Allied Esports and World Poker Tour Enterprises, two of the Hong Kong-based Ourgame International Holdings’ subsidiaries, are getting a new owner. Black Ridge Acquisition Corp., a Minneapolis-based special purpose acquisition company, is buying both. The combined entities will be renamed to Allied Esports Entertainment. It will trade on the NASDAQ under the “AESE” ticker.
A brand synonymous with esports
The two merging companies, each contributing its own specialized industry know-how, will look to provide world-class in-person experiences, multiplatform content, and interactive services to the global gaming community.
“In more than 40 years in the gaming and entertainment business, this is the most exciting opportunity I have seen,” said Black Ridge Director Lyle Berman. “The capital from the Black Ridge SPAC will be used to expand AESE’s global property network, accelerating their first-mover advantage as the company continues to build a brand that is synonymous with esports.”
Allied Esports, a US-based company founded in 2016, has successfully run a network of esports venues and content production facilities. With a goal to bring players and fans together via a network of connected arenas and mobile esports trucks around the world, the company has created a strong position for itself in the esports market in just two years.
Then, WPT Enterprises is the company running the World Poker Tour, a premier internationally televised gaming and entertainment brand founded in 2002. With close to two decades of international expertise in live events, content distribution, and customer engagement, the company will leverage its expertise to steer the newly formed entity in the right direction.
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“This transaction will be transformational for our rapidly expanding company and provide the esports community with a fully capitalized, globally connected esports enterprise capable of producing the volume and breadth of esports entertainment products the industry is increasingly demanding,” said Ourgame and future AESE CEO Frank Ng. “By applying WPT’s proven business model to the much bigger, higher-growth global Esports business, we are creating an esports entertainment platform that is long-lasting and positioned to capture the esports monetization opportunity.”
A promising road ahead
The merger announcement follows Allied Esports’ recent launch of its affiliate program for gaming venues. Looking to broaden its global reach, the esports entertainment company has created an initiative where parties interested in entering esports and running events can collaborate with Allied. It was a clear sign that the company is going all in on esports entertainment.
Allied Esports has also been active in forming strategic partnerships with key players in the industry, like the HyperX partnership from earlier this year.