Archive for the ‘esports’ Category

Game Bits: The Latest Esport News

July 20, 2021

Esports Org Dignitas Partners With The US Air Force

North American esports organization Dignitas announced recently a new partnership with the U.S. Air Force. The financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
Under the terms of the deal, the U.S. Air Force has been named the “official military service partner” of Dignitas and will work alongside the organization on “educational, inspirational, and interactive content” featuring Dignitas players and content creators, according to a release.
Dignitas will also create and host an online broadcast esports event to be held in the second half of the 2021 calendar year. The event will be a co-branded Counter Strike: Global Offensive tournament called the “Wingman Series.”
Finally, Dignitas will create content that highlights women who are both active duty U.S. Air Force personnel and gamers to be deployed on social media platforms and both organizations’ websites.

US Pro Baseball Player Becomes A part of XSET

Marco Wilson, a rookie with the Arizona Cardinals, has been signed by XSET, an esports, and gaming company. The financial terms were not disclosed. The Cardinals selected the former Florida Gators cornerback in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Wilson, who regularly streams on Twitch and specializes in Call of Duty Warzone, said in a release that he has been a long-time fan of the organization and appreciates its focus on diversity and inclusion.
Wilson will continue creating content and interacting with fans on his Twitch channel and engage in XSET-related initiatives “to be announced in the coming months.”
Wilson joins a growing list of celebrities and sports stars who have signed on to be a part of XSET including hip-hop artists Swae Lee and Ozuna, BMX legend Nigel Sylvester, Olympic skateboarding phenom Minna Stress, NFL stars Kyle Van Noy and Adrian Colbert of the New England Patriots, and many others.

Game Bits: The Latest in Esports

June 29, 2021

League of Legends Mobile Games Has Been Approved By Chinese Organization

The League of Legends Esports Manager mobile game from Riot Games has been approved by China’s National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA), along with 43 other titles. The Chinese version of the game will include all League of Legends Pro League (LPL) teams, players, and staff, and the player will serve as the “team manager.” 
According to NPPA, Tencent Holdings still holds the publishing and operating rights to Riot Games. It is the second mobile game from Riot Games to receive approval in China this year. League of Legends: Wild Rift was approved in February 2021.
Valorant has not yet received game approval. At the Tencent Esports Global Summit, the game logo was featured only once, when TJ Sports Co-CEO Bobby Jin gave his presentation.

Freaks 4U Gaming Had Bought ProGaming Italia

In an announcement on its website, Freaks 4U Gaming announced its acquisition of ProGaming Italia, an Italian and Swiss esports and gaming event organizer. Unknown amount paid to Fin. 
It is now owned by Freaks 4U, but the company said that ProGaming Italia will operate as a joint venture, since “both Freaks 4U Gaming and ProGaming Italia have always intended to forge a strategic alliance as equals.” 
 Several international esports organizations, game developers, and tournament organizers partner with ProGaming Italia to deliver esports tournaments. ProGaming Italia is a long-standing licensee of ESL and Riot Games, with whom it partners on most of the Valorant activities in Italy. As part of its ongoing licensing agreement with ESL, which is also a minority shareholder of ProGaming Italia, the company’s CEO Daniel Schmidhofer has been named the company’s CEO for ESL Italy, Switzerland, and Austria. 
Freaks 4U Gaming and ProGaming Italia announced their strategic partnership in March 2021 in order to develop Valorant news and content platform Agent’s Range Italia aimed at Italian audiences. 
Freaks 4U Gaming acquired all shares of ProGaming Italia held by majority shareholder Game as part of the acquisition. Schmidhofer’s holding company, Fin. Game returns the favor. Finn is now a minority shareholder in Freaks 4U Gaming following his acquisition of shares. Game was not disclosed by Freaks 4U. Fin did not receive any additional compensation. ProGaming Italia CEO Schmidthofer will continue to lead the company as CEO, as well as assume a vice president position with Freaks 4U Gaming.

