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The #Esports Observer Receives Significant #Investment $GMBL #Egaming #LOL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:06 AM on Monday, October 23rd, 2017

I cover the intersection of sports and money. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

  • SportsBusiness Journal had to shift from a focus on paper news to an Internet site and now makes a big investment on a new type of content: esports
  • looking at predictions that include the esports industry possibly growing at a 30% compound rate through 2020, pushing the market to $1.5 billion in annual revenue

Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal (SBJ) has been looking at predictions that include the esports industry possibly growing at a 30% compound rate through 2020, pushing the market to $1.5 billion in annual revenue, and SBJ wants more action in it. As such, SBJ has made what it refers to as a “significant investment” in The Esports Observer, a leading source for esports business news and insights.

The specific investment has not been revealed, but its mostly a cash investment with synergies in resources, says The Esports Observer CEO Christopher Hana. The investment will help Hana expand his business to tap into more esports events and conferences, develop new reports and further focus on gaining an audience in the U.S.

The Esports Observer is only two years old and was built to solve a perceived problem that there existed a lack of reliable esports information.

“We wanted to bring transparency to the esports market,” says Hana. “Targeting professionals and everyone who wanted to understand the space better.”

Talks between The Esports Observer and SBJ loosely started a couple of months ago. Hana believes the timing for the investment is appropriate, especially in the wake of an announcement that the New York Yankees are now involved in esports through an investment partnership with Vision Esports, the largest shareholder of esports franchise Echo Fox, founded by three-time NBA champion Rick Fox.

The Esports Observer was launched as part of the BITKRAFT Esports Ventures network in 2015, which raised $18 million euro earlier this year.

“We are incredibly proud to have one of our early portfolio companies enter into a strategic partnership with SBJ,” says BITKRAFT Esports Ventures Founding Partner Jens Hilgers. “BITKRAFT’s investment thesis was to help create more transparency in the esports industry and enable industry professionals and companies entering esports to make better informed business decisions. With Chris Hana at the helm, this partnerships enables The Esports Observer to continue fulfilling this mission.”

Darren Heitner is the Founder of South Florida-based HEITNER LEGAL, P.L.L.C. and Sports Agent Blog. He authored the book, How to Play the Game: What Every Sports Attorney Needs to Know.

#NBA #Esports investment ‘a long-term play’ that will be ‘around for decades’ $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:20 AM on Monday, October 16th, 2017

“This is a massive industry, and we think we have a place in it.

  • Next year, the National Basketball Association will officially enter the world of esports by way of its NBA 2K League
  • Managing director Brendan Donohue has now billed the association’s esports involvement as “a long-term play” that he reckons will span multiple decades.

By Joe Donnelly 4 hours ago

Next year, the National Basketball Association will officially enter the world of esports by way of its NBA 2K League. Managing director Brendan Donohue has now billed the association’s esports involvement as “a long-term play” that he reckons will span multiple decades.

In conversation with Gamesindustry.biz, Donohue suggests the NBA is confident of its place in esports and that the success of the NBA 2K series makes the jump a “logical” step.

“We have great data on NBA fans, and that’s a massive audience,” says Donohue. “We see that NBA fans are more likely to play video games, and actually more likely to engage in esports than fans of other sports. We think there’s a pretty nice marriage here.

“I don’t think you have to be a fan of 2K to enjoy watching. That’s one of our advantages: the NBA 2K game, and basketball more broadly, are globally recognisable. You can watch having never played the 2K game before and understand what’s going on. That gives an advantage with that more casual audience. [Games like League of Legends] are awesome games, but they can be intimidating [to watch] of you’ve never played them.”

Donohue points to the fact League of Legends finals have pulled bigger audiences than the Oscars, and that awareness isn’t something he or his team consider an issue. That said, Donohue also describes revenues as “a secondary goal right now”, and that building scale is their current focus.

He continues: “There’s a significant appetite for the game in the US, but more importantly globally. We have a free version of the game in China that has 34 million registered users. That suggests there’s a global appetite for the game; in fact, I don’t think people understand how big the 2K game is globally.

