April saw a host of investments in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region, with organisations and partners implementing more structure to the ecosystem with a continued influx of capital. Each month, ESI compiles the top Indian and SEA esports business developments into a single article.
Here are the region’s biggest stories for the month of April, in collaboration with AFK Gaming.
Top Indian and SEA esports business developments, April 2021
KRAFTON donates ~£150k to India for COVID Relief
PUBG’s parent company KRAFTON donated INR 15,000,000 (~£146k) to the PM Cares fund in India as the country struggles to fight a rising wave of new cases and overburdened resources. The company has made a concentrated effort to establish a presence in the country and stay in the good books of officials in a bid to get PUBG Mobile reinstated. The title has now been banned for more than seven months, putting a severe dent in the country’s esports ecosystem; PUBG Mobile was by far the region’s most popular esports title.
More recently KRAFTON invested £16.2m in NODWIN Gaming, the country’s largest tournament organiser, to become a minority stakeholder in the company.
This month, the official PUBG India YouTube channel released a trailer before quickly deleting it, sparking rumours that it will be available again in the country soon.
Apex Legends Mobile set to soft-launch in India and the Philippines
Apex Legends, the popular PC title developed by Electronics Arts, had announced plans to launch a mobile version of the game, with a recent statement that India and the Philippines will be the first two regions to have access to the title.
The initial phase, which has since begun, features just a few-thousand players in each region and is more of a closed beta. However, focus on India suggests that EA are looking at the region seriously and planning to capitalise on PUBG Mobile’s absence with aims to replace it as the go-to title in the battle-royale genre.
Read more about the story here.
MPL Partners with McDonald’s for Season 7 Playoffs
The Mobile Legends Professional League Malaysia vertical last month partnered with McDonald’s to offer exclusive deals on products. The initiative also allows fans to win in-game currency through promotions on the latter’s social media.
Read more about it here.
Singaporean org RSG secures £725k in funding from FrontSight Capital Fund
FrontSight Capital Fund announced an investment of $1m (∼£725,415) into Singaporean esports organisation RSG.
The funding will be used to continue RSG’s investment in local talent cultivation, along with plans to establish brand-new training facilities for its teams. The organisation currently fields teams across a number of titles including Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, League of Legends: Wild Rift, and Street Fighter.
Read more about the story here.
Tier One Entertainment raises pre-Series A funding
Singapore-based gaming and esports agency Tier One Entertainment raised an undisclosed pre-Series A funding round led by Gobi Partners through its Gobi-Core Philippine Fund. Warner Music Group joined the round as part of its investment strategy in the region. Singaporean Octava, Japanese KAYAC Inc, and Tier One Entertainment’s early-stage investor Atlas Ventures also contributed to the round.
Tier One Entertainment houses 420 talents. The new capital raised will help set up local operations in other Asian countries.
To read more, click here.
Esports Technologies launches betting platform ‘Gogawi’ in Thailand
Esports Technologies last month launched its betting platform, Gogawi, in Thailand — expanding from their initial deployment in Japan. ET’s CEO Aaron Speach highlighted the popularity of mobile titles in the region along with its strong history in betting, in a statement to Yogonet.
FIGHT Esports launches FIGHT Campus League in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia
Southeast Asian organisation FIGHT Esports has launched a series of regional campus tournaments for students in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
According to the release, FIGHT Campus League looks to bolster gaming communities among colleges and universities within the regions. The event’s regional leagues will feature a range of esports titles.
To learn more, click here.
AFK Gaming is an India-based esports media and content company that aims to provide quality and consistent coverage about teams, players, tournaments and competitive video games with a primary focus on the Asian region.