Game Bits: The Latest in Esports

June 25, 2021

Andbox Teams Up With Trovo Mayhem

The New York-based esports organization Andbox recently announced that it will compete in Call of Duty Mobile through a partnership with Trovo Mayhem. New York Subliners is the organization’s fourth competitive team, which currently competes in Call of Duty League through its New York Subliners (NYSL) franchise, Overwatch League through its New York Excelsior (NYXL) franchise, and Valorant through Andbox.

This new partnership will see Trovo Mayhem renamed NYSL Mayhem and operate under NYSL’s auspices, giving the company access to the league’s coaching staff, content team, and more, the company said in a release. Financial terms of this deal were not disclosed.

Andbox’s NYSL signed Call of Duty Mobile content creator BobbyPlays to a content creation deal in February 2021. YouTube subscriber BobbyPlays, who is also the founder of influencer management group AmplifiedIM, has 655K subscribers.

Andbox co-founder Rohit Gupta told The Esports Observer that working with BobbyPlays influenced the company’s decision to enter the Call of Duty Mobile market.

The fact that BobbyPlays is one of the largest influencers in the Call of Duty Mobile space got us even more excited about Call of Duty Mobile, as well as what the business unit and the league are working together on, including programming around mobile esports.”

Considering Call of Duty Mobile has gained popularity in multiple regions across the globe, including China, India, and South America, Gupta predicts that Activision Blizzard will increase its efforts for Call of Duty Mobile in North America.

“Mobile gaming is highly regionalized,” he explained. “South America and Asia have their own games, while Call of Duty Mobile stands out as one of few games to succeed in the global market, which is why the world championships will be so interesting when they occur later this year.”

Mobile Esports in North America
More generally, Gupta sees mobile gaming and competitive gaming as growing in the U.S. as mobile broadband technologies like 5G see rapid deployment in the country, and more sophisticated software-enabled by high-end hardware makes playing and watching mobile esports more attractive to consumers.

“Mobile gaming is obviously a huge opportunity,” said Gupta. “We’ve been in the mobile gaming space for a few years now, specifically through our Sterling VC fund, where we made several investments there and got an understanding of the data and market.”

It is simply the fact that consumers in other countries live on their mobile devices that have made the U.S. lag behind when it comes to mobile entertainment.

In those regions, mobile product development has lagged behind in comparison. “We had already done some activities with BobbyPlays and are planning on conducting more in the future as our goal is to drive the overall mobile scene here in the U.S. and North America.”

Activision Blizzard’s plans for Call of Duty Mobile in the U.S., according to Gupta, are to listen to fans and stakeholders, apply feedback, and increase efforts over the next year.

Iterating on what resonates with the existing player and fan communities around Activision Blizzard’s titles is what the company does best, he said. “They have shown that they are willing to change things when it comes to competitive structures so that we can maximize engagement.”. As we move into next year, I believe that we’ll learn from everything we’ve done this year, and come up with an even better product.

Last but not least, Gupta commented on the possibility of Andbox fielding teams in games such as Valorant and Apex Legends when appropriate.

“Game developers are pouring enormous amounts of resources into developing mobile game versions of their titles,” Gupta said. “I think it’s a particularly exciting amount of investment around the innovation that’s happening and the space to create these unique experiences for consumers when they play on these devices. We look forward to expanding our mobile roster into other game titles in the future.”

Newzoo Teams With Isurus

With a goal of improving its knowledge of the Latin American esports market, gaming data and insights company Newzoo has partnered with Isurus, one of the main organizations in the region. There is no fixed duration for the agreement. (Newzoo is a part of Leaders Group, which includes The Esports Observer in its portfolio.)

“Latin America continues to be one of the world’s fastest-growing esports hubs. By partnering with Isurus, we will further strengthen our esports knowledge and market estimates for the region” recently appointed Newzoo Market Lead for Esports, Hugo Tristão told TEO. “As one of Latin America’s first esports organizations, Isurus had the opportunity to evolve together with the market. Naturally, this valuable experience will bolster our understanding of the region’s unique esports dynamics.’’

