Black Ridge Acquisition Corp. and Ourgame International Holdings Ltd. fully entered a public agreement that will see the acquisition of Ourgame’s properties, Allied Esports and World Poker Tower.
Once complete, the combined properties will be collectively known as Allied Esports Entertainment. This move will combine Allied Esport’s venue-driven services, such as the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas, with the business model of World Poker Tour.
Lyle Berman, legendary Minnesota businessman and World Series of Poker pro, has had his eyes on the esports industry. He initially brokered this deal to happen since December 2018. According to BusinessWire, Black Ridge will issue about 11.6 million shares, valued at $118 million, to Ourgame, plus additional warrants and $50 million in milestone payments. The debt and equity deal is valued at $213.8 million by Thomson Reuters.
“Esports is going to explode,” Berman said. “By everybody’s prediction, there are more people who will be watching it [esports] in a few years than watch the NFL, NBA and baseball combined.” According to Syracuse University, as of August 2019, esports has already dwarfed the NBA in viewership and is only behind the NFL in total viewership numbers.
Black Ridge shareholders approved the transaction on August 9, and the company is now trading on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “AESE” or “AESEW”.
“Today marks the beginning of a new category in gaming – esports entertainment – that brings together the best of this burgeoning industry, including fans, streamers, professionals, entertainers and brands, to create experiences and content around the world across all communities,” said Frank Ng, future CEO of Allied Esports Entertainment. “This growing ecosystem, anchored by our three-pillar strategy, will allow us to serve the industry as a whole as we move forward into an exciting and promising future.”
Allied Esports will continue to provide esports arena productions, designs, and developments, as well as offering expertise to other companies looking to produce developing venues.
Credit: Rudolf Baldovino