Each week, ESI Digest breaks down the weekly happenings in the esports industry, making sense of things so you don’t have to. As well as being housed on YouTube, ESI Digest is available on all major podcast platforms and is also available in written form below.
This week on ESI Digest, we cover Ben Simmons investing in FaZe Clan, Pusha T and Logic’s ownership of Chaos, League of Legends esports boarding Spotify, the Gen.G Foundation, Challengermode’s $12M round, and BITKRAFT’s $165M raise.
Riot Games announced a partnership with Spotify to make the audio streaming service the exclusive audio streaming partner of League of Legends Esports.
The multi-year partnership will be centred around League of Legends’ three annual international events: Mid-Season Invitational, the All Star Event, and of course, the World Championship.
NBA basketball player Ben Simmons invested in North American organisation FaZe Clan.
“It’s a whole other level now,” Simmons told Esports Insider. “It’s more than just gaming, it’s a culture. It’s the perfect time to get involved with everything going on. I’ve always been very interested in the gaming world and I think this is the perfect opportunity. It goes deeper than just an investment for me, I have genuine friends in FaZe Clan.
GG Group, the parent company of Chaos Esports Club, revealed rappers Logic and Pusha T as co-owners.
As GG Group gears up for the “next chapter in its increasingly compelling story,” it has revealed its notable co-owners to garner more eyeballs on the company. It’s reported that GG Group is preparing to release a number of announcements in the coming months in relation to the organisation.
Swedish esports platform Challengermode secured a $12 million (£9,132,180) investment led by Alibaba investment arm eWTP Innovation Fund.
The capital will be used to “enable further growth, international expansion and accelerated monetization” for the platform. Additional contributors to the investment include Telia Ventures, GP Bullhound, Back in Black Capital, and Swedish professional footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Multinational organisation Gen.G Esports announced a $1 million (£757,655) foundation to develop “the next generation of leaders” in gaming.
The fund will provide support to “women, people of color, and low income students” that are enrolled in a university or college in the United States. The inaugural class will include 10 students, dubbed “Gen 10,” with applications opening on September 15th. The chosen applicants will be unveiled in December.
BITKRAFT Ventures, a leading esports venture capital fund, announced that it had raised a total of $165 million £125 million) to invest across esports, gaming, and interactive entertainment.
The BITKRAFT Venture Fund I closed above its original target of $125 million (£94.7 million), thanks to contributions from a wide array of investors, including investment firms and corporate investors.
ESI Digest is part of ESI Network, a collection of podcasts encompassing the esports industry. For deep dives into the major areas of esports with subject matter experts, check out ESI Focus. For conversations with key personnel and major stakeholders in esports, ESI Insight is the series for you.