Founded in 2011 as an esports organization in Argentina, Isurus is a business group. It is currently divided into two groups, Isurus Gaming and Isurus Studio, which invests in music, audiovisual productions, and events, with operations in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Brazil. The organization announced its entry into the North American market in November 2020.

Esports Leaugues in China Agree on Anti-Match Fixing Convention

Led by Tencent Esports, four of China’s top franchised leagues, League of Legends Pro League (LPL), King Pro League (KPL), Peace Elite League (PEL), and CrossFire Pro League (CFPL), have signed “Tencent Esports Anti-Match-Fixing Convention,” as well as other nine Tencent’s esports competitions, including Call of Duty: Mobile Major, Clash Royale Pro League, and QQ Speed S League, among others.

Tencent Esports has developed a “Blacklist Database” for the convention. If players or staff are involved in match-fixing, they will not be allowed to participate in all Tencent-related esports competitions.

Game BIts: DOTA 2 Tournament May Have To Change Venue, BIG Esports Gets Funding, Esports Summit Discusses Peacekeepr Elite in China

June 22, 2021

DOTA 2 Tournament May Have to Change Location

The biggest Dota 2 tournament may have to be relocated due to challenges associated with acquiring visas for players and staff.

According to the statement, the Swedish Sports Federation recently voted not to accept esports, preventing The International from receiving visa exemptions. Multiple appeals of this decision and other measures including asking the country’s Minister of the Interior to reclassify the event have all been denied.

To date, Valve has begun exploring alternative locations in Europe to host the event, and qualifiers will continue as scheduled.

COVID-19 has forced the postponement of the International due to the disease pandemic. This event will be held from Aug. 10-15 in Stockholm, Valve announced last month.

BIG Esports Gers Funding From Australian Government

BIG Esports, based in Melbourne, Australia, along with Wyndham Tech School announced Monday that they have received funding approval from Australia’s Department of Education and Training Victoria to develop and deploy an esports-centered pilot program for high school students.

It will start in Term 4 of 2021 with one class of Year 9 (14-15-year-old) students and run for about nine weeks. In this course, students will learn what it takes to run an esports competition, with emphasis on establishing a business, sponsorship proposals, esports industry knowledge, branding, event operations, influencer marketing, internet security, and more.

Tencent Esports Global Summit Discusses Plans for Peacekeeper Elite in China

On the main stage of the Tencent Esports Global Summit, Leo Liao, president of Peace Elite League (PEL) and marketing director of Tencent Interactive Entertainment Group, discussed the company’s esports plans for Peacekeeper Elite in China.

League of Legends, Honor of Kings, and Peacekeeper Elite are three of Tencent’s major esports titles with franchise leagues, but Peacekeeper Elite is its only non-MOBA mobile title.

“PEL has never hosted a traditional [franchise] esports competition as a reference, and we’re trying to do things differently at every step,” said Liao.

During his presentation, Liao highlighted the achievements of PEL, China’s top Peacekeeper Elite competition. OPPO, Warhorse, Buick, Snapdragon, JingDong Esports, dairy brand Suansuanru, and chewing gum Stride currently sponsor the competition. It also broke 13B in viewership for esports content in H1 2021, a 100% increase over last year. LGD Gaming signed Peacekeeper Elite player Mi “Cheng C” Jiacheng for 12M RMB ($1.85M USD). The transfer price became the new record in the history of the game.

Peacekeeper Elite World Championship (PEC) will be held in Shanghai Mercedes-Benz Arena on July 31, 2021, according to Liao. PEC will have only one team per region. There will also be a total prize pool of 12 million ($1.85 million), of which 5 million ($770 000) will be the premier prize and 2 million ($310 000) will be awarded to teams that compete aggressively and eliminate opponents during Battle Royale matches.

