Esports Entertainment CEO details B2C, divestment plans
Esports Entertainment has been in trouble since May 2022 when it admitted “doubt” regarding whether it could stay in business for another year. In November, its brands SportNation and RedZone ceased trading in the UK, while former CEO Grant Johnson exited the following month, after rumours swirled over its future.
Igelman, who was appointed in January this year, said that he carried out a company review and coordinated this with an action plan.
“Since joining the company approximately three months ago, I immediately undertook a top-to-bottom review of the entire organisation based on where I believe the esports and esports gambling industries are heading, and then tied this into a cohesive vision for the company,” said Igelman.
He explained that Esports Entertainment would now focus on expanding its B2C offerings, specifically through its Idefix platform. The company acquired Idefix as part of its $30m acquisition of Lucky Dino in March 2021.
“As a business-to-consumer (B2C) igaming operator in international markets, operating under our MGA licence, we plan to have a renewed focus on esports wagering through new betting content and offerings,” he said.
“Concurrently, the company is implementing strategies to expand its B2C esports wagering services through its Idefix platform, and we are in the final stages of integrating the Oddin.gg iframe solution on our platform for esports wagering.
“Eventually, we plan to offer an esports-first, Idefix-based B2B platform for sale and distribution to third parties.”
Igelman noted Esports Entertainment’s multiple divestment efforts, many of which have taken place this year. Igelman said that these sales took place to “streamline” its operations.
“In January of this year, we completed the sale of our esports Spanish gaming licence for approximately $1.2m,” he said. “On the immediate heels of this transaction, we completed the sale of the Bethard business in February for approximately $1.7m in cash at closing and further eliminated debt and liabilities to the Bethard business of approximately $7.5m.
“In March, we initiated the liquidation of Argyll Entertainment, an online gambling business in the UK with recurring losses.”
Igelman also explained the company’s decision to reduce its employee headcount, which was slashed by more than 37% this year.
“We have also reduced headcount from 158 full-time employees at 31 December 2022, to 99 full-time employees, inclusive of planned reductions,” he said. “Although we incurred upfront costs related to the restructuring, over time, these initiatives are expected to lower our operating expenses by over $4m on an annualised basis.”
Despite a rocky start to 2023, Igelman praised the company’s “achievements” as “noteworthy” in his time as CEO.
“Esports Entertainment has extremely valuable and differentiated assets, which we believe will be key to the future of this industry,” he said. “I strongly believe that our achievements over a short three-month span are truly noteworthy.
“With the right leadership, direction and financial discipline, I am extremely confident we can establish Esports Entertainment as a leader in this rapidly emerging market, while unlocking value for shareholders.”