Posted in NEWS
October 13, 2020

Talon Esports Raises $2M Seed Round to Accelerate Growth in Asia Pacific

Talon Esports Raises $2M Seed Round to Accelerate Growth in Asia Pacific

Esports and lifestyle brand Talon Esports has completed its seed funding round. Hana Digital Transformation Fund lead the investment round with other participants including Widus Strategic Investments, New Wave Esports Corporation, Sprout Investments, Gavekal Family, EMC Capital, Animoca Brands, Sean Hung, Felix LaHaye (United Esports) along with various family offices and individuals. With the USD $2.0MN seed funding Talon will seek to expand into new countries, titles and further develop its lifestyle value offering.

“Since being founded in 2017 we have seen Talon grow from competing in local competitions to making it onto biggest stage of esports: the League of Legends World Championship. We can’t afford to slow down and with the seed funding we will look to enter new markets and explore lifestyle and fashion opportunities and build a brand that pushes the boundaries of performance and imagination,” said Sean Zhang CEO and Co-Founder of Talon Esports.

“We are very excited to embark on this journey with Talon. The team’s strong focus on growth, combined with the rising demand and interest for e-sports in Asia, will make Talon one of the major leaders. We look forward to supporting Talon by bringing our e-sports knowledge from Korea as well,” notes Hana Ventures’ Director and Head of Global Investment Henry Choi. Hana Ventures is the investment arm of Hana Financial Group, one of the largest financial groups in Korea.

“Talon’s cross border aspirations in Asia mirror our own goals of breaking down borders and cross-pollinating innovation across markets. We look forward to working closely with Talon’s experienced management team by not only investing, but also providing strategic value to help foster Talon’s ambition of becoming the number one esports franchise in Asia,” said Jason Park, Partner and Head of Principal Investments at Widus Partners. Widus Strategic Investments is a subsidiary of Widus Holdings and an affiliate of Widus Partners Limited.

“Upon meeting with Sean and Jarrold, and having them meticulously explain their vision for Talon, it was an obvious choice for United Esports to invest in Talon, providing great synergies to both of our teams, and expending our mutual reach globally,” noted United Esport’s CEO Felix LaHaye. United Esports is a leading North American esports media organization.

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About Talon Esports

Established in 2017, Talon Esports is an esports organization founded by Sean Zhang and Jarrold Tham and headquartered in Hong Kong. The organization has teams competing League of Legends, Arena of Valor, Overwatch, Rainbow 6, Clash Royale, Tekken 7 and Street Fighter V. Talon Esports won the Pacific Championship Series Spring Split 2020 and represented the PCS at Worlds 2020 in Shanghai as PSG Talon with a partnership with footballing giants Paris Saint Germain penned prior to the Summer Split. Operating out of Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand with creative studios in each location, they are one of the fastest growing teams in Asia Pacific with millions of fans globally. Visit https://www.talon.gg/ or contact info@talonesports.com for business opportunities.

(Image) Source: Press release

Published at Tue, 13 Oct 2020 07:43:09 +0000

IBM Enters Esports Arena with Activision Blizzard in New Multi-Year Deal as the Presenting Partner of the Overwatch League Grand Finals

Today, IBM and the Overwatch League™, the world’s first global esports league with 20 city-based teams, announced its first-of-a-kind multi-year deal to bring IBM’s cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to esports. A sponsorship component kicks off at this year’s 2020 Overwatch League Grand Finals, which started Oct. 8 and run through Oct. 10. With the agreement – IBM’s first-ever esports deal – the technology leader becomes the official AI, cloud, and analytics sponsor of the Overwatch League. The deal covers the 2020 Grand Finals and the entirety of the 2021 and 2022 Overwatch League seasons.

Through the course of the deal, IBM and the Overwatch League plan to leverage IBM’s suite of advanced cloud and AI products. Starting in 2021, IBM and the Overwatch League will be working closely to develop technology solutions leveraging IBM’s expertise in natural language processing and machine learning to improve the league’s rankings system, and utilize IBM’s Watson AI capabilities to create live and in-broadcast predictive analysis, with specific solutions currently under development.