Liao also stated that the ecosystem will also target the grassroots by hosting competitions in multiple Chinese cities and universities. Tencent will host the Peacekeeper Elite City Championship in Qingdao on Aug.14-15, 2021.

Liao also revealed that Tencent will host the Peacekeeper Elite Streamer Invitational (PSI) on July 18 in Wuzhen, China. Streamers from across Asia will be invited to the event. Wuzhen is notable in China because it hosts the annual World International Conference since 2014. On July 31, 2021, Liao said more esports plans will be announced during the PEC.

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A Recent Esports Summit Is Trying To Form A Plan For The Future Of Esports

June 20, 2021

Mars Hou, vice president of Tencent Games and general manager of Tencent Esports, recently presented a speech entitled, “Drawing an all-field blueprint for esports”.


Wu announced Tencent Esports’ new business and commercial plan – “partnering with all-flanking market leaders. A part of this plan is an esports hotel (tourist economy), internet cafe (entertainment economy), esports coffee bar (food and restaurant), and esports home products. Tim Hortons signed a partnership deal with Tencent Esports during the esports coffee bar segment of last year’s summit.

Hu announced Friday that the two companies will stay in the partnership and build more coffee shops in Chinese cities, as well as a co-branded flagship store in Shenzhen, across the street from Tencent Holdings. Tim Hortons China CEO, Yongchen Lu, said at the summit that customers can not only watch esports competitions at the flagship store but can also take part in them.

A new partnership between Tencent ESports and Shanghai luxury hotel group Shangri-La and Swedish home furnishings company IKEA will bring co-branded products such as gaming chairs, storage walls, and desks to the home gaming environment. The first co-branded hotel rooms will open in 13 Shangri-La hotels in five Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Chengdu, and Haikou, according to Pancy Xu, vice president of sales and marketing at Shangri-La.

According to a representative from Shangri-La on the “esports hotel event” booth, the hotel announced it has released five esports rooms with a price of 1,588 RMB ($246 USD) per day. Aside from the main stage, all four companies had their own booths.

In addition, Hou said Tencent Esports became a part of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE), the world’s largest electric and electronic association. The two will develop standard drafts for “Esports Broadcasting,” and “Esports Fairness.

“It is obvious that eSports are rapidly evolving… but a sport played in a virtual distributed environment presents unique technical challenges,” Robby Robson, chair of IEEE computer society standards activity board standards committee, addressed the importance of standards in technolo.gy in eSports.. This includes internet latency and connectivity, eliminating digital cheating using what might be called performance-enhancing software, creating an engaging spectator experience in a purely online environment, and creating policies that protect young esports athletes and the environment. Standards come into play here

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Game Bits: The Latest In Esports

June 17, 2021

Ubisoft Raiubow and Aim Lab Are Going To Be Partners

Aim Lab, a shooter game training platform, announced a multi-year partnership with Ubisoft. Rainbow Six Siege esports will use Aim Lab as their official player development platform. In the first year, the company will be a global partner of the R6 pro circuit. In year two, Aim Lab will provide player statistics directly to broadcasts.

Additionally, the company will receive an exclusive weapon skin in R6. The R6 AIm Lab Combine awards skins to players with a score and ranking leaderboard that assesses their skills in various mechanics. It may be possible to use these scores as a benchmark for evaluating aspiring professional players.

Aim Lab has already partnered with teams such as DarkZero Esports and former world champions Spacestation Gaming as part of the R6 ecosystem.

FaZe Clan and Seth Roger Team To Raise Money For Fight Alzheimer’s Disease

Seth Rogen & Lauren Miller Rogen’s charity HFC will partner with FaZe Clan for a live stream on June 16, 2021. Rogen will be streaming with members of the FaZe Clan to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support, and brain health education.

During the stream, Rogen will engage in a likely futile attempt at taking on (and teaming up with) FaZe Banks, FaZe Nate Hill, and special guests such as Adin Ross and Mike Majlik.

