GosuGamers Weekly Business Review, 21/4 - 28/4
Welcome to the Gosu Money Review, where we take a look at the biggest, most interesting or sometimes just strangest stories to permeate the world of eSports business each week.
We tend to focus on stories that affect single eSports here, but last week the news about the Asian Games came as a boost to the entire industry. It may only be the biggest games that received and invite to that tournament, but one of the biggest hurdles we must clear to make it into the mainstream remains the perception of eSport as a home for fat, sweaty nerds that live in a basement etc.
Obviously, if you’re involved in eSports these days you know that the participants are pretty much the same as people in any other walk of life, some fat, some thin, some Paschabiceps. However, you only need to read the average piece written by a sportswriter from the likes of The Times or ESPN to see how far that reality is from the perception many hold. Admittedly with the older members of the fraternity they are probably too entrenched in their ways to expect change, but the majority need to see eSports as something like sport, if not sport itself to take it seriously.
Getting into the Olympics is very hard, as many have found out already, but moves like the one into the Asian Games proper (eSports has been part of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games for a decade) are crucial. One group that has for a long time touted themselves as a potential regulator or organising body, The International e-Sports Federation (IeSF), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The International University Sports Federation (FISU). The latter are the group currently connecting sports with the worldwide educational system, and the aim of the deal is to work together in order to help organise and standardise the world of collegiate eSports.
With the success of events like Heroes of the Dorm, the US university based Heroes league, it’s clear there is a market for this level of competition, and with the way American sport is organised it also fits into the pre-existing pathway for kids to become elite competitors. In theory that means the stars of tomorrow will also receive an education, but anyone with experience of the US collegiate system knows that is in name only for regular athletes, and eSports will have to work hard to make it a reality.
However, these moves should be praised, and like the Asian Games news are important for all of eSports, although in this case it’s fair to say the IeSF are not quite as established as they would like to be. With higher-ups talking about the continuing problems of welcoming eSports into the Olympics including the lack of true regulation, it is in our interests to see the IeSF, or something like it succeed though, making this story one with both significance now, and potentially huge significance down the line too.
This week it was reported that one of the biggest deals in eSports history, or at least Counter-Strike, had been struck. Spanish organisation G2, founded in Madrid in November 2013, have extended their deal with mobile giants Vodaphone to take on a more global nature, and according to reports net them a cool $1m over the course of the contract, putting it right in the top echelon of sponsorship deals.
With the firms already having worked together this seems like a sign that Vodaphone are currently getting what they want out of the partnership, and are happy to commit further on that basis. This is in comparison to other huge deals in eSports that have not been renewed and seem more like loss leaders as a result, and speaks to G2’s health and ability to attract blue chip partners.
The move comes with an added commitment to expanding further into the Spanish market for Vodaphone as well, as can be seen by G2 signing a Spanish CS team to compete under the name G2.Vodafone. Ostensibly a development squad, the Vodaphone team can feed into the main G2 roster too down the line, and should see more local talent representing the brand down the line.
Overall, this is also the latest in a long line of non-endemic companies to come into the sector in a big way, following Audi’s deal with Astralis among others, and is a great sign for the health of the European scene. If the G2 CS squad can realise their amazing potential sooner rather than later it could prove profitable for both sides, and bring even more cash into the scene down the line as well.
Finally, The Esports Observer reported this week that LEET, which is an eSports startup with the aim of competitive gaming into casino culture has been acquired by eSports gambling company Unikrn. Originally a firm the just hosted tournaments in casinos, LEET has expanded and today has a dedicated eSports content channel, gaming rentals for hotels, as well as their own Bingo-style streaming experience called Leet Bingo.
“Our company has seen growth throughout 2016 with our casino events business and we’re looking forward to an even better 2017 and beyond with Unikrn”, said Kingsley Edwards, CEO and founder of LEET. “It’s clear that casinos are in need of a modern strategy to engage young adults. Unikrn and LEET provide exactly that with our complimentary suite of esports products, community reach, and talented team.”
While casinos are obviously not the best place to engage with all ages, there is a significant and wealthy section of society there to be targeted, although concerns about the ability of eSports to protect itself from the shadier elements continue to exist. Many games have already seen great events run in Vegas or other casinos, and Unikrn and LEET are position themselves to take full advantage.
CompLexity Dota are down to three again
Emagine leaves Winterfox CS squad
Check out our chat with Hexagrams and ZP about Overwatch casting
Matches of the Weekend
Mousesports, fresh off their demolition of Na'Vi, take on GODSENT
Vici v VP at Kiev
Tempest v MVP should be fun
Events to catch
The Kiev Major ends this weekend, don't miss it
Rain and Niko are invited to the 2 v 2 tourney run by HTC
ESL Pro League continues this weekend
SportRadar need an eSports Account Manager to work in Sales
By The Way Communications need a Social Media Manager
The greatest, saddest PSA in the history of eSports...thankyou Summit
Will G2 win a CS major in 2017?
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