GosuGamers Weekly Business Review, 2/6 - 9/6
The momentum for Team Liquid continues to grow this week as the fundraising group behind the org gained another wealthy investor from the world of sport. Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is set to join ownership group aXiomatic as co-executive chairman, having already worked in a number of traditional sports in various capacities, and joins a powerful list of backers behind the NA org.
Vinik serves on the NHL Board of Governors, is a minority owner of the Boston Red Sox, and sits on the board of directors of Liverpool Football Club, although in the case of the latter the owners and board are extremely divisive and often criticised for a lack of financial support. The statement he gave with the announcement hit all the right notes, but then again PR from multimillionaires generally does.
“In addition to developing our strategic investment in Team Liquid, working with Steve and Victor to continue to grow the brand and helping the success of the team, I look forward to working with Peter, Ted and Bruce in evolving the industry in a meaningful, authentic way,” Vinik said. Whether the deal helps the industry is one thing, but the investment group behind Liquid is becoming seriously impressive these days and the org seems well set for the future.
If you want to talk about negative or damaging stereotypes, esports has you covered. Traditionally, the image of a pale, overweight guy sat in a basement, snacking on Doritos and sipping a Mountain Dew has been the go-to trope in this part of the ‘world’, although it may be more accurate these days to include an energy drink with all the money Monster and Red Bull have poured into esports.
Still, the makers of the green elixir are not to be pushed out just yet, and they have announced a raft of sponsorship deals this week that show they are fully committed to being the beverage of choice for the thirsty games. Mountain Dew has signed a deal to offer support simultaneously to Team Dignitas, Splyce and SK Gaming, three of the bigger names in the scene right now, and has gone from nowhere to basically the top as a result.
The move from nothing to everything won’t have been cheap for the company, but then they are owned by Pepsi, and the marketing budget for that firm has probably been reviewed since their disastrous campaign where a Kardashian reduced violent protests to happy parties with nothing more than the drink known across the world as ‘is Pepsi ok?’. The move also gives them a presense in NA and Europe, with SK one of the top German orgs and Dignitas based in the US these days following their deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.
It’d be remiss of us to write this article without mentioning that this week saw a general election in the UK, and one that could have real long term consequences too. Since the ‘Brexit’ referendum began the process to remove Britain from the European Union, at least in the main part, the nation has basically been divided on a number of issues, and the outcome of the election could not have demonstrated that more clearly.
To put it plainly, the election was called at a time when the polls showed the Tories were miles ahead, and the thinking inside the party was that a good win would strengthen their hand when looking for a ‘hard’ Brexit. However, the weak result from a Tory point of view has thrown that into doubt somewhat, with the potential for a coalition between May’s party and the DUP, or Democratic Unionist Party, the largest unionist political party in Northern Ireland.
While many may have reservations about the DUP’s attitude toward gay rights, for example, they are far more pro-Europe than the Tories were pre-election, and any alliance would force May and co. to bend to their will somewhat. This in turn could make for a better relationship with Europe even post-Brexit, which is a good thing for esports in the UK.
As esports grows, we see issues with VISAs and travel also growing, and Brexit had threatened to have a negative effect on esports if it limited free movement in and out of the UK. This alliance with the DUP could soften that, and in turn make travel between the continent and Britain simpler. There is a lot more to come from both this election and Brexit of course, but this is a reason to be cheerful on a day when a lot of folk in the UK are waking up and asking themselves ‘what’s going on?’.
Loda steps down from Alliance in another GG exclusive
Chinese org Invictus pick up CS team
OCE org Dark Sided pick up Heroes roster
Matches of the Weekend
EPICENTER LAN Finals, $500k on the line
Lunatic-Hai vs KongDoo, anyone?
Fnatic v Nomia in the HotS HGC Brawl
Events to catch
Na'Vi and VP receive ESL One NY invites
DreamHack Summer Groups announced
DC replace Clutch Gamers at the Summit 7
ESForce need a corporate lawyer...
TEO need new writers
The Events House need a competition manager
In honour of Smash legend M2K, here are some truly awkward moments from Smash