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Esports Players League Aims for Accelerated Growth with Esports During the Lockdown, Enters into a Strategic Partnership with Paytm First Games

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Esports Players League Aims for Accelerated Growth with Esports During the Lockdown, Enters into a Strategic Partnership with Paytm First Games
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Esports Players League (ESPL), the new global esports tournament network and platform has entered into a strategic partnership with Paytm First Games, India’s leading gaming destination.

Paytm First Games is India’s fastest growing gaming destination and sees more than half a million daily active gamers on the platform, spending anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes per session. It has witnessed 200 percent growth in the last month, with over 75,000 new users joining the platform every day. Paytm First Games is the digital gaming platform of Gamepind Entertainment Private Limited, which is a joint venture between AGTech Holdings Limited and One97 Communications Limited, which is the parent company of India’s largest digital payments & financial services platform Paytm (valued at $17 billion).

With its strong position, Paytm First Games will introduce ESPL’s unique, mobile and online focussed tournaments to gaming enthusiasts in India. It will oversee the rollout of ESPL’s amateur esports platform in India and execute tournaments, acquire users, secure local sponsorship and partnership deals, and create local media content. ESPL will support Paytm First Games’ efforts by delivering the complete tech solution, global sponsorships, media deals, and winning esports strategy. The first ESPL season is scheduled from May to November 2020.

ESPL’s tournaments platform is largely online focussed and is expected to gain traction in the current global COVID-19 pandemic situation that has forced more than 1 billion people to stay at home due to the various movement restrictions imposed by governments.

“India has over 300 million gamers and will roll out 5G connectivity in 2020, making the country a key market for ESPL’s rapidly expanding network of amateur esports tournaments that create a bedroom-to-champion pathway for online gamers,” said ESPL CEO Michael Broda. “We can’t think of a better-positioned partner than Paytm for our expansion into the highly-desirable Indian mobile gaming market.”

Sudhanshu Gupta, COO – Paytm First Games said, “As malls, movie theatres and popular hangout options shut down temporarily in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, online gaming is picking up as a popular option for stay at home entertainment. E-sporting is fast expanding its gamer base in India. Our partnership with ESPL focuses on grass-root amateur leagues and the mobile esports space. This partnership will help us to launch the unique esports tournaments in India that will further expand the online gaming landscape in India.”

ESPL is a global esports tournament platform provider focused on creating mobile and online ecosystems for amateur esports leagues globally. Through ESPL’s national franchise model, up-and-coming esports talents can easily participate in global competitions. By facilitating grassroots participation in what is a rapidly expanding market, ESPL has direct access and exposure to a large, valuable and often overlooked segment of the esports industry.

Phase one of ESPL’s global roll-out has yielded franchise partnership agreements in Southeast Asia and Latin America. ESPL also entered its first media partnership with eGG Network, the largest esports TV network in Southeast Asia and Australia that reaches approximately 100 million TV viewers. ESPL will announce additional key international partnerships soon.

ESPL is co-founded by former eSports.com CEO Michael Broda, Kin Wai Lau, founder of iCandy Interactive Limited (ASX: ICI), and Datuk Azrin Bin Mohd Noor of behavioral data and technology firm Sedania Innovator Berhad. eSports.com is a leading global esports media company, and iCandy Interactive is a mobile game developer that serves a community of 350 million gamers.

Asia

NASR Esports takes Global Esports Tour 2021 Dubai title in undefeated run

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United Arab Emirates-based team NASR Esports lifted the Global Esports Tour 2021 Dubai title in style, winning the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament in an undefeated run on November 27.

The team beat Doomsday 2-0 in the semi-finals in a best-of-three tie, before whitewashing Triple 6 3-0 in the best-of-five grand final to win the US$8,000 pay cheque.

The runners-up took home US$4,000 while Doomsday and Level E-sports won US$1,500 for making it to the final four.

