Modern Times Group-owned eSports company ESL has picked up a minority stake in Mumbai-based mobile games publisher Nazara Technologies Limited for an undisclosed amount. ESL is the world’s largest esports company and the oldest professional esports organization that is still operational.
ESL has also signed a license agreement with NODWIN Gaming, in which Nazara had acquired a 55% stake last month. As part of the agreement, NODWIN Gaming will get a 5-year licensing rights for the ESL system and ESL community platform, allowing them to organise and operate ESL competitions in the country. NODWIN Gaming will also get the media distribution rights of ESL’s global content for the Indian subcontinent.
NODWIN already had partnerships with Electronics Sports League, Esports World Convention, and some other, as well as manages gaming events such as the ESL India Premiership, KO Fight Nights, The Intel Extreme Masters qualifiers for India and Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC) India Qualifiers.
Note that in February 2017, Nazara had said it will be launching eSports tournaments and that it is committed to spending Rs 136 crore over five years to grow it as a separate business for the company. Since then the company has;
August 2017: invested in Delhi-based mobile gaming startup MoongLabs.
January 2018: picked up a majority stake in gaming and multimedia startup NextWave Multimedia.
Note that Nazara recently filed its Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP), which is the precursor to a public offering, which is expected to happen in the second half of 2018. IIFL Asset Management Company had also picked up a minority stake in Nazara from Westbridge Capital for about Rs 330 crore, as reported by The Economic Times.