Vindex, the leading global eSports infrastructure company, last week acquired the Belong Gaming Arenas brand from GAME DIGITAL LIMITED (“GAME”), the largest video games retailer in the UK and Spain.
GAME operates over 500 video game retail stores and operates local gaming communities that play, watch, and compete together in state-of-the-art gaming centers. Vindex plans to invest more than $300 million into building eSports centers for amateur and casual players in the U.S.
Vindex’s eSports Engine, will be the operational managing services for the areas which will be similar to the earlier gaming centers with PCs and consoles but the focus will be eSports now. They have hired the Game Digital CEO Martyn Gibbs to helm the big roll out of the arenas.
“What we’re trying to do is bring top-quality eSports to your hometowns,” Mike Sepso, the co-founder of Vindex, said in an interview with GamesBeat.
Vindex is also partnering with a couple of team owners – the Dallas-based Envy Gaming, and New York’s Andbox to open multiple locations in their territories.
Vindex will open multiple locations throughout each organization’s Home Market Areas (HMA), including co-branded flagship locations in New York City and North Texas. They will provide the fans and gamers both a best-in-class local eSports ecosystem with exclusive tournaments, leagues, team appearances and robust, market-exclusive consumer product retail programs.
The deal marks the next phase in Vindex’s vision to support the growth of the global eSports industry and to bring amateur eSports to hometowns across the country, and around the world. The aim is to bring the infrastructure together to host such tournaments everywhere and provide a platform for publishers and streaming networks.
“The acquisition of Belong and Martyn’s leadership will allow us to bring the professional eSports experience to casual and amateur players in their hometowns across the country and around the world, connecting more players everywhere at a time when communities truly need to be closer together,” said Sepso, CEO of Vindex. “Martyn is a true innovator and one of the most respected executives in the industry, with more than 25 years of experience, most recently as CEO of one of the world’s largest gaming retailers. We are thrilled to have him lead the next phase in our eSports infrastructure strategy.”
Gibbs said that the aim for extending the reach of the gaming arenas is to provide safe, inclusive community spaces where casual and competitive gamers can compete in organized grassroots eSports tournaments, improve their skills, challenge other players and socialize with other like-minded people.
“eSports is the fastest growing sport in the world and we have seen this passion for gaming through the rollout of the Belong business in the UK,” said Ray Kavanagh, CFO of GAME Digital.
Every Belong Gaming Arena will be powered by Vindex proprietary software platform, including a consumer app that will allow gamers to meet, team up with and compete against other gamers within their own community and throughout the Belong global network.
Vindex and eSports Engine, will design and operate leagues and tournaments throughout the Belong network.
Vindex was launched in October 2019 with $80M in initial funding by eSports pioneers and Major League Gaming (MLG) co-founders Mike Sepso and Sundance DiGiovanni with fintech entrepreneurs Bryan Binder and Jason Garmise.
GAME is the leading specialist retailer of video gaming software, hardware and related entertainment products in the UK and Spain. BELONG brings the Game operation to physical gaming centers that are designated for eSports tournaments as well as leisure gaming.
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