“This is a long-term play for us. We expect this to be around for decades, so the primary goal is building an audience, doing that in the right way, and creating an environment where our players can be successful. We’re confident the revenues will follow if we do that right.”

The NBA 2K League is set to kick off next year. Gamesindustry.biz’s interview with Donohue in full can be read in this direction.

Source: http://www.pcgamer.com/nba-esports-investment-a-long-term-play-that-will-be-around-for-decades/

#Blockchain Technology Could Be A Game Changer In #Esports $GMBL #Blockstation

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 10:31 AM on Thursday, October 12th, 2017
Darren Heitner , Contributor
Eloplay

A diagram that seeks to explain the process of participating in an Eloplay Smart Tournament.

The esports industry is rapidly evolving, going from content consumed largely through streaming platforms such as Twitch to network-backed streaming service Hulu picking up four new esports series, gradually making the watching of esports even more mainstream. Meanwhile, the players themselves are gaining more options with regard to the currency that surrounds the competitions.

For instance, esports platform Eloplay, which has been in existence for more than eighteen months and provides a service that allows players to organize and participate in esports tournaments, is testing out a new form of currency for its users. It is an example of an esports-related entity involving itself in the blockchain and leveraging smart contracts technology to allow players and brands to organize esports tournaments of any scale, using Eloplay Tokens as the prize pool.

And much like other companies testing the blockchain waters, Eloplay is involving itself in what is called an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), allowing users to buy-in so that they can use the coins to organize tournaments, place advertisements or even sell tokens through its exchange. This all takes place on a decentralized platform that remains largely unregulated, for the time being. Although even that appears to be changing.

The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) recently stated that ICOs will begin to be regulated as securities and that unregistered offerings may be subject to criminal punishment.

“Whether a particular investment transaction involves the offer or sale of a security – regardless of the terminology or technology used – will depend on the facts and circumstances, including the economic realities of the transaction,” stated the SEC in its press release on the matter.

“We seek to foster innovative and beneficial ways to raise capital, while ensuring – first and foremost – that investors and our markets are protected,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.

Thus far, 90,000 individuals are registered to participate on the Eloplay esports platform and they have completed a total of roughly 3,500 tournaments. Eloplay’s desire is to convert existing participants into Eloplay Token purchasers through the ICO and to use that to generate further interest in using the platform.

Eloplay’s Token Sale begins October 16 and is scheduled to close November 15. Bonuses are offered to individuals who participate early in the process. The currency accepted is Ethereum, which is a widely utilized cryptocurrency.

Darren Heitner is the Founder of South Florida-based HEITNER LEGAL, P.L.L.C. and Sports Agent Blog. He authored the book, How to Play the Game: What Every Sports Attorney Needs to Know.

Follow @DarrenHeitner

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/darrenheitner/2017/10/11/blockchain-technology-could-be-a-game-changer-in-esports/#741e81b944c6

Lambton College opens gaming arena, offers cutting-edge #Esports diploma $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 2:23 PM on Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

  • It started with a suggestion from the IT department.
  • Now it is part of the curriculum
  • Lambton College is becoming a Canadian leader in the burgeoning world of esports

The college, whose main campus is in Sarnia, Ont., has added esports to its varsity sports lineup — alongside men’s and women’s basketball and soccer — and next year will begin offering a cutting-edge two-year diploma in esports entrepreneurship and administration.

Lambton already has a dedicated gaming space — called the esports arena — with 20 high-end computers up and running. It’s in a prime piece of real estate, right in the middle of campus.

“The feedback’s been excellent, just in terms of the uniqueness of this,” says Rob Kardas, vice-president of student success and campus service at Lambton College.

Lambton believes the course is a door into the largely untapped academic world of esports and a way to differentiate itself from other schools.

Goldman Sachs valued the world of esports at US$500 million in 2016, with expected market growth of 22 per cent annually compounded over the next three years into a more than $1-billion business.

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment got a first-hand look at the draw of esports when the North American “League of Legends” championship sold out the Air Canada Centre in two days in August 2016.

