In April 2022, the parent company of Esports teams Rogue and Royal Ravens — ReKTGlobal – was acquired by metaverse company Infinite Reality.
Rogue was founded in 2016 in Nevada, Las Vegas with a focus on Counterstrike: Global Offensive and Overwatch. It was Overwatch that brought prominent music producer DJ Steve Aoki to the team. As a big gaming enthusiast and an avid player of Overwatch, Aoki was genuinely attracted to the team and become an early investor.
Rogue was one of the first teams to bring in a ‘celebrity’ esports investor, and Steve Aoki was followed up by investments from Imagine Dragons, Rudy Gobert, Nicky Romero, Nick Gross and Landon Collins.
Rogue was later acquired by ReKTGlobal, an Esports infrastructure company founded in 2017 by veterans Dave Bialek and Amish Shah, and quickly became an organization partner of the League of Legends European League Championship (LEC). In 2019 it announced its first debut on the LEC stage. Besides the CS:GO and Overwatch team already competing for European trophies, Rogue has launched a LoL team which is based in Europe and slowly expanded its influence in the esports space.
One of the things that made Rogue stand out in Europe is their influencer portfolio. In 2019 ReKTGlobal secured a collaboration with DrLupo, a streamer and Fortnite competitor who has over 4.5 million of followers. In 2020 Vikkstar, one of the biggest gaming influencers with 12 million followers joined the organization as a co-owner. As a Call of Duty: Warzone player, Vikkstar became responsible for the second esports team that ReKT Global owns, the London Royal Ravens.
Both DrLupo and Vikkstar explain their keen interest in Rogue as being thanks to its genuine approach to the gaming and family environment; and that influencer marketing had become very important in the Esports industry. According to the Influencer Marketing Hub,
“fielding a roster of YouTube or Twitch celebrities can help teams attract more sponsorship deals, which still make up a significant part of their bottom line. Influencers tend to have larger and more engaged audiences than individual athletes, entire teams, and even whole tournaments.”
At Rewired we are curious to see what changes the new owner Infinite Reality will bring. As Forbes points out, the metaverse company is still quite unknown, but believes that it will grow the esports teams owned by ReKTGlobal even further. Perhaps due to the nature of Infinite Reality, we can expect these esports teams to foray deeper into the metaverse?