Esports has quickly grown from a niche market to a mainstream phenomenon. The term “esports” refers to the competitive video gaming industry in which individuals or teams will compete against each other. Some of these competitions are remote, while others are in-person in massive venues filled with professional gamers. Surprisingly, major esports competitions have earned more viewership than many traditional sports, catapulting the market into a US$11 billion industry. Significant gaming and internet media companies, including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Activision-Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), and even Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), have since entered this emerging market, recognizing its great potential.
Industry experts generally agree that esports, as a stand-alone business, just doesn’t work. Most esports companies have begun diversifying their offerings to monetize this new phenomenon further. The new dominant view is that esports is more of a customer acquisition journey for other assets. As a result, companies with a robust esports-related portfolio are setting themselves up for substantial growth as the industry continues to explode.
X1 Entertainment Group Inc. (CSE:XONE, OTCQB: XOEEF) is a gaming and media company with a diversified portfolio of assets that includes companies in media, network and agency services. The company plans to continue to increase revenue through mergers and acquisitions, targeting cash-flow-positive companies. Additionally, X1 will continue to build upon its existing portfolio with organic growth and accretive M&A.
The company began by acquiring UK-based competitive esports organization RixGG. RixGG fields teams in “League of Legends: Wild Rift” and “Valorant,” two popular games in the esports world. RixGG also produces content, sells merchandise, and is a lifestyle brand.
In 2022, X1 purchased Tyrus.TV, also currently known as X1 Talent - a creator economy agency with a subscription-based revenue model. X1 Talent oversees the social media distribution (Tik Tok, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, Instagram) for many of the world's top gaming and entertainment talents. Notable recent brand campaigns engaged with X1 Talent include Google’s YouTube, Snapchat, RuffSenpai, a semiconductor company, AMD, and Comcast’s Xfinity.
X1 also acquired Shift RLE, a news portal for the wildly popular game “Rocket League.” The game averages 6 million daily players. Shift RLE is developing into the primary destination for Rocket League news and related fantasy sports, becoming the “ESPN” of Rocket League. The company further acquired the assets of Rocket League community Octane.GG, a leading Rocket League Esports statistics platform providing in-depth match statistics across the top events in the space.
X1 is led by a management team with diverse backgrounds in entrepreneurship, corporate management and finance. Mark Elfenbein, CEO, has presided over five publicly traded companies, bringing his corporate management experience to X1. Latika Prasad has served on the management board of several publicly traded companies over her 30-year career. Bill O’Hara brings experience in capital markets and equity research. Additional experts in finance and media management round out the team.
- X1 Entertainment Group Inc. (X1) is a media and gaming company with a portfolio of diversified assets targeting different aspects of the video game and creator economy industries.
- The company plans to continually increase revenue through mergers & acquisitions, organic growth and increased synergy between its assets.
- A strong corporate management team leads the company with experience in corporate management, finance, and media management.
- X1 has completed the acquisitions of Tyrus LLC, ShiftRLE and Octane.GG. These acquisitions expand X1’s portfolio as diversified gaming and media company
RixGG - Esports Organization
Established in 2020, RixGG is one of the fastest-growing esports organizations in Europe. RixGG is focused on competitive gaming and merchandising. The company is expanding into content creation while developing its commercial relationships, overall brand and in-house marketing technology required to run a digitally based esports organization.
- Top Social Media Platforms Targeted: Tyrus.TV manages every social media platform popular in the gaming world: TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch and Instagram. Gamers subscribe to Tyrus.TV to manage these platforms so they can focus on gaming while still growing their personal brands.
- Exclusive Sponsorship Opportunities: Tyrus.TV also represents its influencers to secure sponsorships, a fundamental way gamers monetize their online presence.
X1 also merged its two news properties ShiftRLE and Octane.gg to create ‘the primary sports media network of Rocket League' known as ShiftRLE.gg.
ShiftRLE.gg is well-positioned to be the leading source for Rocket League news offering a roster of industry reports. The site is also hosting an extensive database of play-by-play and game-by-game statistics which will help fans to uniquely analyze the game on a deeper level. Player and team pages will enable fans to track their favorite pro's performances throughout the season,and new features to be developed, such as live videos, live scores and fantasy sports, will also allow fans to immerse themselves in the league and engage with the wider game community.
