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Giants Gaming and Excel Esports Join Forces

Two of the biggest esports organizations in Europe, Giants Gaming and Excel Esports, have merged to create GIANTX. The new organization will compete in the top leagues for League of Legends and Valorant.

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The esports world recently experienced a shakeup as Giants Gaming, from Spain and Excel Esports from the UK joined forces to create a powerhouse called GIANTX. This is not a merger. The birth of an esports giant that aims to redefine the competitive landscape.

Combining Legacy and Ambition

Giants Gaming with their standing presence since 2008 has established themselves as Spains leading esports organization. They are not known for their excellence. Also as one of the founding members of the League of Legends EMEA Championship showcasing their competitive prowess. On the hand Excel Esports, a rising star formed in 2014 brings their dynamic approach and cutting edge talent to the mix. Their teams in Valorant, League of Legends and EAFC exemplify their commitment to achieving greatness.

Synergy for Dominance

GIANTX is not satisfied, this merger creates a force that spans three key esports markets; Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany. With this positioning they can tap into audiences nurture regional rivalries while expanding their influence, on an international level.
Malaga, Spain and London England will function as the centers, for the organization while a state of the art training facility in Berlin will ensure that their teams maintain their peak performance.

The impact of this merger goes beyond winning competitions. GIANTX aims to expedite the growth of both organizations by expanding into markets and nurturing a thriving esports community. This ambitious vision is supported by the backing of JRJ Group and Toms Capital long term investors in Excel Esports. With their continued involvement in GIANTX the organization possesses the resources to fuel its objectives.

A New Era Begins; Innovation and Rivalry

The birth of GIANTX signifies more than a merger; it represents a statement of intent. The European esports landscape is, on the verge of witnessing an era defined by innovation and intense competition. The arrival of GIANTX promises to push boundaries elevate gameplay standards and inspire generations of esports athletes.

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This is not merely a tale of two brands coming together; it is a story that encompasses two distinct esports cultures colliding to create an identity that will redefine norms and leave a mark on the global stage. GIANTX is not another team; it embodies a movement.

The world of esports is, on the verge of experiencing the reverberations of its ascent.

Author

  • Gilberto Ceballos

    Gilberto is a Mexican law student at Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City, one of the top law schools in the country, with an unwavering passion for various legal subjects like international law and arbitration. He is part of the full immersion program, designed to provide students with a deep understanding of international law. This experience aims to delve into the complexities of global legal systems, international relations, and dispute resolution mechanisms. In addition to this, Gilberto participated in the youth parliament organized by the Mexican Senate, representing the voice of the Mexican youth, as well as having various international academic experiences in Canada, United Kingdom and France. He is a passionate gamer and looking forward to contribute to ELN.

M&A

Version1 Announces Merger with G2 Esports for North American Expansion

Explore the dynamics of the strategic partnership and merger between Version1 and G2 Esports, delving into the impact on North American esports, the acquisition of Call of Duty League franchise rights, and the organizations’ shared vision for future success.

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A Major Merger, in the World of Esports

In a move the ownership group behind American esports organization Version1 led by WISE Ventures and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk has officially announced a strategic partnership with European esports powerhouse G2 Esports. This collaboration involves shareholding and a game changing merger that spans across continents.

G2 Esports Expands into the North American Market and Acquires Franchise Rights

As part of this alliance G2 Esports obtains the operating rights for the Minnesota Røkkr Call of Duty League franchise signaling the giants venture into the North American market throughout 2023. This expansion comes after Version1s COO Brett Diamond stated in April 2023 their intention to pursue a merger.

Version1s Presence Across Multiple Titles and G2 Esports Ambitions in North America

Version1 known for its portfolio of esports teams in Rocket League and VALORANT secures a position within this partnership. At the time G2 Esports solidifies its presence in North America by securing a spot in the VCT Americas league, for the competitive VALORANT season of 2024.

