News Digest 49: Top Gaming News This Week

30 July, 2020 | By Anzu


Another week in the world of esports and video games equals an astonishing array of new beginnings! Get updated on the current status quo in our weekly news digest.



Andbox, the parent company of the Overwatch League’s New York Excelsior and the Call of Duty League’s New York Subliners, announced that it has extended its partnership with mobile carrier T-Mobile through 2021. As the Official Wireless and 5G Partner, T-Mobile will collaborate with Excelsior on a new YouTube content series called “Rank Up with NYXL,” in which players and coaches evaluate fan-submitted replays and provide “T-Mobile tips.” Metro by T-Mobile branding will also feature on a “Road to Glory” documentary-style YouTube series about Subliners players. T-Mobile bringing in its Metro brand to partner with the Subliners is a good sign, assures Esports Insider, especially with the connectivity sponsorship angle being so meaningful during the pandemic.



Ferrari is ramping up its esports efforts with the announcement of its own competitive gaming competition, which kicks off later this year. The Ferrari Hublot Esports Series will focus on simulation racing and is open to all people ages 18 years and over. It is initially focused on Europe, with plans to expand into other markets in future. Find more details on GamesIndustry.biz.



Vindex, the organization founded by Major League Gaming (MLG) creators Mike Sepso and Sundance DiGiovanni, is acquiring the Belong Gaming Arenas brand and all associated IP, and is planning to invest $300M over the next five years and open 1,000 locations globally. According to a report from The Financial Times cited by the Esports Observer, the deal values at about $50M. However, UK-based retailer Game Digital, which launched the Belong brand in 2016, will continue to own and operate all arenas in the UK and Spain through an exclusive license agreement. It’s still unknown when the first of the US-based locations will open due to restrictions on large gatherings and social distance requirements.



This year’s online-only Pokémon Go Fest took place over the weekend, and since it was the first one open to all players regardless of their physical location, it’s perhaps not surprising to hear that it was the biggest one yet. Niantic says “a record number of millions of trainers” took part from 124 countries and regions around the world, catching nearly a billion pokémon in total, reports the Verge. As previously announced, the company is using proceeds from the $14.99 ticket sales to help fund projects from Black AR creators and US NPOs working on rebuilding local communities. The company had pledged a minimum of $5 million, but ticket sales have pushed that number up past $10 million..



Gamers across the world tend to have a poor reputation when it comes to romance. This and many other superstitions still pervade the “gamer” identity. But with gaming now mainstream, the narrative is changing. Checkpoint XP presents Kippo, a dating/social app for gamers. A dating app for gamers, you say? Why not, says the founder David Park who claims that the app has a unique card system, allowing you to share more important information about yourself, something like your top ten games or other intangibles to help you find a true like-minded friend.


 
Anzu.io is an in-game advertising platform that brings real-world brand ads to video gaming and esports. Backed by BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, WPP, and Axel Springer Digital Ventures, Anzu redefines digital advertising through seamless integration of non-intrusive ads into the gameplay. Bringing real-time data and programmatic to the video gaming world, the platform promises native advertising, brand safety and ad viewability. Follow Anzu on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.