Rise in eSports Popularity Leads to Acquisition of ZenSports, Ultimate Gamer

Rise in eSports Popularity Leads to Acquisition of ZenSports, Ultimate Gamer

Posted on: October 12, 2022, 11:59h. 

Last updated on: October 12, 2022, 11:59h.

The increased interest in eSports continues to shape not only the gaming industry, but the betting industry, as well. A company with little involvement in eSports and sports betting has set its sights on ZenSports and Ultimate Gamer in order to break into the ecosystem.

League of Legends eSports competition
Gamers participate in a League of Legends eSports competition. The increasing interest in eSports has resulted in ZenSports and Ultimate Gamer being acquired. (Image: Riot Games)

KeyStar Corp, an eCommerce services business, has announced via a press release that it has finalized the purchase of ZenSports and Ultimate Gamer. The former is a mobile sports betting operator and peer-to-peer betting exchange. The latter focuses on the organization of eSports competitions.

The acquisitions will give KeyStar a new look and direction for the company. However, it’s no stranger to the gambling world. Its president and CEO is John Linss, a former SVP and CTO for Caesars Entertainment.

Global Ambitions

KeyStar wants to become a global player in the sports betting industry. It sees the acquisitions as key components to reaching that goal, relying on the experience both bring to the table.

ZenSports has an array of operations in its portfolio. It provides a peer-to-peer betting exchange and also has experience in cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens (NFT) and digital payments.

Ultimate Gamer’s expertise is competitive online and live eSports tournaments. Combining both companies with KeyStar’s components will allow the new KeyStar to provide “three pillars” of success for business-to-business and direct-to-consumer operations.

KeyStar will continue to rely on Ultimate Gamer’s network to organize eSports competitions. At the same time, ZenSports, which also has eSports tournament technology, will be able to help it expand its sports betting presence. The two sectors – eSports competitions and sports betting – will not co-mingle, according to the company.

In addition, KeyStar will launch a third arm, Burstive, which will take advantage of ZenSports’ “proprietary cryptocurrency payments API.” This will allow it to offer white-label FinTech solutions for enterprise customers, according to the release.

The acquisition includes almost all of ZenSports, but not one key component. The company has operations in Nevada that KeyStar won’t control; however, neither it nor ZenSports has explained what will happen to those assets.

In addition, KeyStar wants to eventually get its own license to operate in Nevada. Until it does, it will rely on ZenSports’ footprint and technology to launch in other areas that might be more accessible.

ZenSports Rolls Into KeyStar

The acquisition, the cost of which wasn’t revealed, is leading to all of ZenSports’ personnel moving over to KeyStar. This includes the company’s co-founder and former CEO, Mark Thomas. He is now the chief product officer of the new company.

Linss and Thomas both see the benefits of bringing together the different components. In particular, Burstive and its cryptocurrency capabilities could be rewarding. This promises to be a “next-generation” FinTech solution that will bank on the growing interest in blockchain and decentralized finance (DeFi).

Even though there has still been legislative resistance to cryptocurrencies, the sentiment is changing. The US is in the process of trying to define its approach, while certain states have already made progress. Internationally, a number of governments have already laid down the groundwork for wider acceptance of digital currency.

In addition, SWIFT recently announced a successful test of central bank digital currencies and Google might begin to accept crypto for its cloud services next year. A lot more work needs to be done, but the panorama five years from now will likely be much different than it is now.