X1 Talent, formerly known as Tyrus.TV, is X1 Entertainment’s creator economy platform with a subscription-based revenue model. X1 Talent oversees the social media distribution on Tik Tok, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, and Instagram for many of the world's top gaming and entertainment talents. Content creator personalities pay X1 Talent a monthly subscription fee between $500 and $1,000 to fully manage their social media presence and exclusively represent them for sponsorship opportunities with some of the largest brands in the world including, Hello Fresh, Warner Brothers and BMO.
Latest engagement campaigns with known brands include:
- Google’s YouTube signed an agreement with X1 talent Zanadood to create 80 YouTube short videos over a six-month period.
- Snapchat signed a deal to engage X1 talent RuffSenpai to create 60 Snapchat videos per month for a new Snapchat Spotlight feature.
- Semiconductor company AMD signed a deal with X1 talent Brizzy Voices (who has over two million YouTube fans) to promote a new laptop to gamers utilizing Brizzy’s social media channels on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
- Comcast’s Xfinity signed a deal with X1 talent BlizzB3ar to promote the Xfinity streaming service to Generation Z audiences.
Mark Elfenbein - CEO
As a chief executive officer at X1, Mark Elfenbein oversees the company’s operations, building on more than 20 years of experience leading rapidly growing companies in new emerging industries. Elfenbein previously held leadership roles in five publicly traded companies in the areas of music, gaming, mobile and artificial intelligence, which combined raised financing in excess of $1 billion. During this period, he was chief revenue officer at Sentient Technologies, which raised nearly $180 million, the largest sum at the time for an AI company. Prior to that, he was president and CEO of Slyce technologies, where he led the company’s deployment of a visual search technology that had tremendous success among fortune 500 companies. Earlier in his career, Elfenbein founded Mood Media, the largest global provider of in-store music and sensory experiences with over $500 million in annual revenues, and co-founder and head of Revenue for Fun Technologies, an online pay-to-play tournament gaming business which was acquired by Liberty Media for $484 million. Elfenbein was a former Grammy Award voting member and Billboard Music Awards winner. His family founded the iconic Canadian global tv marketing company, K-Tel International, a leading disruptor in the music and consumer products industry. Elfenbein earned a bachelor of business administration. from the University of Manitoba. He resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Latika Prasad - Director
Latika Prasad has been an officer and/or a director of private and publicly traded companies for more than 30 years. She is currently a director of Turmalina Metals Corp. (TSXV:TBX) and was a director and corporate secretary from April 2017 to July 2019. She is also the corporate secretary of Realgold Resources Corp. since December 2016 and previously, director at Southern Empire Resources Corp. from March 2020 to June 2021 (TSXV: SMP) and director and assistant corporate secretary at Wabi Exploration Inc. (CNSx: WAB) from September 2015 to July 2017. She served as the chief financial officer of Azincourt Resources inc. (TSXV: AAZ) from October 2011 until June 2013 and as a director from May 2011 to April 2013.
Bill O'Hara - Director
Bill began his career in the capital markets at First Marathon Securities in equity research analyzing gold companies. After transitioning to the role of institutional equity sales at National Bank Financial and then Credit Suisse First Boston, O’Hara joined Haywood Securities Inc. in 2003. He eventually became managing director and head of equity sales at Haywood. In late 2020, after 25 years of identifying, analyzing, capital raising and strategically advising both investment funds and corporate entities across many sectors, O’Hara formed Lacg Capital Inc. Lacg’s mandate is to provide bespoke capital markets advisory services to both public and private companies in the early stages of growth. He holds a master of science (econs) from the London School of Economics with distinction and a CFA designation.
Samantha Shorter - CFO
Samantha Shorter has over a decade of experience in providing reporting, assurance and accounting services to publicly traded companies, including technology companies. She left public practice in 2011 and has since taken on a variety of leadership roles. Her depth of governance and accounting knowledge ensures effective implementation and oversight for financial reporting, administration and internal controls development and budgeting for Nexoptic. Shorter completed a bachelor of commerce with honors at the University of British Columbia. She is a chartered professional accountant and a certified internal auditor.