MLSE, owner of the NBA Raptors, subsequently signed up for the NBA 2K esports league, slated to debut in 2018.

In taking the esports course, Lambton students will study communications, sports marketing, finance, ethical leadership, teamwork, social media, health promotion, entrepreneurship and business development.

Courses will also cover the history of esports, industry hardware/software, game design and computer networking. A practical project course will ask students to use that knowledge to plan, develop and execute real-world esports projects.

The first class is expected to number some 40 students.

Graduates of the course will also have the option of continuing on to the college’s three-year sports and recreation management program.

The Lambton Lions esports teams, meanwhile, will compete against other North American schools in the Collegiate Starleague. Teams were chosen after open tryouts in “Overwatch,” “League of Legends” and “Counter Strike: Global Offensive.”

Dave Mastrobuono, a Sarnia native and Lambton graduate, has been named head coach. A former pro gamer himself, Mastrobuono is a certified service technician at the school.

College officials believe the gaming arena, which cost $140,000 to $150,000 to set up, will add to the social side of student life. It will also be open to the community.

Lambton officials visited Chicago’s Robert Morris University, a leader in the collegiate esports field and the first school to offer gaming scholarships, while putting together their program.

Robert Morris associate athletic director Kurt Melcher, Collegiate Starleague vice-president Neil Duffy, SetToDestroyX gaming team owner Charlie Watson and officials from Twitch, a popular live streaming video gaming platform, were among the industry experts who helped Lambton develop its course.

Rick Brown, a mobile device specialist in the Lambton IT department, was also a key mover in the expansion into esports.

Duffy says Lambton is the first Canadian school to make esports a varsity program, joining more than 40 schools in the U.S.

But other Canadian schools also compete in gaming tournaments. The University of British Columbia, which also has its own gaming lounge, has had great success gaming.

Lambton is using esports researcher James Kozachuk of the University of Central Florida as its “subject matter expert” in the area.

The course itself has met the necessary approval of Lambton’s board of governors, a program advisory committee of industry experts, Ontario’s Credential Validation Service and Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

It was a learning experience for the college.

Donna Church, vice-president, academic, at Lambton, says she like many parents had thought of esports as “that little troll in the basement.”

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” she said. “It’s actually a highly social sport.”

Lambton has 3,500 full-time and some 6,500 part-time students plus some 800 international students. The college is ranked No. 1 in Ontario and No. 3 in Canada in applied research, according to Research Infosource Inc.

Source: http://nationalpost.com/pmn/entertainment-pmn/lambton-college-opens-gaming-arena-offers-cutting-edge-esports-diploma

Microsoft $MSFT could become the #Ticketmaster of #Esports analyst says $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 3:17 PM on Thursday, October 5th, 2017
  • Microsoft is headed for a “sustained period of accelerating growth” driven by its cloud computing, office productivity software and potential esports cash cows, according to Canaccord Genuity.
  • “Perhaps Microsoft could become the Ticketmaster of eSports, maybe they could run leagues,” the firm’s analyst writes.

Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft

Getty Images
Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft

Microsoft’s growth could get a boost from its latest Xbox launch as well as its exploration of the growing esports industry, according to one Wall Street analyst.

Canaccord Genuity upgraded Microsoft shares to buy from hold Wednesday, noting that the Xbox maker could give more credibility to the budding world of esports, which is centered on video game tournaments and already attracts thousands of participants and viewers.

“In our view, this is both an area of future internal development and prospective M&A,” wrote analyst Richard Davis. “With regard to M&A, perhaps Microsoft could become the Ticketmaster of eSports, maybe they could run leagues.”

Microsoft is set to release its latest generation of Xbox, called the Xbox One X, in November. Davis added that Microsoft‘s office productivity programs and its cloud computing platform, Azure, could also accelerate growth.

Shares of Microsoft rose 0.5 percent shortly after Thursday’s market open. The company’s stock is up 20 percent year to date through Wednesday.

The analyst raised his price target for Microsoft shares to $86, which is 15 percent higher than Wednesday’s closing price. His old target was $76.