They came through a field of 30 teams that took part in the open qualifiers, all vying for a spot at next year’s Global Esports Tour Dubai.

NASR Esports’ victory will assure them a spot at the event in March, where they will compete against the world’s best professional CS:GO teams for a total prize pool of US$250,000.

The Dubai event wraps up the 2021 season of the Global Esports Tour, following successful stops in Los Angeles and Riyadh. Next up on the GEF calendar is the inaugural edition of its flagship event: the Global Esports Games held from December 17-19 in Singapore.

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Asia

Falcon Edge, DST Global, D1 Capital and RedBird Capital lead $840 Million investment in Dream Sports at $8 Billion valuation

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Falcon Edge, DST Global, D1 Capital and RedBird Capital lead $840 Million investment in Dream Sports at $8 Billion valuation
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Dream SportsIndia’s leading sports tech company with brands such as Dream CapitalFanCodeDream11DreamSetGoDream Game Studios, and DreamPay in its portfolio, announced the completion of an investment of $840 Million at an $8 Billion valuation, led by Falcon Edge, DST Global, D1 Capital, RedBird Capital and Tiger Global. The round also saw participation from existing investors like TPG and Footpath Ventures, making it amongst the largest investments globally in the sports tech sector.

Dream Sports, with an existing user base of 140 million Indian sports fans, is on a mission to build one of the world’s largest sports ecosystems which includes Sports Content, Commerce, Experiences, Fan Engagement (including Sports Gaming and Esports), Web 3.0 solutions, Fantasy Sports and Fitness Tech. Earlier this year, Dream Sports further strengthened its commitment to this space by announcing a corpus of $250 Million through its CVC and M&A arm, Dream Capital. Dream Capital has built an initial portfolio of 10 companies, largely focusing on thematic early stage investments in India, including, Fittr, SoStronkKheloMore and Elevar. Dream Capital is now expanding its sports, fan engagement and fitness portfolio in India and globally.

Commenting on the investment, Harsh Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, Dream Sports said, “Our vision and mission is to create an entrepreneur-led virtuous cycle of investment, innovation and wealth creation for all stakeholders in the sports ecosystem, from fans to athletes, teams and leagues. Our investors have deep experience in developing sports ecosystems globally, and we are fortunate to have their guidance to ‘Make Sports Better’ for 1 Billion Indian sports fans.”

“We’re excited to partner with the Dream Sports family in their vision of building the leading end-to-end sports tech company in India,” said Rahul Mehta, Managing Partner at DST Global. “We’re very impressed with their customer centric approach, product strategy and ability to strengthen connections between fans and their favorite sports.”

A homegrown company founded in 2008 by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth, Dream Sports is located in Mumbai and employs close to 1,000 ‘Sportans’.

Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to Dream Sports on the transaction.

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Asia

Macao Detains Suncity Boss on China Gambling Charge

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Macao police on Saturday detained the head of Macao’s biggest casino junket organiser and others after Chinese authorities issued an arrest warrant for them over accusations that they ran an illegal cross-border gambling syndicate.

The arrests in the gambling enclave came after prosecutors in Wenzhou, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, on Friday accused Suncity Group CEO Alvin Chau and another person, Zhang Ningning, of leading cross-border gambling operations and setting up casinos across China.

Casinos and most forms of gambling are illegal in mainland China, and semi-autonomous Macao is the only Chinese city allowed to operate a casino. Mainland visitors are able to travel to Macao to gamble but are required to obtain a visa.

“Based on evidence obtained from previous criminal investigations, the (Macao) police brought the criminal suspect Chau and other persons involved back to the police station for investigation in accordance with the law this morning,” Macao’s government said in a statement on Saturday.

Authorities said they had been investigating the case since July last year. They said that the gambling syndicate has 199 shareholder representatives, over 12,000 agents that promoted its gambling operations and more than 80,000 gamblers in its network.

The syndicate also set up asset management firms to assist gamblers with cross-border fund transfers and to recover debts they owed, authorities said.

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