Esports tournament organizer ESL Gaming was recently purchased for $1 billion by Saudi-backed Savvy Gaming Group. In this episode of "The Gaming Show" on Motley Fool Live, recorded on Jan. 31, Motley Fool analysts Jon Quast and Clay Bruning discuss why Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund might want a piece of the esports industry.
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Jon Quast: There's another video game acquisition that I thought that our viewers should be aware of. That is a group called Savvy Gaming Group bought a company called ESL Gaming for a billion dollars. Now, both of these are private companies, but a billion is a lot of money. I hadn't heard of Savvy Gaming Group, and there's a reason why. They were just formed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund. The purpose of this new company is they want to be the leading player globally in esports. ESL already is one of the top-tier, If I'm understanding this right, they're an event organizer for esports, because they are partnering with companies like Activision who are more of the game developers, but they are the event organizer, ESL Gaming, and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund really wants a piece of this growing industry.
Clay Bruning: I was reading an update from the weekend at the newsletter that Roundhill pushes out, and I thought it was interesting. This is the largest pure-play esports deal to date. It's a big bet on esports tournaments and things like that, which it's always been something I've had on my radar and been pretty bullish about for a while, but I feel like it really hasn't grown into everything that I hoped that it would be or expected it to be. Granted, I do think the COVID disruption of about two years probably hurt that, but definitely an interesting deal, and interesting to see that it's a Saudi-backed company as well. Yes, it will be interesting to hear news on this company and the acquisition and how it pans out over the next decade or so.