Canucks Owners Aquilinis Making Big Investments In Esports
Esports has "caught the attention of the Aquilinis" -- the Canucks' owners and "one of British Columbia's most prominent business families," according to Julius Melnitzer of the Vancouver PROVINCE. The Aquilinis have realized that esports reach "younger target markets," with some 50% of males aged 18-34 "describing themselves as gamers." The Aquilinis recently "completed a four-way" merger that formed the publicly-traded esports organization Enthusiast Gaming Holdings Inc. Aquilini GameCo Inc., J55 Capital Corp. and Luminosity Gaming Inc. were merged into the final product. In January, Enthusiast's stock "graduated from the TSX Venture Exchange to the Toronto Stock Exchange." The company now "boasts the largest gaming network" in North America and the U.K. and one of the world's "largest vertically integrated" esports companies. Luminosity Gaming -- the company's esports division -- "owns and manages" seven pro esports teams including the Overwatch League Vancouver Titans and the Call of Duty League Seattle Surge. It also has "engaged a team of celebrity 'global ambassadors,'" including 49ers CB Richard Sherman, Canadiens C Max Domi and his father Tie, a former NHLer. The Aquilinis' interest in esports began in August '18, when Rogers Arena hosted the Int'l Dota 2 Championships. The six-day event "sold out the 20,000-seat venue and some 15 million viewers streamed the action." Canucks Sports & Entertainment COO Trent Caroll said, "We had no idea that fans would fill the arena for an entire week, and with a level of engagement that was amazing" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 2/4).
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