Donations can be made during the stream or through the purchase of official event merchandise, with proceeds going directly to HFC’s care and support programs. In addition, they can visit a special Tiltify page dedicated to the event.

Brand Knew helped put together the FaZe Clan x HFC Livestream event.

In addition to this news, FaZe Clan recently made history by becoming the first esports team to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated.

WIAA Becomes Partners With CSI Sports

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) has signed a partnership agreement with collegiate esports tournament services provider CSL Esports. The partnership will provide esports infrastructure to the WIAA’s 400 high schools and 400 middle schools by providing a competition platform, broadcast production resources, and tools to integrate esports into educational programs.

Several scholastic esports matches will be aired on Twitch each week by CSL. Additionally, the company plans to offer three tournaments for area students starting in July in Rocket League, Dota 2, and League of Legends. Students from Oregon and Nevada will also have the chance to compete, with the finals taking place at the online esports festival DreamHack Beyond on July 24, 2021.

Game Bits: The Latest in Esports

June 14, 2021

Krafton Gets A New VP

Krafton, Inc. has appointed Mike Silbowitz as its new vice president and head of publishing for the Americas. In his new role, Silbowitz will help shape the company’s marketing efforts across the Americas.

Silbowitz has worked in leading roles in the game industry since 2009. He was the head of marketing, Americas at World of Tanks maker Wargaming before joining Krafton.

FURIA Gets A New Sponsor

FURIA has signed the bank Santander as its newest sponsor. The agreement is valid for 12 months and will see the bank’s logo on all of FURIA’s team jerseys, social media productions, overlays in live streams on Twitch, and other marketing actions yet to be announced. This is Santander’s second move into Brazilian esports after signing with the Brazilian League of Free Fire in February.

Santander now joins Red Bull, PokerStars, Nike, HyperX, Twitch, Betway, as well as the recently renewed monitor company AOC as FURIA sponsors.

With FURIA entering a new sponsorship cycle, signing new deals and dropping others, the organization’s co-founder André Akkari revealed to The Esports Observer: “The growth of FURIA has been explosive and it continues to grow with a higher impact every month.” A good equalization of such growth, the desire of brands to enter this market, and how they compare to traditional sports is required. In the pursuit of a healthy balance, we have reduced the number of brands we are connected with in order to grant more powerful deliveries.”

According to Akkari, the organization does not anticipate signing any new sponsorship deals for the 2019 season, and only two new sponsors who are currently in negotiations might be announced in the coming months.

BLAST Partners With NFT company Bondly

Tournament organizer BLAST has partnered with non-fungible token (NFT) company Bondly to create NFTs related to its BLAST Premier global Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament series. New NFTs will be available for $18 USD starting June 15, 2021. Users can sign up for the purchase of these digital items through June 14.

CS:GO NFTs feature chickens, the unofficial mascot of the CS:GO community, and come in two variants: team red and team blue, with three different customizable options for each team.

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Game Bits: First American Bill To Legalize Esports Betting, FaZE Clan On The Cover of Sports Illustrated, Brazilian Bitcoin Company To Sponsor Esports Team

June 11, 2021

A Bill in Ohio Wants To Legalize Esports Betting Online and In-Person

Ohio State Senator Kirk Schuring (R) is seeking to legalize esports betting online and in-person in the state as part of a new bill that also includes horse racing betting online.
Interestingly, Schuring’s bill (SB 176), which was introduced last by the Ohio Senate, prohibits betting on events that will take place in May 2021 if participants under the age of 18 are involved.
There will be two types of licenses created by the bill: a Type A license is aimed at state entities that can legally accept bets already, such as casinos, while a Type B license is aimed at future physical sportsbooks. Twenty of each type of license will be approved, and revenue from betting will be taxed at 10%. According to the bill, licenses will be awarded based on first-come, first-served with no special consideration given to any particular business.
Licenses will cost $1M USD initially, with an additional $500K fee paid in the second and third years. The fees, which will be non-refundable, will be put towards gambling addiction prevention and education in the state.
It is one of the first bills in the country to allow license holders to have uncapped online sportsbook partnerships.

