Esports Entertainment Group brings in Igelman as new CEO

| By Robert Fletcher
Esports Entertainment Group (EEG) has appointed Alex Igelman as its new chief executive following the departure of Grant Johnson last month.

Igelman is an experienced igaming executive having served in a series of roles during his 30-year career in the gambling industry. 

In recent years, Igelman co-founded Esports Capital Corp, a bespoke esports consultancy, as well as the FairP2P self-regulatory organisation focused on monetised competitive peer-to-peer skill-based gameplay.

Aside from this, Igelman co-founded the Spectrum Esports Advisors strategic alliance with Spectrum Gaming, in addition to the Millennial Esports Corp integrated mobile gaming publisher.

Prior to this, he spent over nine years as managing director at Gaming Research Partners and also spent time working in consultancy roles for Canada Bonded Attorney, Stronach Group and Progamingleague.com.

In addition, Igelman had spells as a counsel at Goodman and Carr, managing director for Canada at Businessdevelopment.com and as a barrister and solicitor. 

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to join EEG at this important time in its journey and to work alongside someone as experienced and respected as the new chair, Jan Jones Blackhurst,” Igelman said.

“The company is making significant strides to refine its focus on creating a valuable esports brand and is initially looking inward at some of its key assets to kickstart this process. The company also owns certain valuable assets and relationships in the esports sector and there is a substantial growing addressable domestic esports betting market for the company to take a leadership position in. 

“The company will continue to structure its operations and financial position to maximise value for shareholders. I look forward to bringing my experience into the leadership of the company and to focus on the execution of these transformative initiatives.”

Chair Blackhurst added: “We are excited to have Alex join the senior leadership team. He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and fresh perspective as we move the company forward.”

Esports Entertainment Group troubles

The appointment comes after long-time CEO and chair Johnson stepped down last month in response to a request by the EEG board. Blackhurst was revealed as its new chair shortly after the announcement.

The change in leadership followed a tough few years for EEG, with brand closures, a debt default and large operating losses. In May, EEG revealed in a quarterly financial report that there was “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue as a going concern.

In October last year, the group said it was effectively at the mercy of an unnamed creditor after the business defaulted on its debt. 

In December, the business then revealed that it had escaped delisting, but had been told to drastically increase its share price by February in order to remain on the Nasdaq exchange.

The igaming business set out plans for restructure, with the sale of its online casino business in Spain expected to close by 12 December. Proceeds from the sale will mainly be used to pay down the principal on a senior convertible note.

Meanwhile, EEG also closed its Argyll iGaming operations – which operates RedZone and SportNation – in the UK and Ireland in December due to high operational costs and an inability to generate profit. EEG had already announced it would be shutting its RedZone and Sport Nation brands in the UK.

In addition, EEG said it would evaluate further strategic options for the igaming business, including exploring a potential sale of igaming assets due to increasing regulatory burdens and competition. 

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