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Matcherino Announces $2.7 Million Series A-1 Financing to Accelerate Esports Tournament Growth

Zoltan Tundik

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Matcherino Announces $2.7 Million Series A-1 Financing to Accelerate Esports Tournament Growth and Facilitate Esports Engagement for Major Global Brands 

Led by Seven Peaks Ventures, investors include Madrona Venture Group, Vulcan Capital, and new investor aXiomatic Gaming

Matcherino, the leading online platform that powers the business of esports by enabling game publishers and tournament organizers to seamlessly manage esports events, and provide global brands with the unique ability to reach and engage with valuable esports audiences,  today announced that it has closed a $2.7 million investment round. The financing was led by Seven Peaks Ventures. New investor aXiomatic Gaming also joined this round, and existing investors Madrona Venture Group and Vulcan Capital also participated in the financing.

This investment will fuel the ongoing expansion of the go-to-market and platform development teams, in order to support the global ecosystem of game publishers, tournament organizers and global brands that want to engage with massively expanding esports audiences. Specifically, the capital will enable Matcherino to further develop expanded prize pool management, custom game content commerce and programmatic sponsorship campaign delivery and measurement tools.

Leo Hsu, Director, Strategy at aXiomatic said “aXiomatic’s esports investment strategy targets dynamic companies across the esports ecosystem with potential to enrich player experience or deepen audience engagement. Matcherino’s unique platform ticks both boxes: bringing fan-backed tournaments to life while providing an authentic channel for publishers and sponsors to interact with consumers.”

Goldman Sachs projects that the esports industry will grow to become a $3 billion dollar industry by 2022, and monthly viewership of esports events will exceed 300 million. Given this growth, large global brands are actively exploring how to reach this growing audience that has unique demographics and interests.

Matcherino is the only esports event management platform that enables sponsors to reach esports fans at scale through native placements that drive measured results though targeted messaging and actions for global brands, providing significantly more than just impression-based offerings.

“Major global brands are interested in engaging esports fans but are looking for ways to measure the ROI of their esports expenditures,” said John Maffei, Matcherino CEO. “Matcherino helps brands easily reach and deeply engage with esports audiences across hundreds of tournaments each month and lets these sponsors drive the actions and results they value in a measurable way.”

About Matcherino

Matcherino builds software that enables game publishers and tournament organizers to run successful esports events. The Matcherino platform includes tools to increase tournament prize pools including the ability for fans to buy custom game content from publishers as well as support for sponsors through actionable advertising campaigns.

Matcherino also offers financial services including prize pool escrow services and the transparent, documented and tax compliant distribution of tournament prize pools after their completion. Over four thousand tournaments have been powered by the Matcherino platform.

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Eastern Europe

Ukraine’s UPEA Unveils Five-year Strategy for Esports Development

Niji Narayan

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Ukraine’s UPEA Unveils Five-year Strategy for Esports Development
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The Ukrainian Professional Esports Association (UPEA) has introduced its strategy of esports development in Ukraine for the next five years, as well as its structure and key objectives.

UPEA intends to raise funds, develop streaming studios, open an “esports ready” hotel, increase the number of international tournaments, attract investments, and more.

The Association plans to attract $100 million of investments, $42 million of which has already been made towards the purchase and development of the first “esports ready” hotel on the infrastructure base of the Dnipro Hotel. Another $20 million is planned to be invested into its reconstruction, according to a release.

“We want Ukraine to be among the world leaders, and today we have all chances to enter the TOP-5 countries with the most developed esports ecosystem,” Oleksandr Kokhanovskyy, Board Chairman for UPEA and Founder of Natus Vincere, said.

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eSports

Riot Games Announces First Official Global VALORANT Tournament – First Strike – To Crown Regional Champions

George Miller

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Riot Games Announces First Official Global VALORANT Tournament - First Strike - To Crown Regional Champions
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Riot Games announced First Strike, the first tournament organized and operated by the publisher for its newly released competitive 5v5 character-based tactical shooter – VALORANT. This global event will provide opportunities for players around the world to begin building their regional legacy through a series of tournaments.

First Strike will continue to build on the momentum of VALORANT esports by leveraging a decade of Riot Games’ industry-leading experience producing best-in-class esports events and broadcasts. Riot Games is also the largest global esports producer in the world, running and broadcasting weekly professional league competitions in multiple global regions, as well as winning multiple Emmys for the League of Legends World Championship, the world’s most viewed esports event.

“VALORANT is a deeply competitive title with global appeal and the necessary elements to become the next premier esport,” said Whalen Rozelle, Senior Director of Esports at Riot Games. “First Strike will provide our thriving competitive ecosystem with the platform to showcase their greatness, build regional legacy, and a foundation that will support the esport for years to come.”

First Strike will be a global set of tournaments, composed of multiple regional finals taking place across North America, Europe, CIS, Turkey, Asia, Oceania, Brazil, and the Middle East. Each region will host a series of merit-based qualifiers, resulting in multiple Riot-produced, top eight First Strike Finals, running from December 3 – 6. The winners will earn the right to call themselves the first official regional VALORANT champions. Both professional teams and aspiring amateur squads will have opportunities to qualify for the First Strike finals through online tournaments operated by premier esports organizations.

“Esports remains one of the best investments we can make to support our community for the long term,” said Anna Donlon, Executive Producer of VALORANT. “As we’ve already seen from the Ignition Series, there’s a huge demand and hunger for VALORANT to be played at a professional level, and we’re so excited to be starting that journey with fans, players, and organizations. As a development team, supporting the competitive world of VALORANT is one of our top priorities, and we are committed to this journey.”

Since its release, VALORANT has become one of the fastest growing esports, attracting massive online viewership and the commitment of numerous established professional players from a wide range of competitive backgrounds, as well as emerging discovered talent. To support the growth of VALORANT esports, Riot Games partnered with more than 20 premier event organizers to launch the VALORANT Ignition Series, delivering numerous tentpole competitions that attracted the attention of millions of fans. During the past six months, hundreds of VALORANT tournaments have taken place across a wide range of formats, awarding more than $1 million in prizes to teams and players all over the world.

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eSports

Virtus.pro launches a second CS:GO roster

George Miller

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Virtus.pro launches a second CS:GO roster
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Virtus.pro announces it’s second CS:GO team with young players from across Russia and CIS — VP.Prodigy. This is the second active youngsters team of the club that coexists with main rosters.

Sergey Glamazda, CEO of Virtus.pro: “After VP.Prodigy’s success in Dota 2 it became obvious that youngsters squads are the next big thing, that’s why we decided to continue on this path. There are a lot of different tournaments right now for our second roster to participate in, without interfering with our first roster. Two squads can successfully coexist in the ecosystem. Launching a second roster is yet another way for us to display our eagerness to develop young players and esports in general.”

Mikhail Artemyev, CS:GO branch manager: “We started off this summer searching for a team leader — a coach capable of leading young players.We have watched a ton of demos together and communicated with lots of players. Our main goal was to find not only skilled players, but also interesting personalities who could avoid conflicts and work together as a team. As far as I can tell, we’ve managed to build a perfect squad in terms of team morale and potential.”

VP.Prodigy CS:GO roster:

Aleksandr “mefixs” Ilukhin
Serhii “muR” Hres
Maxim “awesome” Zyuzko
Vadym “h1glaiN” Tanasiuk
Evgeny “Norwi” Ermolin
Vladislav “flash_1” Bykov (coach)

The first official tournament for VP.Prodigy will be announced soon.

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