Business

Exclusive: Dota 2 legends OG bring Asian bookmakers Fun88 into esports

Published: 17/Nov/2020 7:59 Updated: 20/Nov/2020 14:15

by Adam Fitch

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Fun88, the Asian bookmakers who sponsor football club Newcastle United, have entered esports through a deal with OG.

The two-time champions of The International, the best-paying tournament series in esports, have signed a multi-year partnership with the betting company.

The partnership will see Fun88 work with the organization to “bring fans closer to the Dota 2 action” through community interactions and “pre-play, real-time, and post-match insights.”

The bookmakers will also have their logo shown on the shoulder of jerseys worn by the legendary Dota 2 players.

OG N0tail The International 2019
Valve
OG are the defending The International champions.

OG’s well-known roster includes Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundsteni, Martin ‘Saksa’ Sazdov, Sébastien ‘Ceb’ Debs, Topias ‘Topson’ Taavitsainen, and Yeik ‘MidOne’ Nai Zheng.

They are the current defending world champions having won The International in both 2018 and 2019, with this year’s iteration of the tournament being delayed due to the global health situation.

“OG Esports’ legacy and story in Dota is one of the most legendary stories in esports and, because of this, we have been able to break into the mainstream and our story has been documented in many mediums — articles, magazines, and several documentaries,” JMR Luna, CEO of OG, told Dexerto. “Following this trajectory, OG has become the breach for new non-endemic companies that want to break into this space.”

“Fun88 have a great track record and have really invested in traditional sports, this is the next step for them as they recognize that some of the biggest competitions in the world right now are happening behind screens,” he continued. “This is a great moment for esports because we’re welcoming a new massive brand into our ecosystem which ultimately benefits everyone. We’ve worked really hard to make this happen and we’re happy we can finally announce it.”

Outside of esports, Fun88 have worked with late basketball icon Kobe Bryant and football club Tottenham Hotspur. In July 2020, they extended their sponsorship deal with Newcastle United for an undisclosed period of time.

Betting sponsors may not be new in esports, but this is the first rodeo for Fun88.

Business

TikTokers Josh Richards & Griffin Johnson become Royal Ravens co-owners

Published: 1/Dec/2020 15:00

by Albert Petrosyan

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TikTok superstars and original members of the Sway House, Josh Richards and Griffin Johnson, have become investors in ReKTGlobal, the parent company of the Call of Duty League’s London Royal Ravens franchise and Rogue.

The news was announced on December 1 as two of the biggest names on TikTok have officially become co-owners of the London Royal Ravens and Rogue of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC).

“Griffin and Josh have uniquely captured the attention of Generation Z and beyond, and their influence is undeniable. They are both incredible additions to the ReKTGlobal ownership team,” said Dave Bialek, CEO of ReKTGlobal. “They have strong business instincts, a unique talent for developing viral content, and an understanding of how to connect with younger audiences and casual gamers.”

Combined, Richards (23.4M) and Johnson (9.8M) boast over 33 million followers on TikTok as well as similarly huge numbers on most main social media platforms. ReKTGlobal envisions their massive online presence will play a key role as the pair will develop new content, merchandise collaborations, and promotions with the Royal Ravens and Rogue.

Josh Richards and Griffin Johnson join ReKTGlobal
ReKTGlobal
Josh Richards and Griffin Johnson repping merch from the teams they now co-own.

“They are natural-born hustlers and have leveraged their TikTok fame to step into acting and music, becoming entrepreneurs and investors in the process,” Bialek added. “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome them to the ReKTGlobal family as we continue to bridge the gap between the world of esports, entertainment and pop culture.”

Griffin Johnson shared similar sentiments as the news of their investment became public, having roots as an avid gamer and Call of Duty fan.

“The fact that I can now say I own a part of London Royal Ravens and Team Rogue is unbelievably surreal,” he said. “I am thankful to Dave and Amish for allowing me into the ReKTGlobal family with open arms. Can’t wait to get to work and help bridge the gap between traditional social media and esports.”

ReKTGlobal is a huge esports org
ReKTGlobal
ReKTGlobal’s reach and presence in esports is massive.

As for Josh Richards, this isn’t the first time he’s been involved with ReKTGlobal; in May 2020, his creator management company, TalentX Entertainment, embarked on a joint venture with ReKTGlobal called TalentX Gaming, a talent management company with a focus on gaming and esports athletes and content creators.

“Coming on as an investor to ReKTGlobal was genuinely a no-brainer,” he commented. “After a few meetings with the C-suite at ReKTGlobal, I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of.”

The TikTok megastars are the latest in a long list of celebrity figures who have joined ReKTGlobal as investors, including legendary DJ Steve Aoki, Grammy-winning rock band Imagine Dragons, international producer Nicky Romero, NBA defensive star Rudy Gobert, NFL player Landon Collins, and, most recently, star YouTuber Vikkstar.