September 2, 2020

Today’s Industry Updates

CANADIAN COMPANIES
  • Rex Opportunity Corp. Announces Closing of Second Tranche Private Placement Financing – Rex Opportunity Corp. (“Rex” or the “Corporation”) is pleased to announce that it has closed a second tranche of a previously announced non-brokered private placement (“Offering”) with the issuance of an additional 825,000 Units at a price of $0.20 per Unit for additional aggregate gross proceeds of $165,000. Rex closed the first tranche of the offering on June 26, 2020 (see June 29, 2020 press release) with gross proceeds of $250,000. Each Unit consists of one (1) common share of Rex and one (1) common share purchase warrant with each warrant exercisable to purchase one common share of Rex at an exercise price of $0.35 for a period of two years from the date of issuance.
  • TGS Esports Announces Intent to Acquire Leading Competitive Esports Platform, Pepper Esports – TGS Esports Inc. (“TGS” or the “Company”) (TSX-V: TGS) is pleased to announce that it has taken the next step in its growth strategy to provide a consolidated end to end esports experience to players and tournament organizers by executing a letter of intent dated August 28, 2020 (the “LOI”) to acquire Pepper Esports Inc. (“Pepper”), a leading competitive esports platform (the “Acquisition”). In addition, the Pepper executive team, Guy Halford-Thompson, Jackson Warren and Ben Hoffman, with over a decade of combined experience in growing early stage companies in the public markets, are expected to join TGS executive team on the closing of the Acquisition (the “Closing”). Under the terms of the LOI, TGS is expected to acquire all of the outstanding securities of Pepper by way of a three-cornered amalgamation.

GAMING
  • Skillz valued at $3.5bn as it prepares IPO – Skillz, a mobile games company that specialises in running esports tournaments, is planning an IPO that will value the firm at $3.5 billion. The company is partnering with Flying Eagle Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company, in a business combination that will enable Skillz to become a publicly-listed company. The transaction values Skillz at 6.3 times its projected 2022 revenue, which is expected to reach $555 million, amounting to $3.5 billion. The deal has been unanimously approved by the board of directors for both Skillz and Flying Eagle, and now requires the approval of stockholders. The transaction is expected to close later this autumn.
  • ‘Fortnite’ Is RTX On! Real-Time Ray Tracing Comes to One of Most Popular Games on the Planet – NVIDIA and Epic Games today announced that Fortnite — the epitome of battle royale gaming and a cultural phenomenon with more than 350 million players worldwide — is adding real-time ray tracing, AI-powered NVIDIA DLSS and other groundbreaking technologies, making the game more beautiful and even more responsive. The game was featured today as part of a GeForce® special event where NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang unveiled the new GeForce RTX™ 30 Series GPUs. “Epic Games is turning Fortnite, which is already a pop culture sensation, into a showcase for how competitive gaming will improve with technology,” said Matt Wuebbling, vice president of Global GeForce Marketing at NVIDIA.
  • Niantic teams with telecoms for 5G AR showpieces – Niantic believes 5G mobile networks will lead to significant advancements in augmented reality, and the Pokémon Go developer has teamed up with a variety of mobile network service providers to prove it. The company today announced the Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance with Deutsche Telekom, EE, Globe, Orange, SK Telecom, SoftBank, Telus, and Verizon. The group will work together to make exclusive 5G AR experiences for consumers that show off the potential of lower latency and higher bandwidth networks. Specific advances floated by Niantic that would be enabled by 5G networks included the ability to have an unlimited number of players interacting in the same virtual space, “reality blending,” and the ability for players to make persistent AR content that other players will be able to interact with.

CONTENT CREATORS & INFLUENCERS
  • FaZe Clan’s Ewok on the Life of a Teenage Streamer – An origin story perhaps unlike any before. Soleil “Ewok” Wheeler is a 14-year old streamer, who has gone from the life of a typical teenage girl to that of a gaming and esports personality who commands an audience of more than a quarter of a million people. From humble beginnings, Wheeler, who is deaf, has now become an inspiration to many women and girls and those with disabilities as she shows the world not only her video game prowess, but an uncanny understanding, passion, and work ethic that belies her young age. With a Forbes 30 under 30 selection and a Teen Vogue 21 under 21 nod under her belt in relationship to her gaming and business acumen, Wheeler has become an inspiration not only to her own age demographic, but one that transcends gender, race, and age.
  • Dr Disrespect says his mysterious Twitch ban is causing him anxiety – Dr Disrespect says he still doesn’t know why he was banned from Twitch, and he warned viewers that the mysterious ban has been causing him anxiety. “My anxiety levels are something that comes in these huge waves,” said Dr Disrespect, real name Guy Beahm, on a stream compilation posted to YouTube this afternoon. “And I’m having a hard time dealing with it. I’ll be honest.” Twitch signed Beahm to an exclusive contract at the beginning of the year. But in June, his account disappeared from the platform, and Twitch refused to say why or even confirm that he had been banned. It was a big surprise given that Beahm was one of the platform’s top streamers.
  • Amazon Music App Now Lets Artists Live-Stream From Twitch Accounts – Amazon Music is letting artists deliver live concerts and other live-streaming sessions from Twitch directly in the Amazon Music mobile app — giving them a new way to reach fans during the COVID pandemic, according to the internet giant. More than 1,000 artists have already connected their Amazon Music accounts to Twitch, the company said. There aren’t direct monetization features through the Twitch live-streams available on Amazon Music app for iOS and Android, but eligible artists can set up subscriptions on Amazon-owned Twitch to earn money (as well as sell merchandise and participate in ad-revenue sharing). According to Amazon, the integration of Twitch with Amazon Music mobile will let artists reach “stadium-size audiences” at a time when in-person events are limited because of the coronavirus crisis.

ESPORTS
  • Riot Games announces format change to worlds due to absence of VCS teams – Riot Games has officially announced that Vietnam Championship Series teams will be unable to compete at the 2020 League of Legends World Championship due to COVID-19 and the tournament will proceed with 22 teams instead of 24. In a blog posted Tuesday, Riot Director of Operations Tom Martell explained that the company “explored every possible option to include VCS teams while ensuring the safety of VCS players and the delivery of a world class event” Ultimately, the decision was made to omit Vietnamese teams from the tournament and bring the team total to 22.
  • New Jersey EDA to lead state-wide esports initiatives – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), the state’s principal agency driving economic growth, has unveiled an initiative to curate and support businesses which “accelerate” the esports industry’s development in the Garden State. The strategy will see the NJEDA serve as a catalyst for esports activity in New Jersey, collaborating with stakeholders and local bodies to support efforts which push the industry forward. Starting with two key ventures, the NJEDA will work with partners throughout the industry to establish the state as an “epicenter” of esports in the United States.
  • Astralis Group Reports $4.8M Loss, Sponsorship Revenues Increase by $706K – Danish esports organization Astralis Group, which became the first esports organization to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) in November 2019, reported its interim results for the six-months period ended June 30. The group revealed a loss of kr30.17M DKK ($4.84M USD) compared to a net loss of kr27.97M ($4.48M) in the same period of last year. As the Astralis Group was only established during the summer of 2019 and therefore didn’t exist in H1 2019, the group provided unaudited internal financial information provided by the previous majority shareholder as comparative pro-forma figures. In total, Astralis Group generated revenues of kr20.48M ($3.28M) during H1 2020, up 18.6% from kr17.27M ($2.77M) in the same period of 2019.

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