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HT&E launches Australian events business, creates esports league

Here, There & Everywhere, formerly APN News & Media until its rebrand four months ago, is launching a local events business along with an Australian esports league.

The new company, HT&E Events, will be a joint venture with Ireland-based IKON Media & Entertainment and follows a partnership with UK-listed esports promoter Gfinity.

HT&E’s new division, HT&E Events

HT&E Events in turn will partner with the British company to create Gfinity eSports Australia to create a city-based franchise league, ‘The Elite Series.’

The venture will give Australian gamers a structured competitive framework within Australian eSports, and allow amateurs and professionals to compete alongside each other.

Franchise teams will compete weekly at dedicated eSports venues, with each event broadcast live online and across other TV and media platforms.

Commencing in summer of 2018, the new franchise teams are Adelaide Photonics, Brisbane Deceptors, Melbourne Metattak, Melbourne Rebolte, Perth Subnets, Sydney Blue Surge and Sydney Opsydian.

The new eSports teams, launching in 2018

HT&E Events will also launch online competition, ‘The Challenger Series’ in Q3 this year.

The Challenger Series will be a platform for amateur gamers to compete against each other for a chance to compete alongside professionals in The Elite Series.

Commenting on the new partnerships, HT&E Chief executive and managing director, Ciaran Davis, said the new events business will offer not only include the eSports business, but other “niche events.”

“IKON bring to the table a depth of understanding and expertise in delivering experiences in sports, entertainment and media, making them the perfect partner as we move into this new area,” he said.

“This move supports our strategic objectives to diversify revenues and expand our audience base, and we see in this opportunity the potential to reach a younger audience base and drive growth for HT&E.

“Leveraging our unique combination of media assets, and using Gfinity’s tournament platform, Gfinity eSports Australia will also be perfectly positioned to run bespoke events for sponsors and strategic partners looking to engage with the eSports community – a highly engaged audience that will continue to grow.”

IKON Media & Entertainment’s partner, Damien O’Donohoe, said HT&E’s portfolio was a “powerful platform” to launch the joint venture.

“We are also delighted that our first venture together involves working with Gfinity, a global leader in eSports, to launch Australia’s first city-based professional eSports franchise league,” he added.

“The opportunity presented by the rapidly growing eSports sector is tremendous, and we have carefully chosen Gfinity as our platform partner to ensure the player and viewer experience is best in class, and to differentiate ourselves in the Australian eSports market.”

Neville Upton, Gfinity Chief Executive, said his new goal as part of the partnership was to grow eSports in Australia.

“We look forward to promoting Australia’s home grown talent via our online competitions and city- based franchise league,” he said.

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