Esports News: League of Legends Changes Operations Center in Latin America
Riot Games announces a three-year collaboration agreement along with Mexican multimedia TV Azteca, Arena The Place To Play and Cinemex, to have a physical venue where the Latin American League (LLA) will be played in front of a live audience.
"Our commitment has always been to have the best league possible, this is a strategic decision that we want to implement in the short term thanks to the excellent performance of the league and all those involved in 2019, in the short time and in line with the objectives we have for the league and the region, the conditions are given for strategic allies such as TV Azteca, Arena The Place To Play and Cinemex, join the mission to boost the sports industry in Latin America," explains Raul Fernandez, General Manager of Riot Games for Latin America.
For Riot Games, the alliance is a consequence of the growth obtained this year with the league. During 2019, the LLA - played in Chile - had more audience than the two previous leagues. Likewise, the competitive level of the teams increased and this was reflected in the support of the fans. The alliance with TV Azteca represents another channel of communication with an audience that demands more and more high quality content with which Riot Games has a commitment.
"We saw that the audience had a need: content about esports. The first step was the launch of Azteca Esports, a big commitment to get involved in the development of an industry that will undoubtedly continue to grow such as electronic sports. Now, the alliance with the largest video game company in Latin America such as Riot Games is key, because we are going to be able to bring it closer to our audience, the most important sports competition in the region. Having the League of Legends Latin American League in Mexico redoubles our commitment to promote the development of electronic sports in the country and to offer a wider reach channel for the community that supports this sport", Rodolfo Ramírez, Director of Azteca Deportes.
This alliance represents a unique advance for Latin America and brings Riot Games and the community involved with the development of sports in the region closer to its objectives of giving greater impulse to the competitive scene.
"Arena The Place To Play and Cinemex have always been involved in the positioning of sports in Mexico, the construction of spaces designed specifically for these is a global trend and for us represents a big step to maintain this growth, thanks to this alliance with Riot Games, Mexico City will have a site dedicated to high-profile electronic sports, a stadium of sports worthy of the LLA," said Miguel Laguna, Regional Manager of Arena The Place To Play.
From 2020, Riot Games' sports operations for the League of Legends competition will be moved to Mexico City. Teams, rioters and chamber talents will receive support from the Riot Games team in Mexico City in the process of moving operations to Mexico.
About Riot Games
Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill founded Riot Games in 2006 with the purpose of changing the way video games are created and players are supported. In 2009, Riot released its first globally acclaimed game, League of Legends. Since then, the game has grown to become the world's most popular PC game and a key driver of the explosive growth of esports. Players are the foundation of our community, and we continue to evolve and enhance the League of Legends experience with them in mind. Riot Games is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with 23 branches worldwide.
By Mexicanist Source Press release
TV AZTECA BETS ON TOURNAMENTS
Mexican television giant TV Azteca is investing in Allied Esports Entertainment, a company that hopes to capitalize on the growing world of competitive video games. Azteca has bought $ 5 million in shares in Black Ridge Acquisition, which will become Allied Esports following its pending acquisition of two nearby property brands.
The goal of Allied is to operate in the field of electronic sports, distribute the content generated in those places and sell to viewers in a new platform of online tournaments that will be launched next year.
Controlled by Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas, Azteca will be both an investor and a strategic partner, combining its talent and massive audience with Allied's experience in sports. The two groups will create a 24-hour electronic sports channel in Mexico and help promote games throughout the region, initiatives aimed at a younger and more elusive demographic.
Global growth has stimulated the demand to televise sports. In the United States alone, television networks from ESPN to TBS and CW broadcast sports content, be it live games or produced segments.
Azteca's flagship network carries the best games of the main soccer league in Mexico and the National Football League, which offers a series of potential opportunities to promote digital sports matches to fans of traditional sports.
Allied and Azteca joined earlier this year in an event called "Nation vs. Nation," which included US players battling Mexican players in a title called PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. The transmission of Azteca reached more than 2 million people.
The two sides will share the revenue generated by their joint efforts. Allied intends to partner with more strategic investors once the acquisition is completed.
Salinas is not the only Mexican billionaire who has shown interest in the world of digital sports. Germán Larrea, who controls the mining company Grupo México SAB, has recently opened 13 stages called "The Place to Play" and plans to add 10 more before the end of the year. For these spaces, they were inspired by similar places in Las Vegas. In Mexico, these are located right next to one of Larrea's other businesses, movie theaters.
Black Ridge is a special-purpose acquisition company, an asset-free entity that raises money to finance a future purchase. Sponsored by Black Ridge Oil & Gas, it completed its initial public offering in October 2017, raising $ 138 million.
In December, Black Ridge announced that it was buying Allied Esports International, an electronic sports entertainment company, and WPT Enterprises, the creator of the World Poker Tour, both owned by Ourgame International Holdings, for approximately $ 150 million.
The new company, called Allied Esports Entertainment, will have a business value of approximately 214 million dollars and will be listed on the Nasdaq under the symbol AESE.
The agreement originated as a discussion about poker assets before expanding into a broader electronic sports agreement. As part of the investment, Azteca will receive access to the World Poker Tour video library to broadcast the previous seasons in Mexico, and the two will join in poker events.
ESPORTS MORE PROFITABLE THAN BASEBALL
The electronic sports, or esports, could not be of the general knowledge, however franchises like League of Legends, Player Unknown Underground or FIFA are names that resonate in a wide collective, because many of these games have years being preferred of more than one generation and are responsible for this segment of the market represents in Mexico 1 billion 400 million dollars.
This figure positions Mexico as the first country in the region where the consumption of video games remains in the crown and where the average annual growth has been 6.6% in the last five years. For this reason, and because of the opening of certain entertainment segments around video games, is that eSports are revolutionizing this industry at the local level.
The esports market could grow up to 30% in the next five years and where investment from different entertainment companies could come through tournaments or around eSports cups. Mexico is a country where video game culture grows and is loyal to this type of format.
If you take into account that one of the sports that is having the biggest boost in the country is baseball, because according to the executive the figure that will be allocated to their support will be 350 million pesos, the sport has not yet shown tangible gains as the eSports are having. The creation of the Office of the President for the Promotion and Development of Baseball (ProBeis) seeks to promote this sport, however, the income that can reach is less than 1.4 billion dollars generated by eSports.
The penetration that esports have is also focused on young people who in the future will be the consumer force of companies, betting on investing in them is one of the trends that companies are having at the regional level.
Competitive videogames have an audience of more than 380 million people worldwide and are on track to become a billion-dollar industry this year, according to Newzoo research firm.
While much of that interest and money is concentrated in Asia and the United States, Mexico is among the 10 best in the world in sports enthusiasts, estimates Newzoo. The country has 58.6 million players, a number greater than the total population of South Korea and a sporting audience of 11.2 million.
Worldwide, the growth of esports was 32%, while the film industry grew from 2018 to 2019 only 5%.