FaZE Clan Is The First Esports Organization To Be On The Cover of Sports Illustrated

FaZe Clan has become the first esports organization in the world to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. Leo Trink is also featured in a lengthy article in SI on the origins of FaZe and its evolution into a gaming lifestyle brand.
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins’ popularity boom following on-stream Fortnite matches with celebrities Drake, Travis Scott, and NFL player Juju Smith-Schuster paved the way for appearances on national television shows such as Ellen and chart-topping Twitch viewership. A number of cover stories about Blevins have also appeared in the Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

Cryptocurrency Company Mercado Bitcoin Is Going To Sponsor Brazil Esports Org Counter-Strike Circuit

A cryptocurrency exchange company named Mercado Bitcoin has signed on to sponsor Brazil’s Counter-Strike Circuit (CBCS). In addition to displaying its brand in CBCS broadcasts, Mercado Bitcoin will produce special content for distribution during the games, along with nine episodes of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tips to be posted on the competition’s social media channels.
In the company’s view, the purpose is to introduce CS:GO players to digital assets such as cryptocurrencies, utility tokens, FanTokens, and NFT. In the esports world, crypto has been gaining ground: the traditional esports organization TSM recently closed a $210M USD deal with the exchange FTX for naming rights.
CBCS is produced by LnK Gaming, a joint venture between Globo and DC Set, in partnership with Gamers Club, Omelete, and streamer Alexandre “Gaules” Borba. Valve recently announced that some of the circuit’s events will count toward the Regional Major Rankings (RMR).

Game Bits: The Latest In Esports News

June 5, 2021

Method Esports Group Enters The World Of Minecraft

The World of Warcraft esports group Method has announced that it is entering the world of Minecraft esports and content creation.

For what it calls its “Minecraft stream team,” Method has signed several Minecraft content creators and speedrunners, including  K4yfour, Couriway, Feinberg, Dimeax, NiceTwice, and Dowsky.

In addition, Method announced a small-scale competition called “Method Rush: Minecraft Invitational,” which will bring together Minecraft speedrunners who will compete for a share of a 3.5K USD  prize pool.

Though it is best known for its World of Warcraft speed runs, the company has recently expanded into games such as Path of Exile and Minecraft.

Soniqs Is Now Sponsored By ViewSonic

Joel Holmes-Darby, formerly of London-based EXCEL, was hired as its general manager in January 2021.

Soniqs signed a sponsorship deal with electronics company ViewSonic that establishes  the brand as the official display of the Pennsylvania-based esports organization.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed except that it was for several years, but a deal with such assets typically goes for a low six-figure sum per year.

ViewSonic provides the organization with gaming monitors and displays for players, offices, and staff. SonicView will receive jersey patches, and the sides will also collaborate on  social/digital content and host gaming tournaments and contests

The company was founded in 2018 in Harrisburg, Pag., and competes in games such as Rainbow Six Siege, Rocket League, Valorant, and PUBG.

Pivot Agency, a sports marketing firm based in California, helped set up the deal, which will be announced soon. 

Black Dragons Has Licensed The Brand of A Brazilian Soccer Club

Black Dragons, a Brazilian esports organization, has licensed the brand of traditional Brazilian soccer club de Regatas Vasco da Gama to manage its esports division. Black Dragons and its CEO Nicolle “Cherrygumms” Merhy will manage and fund all Vasco eSports operations, releasing the soccer club from any investment obligations.

During the three-year contract with the sports club, Black Dragons will have the exclusive right to use the Vasco brand for esports. As Merhy told The Esports Observer, Black Dragons and Vasco eSports teams will be handled separately and have their own partnerships and sponsors. Vasco eSports will have some rooms dedicated to it in a S*o Paulo building, where teams from both organizations will share a 27-room structure. 