Reviving G2 Esports Call of Duty Aspirations

This collaboration marks G2 Esports reentry into Call of Duty esports after fielding a roster during the 2018/19 season.Despite facing obstacles the organizations recent emphasis, on the Call of Duty esports scene showcases their dedication to achieving excellence, in the world of competitive gaming.

Author

  • Gilberto Ceballos

    Gilberto is a Mexican law student at Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City, one of the top law schools in the country, with an unwavering passion for various legal subjects like international law and arbitration. He is part of the full immersion program, designed to provide students with a deep understanding of international law. This experience aims to delve into the complexities of global legal systems, international relations, and dispute resolution mechanisms. In addition to this, Gilberto participated in the youth parliament organized by the Mexican Senate, representing the voice of the Mexican youth, as well as having various international academic experiences in Canada, United Kingdom and France. He is a passionate gamer and looking forward to contribute to ELN.

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Guild Esports Unveils Strategic Expansion in Counter-Strike: Welcoming Guild Eagles

Explore the strategic brilliance behind Guild Esports’ latest move as they welcome Bad News Eagles into their group, transforming into Guild Eagles in the competitive world of Counter-Strike.

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After years of searching Guild Esports has unveiled a compelling glimpse into its strategic roadmap for the future within the professional realm of Counter-Strike, shedding light on the next chapter of its competitive journey. The London-based team, backed by the iconic soccer player David Beckham, has strategically expanded its roster by acquiring the talent of Bad News Eagles. Formerly devoid of accolades, this team now is integrated into Guild Esports’ fold, adopting the new moniker of Guild Eagles.

The incorporation of Bad News Eagles into Guild’s portfolio marks a pivotal step in solidifying its standing in the competitive landscape of Counter-Strike. The roster, which includes Sener Mahmuti, Genc Kolgeci, Flatron Halimi, Dionis Budeci, and Rigon Gashi, demonstrates a talented and promising group.

However, Guild Eagles is not merely a constellation of adept players; it is fortified by a formidable coaching and management team. Coaches Jonatan “Devilwalk” Lundberg, Kieran “KayJay” Playfair, and Kevin “kRYSTAL” Amend, along with seasoned manager James Banks, bring a wealth of experience and strategic acumen to the table.

In terms of immediate action, Guild Eagles is currently immersed in a series of smaller-scale Counter-Strike tournaments, including the highly competitive CCT Online Finals. This immediate involvement not only serves as a platform to showcase their prowess but also acts as an exciting prelude for fans eagerly anticipating the display of skills and strategies from the newly minted Guild Eagles in upcoming higher-profile tournaments.

This strategic addition to Guild Esports lineup positions the organization in a way to face challenges head on and achieve heights in the competitive Counter Strike scene. Fans of the team and esports enthusiasts are filled with anticipation, eagerly waiting for the next chapter of this thrilling journey in the world of competitive gaming. As Guild Eagles spreads its wings, we can expect an exhilarating path in the evolving esports industry.

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Image by: Guild Esports

Author

  • Gilberto Ceballos

    Gilberto is a Mexican law student at Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City, one of the top law schools in the country, with an unwavering passion for various legal subjects like international law and arbitration. He is part of the full immersion program, designed to provide students with a deep understanding of international law. This experience aims to delve into the complexities of global legal systems, international relations, and dispute resolution mechanisms. In addition to this, Gilberto participated in the youth parliament organized by the Mexican Senate, representing the voice of the Mexican youth, as well as having various international academic experiences in Canada, United Kingdom and France. He is a passionate gamer and looking forward to contribute to ELN.

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M&A

Astralis Sells LEC Spot to Karmine Corp

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A Glimpse into the Past

Astralis first put its spot in the European League of Legends league up for sale in 2022. Despite the organization’s hefty asking price of between USD 40 and USD 50 million, no deal was finalized. Notable teams that showed interest in the 2022 sale included the renowned French organization Karmine Corp and the Spanish esports entity Giants. Both these organizations have a commendable rapport with Riot Games, the developer and overseer of the league, as evident from their spots in VCT EMEA, the European Valorant league.

