Allied Esports has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019. The global esports entertainment company earned the standing of No. 8 in the Live Events category.
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The list honors the businesses making the most profound impact on both industry and culture, showcasing a variety of ways to thrive in today’s volatile world. Half of the companies on this year’s MIC 50 list are appearing for the first time.
“It is an honor to be recognized by Fast Company and have Allied Esports listed among some of the most creative, pioneering and influential companies in the world,” said Frank Ng, co-CEO of Ourgame Holdings International, owner of Allied Esports. “We take innovation and creativity seriously, and with a strong global strategy for delivering incredible, revolutionary esports experiences and content around the world, we are excited to exceed the great expectations placed on us with this award.”
This year, Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out groundbreaking businesses across 35 industries and every region. They also judged nominations received through their application process.
The World’s Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy.
“Established players are showing the same kind of nimbleness that we’ve generally associated with startups,” said Fast Company deputy editor David Lidsky, who oversaw the issue with senior editor Amy Farley.
As previously announced, Allied Esports and its sister company, the World Poker Tour®, both currently owned by Ourgame Holdings International, will be acquired, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and the satisfaction of other conditions to closing, by Black Ridge Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: BRAC), to form Allied Esports Entertainment. Creating premier live experiences, multiplatform content and interactive online services that reach and engage a worldwide audience of players and viewers is central to Allied Esports Entertainment’s mission.
The acquisition announcement in December 2018 capped a significant year for Allied Esports. In March 2018, the company debuted its global flagship arena, HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas, a dedicated esports venue and state-of-the-art production facility, where it has hosted and produced events and content across a variety of esports and entertainment genres, including the record-breaking Ninja Vegas ’18, the 2018 NHL Gaming World Championship, League of Legends All-Star 2018 and Capcom Cup 2018. Allied Esports also recently announced a new monthly esports entertainment series – PlayTime with KittyPlays – hosted by Kristen “KittyPlays” Michaela, which will be streamed in front of a live studio audience at HyperX Esports Arena. The series is expected to debut this spring.
Allied Esports announced the industry’s first major naming rights partnership for a purpose-built dedicated esports arena with leading gaming product developer HyperX in November 2018, and expanded the agreement to include the HyperX Esports Truck in December 2018. HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas was named Venue of the Year at the 2018 Tempest Awards, a part of the Esports Business Summit.
In 2018, Allied Esports announced the formation of the world’s first esports venue affiliate program – the Allied Esports Property Network – created for operators around the world interested in participating in Allied Esports’ global event programming and content sharing, and licensing Allied Esports’ design, development and operations expertise for their own dedicated esports venues. Allied Esports’ latest affiliate, Fortress Esports, is expected to open its first arena in Melbourne, Australia in 2019.
The Allied Esports Property Network also added three new arenas in China in 2018; in Tianjin, in Gui’an, and in Hangzhou, in partnership with the city of Hangzhou and popular esports organization LGD Gaming. The Lianmeng Dianjing LGD Gaming Hangzhou Arena is the home arena for LGD Gaming’s League of Legends Pro League team.
Following the success and popularity of its European esports truck “Big Betty,” in 2018 Allied Esports launched North America’s HyperX Esports Truck, a state-of-the-art, 80-foot, 18-wheel, 35-ton semi-trailer that transforms into a self-contained mobile stage and production studio, bringing esports competition directly to fans. After making its debut at the 2018 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the truck made stops at sports and entertainment events around the country, including the DAYTONA 500 and Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway; VidCon 2018; the 2018 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3); KAABOO 2018; and Comic-Con 2018 in San Diego. The HyperX Esports Truck returned to CES in January 2019 and most recently partnered with the NFL Retired Players Association for an event in Atlanta.
Allied Esports’ popular tournament brand, Esport Superstars, made its debut in China in 2018 with the third annual edition of Esport Superstars: Hearthstone in December. The Esport Superstars: Hearthstone franchise totaled more than 16 million global viewers over the course of its first two events in Germany and the United States.
Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies issue (March-April 2019) is now available online at https://www.fastcompany.com/MIC, as well as in app form via iTunes and on newsstands beginning February 27th. The hashtag is #fcmostinnovative.