“We’re constantly striving to give fans the ability to more meaningfully engage with the Overwatch League, and teaming up with IBM enables us to do just that,” said Brandon Snow, Chief Revenue Officer of Activision Blizzard Esports. “IBM’s cutting-edge AI and machine learning, underpinned by cloud technologies, will help enable us to bring interactive and innovative engagement opportunities to our fans and teams. This is a fantastic benefit to our viewers, and we’re very excited to be announcing it during the biggest event of our season.”

“We’re thrilled to bring our world class Cloud platforms and Watson portfolio to one of the leading esports platforms in the world,” said Noah Syken, Vice President of Sports & Entertainment Partnerships, IBM. “The solutions we’re partnering to create can help the organizations, players, and fans enjoy an even more immersive, engaging experience. We look forward to working with the Overwatch League, to bring innovative solutions at scale, to broad and relevant audiences.”

The sponsorship with the Overwatch League will kick off in 2021 and include new solutions, that plan to be hosted on the IBM Cloud. Those solutions, which are currently under development, will leverage IBM’s suite of analytics tools to process in-match data, adding Watson’s AI capabilities through the use of Watson Machine Learning and the AutoAI functionality within Watson Studio. Additionally, the solutions will find new ways to showcase the wide array of historical statistics that the Overwatch League gets from live play.

The announcement of IBM and the Overwatch League teaming together is IBM’s first foray into the global world of esports and joins an impressive list of sports and entertainment partnerships that IBM technology powers around the world. IBM has been a part of gaming history as a hardware manufacturer, chip creator, and software provider for developers since 1985. Over the past 35 years, IBM has worked with gaming and esports entities through PowerPC processors, NLP, and cloud technology.

IBM has been a long-time partner to a range of sports organizations, teams, and events, including tennis (US Open and Wimbledon), golf (The Masters), football (via ESPN Fantasy Football), and the GRAMMY Awards. Through IBM’s partnerships, including IBM’s new engagement with the Overwatch League, IBM is able to reimagine sports, and entertainment experiences for fans, players and coaches alike, leveraging the flexibility of the hybrid cloud, and other AI-powered solutions.

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About IBM
For more information about IBM, visit ibm.com/news.

About the Overwatch League™

The Overwatch League™ is the first major global professional esports league with city-based teams across Asia, Europe, and North America. Overwatch® was created by globally acclaimed publisher Blizzard Entertainment (a division of Activision Blizzard—Nasdaq: ATVI), whose iconic franchises have helped lay the foundations and push the boundaries of professional esports over the last 15 years. The latest addition to Blizzard’s stable of twenty-two #1 games,* Overwatch was built from the ground up for online competition, with memorable characters and fast-paced action designed for the most engaging gameplay and spectator experiences. To learn more about the Overwatch League, visit www.overwatchleague.com.

About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

Best known for blockbuster hits, including World of Warcraft®, Hearthstone®, Overwatch®, the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, and the multi-franchise Heroes of the Storm®, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (https://www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes twenty-two #1 games* and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online gaming service, Blizzard Battle.net®, is one of the largest online-gaming services in the world, with millions of active players.

*Sales and/or downloads, based on internal company records and reports from key distributors.

About Activision Blizzard Esports
Activision Blizzard Esports (ABE) is responsible for the development, operation, and commercialization of Activision Blizzard’s professional gaming properties including the Overwatch League™, the Call of Duty® League™, Call of Duty Challengers™, Hearthstone® Masters, StarCraft® II esports, Warcraft® III: Reforged™, and the World of Warcraft® Arena World Championship and Mythic Dungeon International, among others. ABE also operates Tespa, the leader in collegiate esports. It is ABE’s vision to be the most innovative, scalable, and valuable developer of global competitive entertainment.

(Image) Source: Press release

Published at Fri, 09 Oct 2020 06:49:40 +0000

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