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Esports investment report: $63.27m committed in November 2020

Compared to September and October—two gargantuan months for esports investment—things cooled down last month. According to Esports Insider’s calculations, September totalled £143.6m and October saw £240.24m in overall disclosed investment. Funding in November came down slightly, but was considerable nevertheless.

Overall, disclosed investment (or pledged investment) in November totalled $63.27m (£46.79m). Below are some of the month’s key stories.

H3CZ reacquires OpTic Gaming, rebrands CDL franchise

Credit: MLG.TV

NRG Esports Co-owner and CEO Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez has reacquired OpTic Gaming from Immortals Gaming Club, having originally sold his majority share of the organisation in 2017.

The announcement of the acquisition comes following the sale of Immortals’ Call of Duty League (CDL) franchise slot, OpTic Gaming Los Angeles, to 100 Thieves — leading to a re-brand for the franchise to the LA Thieves. Fan reception to H3CZ’s reprisal as OpTic’s figurehead has, as expected, been electric

TECHIIA merges WP Merchandise and FS Holding, pledges $14-30m investment

TECHIIA Holding, the parent company of WePlay Esports, has merged the assets of WP Merchandise and FS Holding (developer of the FragStore chain). TECHIIA plans to invest between $14-30 million (£10-23m) into these companies over the next three years.

The merger signals a major restructuring of TECHIIA’s subsidiaries, with company shares in turn being redistributed between various owners.

Fnatic raises $10m and launches new crowdfunding campaign

European esports organisation Fnatic announced last month it has raised $10m (£7.54m) in a new investment funding round led by venture capital and private equity firm Beringea. The team has also launched a crowdfunding equity campaign through Crowdcube.

Fnatic is the latest esports-related company to launch a crowdfunding round, after Juked.gg’s campaign via Republic and Hitmarker’s two campaigns also through the UK-based Crowdcube.

Hitmarker launches second Crowdcube crowdfunding campaign

Speaking of which, esports-jobs website Hitmarker has launched its second crowdfunding campaign after achieving 250 percent of its fundraising goal during its first Crowdcube campaign.

Richard Huggan, Managing Director of Hitmarker told Esports Insider: “I think that venture capital investment might have been soiled a little bit by people raising a lot of money for what were ultimately pretty bad ideas and spending it quite badly as well. So I think what crowdfunding does is force people to be much more transparent about their numbers.”

BLAST receives £1.7m support from Edge Investments

Danish tournament organiser BLAST has received £1.7m in funding from British firm Edge Investments.

The capital will be used to help the organiser ‘accelerate its international expansion’ and ‘bolster its broader UK operations’. BLAST will also use Edge’s resources and expertise as the tournament organiser seeks to optimise its production capabilities.

Women-led Queens Gaming Collective launches following $1.5m seed round

Following a $1.5m (£1.13m) seed round led by esports venture capital fund BITKRAFT Ventures, female-led gaming lifestyle company Queens Gaming Collective (QGC) has officially announced its launch.

The organisation will provide female competitors, content creators, and streamers with the tools they need to build sustainable careers in gaming and esports.

ReKTGlobal announces Vikkstar as the face of London Royal Ravens

Credit: ReKTGlobal

Esports conglomerate ReKTGlobal has announced the addition of popular content creator Vikram “Vikkstar” Singh Barn as a Co-owner of the London Royal Ravens.

Vikkstar’s role will involve developing content around the London Royal Ravens brand and collaborating on merchandise drops. He will also host Call of Duty events and tournaments for ReKTGlobal.

Immortals raises $26m alongside Call of Duty franchise sale

Alongside the sale of its Call of Duty League franchise spot to 100 Thieves, Immortals Gaming Club announced that it has raised a $26m (~£19.76m) in a Series B-1 financing round.

The organisation plans to use the funding to continue growing its own Immortals team brand, alongside Brazil’s MIBR team brand and Gamers Club’s competitive matchmaking platform.

Payments platform Edge raises $1.5m investment round

Edge, a data-driven payments platform focused on esports-player and influencer contracts, announced last month it has raised $1.5m (£1.14m) in an investment round.

Edge will use the funds to boost areas of its business such as marketing and business development, as well as further developing its technology.

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