About Allied Esports
Allied Esports is a premier esports entertainment company with a global network of dedicated esports properties and content production facilities. Its mission is to connect players, streamers and fans via integrated arenas and mobile esports trucks around the world that serve as both gaming battlegrounds and every day content generation hubs. Allied Esports is a subsidiary of Ourgame International (SEHK:899), owner of WPT Enterprises, Inc., the operator of The World Poker Tour®. Ourgame has entered into an agreement with Black Ridge Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: BRAC) to combine, and once all applicable shareholder and regulatory consents have been obtained, and the other conditions to closing have been satisfied, Allied Esports and the World Poker Tour will form Allied Esports Entertainment, Inc.
Through direct operation and affiliate relationships via the Allied Esports Property Network, the first esports venue affiliate program available to partners looking to open new esports facilities around the world, Allied Esports locations currently include 11 properties in the top three esports markets across the globe: North America’s HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas, HyperX Esports Truck, Esports Arena Orange County and Esports Arena Oakland; Europe’s Esports Truck “Big Betty” and Studio in Hamburg, Germany; and China’s Lianmeng Dianjing in Beijing, Lianmeng Dianjing SEG Arena in Shenzhen, Lianmeng Dianjing Tianjin Arena, Lianmeng Dianjing Gui’an Arena and Lianmeng Dianjing LGD Gaming Hangzhou Arena. The Allied Esports Property Network’s 12th property, run by Fortress Esports, is expected to open in Melbourne, Australia in 2019. For more information about Allied Esports and its global network of properties, visit AlliedEsports.gg and follow @AlliedEsports.
About Fast Company
Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies and thinkers on the future of business. Since 2011, Fast Company has received some of the most prestigious editorial and design accolades, including the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) National Magazine Award for “Magazine Of The Year,” Adweek’s Hot List for “Hottest Business Publication,” and six gold medals and 10 silver medals from the Society of Publication Designers. The editor-in-chief is Stephanie Mehta and the publisher is Amanda Smith. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc., and can be found online at www.fastcompany.com.
This communication contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may relate to the proposed transaction between Black Ridge Acquisition Corp. and Ourgame International Holdings Limited (the “Proposed Transaction”) and any other statements relating to future results, strategy and plans of Black Ridge and Ourgame (including certain projections and business trends, and statements which may be identified by the use of the words “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “estimated”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might”, “projects”, “will” or “will be taken”, “occur” or “be achieved”). Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management of Black Ridge or Ourgame, as the case may be, as of the date such statements are made, and they are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. For Ourgame, these risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, its revenues and operating performance, general economic conditions, industry trends, legislation or regulatory requirements affecting the business in which it is engaged, management of growth, its business strategy and plans, the result of future financing efforts and its dependence on key personnel. For Black Ridge, factors include, but are not limited to, the successful combination of Black Ridge with Ourgame’s business, amount of redemptions, the ability to retain key personnel and the ability to achieve stockholder and regulatory approvals and to successfully close the Proposed Transaction. Additional information on these and other factors that may cause actual results and Black Ridge’s performance to differ materially is included in Black Ridge’s periodic reports filed with the SEC, including but not limited to Black Ridge’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 and subsequent Forms 10-Q. Copies may be obtained by contacting Black Ridge or the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date hereof, and Black Ridge undertakes no obligations to update or revise the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
No Offer or Solicitation
This communication is for informational purposes only and is neither an offer to sell or purchase, nor the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities, nor is it a solicitation of any vote, consent, or approval in any jurisdiction pursuant to or in connection with the Proposed Transaction or otherwise, nor shall there be any sale, issuance or transfer of securities in any jurisdiction in contravention of applicable law.
Participants in Solicitation
Black Ridge and Ourgame, and their respective directors and executive officers, may be deemed participants in the solicitation of proxies of Black Ridge stockholders in respect of the Proposed Transaction. Information about the directors and executive officers of Black Ridge is set forth in Black Ridge’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017. Information about the directors and executive officers of Ourgame and more detailed information regarding the identity of all potential participants, and their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be set forth in Black Ridge’s proxy statement, when available. Investors may obtain additional information about the interests of such participants by reading such proxy statement when it becomes available.
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