Esports are turning a lot of heads lately. Industry revenue is expected to hit $1.1 billion in 2019, and roughly 76 percent of esports fans claim the virtual tournaments are overtaking their time spent watching traditional sporting events, according to research firm Newzoo.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft recently made headlines by purchasing one of seven teams for the Overwatch League, a popular online game produced by Activision Blizzard.

“For brands, media, and entertainment companies, esports provides a chance to capitalize on the favorite pastime of digital natives and Millennials: playing games and watching game content,” Newzoo’s analysts wrote in the firm’s annual esports market report.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/05/microsoft-could-become-the-ticketmaster-of-esports-analyst-says.html

Esports Entertainment Group $GMBL to Acquire Bet Exchange Software Company #Esports #Gaming #Egambling

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 8:05 AM on Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Esports large

  • Announced the execution of a Letter of Intent to acquire all of the issued and outstanding securities of Ardmore Investments SP. Z O.O, a subsidiary of Switzerland based gambling software developer Swiss Interactive Software GmbH

ST. MARY’S, ANTIGUA–(Oct 5, 2017) – Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. (OTCQB: GMBL) (or the “Company”), a licensed online gambling company with a specific focus on eSports wagering and 18+ gaming, is pleased to announce the execution of a Letter of Intent to acquire all of the issued and outstanding securities of Ardmore Investments SP. Z O.O, (“Ardmore”), a subsidiary of Switzerland based gambling software developer Swiss Interactive Software GmbH (“Swiss Interactive”).

ACQUISITION OF SOURCE CODE

Swiss Interactive’s Ardmore is the developer and owner of the source code of the Bet Exchange Software utilized to create the Company’s Esports wagering platform, as well as, other gaming and gambling software. Given the imminent launch of the Esports wagering platform, as well as, the Company’s online gaming expansion plans for the foreseeable future, Esports Entertainment Group made the strategic decision to acquire Ardmore in order to protect the source code from potential competitors and to acquire a proven development team.

Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group, stated, “Owning our bet exchange technology and acquiring the development team behind it significantly strengthens our position within the Esports wagering space. As we are on the verge of launching the world’s first, most secure and transparent Esports bet exchange, the time was right to acquire the core technologies supporting our disruptive business model.”

In connection with the acquisition, the Company will issue 1,750,000 common shares and pay USD $250,000. Ardmore is a Polish corporation with offices in Warsaw, Poland. The transaction is expected to close within four weeks.

This press release is available on our Online Investor Relations Community for shareholders and potential shareholders to ask questions, receive answers and collaborate with management in a fully moderated forum at https://agoracom.com/ir/EsportsEntertainmentGroup

About Esports Entertainment Group

Esports Entertainment Group Inc. is a licensed online gambling company specifically focused on Esports wagering and 18+ gaming. Initially, Esports Entertainment intends to offer bet exchange style wagering on esports events in a licensed, regulated and secured platform to the global esports audience, excluding the US and EU. In addition, Esports Entertainment intends to offer users from around the world the ability to participate in multi-player mobile and PC video game tournaments for cash prizes. Esports Entertainment is led by a team of industry professionals and technical experts from the online gambling and the video game industries, and esports. The Company holds licenses to conduct online gambling and 18+ gaming on a global basis, excluding the US and EU, in Curacao, Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Canada. The Company maintains offices in Antigua. Esports Entertainment common stock is listed on the OTCQB under the symbol GMBL. For more information visit www.esportsentertainmentgroup.com

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
The information contained herein includes forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events or to our future financial performance, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond our control and which could, and likely will, materially affect actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Any forward-looking statement reflects our current views with respect to future events and is subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to our operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity. We assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. The safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 protects companies from liability for their forward-looking statements if they comply with the requirements of the Act.

