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 League of Legends Esports partnering with Mercedes-Benz, Ukraine unveiling its esports strategy, Top Dawg Entertainment founder investing in ReKTGlobal, Riot Games announcing its first self-ran VALORANT event, and Fnatic appointing a new chairman.
Riot Games established German automotive giant Mercedes-Benz as a global partner of League of Legends esports.
As well as serving as the presenting sponsor of the trophy ceremony at the major international events, Mercedes-Benz has been named the official exclusive automotive partner. It’ll develop branded content, dedicated commercials, ad artwork, and social media content around the events, according to a release.
Ukrainian Professional Esports Association (UPEA) introduced its strategy of esports development in Ukraine for the next five years, as well as its structure and key objectives.
The Association plans to attract $100 million (£78.5 million) of investments, $42 million (£33 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 (£15.7 million) is planned to be invested into its reconstruction, according to a release.
Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, the founder of independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment, invested in ReKTGlobal.
ReKTGlobal owns and operates Rogue, Call of Duty League franchise London Royal Ravens, Fearless Media, TalentX Gaming, Greenlit, and Fullcube. Top Dawg Entertainment’s roster of artists includes Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, SZA, Isaiah Rashad, SiR, Reason, Zacari, and Lance Skiiiwalker.
Riot Games announced the first VALORANT tournament internally organised and operated by the publisher.
The developer-ran event, First Strike, will host a series of regional tournaments across North America, Europe, CIS, Turkey, Asia, Oceania, Brazil, and the Middle East.
The global tournament will culminate in “multiple Riot-produced” event finals from December 3rd to 6th. Both professional and amateur VALORANT teams alike “will have opportunities to qualify for the First Strike finals through online tournaments operated by premier esports organizations,” Riot Games said in a statement.
London-based organisation Fnatic announced the appointment of a new Chairman as well as two additional hires.
Lucien Boyer has been appointed as the Fnatic’s new Chairman. Boyer previously served as the CMO at Vivendi, and he led Havas Sports and Entertainment as the Global President and CEO. Boyer will fill the shoes of Nick Fry, the organisation’s previous Chairman, who remains as an advisor.
On top of Boyer’s appointment, Fnatic has hired Soraya Sobh as its Head of Talent Management and George Mead as its Interim Partnerships Director. Sobh joins the organisation after leading her own artist management agency that she founded eight years ago, and Mead joins following seven years with Beko where he led campaigns that involved partners such as FC Barcelona and UNICEF.
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.