The LEC Landscape

The LEC has witnessed some significant changes between 2022 and 2023. Misfits Gaming and Rogue, two prominent names, exited the league. While Misfits sold their slot to Team Heretics, Rogue formed an alliance with KOI, which acquired the majority share of Rogue’s LEC slot.

The Current Deal

Karmine Corp made the acquisition by purchasing 66.67% of a newly established subsidiary, AK-Game SAS, for DKK 129 million (ca. USD 18.4). Despite this major transaction, Astralis will continue to hold a minority stake in the League of Legends franchise slot.

Furthermore, Astralis has clarified that the current agreement includes provisions that would allow the Danish organization to initiate additional share transfers if they wish. This could potentially lead to Karmine Corp owning 100% of the AK-Game SAS shares by 2031.

Following this acquisition, Karmine Corp will compete in the LEC under its distinct branding. While their French regional league (LFL) team will remain in the competition, it will now serve as an Academy team.

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The subsidiary that holds the slot has been valued by Astralis at DKK 194m (ca. USD 27.8). As a direct consequence of this transaction, the LEC announced that all players from Astralis will become free agents at the onset of the upcoming offseason.

Financial Implications

The anticipated net gain from the 2023 sale is DKK 153 million, with an expected cumulative cash flow effect from 2023-2025 of DKK 112 million. The sale’s completion is contingent on several conditions, all of which are anticipated to be met soon. The LEC slot transfer is slated for November 2023.

A Word from the CEO

Anders Hørsholt, CEO of Astralis, expressed his sentiments on the decision. He praised the LEC for its professionalism and acknowledged Astralis’s growth since joining in 2019. He emphasized the company’s responsibility to evaluate the benefits of a sale against retaining rights, especially when an asset’s value surges. Hørsholt thanked the fans, partners, and everyone associated with their LEC journey and expressed optimism for the future.

Guidance for 2023

Post the LEC slot sale, the 2023 guidance has been revised. The net revenue is now projected between DKK 70 million and DKK 75 million. The EBITDA forecast ranges from DKK 150 million to DKK 155 million, inclusive of the LEC slot sale gain of DKK 153 million.

Astralis’s Legacy and Future

Astralis, which rebranded from Origen in 2020, has been a pivotal part of the LEC. Maximilian Peter Schmidt, Director of League of Legends Esports EMEA at Riot Games, lauded Astralis for its contributions and expressed excitement for Karmine Corp’s entry, highlighting the organization’s strong brand and dedicated fanbase.

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Image source: LoL Esports Photo via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED

Author

  • Leonid Shmatenko

    Leonid Shmatenko is part of Eversheds Sutherlands’ data protection and technology law team. He has vast experience in regulatory and general issues in the areas of eSports and Blockchain. He advises eSports associations and clubs on all legal issues, advises and supports crypto startups in all matters from planning, preparation to execution of private and public token offerings (so-called Initial Coin Offerings or ICOs). Furthermore, Leonid Shmatenko specializes in international arbitration and has participated in several arbitration proceedings (SAC, ICC, DIS, UNCITRAL, ICSID, ad hoc) as a party representative and secretary of the tribunal. Leonid Shmatenko studied at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf and is currently pursuing a PhD in international law. After his successful first state examination (2011), he completed his legal clerkship, inter alia, at the German Embassy in Lima and within international law firms in Düsseldorf and Paris. He passed the second state examination in 2015. He is an external lecturer at the National Law University of Ukraine “Yaroslav Mudryi”, where he teaches International Investment Law. He is admitted to the Bar in Switzerland and Germany. Before joining Eversheds Sutherland, Leonid Shmatenko worked as an attorney at leading law firms in Geneva, Munich and Paris.

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