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Business of Esports Minute 021: GMBL Acquisition, MSN Esports Hub, Bugha Accessories

A week of news covering the intersection of business and gaming / esports, all in about one minute – everything you need to know from the “profit of esports” himself. 

021 – November 1, 2020

From the keyboard to the boardroom, this is the Business of Esports Minute! Every single week, I, Paul Dawalibi, the prophet of esports, will be bringing you my hottest takes from the week, basically everything you need to know about the business of esports all in about one minute. Let’s go.

The big news this week is from Esports Entertainment Group. The company had previously listed on NASDAQ with the stated goal of building the future of esports betting and entertainment. They are sticking to that strategy with the announcement of their acquisition of Helix Esports and ggCircuit for $43M. These are assets that complement their existing betting assets, providing physical locations, access to customers, and data/analytics that support both customer acquisition and a competitive advantage for their betting platform. With this acquisition, Esports Entertainment Group also has all the tools necessary to provide traditional casinos and sportsbooks with turnkey solutions to bring them into the esports era. No doubt in my mind that this deal will go down as one of the most important of the entire year in the esports industry.

The most underrated news this week was an announcement from Microsoft. And no it wasn’t Xbox related. Microsoft revealed the launch of their new esports hub called MSN Esports Hub. MSN Esports Hub will allow users to watch popular streamers, catch up on news, stay up to date on tournaments and more. That’s right. MSN. That Microsoft brand from the 90s. You might have used the messenger app. Somehow they’re bringing this back when they had a perfectly good brand in Mixer that they could have used. This one is a definite head scratcher and it’s unclear if the new hub will attract any kind of audience at all. It’s a clear symptom of Microsoft’s silo’ed organizational structure. 

Finally, Fortnite World Cup champion Bugha teamed up with Five Below to create a range of affordable gaming accessories. Fans can purchase a headset, headset stand, speakers, keyboard, mouse, mousepad, or microphone and each is only $10. The accessories are available exclusively at Five Below stores and on their website. This is a clever partnership and surely Bugha’s new representation at Vayner Sports had some part in it. However, there are obvious questions about the quality of the gear, and if Bugha has the star power to sustain such a line. In the end, it’s great news for beginner gamers though. 

For far more detailed insight and discussion into the business of esports, as well as the most exceptional line-up of guests, please tune in every week to the Business of Esports podcast and every Wednesday evening into the Business of Esports after-show livestream. Also make sure to follow us on Twitter @bizesports and on YouTube at The Business of Esports. 

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