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Esports Headlines: Indian Esports Investment, NA LCS Playoffs, GG Studios Merger

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Despite a crazy week that saw Team SoloMid lose to Team Liquid and a nearly hour-long game decide the last team to enter the 2017 Spring Split Playoffs, we now know what matchups are forthcoming.

NA LCS Playoffs right around the corner

For Cloud9, Phoenix1, TSM, and Counter Logic Gaming, Week Nine was just a formality, with all four teams securing a playoff spot before the action even started.

Immortals went from almost securing a playoff spot against Dignitas to nervously watching the FlyQuest vs. Team Liquid series. FlyQuest would win 2-1, ending Immortals’ chances at a playoff spot.

Unfortunately for Team Envy and Team Liquid, both finished at the bottom of the NA LCS Spring Split and will have to fight through the relegation tournament to earn their spots back. Immortals and Echo Fox remain safe, but did not earn spots to the playoffs.

The playoffs start with the quarterfinals on April 8, before the NA LCS Spring Split Finals at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum on April 23. All series in the playoffs will be best-of-five, with the winner qualifying to represent North America at Riot’s Mid-Season Invitational in Brazil.

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In addition to representing NA at MSI, the Spring Split Playoffs have major implications for Worlds. The top four finishers will receive LCS Championship Points. First place gets 90 points, second place gets 70 points, third place gets 50 points, and fourth place gets 30 points.

Aphromoo subs in at ADC for CLG

Counter Logic Gaming has been on a tear lately, going 6-2 over the last four weeks of the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split. However, last week the team had to overcome a slight obstacle. After an unknown illness required Stixxay to be hospitalized, members of the CLG squad started dropping tweets hinting at an interesting roster change.

Lo and behold, CLG called on Aphromoo to switch positions and play his former ADC role. It was later revealed that Counter Logic Gaming’s support for the day would be Joseph “Joey” Haslemann, the mid lane sub for the team.

CLG posted a full statement on their website to update fans, but gave no more insight into why Stixxay was in the hospital:

“Due to a medical emergency last night, Stixxay will sadly not be able to compete in today’s games. Aphromoo will be the starting AD carry with substitute player Joseph “Joey” Haslemann playing as support. Please wish Stixxay well and a speedy recovery!”

Before getting the call Friday night at 4 a.m. from CLG, Joey, who is currently finishing high school, was working on a paper (that he later finished on his phone during the flight to Northern California).

It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen Aphromoo play ADC. In fact, CLG Coach Zikz had some fun by posting a throwback image of Aphromoo playing ADC.

Aphromoo started his professional career as an ADC before switching to support in January 2014. In fact, he played for almost three years at the position before the LCS became mainstream. He has since become one of the most recognized and respected support players in North America.

Major esports content company finalizes merger

American Leisure Holdings, Inc. and GG Media Network have finalized a merger, creating even more momentum for the parent company of GG Studios – a rising esports media production company.

Christian Bishop, co-founder of GG Studios, will remain in management and serve as the CEO for American Leisure.

GG Studios works with publishers and sponsors to create and distribute original esports content for television and digital platforms. The company intends to become the industry leader in development of premium content for esports fans.

GG Media Network has three divisions detailed on their company portfolio:

GG Studios | Non-scripted Content Production: Provides specialized production on a wide range of hand-picked projects related to the esports industry, its players, and the fans that fuel its exponential growth. GG Studios creates non-scripted content for television and digital platforms.

Talent Management and Brand Sponsorship: Focused in areas such as product, cross-promotion, digital rights management, monetization/sales, and audience development with the goal of providing both amateur and professional video game players, the services and proprietary tools to help manage their channels and grow their audience, while simultaneously garnering brand deals.

Esports Events Management Division: Manages and promotes running officially accredited video game tournaments garnered through partnerships and collaborations with developers, vendors, and sponsors.

Route Mobile invests $10 million in India’s esports industry

The founders of Route Mobile Limited — Rajdip Gupta and Sandip Gupta — have launched a new venture to jumpstart esports in India. With the announcement of COBX Gaming Ventures Private Limited, the two co-founders will contribute an initial investment of $10 million.

The two most immediate goals are to launch both an international and national esports league. The organization would also like to form international teams for popular titles like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

“As avid gamers ourselves, we have always wanted to contribute to the growth of professional esports,” said Rijdip Gupta. “Today, esports is at a stage where gamers can truly consider it as a viable career. We are glad to be able to invest and serve as a catalyst to the esports industry, especially in India.”

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The current format of the COBX Gaming league appears to include 16 total teams, two of which will be from their new national league. The national league will also have a prize pool in excess of $15,000. The other 14 slots will be determined by national teams through invite only.

“The domestic league will culminate in a LAN final, where we are planning on calling international teams,” Gupta stated. “The LAN finals will have a prize pool of $300,000-$500,000, which will send a signal to the foreign competitors of how serious we are with our involvement.”

The announcement of COBX Gaming comes on the heels of other major announcements regarding esports in India recently. Indian mobile game publisher Nazara Games recently revealed its intentions to invest $20 million over the next five years to create a professional league in the country, while celebrity and entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala is doing the same with UCypher.

Rachel Perry

About

Rachel is an avid gamer whose insatiable desire for all things gaming related has been augmented by the inconceivable growth of eSports and how competitive gaming is viewed. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite games, Rachel can be found playing League of Legends, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, or watching too much Twitch.tv.