Sweden based MTG, Modern Times Group, has completed the acquisition of Swedish DreamHack and plans to be the main supplier of everything eSports.
MTG is known as an international media company, and offers a variety of content to entertain their many different viewers. For example, MTG brings the best premium sports in the world, like Champions League, Premier League football, Formula 1, and the Olympic Games to the screens of many consumers.
But very recently, MTG signed a deal with Swedish DreamHack to acquire 100% of one of the World’s biggest eSports companies for $28,200,000.
The deal follows MTG’s recent acquisition of 74% of the world’s largest eSports company, ESL, investments in Zoomin, Europe’s largest multi-channel network, and Splay, the largest Youtube multi-channel network in Scandinavia. Arnd Benninghoff, Venture CEO and MTGx Deputy CEO, MTG’s department of innovation and quality assurance, reveals some of the changes coming to the world of eSports.
“MTG is transforming to a global digital entertainer and our strategy is to invest in relevant, complementary and scalable digital brands, content and communities. In this strategy the investments in ESL, Zoomin and Splay are a key.”, says Arnd Benninghoff.
DreamHack is one of the world’s largest eSports companies, and organizes one of the world’s biggest digital festivals, DreamHack Summer and DreamHack Winter. The festival has existed since the early 1990’s, launching out of a basement of an elementary school in Malung, Sweden.
In 1994 the festival moved to the school cafeteria and it was also the first time it went by the name DreamHack. They have held the majority of local and global tournaments, leagues, and championships in Scandinavia ever since. And in 2014 the festival had 7 live events, entertaining an audience of over 105,000 people.
Being a modern digital source of entertainment , there are millions of hours of DreamHack game footage that has been watched by eSports fans all over the world.
“Yes – eSports is becoming more and more relevant. It is already scratching the surface of mainstream attention, and it won’t take long before it fully penetrates the market.”, Arnd Benninghoff explains.
“Marcus and the entire DreamHack team will continue heading the DreamHack operations.”, Arnd Benninghoff further elaborates.
MTG seem to have an idea they are carefully exploring, and by investing in companies such as DreamHack, they have more or less put their chips on eSports, as the next mainstream source of entertainment in the near future.
And as it looks right now, it seems as if MTG has placed those chips on the right bet, as eSports have steadily risen in both acknowledgement as a serious and competitive sport, and as of recent years, also as a lucrative sport to own shirts and teams in.
Another point to prove that eSports is a sport just as any other, is the fact that they recently have started looking into drug abuse, and performance enhancing substances, used to enhance focus and alertness during matches.
Arnd Benninghoff is well aware of the concerns about drug abuse, but assures that as any sport, cutting corners is something that comes with the territory.
“Unfortunately not everyone adapts to the basic rule of fair play, and this is troublesome whatever sport you look into.”, says Arnd Benninghoff.
“There is no example of best practice for us. We will trial-by-error, experiment with formats, shows and events, and we will provide access to our knowledge and infrastructure to let the industry grow further.”, Arnd Benninghoff says.
Through their recent series of acquisitions in the eSport space, MTG has essentially became one of the world’s most influential eSports providers.
And from what Arnd Benninghoff vaguely hints at, 2016 looks to be the year of MTGx, teasing a new upcoming content and direction plan.
“We are constantly looking into new business opportunities, and have done some great investments and gone into several exciting partnerships during the past months. The latest as announced today is that MTGx, ESL and Jaunt joined forces to bring virtual reality storytelling to the MTG portfolio. We will continue the transformation we’re in as a company and keep developing according to our strategy also for 2016. Keep your eyes open!”, concludes Arnd Benninghoff.