Contact Information

 

Contact:

Corporate Finance Inquiries
Stephen Cotugno
Vice President, Corporate Development
steve@esportsentertainmentgroup.com
201-220-5745

Investor Relations Inquiries
AGORACOM
ESPO@agoracom.com
http://agoracom.com/ir/eSportsEntertainmentGroup

Celtic takes first step into #Esports with online #FIFA tournament to win #ChampionsLeague tickets and other perks $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:01 AM on Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Celtic takes first step into esports with online FIFA tournament to win Champions League tickets and other perks

  • Starting this October, that will pit players against each other in online matches to win Celtic Champions League tickets and a variety of other prizes
  • Tournament will see players battling it out, all playing as Celtic, in head to head matches.

It will be open only to residents of the UK and Ireland who are aged 16 or over, can play on an Xbox and can stream their games online. This is Celtic’s first step into esports, but it’s quite a substantial one, especially if you’re a Celtic fan.

The winner will get a bundle of Celtic goodies: a 2017/2018 home top, a scarf, two tickets to Celtic’s Champions League match against Bayern Munich at Celtic park, a trip to Paris for Celtic’s Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain and the chance to play a showdown FIFA match against one of PSG’s FIFA players.

This showdown match seems to suggest that the winner of the tournament will then go on to represent Celtic in their face-off against PSG, which could mean that Celtic are looking for a FIFA player to represent them full-time, although it’s unclear if that role could be offered to the winner of the tournament, or someone else entirely further down the line.

It’s unclear who will be entirely yet, but Epsilon’s professional FIFA player Anthony ‘Guigsey’ McGuigan is a noted Celtic fan and has tweeted his intent to compete in the tournament. Whether he can win the 1024 player contest remains to be seen, but as the prize is primarily of value to a Celtic fan that is also a professional level FIFA player, he may not have too much top level competition.

Source: http://www.esports-pro.com/articles/tournaments/celtic-takes-first-step-into-esports-with-online-fifa-tournament-to-win-cha

Marshawn Lynch, Alex Rodriguez Among Investors in #NRG #Esports Team $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 9:33 AM on Friday, September 29th, 2017
CORRECTS TO LOS ANGELES DODGERS, INSTEAD OF ANGELS - Former New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez watches batting practice before a baseball game between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

  • A number of high-profile athletes are reportedly among the investors in NRG Esports.
  • ESPN.com reported “NRG Esports is in the process of closing a $15 million Series B financing round.” Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, former New York Giants defensive lineman Michael Strahan and former MLB outfielder Marlon Byrd are some of those who invested

On Thursday, Jacob Wolf of ESPN.com reported “NRG Esports is in the process of closing a $15 million Series B financing round.” Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, former New York Giants defensive lineman Michael Strahan and former MLB outfielder Marlon Byrd are some of those who invested.

Wolf’s report noted Rodriguez previously invested in NRG Esports and will now join the company’s board following his latest investment.

NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal was among the previous investors in 2016.

In addition to the athletes, Sacramento Kings minority owner Kevin Nagle also invested. There is a natural Kings connection with NRG Esports considering founders Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov own a stake in the team.

In terms of the latest round of investors, Lynch came out of retirement and joined the Raiders this season. Rodriguez last played during the 2016 season for the Yankees, hit 696 career home runs and is currently a broadcaster for Fox. Byrd suited up for 10 different teams during his career and also last played during the 2016 season, while Strahan is a Hall of Famer and current television personality.

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2735763-marshawn-lynch-alex-rodriguez-among-investors-in-nrg-esports-team

The #NBA’s big #Esports push begins in May 2018 $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:53 AM on Wednesday, September 27th, 2017
  • Seventeen teams from the NBA will be part of the upcoming 2K League,
  • Competition it created in partnership with Take-Two Interactive, the developer of the popular NBA 2K series
  • league is going to have its first season next May

The line between eSports and traditional sports is blurring, and organizations like the National Basketball Association are looking to stay ahead of the curve. Seventeen teams from the NBA will be part of the upcoming 2K League, a competition it created in partnership with Take-Two Interactive, the developer of the popular NBA 2K series. And that league is going to have its first season next May, NBA 2K League Managing Director Brendan Donohue revealed to Engadget in a recent interview.

