From sponsorships to industry-wide announcements, Insider Sport has you covered when it comes to the world of esports.

This week’s edition highlights the latest developments in the esports sector, including European esports organisation OG Esports announcing a collaboration with betting company 1xBet for the production of an esports documentary series titled ‘Origins‘. 

OG Esports and 1xBet Team Up for ‘Origins’ Documentary Series

European esports organisation OG Esports has announced a collaboration with betting company 1xBet for the production of an esports documentary series titled ‘Origins’. 

Scheduled to debut on 23 May, the series will delve into the personal and professional lives of OG Esports’ athletes, with the first episode set to feature Matthew ‘Ari’ Walke, a 21-year-old professional Dota 2 player from Exeter, UK.

Structured into episodes, ‘Origins’ will provide an in-depth exploration of the backgrounds of OG Esports’ players, shedding light on the elements that have contributed to their success. Through exclusive premieres, interviews, and footage, fans will gain insight into the human experiences behind the players’ journeys to the top.

This series follows OG Esports’ previous success with the ‘Road to TI’ documentary, which chronicled the team’s path to Dota 2’s prestigious The International tournament.

Dan Sanders, Chief Commercial Officer at OG Esports, said:  “At OG Esports, we are always striving to showcase the human side of esports. With ‘Origins’, we want to offer our fans a deeper connection to the players they admire and pay tribute to the incredible journeys that have made them who they are today.”

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Croatian esports café chain Friendly Fire expands to Slovenia

Friendly Fire, a Croatian esports café chain, has unveiled plans to expand into Slovenia through franchising and sub-franchising.

Founded in 2017, Friendly Fire operates cafes in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, and Mexico, along with selling gaming chairs and peripherals. Following an “explosion of interest” from franchisees, the company has recently opened five new locations. 

The first franchise will debut in Ljubljana, with plans for two more in the city. Founder David Kosir has stated that he aims to solidify operations in Ljubljana before expanding further. The total investment for this expansion is estimated at £860,000. 

Kosir is optimistic about 2024, with planned openings in Mexico, Slovenia and Croatia. Revenues are expected to quadruple compared to 2023, reflecting the company’s growing success.

Friendly Fire’s states that its success lies in its low-cost operations, positioning it for global expansion, and that the company sees significant untapped potential in the gaming cafe market.

Kosir stated: ”We have new openings planned in Mexico, Slovenia, and Croatia, and we’re negotiating in several other countries. The interest and inquiries we receive daily are huge, as people see the results and profits from our existing locations. This year, our revenues are on track to quadruple compared to 2023.

“The gaming café market is full of untapped potential, and Friendly Fire is leading the way with a solid system and low-cost operations. We’re just at the beginning of our global expansion, and we’re very optimistic about the future.”

Credit: OHishiapply, Shutterstock

FaZe Clan unveils plans to host 2024 Halo Championship Series Atlanta Major

Esports organisation FaZe Clan has announced that it is set to host the 2024 Halo Championship Series (HCS) Atlanta Major. 

The competition will feature 96 teams from across the globe, which will compete in the tournament qualifiers for four spots in the group stage. FaZe Clan, alongside the four qualifiers and other HCS partner teams, will battle for the championship title and a share of the $250,000 prize pool.

Alongside the main competition, the HCS Atlanta Major will feature a free-for-all tournament with a $5,000 prize, which is open to both spectators and players. FaZe Clan joins OpTic Gaming, Spacestation and Quadrant as the event hosts for the 2024 HCS season.

The HCS’s growth in the FPS sector is evident, with the 2024 Arlington Major reaching peak viewership of 109,760, as reported by esports data platform Esports Charts

Justin Kenna, CEO of GameSquare, commented: “As our first major collaboration with FaZe Clan officially in the GameSquare ecosystem, we are thrilled to be partnering with 343 Industries to bring the Halo Championship Series to Atlanta. 

“This moment combines for the first time GameSquare’s event production expertise alongside FaZe Clan’s unmatched esports pedigree. Add the iconic Halo universe to the mix, and we believe we have the opportunity to create an unforgettable event for gamers and fans alike.”

Faze Clan on laptop screen
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Jonas Gundersen prioritises grassroots engagement as IEFS’ Senior Advisor

Jonas Gundersen, current CEO at Continuum X Group, has assumed the role of Senior Advisor to the International Esports Federation (IESF).

Drawing from his extensive experience in esports, Gundersen aims to assist the IESF and national federations in expanding esports tournaments and fostering community engagement.

Prior to becoming the CEO at Continuum X Group, Gundersen held the role of COO at Ninjas in Pyjamas. Under his tenure, the organisation underwent significant strategic moves, including a merger with a Chinese entity to establish the NIP Group.

Following his departure from Ninjas in Pyjamas in February, Gundersen founded Continuum X Group, a company providing advisory services, investment and management within the esports industry.

In a LinkedIn post, Gundersen said: “In what capacity a federation is needed is very much a debate in our new industry, where the nature of our business is that no single entity owns the rights. The publishers own the game IPs, and our ecosystem is co-dependent on each other to continue building mutual value that benefits all.

“To me it’s about moderation, collaboration, facilitation, and a forum for a broader way of looking at esports, that hopefully helps capture the great momentum of the fantastic initiatives happening at the top, propelling it all the way down to the grassroots.”

People playing on PC
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