eSports Investment Continues To Roll


ESWC 2015 (Photo: ESWC)

TNL Take: At least we got Monday off.

After the slew of eSports investments over the past two weeks

the pace is not slowing down.

French company Webedia announced that they are acquiring Oxent, owner of both ESWC, Electronic Sports World Cup, and Toornament, an eSports tournament platform, as well as involvement with top Ligue 1 Team PSG.  Webedia has partnerships and JV's in Gaming with IGN, Gamestar and GamePro.

My High School French is pretty poor as well so let's translate what that means:


/01 ESWC

ESWC 2015 (Photo: ESWC)

ESWC is one of Europe's oldest eSports tournaments dating back to 2003 as well as the largest in France.

ESWC has also passed through a number of hands after being originally created by French company, Ligarena.  In 2009, ESWC was sold to Games-Solution, which was then bought by Oxent in 2012 and now owned by Webedia in 2016.



Toornament and MLG (Photo: Toornament)

Toornament is an eSports tournament platform similar to Faceit or Battlefy.

Toornament was one of the earliest platforms launching back in 2014. They've recently powered major tournaments from League of Legends to Events like MLG Columbus.


 /03 PSG FC

Ligue 1 Pro Team PSG FC

Now here is where it gets really interesting.

Between Webedia's Media properties, the value of both Events (ESWC) and Platform (Toornament) becomes obvious.

Now take this a step further.

Webedia also invested in Bang Bang Management, an eSports Athlete representation company which coincidentally represents.....EA FIFA Athletes.


I can't paint the picture more clearly.


 Combined with all of those assets, Webedia is now advising PSG FC on their eSports strategy.

Versus Sports Signs Multiple EA FIFA Champion Giuseppe Guastella


2016 adidas MLS Challenge Champion Giuseppe Guastella (Photo: Giuseppe Guastella)

I'm very excited to announce Versus Sports second signing, multiple FIFA Interactive World Cup Winner and Finalist Giuseppe Guastella. Guastella also most recently won the 2016 MLS All Star Game Tournament sponsored by Adidas and AT&T.

This comes after last week's announcement of Versus Sports signing of EA Madden 2016 Champion Frank "Stiff" Sardoni Jr.

Manny Anekal

Founder and CEO

Versus Sports


The following is from ESPN's coverage of the announcement.

Versus Sports Signs Giuseppe Guastella (Photo: ESPN)


By Eric Van Allen

Football clubs in Europe such as Manchester City have been signing competitive FIFA players, and now American organizations are starting to take notice. FIFA player Giuseppe Guastalla has signed with Versus Sports, a first-of-its-kind contract for the North American FIFA scene.

Guastalla will compete in EA's FIFA 17 Ultimate Team Championship Series. At 31 years old, he's actually over the average age of most esports players, but he has been playing the FIFA series since he was 8 years old.

"I feel honored," Guastalla told ESPN. "My goal is to be consistent at all the tournaments, and my biggest goal is to win the cup."

Guastalla is a highly decorated FIFA player, as he was a grand finalist for the FIFA Interactive World Cup in 2009, 2015 and 2016. Most recently, he took home the North American championship at the 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game.

This is the second signing for Versus Sports, after picking up Madden player Frank "Stiff" Sardoni Jr. last week. The organization has said it's already looking into more sponsors for both players. Given that Sardoni Jr. lives in New York and Guastalla in Los Angeles, relationships with local athletic clubs might not be out of the question for either of them.

Disclaimer: The Next Level is the Media division of Versus Sports

TNL eSports Podcast 008: Versus Sports Launch and EA Madden Signing

TNL ESPORTS PODCAST 008: Versus Sports Launch and EA Madden NFL Potential

TNL eSports Podcast 008: Versus Sports Launch (Photo: Versus Sports)

September 12 ‘2016

My chat with Kevin Knocke on SiriusXM IGN eSports Today covering:

  • Versus Sports Launch
  • 1st Athlete Signing: 2016 EA Madden Champ Frank “Stiff” Sardoni
  • EA Madden NFL eSports Potential
  • E LEAGUE Season 2 Debut
  • Professional eSports Association (PEA)


Versus Sports Signs EA Madden NFL 16 Champ Frank "Stiff" Sardoni Jr.


EA Madden NFL 2016 Champion Frank "Stiff" Sardoni Jr.

I am thrilled to announce the first Versus Sports Athlete signing is current EA Madden NFL 2016 Champion Frank "Stiff" Sardoni Jr. 

Manny Anekal

Founder and CEO, Versus Sports

The following is from ESPN's coverage of the announcement.

Versus Sports Signs Madden 2016 Champion Stiff (Photo: ESPN)

Versus signs Madden 2016 champion Frank "Stiff" Sardoni Jr.

By Eric Van Allen

In a major pick-up for competitive Madden, Frank "Stiff" Sardoni Jr. signed Thursday with Versus Sports. The contract will see the 2016 championship holder compete full time in the Madden NFL '17 Championship Series.

Sardoni is fresh to the Madden game, having started his competitive career only three years ago. Toppling the two-time Madden Challenge champion Eric "Problem" Wright this past June was a landmark victory, and now Sardoni looks to continue his run into the Madden Majors.

For Stiff, signing with Versus means not having to approach sponsors or juggle too many concerns on his own. Sardoni gets to focus more on his content creation, like his YouTube channel, and on improving his game.

"I'm making this my primary thing right now," Sardoni told ESPN, "because I can see what the future holds for Madden and what EA is doing to develop this as an esport."

Versus, a relatively new organization in esports, boasts its first signing in Sardoni.

A conversation with founder Manny Anekal indicated that it might not be the last, however. Anekal told ESPN that Versus is "absolutely looking into other athletes" to add to the roster, hinting at more announcements to come. Anekal also identified some high-level sponsorships the team is working toward, pursuing "non-endemic" brands to work with Versus.

"I want to build this up slowly, and from the ground up, starting with Frank," Anekal said.

Disclaimer: The Next Level is part of the Media division of Versus Sports.