He also said that participating NBA teams will begin drafting their eSports players in mid-March 2018, with tryouts taking place a month before that. Once each franchise selects the five people who are going to represent it, they’ll be official members of their respective organizations in April. Yes, that means they will get a proper contract and sponsorship deals, just as NBA players do.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick
Since being announced in February, the NBA 2K League (initially known as the NBA 2K eLeague) has piqued the interest of both fans of professional gaming and conventional sports. That’s mostly because this is the first league where eSports squads are owned by professional sports organization such as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, two of the teams that will play in the 2K League. Traditionally, ownership of eSports teams are by firms like Cloud9, which fields players Rocket League, League of Legends and Call of Duty and other gaming tournaments.

Along with the Cavs and Warriors, the rest of the teams in the first season of the 2K League include the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards.

Donohue said that aside from these, there “four or five” others that have already reached out with interest in being part of the second year. There are 30 NBA teams total, and some of the notable absences from the 2K League include the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, three of the most decorated franchises in league history. “We would expect to expand pretty quickly,” he said.

Until that happens, though, Donohue said the NBA is focused on ironing out a few more key details. For starters, the league and its partner, Take-Two Interactive, are still trying to determine how the tryout process will work and whether official games are going to be played on PC, PlayStation or Xbox. They’ve also yet to lock down where people will be able to watch the 2K League.

Donohue said media rights are still being worked out, but the idea is to have studios on the East and West Coasts that broadcast or stream the games. It’ll be interesting to see if the NBA strikes a deal with a platform like Twitch or one of the many TV networks trying to take eSports into the mainstream. ESPN, NBC and TBS could all make a move, though it’s also worth keeping in mind that the NBA has its own TV network, NBA TV.

One thing is certain: The NBA 2K League is taking shape rather quickly, especially when you consider that it was unveiled a few months ago.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/26/nba-2k-league-draft-tryouts-interview/

Madison Square Garden Company Appoints Head of #Esports Division $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 9:48 AM on Friday, September 22nd, 2017

  • Esports are second only to movies in the 18 to 25 demographic
  • Nick Allen, who until recently was the vice president of esports for video streaming service Twitch, was named the head of Madison Square Gard Company’s “growing esports division,” effective October 2nd

Nick Allen, who until recently was the vice president of esports for video streaming service Twitch, was named the head of Madison Square Gard Company’s “growing esports division,” effective October 2nd, according to the company.

Allen will be responsible for driving the company’s efforts to expand its presence in the esports industry, with a primary focus on operating Counter Logic Gaming (CLG), MSG’s newly acquired esports franchise. In his new role, Allen will serve as CLG’s chief operating officer, working with CLG Founder and President George “HotshotGG” Georgallidis on advancing the company’s initiatives, including creating live, tickets events. He will also be in charge of creating esports events at MSG venues across the country.

The Madison Square Garden Company operated a number of high profile venues around the country including New York’s Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, CA; The Chicago Theatre; and the Wang Theatre in Boston. The company also owns the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers and the New York Liberty (WNBA).

This July, Madison Square Garden bought a controlling interest in Counter Logic Gaming, which was founded in 2010 as a League of Legends team. CLG now fields teams in a variety of esports including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Hearthstone, Call of Duty and Super Smash Bros.

“We couldn’t be happier with the addition of Nick to our team here at MSG as we start to take a leadership role in the growth of the esports industry,” Jordan Solomon, executive vice president, MSG Sports, Madison Square Garden Company, said in a prepared statement. “Nick brings with him an extensive knowledge of esports and a deep set of relationships developed through overseeing some of the industry’s most popular events, and he has created initiatives that have continued to grow the gaming community. His vision for the esports space will be an invaluable asset to The Madison Square Garden Company and to CLG.”

Prior to joining Twitch in 2015, Allen was the esports operations manager for Riot Games, establishing the organization’s first team dedicated to the operation of esports competitions, including League of Legends World Championships, Championship Series, and Challenger Series. Before Riot Games, he served as an esports division and operations manager for IGN Entertainment.

Source: http://www.rollingstone.com/glixel/news/madison-square-garden-company-appoints-esports-head-w504697