In order to avoid conflicts of interest, the two organizations will not compete in the same esports. Vasco eSports supports Wild Rift and Pro Evolution Soccer lineups, but expansion of the project is in the works.

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Game Bits: Electronic Arts Contributed To Prize Pool For Apex Legends Global Series Championship, Esports Player Tenz Has Signed With Sentinels Esports Team

June 2, 2021

EA Contributed To Prize Pool

According to Electronic Arts, the total prize pool for the Apex Legends Global Series Championship is $2.58M USD. EA contributed an initial $1M to the prize pool, with the rest coming from sales of limited edition in-game skins. EA did not disclose precisely how many bundles it sold to reach this number.

In May, EA announced that select in-game bundles (Mechameleon, Boared to Death, Wild Speed, and Silverback, and a bundle containing all items called Animal Kingdom) would contribute to the ALGS prize pool.

EA contributed $5 for every bundle purchased and $20 for every Animal Kingdom bundle sold. According to EA, bundle contributions will be capped at $2M, making the maximum prize pool around $3M.

Todd Sitrin, Electronic Arts SVP and General Manager of Competitive Gaming, discussed EA’s high hopes for Apex Legends esports in a May interview.

Tenz Has Joined Sentinels Game Team

The player transfer agreement of Tyson “TenZ” Ngo from Cloud9 to Sentinels was signed in April and included an option for Sentinels to purchase Ngo’s contract. Sentinels have now completed the purchase of Ngo’s contract. TEO has learned that the transaction was worth seven figures.

Ngo, who joined Cloud9 Blue’s Valorant roster in April 2020, has been playing for Sentinels since March as a “loaned player” from Cloud9. The loan was approved following the investigation and suspension of former Overwatch League MVP turned Sentinel Valorant pro, Jay “Sinatra” Won, who had been accused of misconduct by his former girlfriend.

After failing to cooperate with the investigation, Woon was suspended by Riot Games for six months.

It is interesting to note that Ngo was loaned to Sentinels at a time when both teams were trying to qualify for the Valorous Champions Tour. Cloud9 and Sentinels played in the winner’s semifinals, with Sentinels and Ngo on loan beating Cloud9 2-1. Sentinels dropped a map in that match.

Go and his Sentinels team won the Valorant Champions Tour 2021: Stage 2 Masters in Reykjavik, Iceland on Sunday, going 4-0 in the tournament without dropping a single map. Ngo received the Day 7 MVP award for his performance in the finals.

There has been speculation that the deal has been in the works for months and was already completed before Ngo’s participation in Reykjavík. This has turned out to be true.

However, a portion of the esports community had been critical of Cloud9 because they wanted to see Ngo let out from his current contract to sign with Sentinels. Especially after winning VCT. However, the deal had already been signed.

Former Cloud9 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player Sean “sgares” Gares weighed in saying,, “He’s [Ngo] in F***ing contract jail, it’s not funny.”Game Gares was in a similar situation as Ngo and was let out of his contract with Cloud9 before the expiration after stating he wanted to take time off and think about possibly coaching. Cloud9 granted that release. Gares then signed with Echo Fox just over a month later and continued to compete.

While the general criticism Cloud9 is currently facing concerning this transfer, the organization has often acquiesced to the desires of players who want to retire, be traded, or simply be released–sometimes to the organization’s detriment.

Some examples of this include Jacky ‘Jake’ “Stewie2K” Yip being granted a trade to Made in Brazil; Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen, former Cloud9’ LCS mid-laner, granted his release to go to Team Liquid; and Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen being let out of his contract to go to Evil Geniuses after telling Cloud9 that he was unhappy with his playing time situation. Also, Ryan “⁠freakazoid⁠” Abadir was released, per his request, asking the organization to allow him to step down.

The list continues with players being transferred to teams of their choosing such as Timothy “automatic” Ta and Damian “daps” Steele going to Gen.G, and Rocket League player Mariano “SquishyMuffinz” Arruda who was released to his team of choice, NRG.

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