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Russian internet giant Mail.ru has announced that it’s acquiring esports company ESforce in a deal worth at least $100 million.
ESforce is the holding company for a number of esports-related brands, including esports communities SK Gaming and Virtus.pro, of which the latter received a $100 million investment from one of Russia’s richest oligarchs a few years back.
Esports, or video game competitions that are often streamed online to the world, is a $700 million industry, with reports indicating that it could become a $2.5 billion market by 2020. As such, Amazon snapped up game-streaming platform Twitch for around $1 billion back in 2014, while a few weeks ago Google announced it had invested in Chinese esports company Chushou.
Mail.ru’s deal involves the company paying out $100 million in cash, less any outstanding debt, with an additional performance-related payment to come at the end of 2018, according to a press release.
Three top investment pros open up about what it takes to get your video game funded.
ESforce claimed that it had 116 million users in 2017, with an estimated revenue of around $19 million — up 150 percent from the year before.
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