Eric Tveter, former Central Europe chief executive of Liberty Global, has become a major investor and the first chairman of London-based start-up Veloce Esports. This will be part of Veloce’s angel funding round which was recently closed as they prepare for their Series A. Veloce was founded by Formula E champion and ex-Formula One driver Jean-Eric Vergne alongside Rupert Svendsen-Cook and Jack Clarke. Veloce has won global esports championships such as the inaugural e-Race of Champions and Le Mans Esports Series; secured a number of international clients, running esports operations for F1 team Alfa Romeo Racing and Fernando Alonso’s FA Racing team; and attracted major partnerships with firms such as Logitech and BenQ.
SoStronk, a Bengaluru-based esports gaming platform has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from IP Ventures. Founded in 2016 by Prashant Prabhakar (CEO) and Karan Mishra (CTO), SoStronk is a tech platform in the esports industry, with its first product claiming to be a dominant ‘playing’ platform in the Indian and South East Asian markets. SoStronk empowers competitive gamers by bridging the gap between the game publishers and the user. It also provides tech infrastructure, support, and production to esports tournament organizers. SoStronk will utilize the funds for R&D and the expansion of the team, with a focus on marketing, development, and QA.
Min-Liang Tan, co-founder and CEO of Razer, announced he will be pouring S$10 million (US$7.2 million) into Singapore’s gaming scene over the next 12 months. “This funding will also go in part to Team Singapore, which we are supporting for the SEA Games (which we are also the official esports partner) later this year where esports will be, for the first time ever, a medalled sport,” Tan said in a Facebook post. Razer currently works with 18 professional esports teams collectively known as Team Razer, with players from over 25 countries. The Singapore- and US-based company also opened its new RazerStore in Las Vegas, its largest retail store to date that will also accommodate esports events in partnership with other industry players.
Enthusiast Gaming Holdings, the parent company of organization Luminosity Gaming, has acquired a non-controlling interest in Overwatch League franchise Vancouver Titans. The organization was previously involved with the franchise through a long-term management agreement with its owner, Aquilini Investment Group. Speaking on the merger ahead of this investment, Menashe Kestenbaum, President of Enthusiast Gaming said: “Our vision when we founded Enthusiast was to build the largest, vertically integrated esports and gaming company in the world. The merger with Aquilini GameCo and Luminosity was a strategic decision that positions us as a dominant player in the gaming industry and unlocks access to Luminosity’s 60 million dedicated esports fans and one of the largest esports franchises. I look forward to working with our new partners to continue to build and diversify Enthusiast Gaming across the esports, gaming and entertainment sectors.”
Intel has announced the Intel World Open, an esports tournament that will take place on the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. The tournament will feature Japan-based title Street Fighter V and Rocket League, with a total prize pool of $500,000 (£405,175) on the line. Intel, alongside ESL, hosted IEM PyeongChang around the time of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. The Intel World Open appears to be taking things to an unprecedented level, however. The tournament will begin with open qualifiers in early 2020, with a live qualifying event in Katowice, Poland following in June. The World Open itself will take place in Tokyo on July 22nd-24th leading up to the Olympics Games.
Nike has unveiled the official kits for the 16 teams that compete in the League of Legends Pro League (LPL). The deal was first announced back in February with a four-year partnership being penned between Nike and LPL organizer TJ Sports. Nike became the league’s official apparel and footwear partner. All jerseys have a similar design, with the Nike logo on the right side and a team logo on the left; each also features a chevron pattern on the chest. Invictus Gaming has a single gold star above its team logo to represent its victory at last year’s World Championship, too. The three LPL representatives at the World Championship — Invictus Gaming, FunPlus Phoenix, and Royal Never Give Up — will don their kits at the event, starting October 2nd.
Mexican event organizer Pro Play Esports has launched with the aim of giving casual players a chance to compete for money and practice against other competitors. Pro Play Esports will host short tournament seasons every three months, regional leagues, and a ‘Grand Slam’ event that wraps up each season. The Lite version of the platform is free for anybody who wants to play, with over 30 online tournaments being hosted each week. Tournaments for Premium users dish out over $1,500 (£1,214.21) in winnings every week, with the service costing $3.99 (£3.23) a month.
- Gears 5 —September 10 (Xbox One, PC): Gears 5 focuses on Kait Diaz, who will learn more about her own family’s history as she uncovers the Locust’s origins. Gears 5 offers the standard campaign and multiplayer options, but there are some big changes to other modes this time around. For one, Horde mode gives every character unique abilities and ultimate attacks — there’s even a pair of characters from Halo: Reach in the mix. Characters also get special perks in the new Escape mode, a three-player co-op experience where you have to destroy Locust hives.
- Blasphemous — September 10 (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch): Blasphemous is a combat-platformer set in the land of Cvstodia. You play as The Pertinent One, who wields a deadly blade known as the Mea Culpa. You can customize that blade with different adornments as you explore the world and take down massive bosses. Blasphemous developer The Game Kitchen promises “fast-paced, skilled combat [and] a deep and evocative narrative core.”
- GreedFall — September 10 (PS4, Xbox One, PC): The world of GreedFall is under the shadow of a deadly plague, and your hero will journey to a mysterious island in hopes of finding a cure. GreedFall is an RPG, but there are no set classes. Instead, you can choose from tons of skills to customize your playstyle to your liking, from combat to stealth to diplomacy. Your choices can change the direction of the story too.
- eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 — September 10 (PS4, Xbox One, PC): Why the name change for PES 2020? This year’s football game focuses on online multiplayer, with pro tournaments and the PES League. There’s also a new mode called Matchday, where two pre-selected teams face off each day. You can log in and win the match for your team of choice — almost like a Splatoon 2 Splatfest, but with a real sport.
- NHL 20 — September 13 (PS4, Xbox One): NHL 20 has its own range of new features too. First, Franchise Mode is mixing things up by letting you hire coaches, which come with new dialog and scouting options. Hockey Ultimate Team is back with new Squad Battles, which gives you a fresh lineup of opponents to take on each day.
- Borderlands 3 — September 13 (PS4, Xbox One, PC): There are new characters to check out in Borderlands 3 as well. Amara the Siren, Moze the Gunner, Zane the Operative, and FL4K the Beastmaster are your Vault Hunters for his adventure. You won’t just be seeking Vaults on Pandora, though; for the first time, you can travel to other planets aboard the Sanctuary III. As usual, expect to find a ridiculous amount of guns as you battle the evil Calypso Twins.
- Daemon x Machina — September 13 (Switch): Nintendo Switch gets an exclusive this week thanks to Daemon x Machina, which is all about mech combat. You can customize your mech, known as an Arsenal, with different handheld and shoulder-mounted weapons — and you’ll need all the firepower you can get to save the world after the moon is destroyed. Daemon x Machina offers local and online multiplayer too.
Konvoy Twitter: @KonvoyVentures