Zwift Set to Launch Z PRO June Invitational

Niji Narayan

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Zwift Set to Launch Z PRO June Invitational
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Global online training platform Zwift is set to launch Z PRO June Invitational. This is a four-week series where each rider chases general classification over four races during the month of June. Fans can tune in to watch pro triathletes race from June 10.

“The ZPRO Tri Race series has been a great success. I’m excited to see how the athletes take to the 4-week race series and which pro is best over such diverse terrain,” Eric Min, CEO and Co-Founder of Zwift, said.

The start list for each race contains 30 of the biggest stars in the sport of triathlon, in both short and long distance racing. Confirmed athletes include Lucy Charles-Barclay, Sophie Coldwell, Flora Duffy, Jess Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown. On the men’s side, Kristian Blummenfelt, Terenzo Bozzone, Alistair Brownlee, Braden Currie, Gustav Iden and Lionel Sanders are all confirmed to race.

“The ZPRO Tri Race series has been a great outlet to get in some real racing. I’m really looking forward to the June Invitational, it will be hard racing but I’m excited to go up against the other women and leave it all out there on the bike,” Lucy Charles-Barclay said.

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eSports

LG Partners With Esports Pioneer ‘Evil Geniuses’

George Miller

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LG Partners With Esports Pioneer 'Evil Geniuses'
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Raising the bar in competitive gaming and demonstrating innovation beyond boundaries, LG Electronics USA has launched a multi-faceted integrated marketing partnership with one of the original and most iconic esports organizations in the world – Evil Geniuses. The centerpiece of the partnership is LG UltraGear,™ which has been named the Official Gaming Monitor of Evil Geniuses.

LG UltraGear advanced monitors are well known to serious gamers for lightning speed, offering the world’s first 1 millisecond (ms) display combined with QHD Nano IPS technology for lifelike images with rich, natural colors and consistent contrast across a wide viewing angle. LG UltraGear monitors are fine-tuned to respond incredibly to the most demanding titles, helping lead gamers to victory.

Founded in 1999, Evil Geniuses (EG) has shaped the history of esports. EG is a leader in the worldwide competitive gaming community, maintaining elite globally and nationally ranked rosters across major game titles such as Dota 2, League of Legends and CS:GO as well as players competing at the highest level in various FGC games and Fortnite. The EG Dota 2 team is the most victorious in North American history, with 4 top three placements in world championships and the only North American team to win The International, while the EG CS:GO team are champions of the two biggest fall tournaments (2019 ESL One New York, 2019 StarSeries & i-league Season 8), and in their first LCS split, EG surged to 2nd in the regular season.

As the Official Gaming Monitor Partner of EG, LG UltraGear monitors will be installed and utilized throughout the competitive practice and streaming rooms at the EG training facilities in Seattle and Los Angeles. LG UltraGear gaming monitors will also be featured in the team’s digital content, and Evil Geniuses players will highlight key features of the monitors through exclusive online LG UltraGear streams. Further, LG is systematically matching their broad array of monitor products to uniquely fit the needs of Evil Geniuses’ day-to-day business across content development/editing, team operations and the EG business staff.

“This partnership with LG UltraGear is a testament to delivering ‘best-in-class’ across all aspects of our organization,” said Phil Aram, chief gaming officer of Evil Geniuses. “EG’s insatiable desire to outperform ourselves continually fuels us to be in top form competitively, and with LG UltraGear, we have a partner that’s hand-in-hand with us in sharing that mindset.”

As part of EG’s recently unveiled rebranding, the newly debuted crest and LG UltraGear logo were incorporated into the complete overhaul of the 2020 player jersey design. The new jersey celebrates individuality by incorporating details unique to each player, while standing out from the competition with bold design and intricate details.

“This is the perfect partnership of industry-leading gaming technology and world-class esports professionals,” said Michelle Fernandez, head of home entertainment marketing, LG Electronics USA. “Evil Geniuses features some of the most talented and accomplished esports competitors in the world. LG UltraGear delivers the performance the world’s top professionals and all serious gamers need to gain that edge and win.”

The partnership between the two companies is rooted in the shared belief and unquestioned pursuit for excellence which starts by using the best products, such as the LG UltraGear monitor. Neither company is bound by what is standard and strive to pursue what is right.

2020 LG UltraGear Gaming Monitor Lineup*

The 2020 LG UltraGear lineup features the largest lineup of gaming monitors with high performing features such as NVIDIA® G-SYNC® and AMD FreeSync.™ Debuting later this year, the 27-inch UltraGear 4K UHD monitor (model 27GN950) delivers a 1ms Nano IPS display with a refresh rate of 144Hz, over-clockable to 160Hz. This CES® 2020 Innovation Award Honoree offers hardware calibration to maximize the ability of LG’s IPS technology to realize precise color reproduction. For gamers looking for extra screen real-estate and more immersive gameplay, LG UltraGear models 34GN850 and 38GN950 feature large 1ms IPS displays and a 160Hz refresh rate.**

Specific events featuring LG UltraGear and Evil Geniuses will be announced at a later date. For more information on LG’s ultra-fast gaming monitors, visit https://www.lg.com/us/gaming-monitors.

*The 2020 LG UltraGear lineup features an expansive range of screen sizes from 24-inches to 38-inches
**With overclocking.

 

SOURCE LG Electronics USA

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