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Savvy Gaming Group announces three senior hires



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  • Senior hires have been made across three operating companies: the ecosystem company, the games studios company, and the infrastructure company.
  • New hires bring over 40 years of combined industry and business expansion experience to propel SGG in its mission to grow the sector globally.
  • SGG is comprised of five operating companies, each of which has a separately defined mandate and set of core objectives.

Savvy Gaming Group (SGG) today announced the appointments of Kadri Harma, Yannick Theler, and Jerry Gamez as operating company CEOs of the games and esports company.

Bringing a wealth of industry experience to the newly formed Savvy Gaming Group, the CEOs will lead Savvy’s ecosystem company, the games studios, and the infrastructure company.

Kadri Harma, CEO of Savvy’s ecosystem company, is an entrepreneur and investor with over 20 years of experience building start-up ecosystems, half of which were spent specialising in the games industry. Building on her track record of creating, launching, and fundraising for four funds across Europe, Asia, and the USA, Harma will lead the Savvy ecosystem company, providing infrastructure, upskilling, network, capital and advisory to promising games start-ups.

Looking not just at the market size, but the young, creative, and ambitious population, there is huge untapped potential in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East within the gaming industry.


It is a unique opportunity to connect global partners into the ecosystem and provide support for this talent to flourish both domestically and in the international market.

Yannick Theler, CEO of Savvy’s games studios company, joins from Ubisoft where he worked for 19 years across Europe, China and the Middle East covering all facets of the company, most notably establishing Ubisoft’s Abu Dhabi studio ten years ago, a studio that is today the home of CSI Hidden Crimes, NCIS Hidden Crimes, Growtopia and Clash of Beasts. At SGG, Theler will lead Savvy’s games studios – a company with the mission to make the most exciting game franchises in the world.

“I’m thrilled to be part of this newly created group that is committed to learning, talent, and fast growth. I’m looking forward to putting my leadership and vision to work with Savvy Games Studios building a global powerhouse of developers and studios that will bring distinct and memorable experiences into the industry, now and in the future”.

Jerry Gamez, CEO of Savvy’s infrastructure company, brings over 20 years of senior executive, entrepreneurial, and direct investment experience. He has worked with global B2B and B2C brands such as Walmart, Restaurant Brands International, as well as various Food/Consumer Technology companies. Joining SGG with a wealth of experience in international development and expansion, Gamez will lead the development and investments in an extensive global footprint of innovative gaming venues.

I am excited to join a group that is set to make a huge impact across both the region and global industry. Looking at our infrastructure endeavours, I am proud to be leading a company that is focusing on a holistic user experience that will redefine how people come together and experience gaming.”


SGG is 100% owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, PIF, and is comprised of five operating companies, each of which has a defined business and strategy. The further two operating companies are the ESL FACEIT Group, led by Craig Levine and Niccolo Maisto as co-CEOs, and the Savvy Games Fund.

Each operating company has a separately defined mandate and set of core objectives which will be further developed as the CEOs continue to hire their teams and develop their company brands.

Brian Ward, Group CEO said:

“At Savvy Gaming Group we are dedicated to driving the growth of the sector globally, leading with significant investment, enabling more game developers and technology innovators, and facilitating broader, more equitable access to this fast-growing, dynamic sector.

In order to achieve this mission, we must bring the best minds to join us, and I am thrilled to be welcoming such accomplished executives to our leadership team. With their wealth of experience and their complementary companies, we will drive long-term growth and development of esports and the wider games industry worldwide.”



On his hiring ambitions, Ward added:

“At Savvy we champion inclusivity and hire the best people. In our industry, despite 46% of gamers being women, only 16% of executives at the top games companies are women. We’re already ahead of this at 20% of our C-suite but our target is much higher – 50%.”


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adidas Levels Up Esports World Cup with Exclusive Gear



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The Esports World Cup Foundation (EWCF) and adidas, the leading global sports brands, announced a groundbreaking partnership that bridges the worlds of athletics and digital competition. As the official merchandise sponsor of the Esports World Cup, adidas will provide esports athletes with exclusive gear, supporting their pursuit of victory.

As the Esports World Cup unfolds, adidas will provide all athletes with premium kits. The partnership also extends to the event staff, with EWC crew, ushers, and access control personnel sporting co-branded adidas apparel.

“The Esports World Cup is proud to partner with adidas, a brand that embodies the spirit of competition and innovation” said Mohammed Al Nimer, Sales Director, Esports World Cup Foundation. “This partnership allows adidas to connect with a passionate and dedicated fanbase, presenting a unique opportunity to engage with the rapidly growing esports community. We look forward to co-creating innovative experiences that excite fans and elevate the esports landscape.”


“Building on the success of our Gamers8 partnership, adidas is thrilled to join forces with the Esports World Cup, a global leader in esports and gaming,” said Bilal Fares, SVP & General Manager Middle East, North Africa, Ukraine, Central Asia, and The Caucasus, adidas. “Our return to Riyadh underscores our commitment to this dynamic community. This collaboration highlights adidas’ dedication to the Kingdom’s growing gaming scene and our ongoing exploration of sports and entertainment.”

Beginning July 3, the Esports World Cup will transform Riyadh into the epicenter of esports fandom and gaming culture. Located in Boulevard City, fans can watch their favorite athletes and clubs compete across 22 game championships for a share of more than $60 million in life-changing prize money — the largest prize pool in esports history. Across eight weeks, the Esports World Cup will also feature festival activities that include numerous gaming activations, community tournaments, pop culture celebrations, international experiences, and more.

The post adidas Levels Up Esports World Cup with Exclusive Gear appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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SIS and bet365 expand H2H Global Gaming League™ presence in US with esports products now live in Ohio and Arizona




SIS Content Services, part of the SIS Group (Sports Information Services), has further expanded its United States footprint with bet365 offering its H2H Global Gaming League™ (H2HGGGL) eBasketball and eSoccer games in Ohio and Arizona.

After bet365 successfully launched H2HGGL eBasketball in New Jersey in late 2022, the product has since gone live in Colorado, Kentucky and, most recently, Ohio and Arizona. The product set has further expanded through the launch of eSoccer games, with bettors now enjoying the full range of industry-leading H2HGGL esports content.

Developed specifically for betting, SIS produces over 150,000 H2HGGL events annually, providing a full end-to-end solution with integrity at its core.

The short-form, events-based esports product, which sees professional gamers compete in eBasketball and eSoccer games from SIS’ self-contained UK studios, is proven to deliver superior margins around the clock, adding as much as 10% in value in the basketball and soccer verticals on sportsbook platforms.

The products feature ultra-low (sub-second) latency live streaming, visible ESIC-trained integrity referees for every game, live caster commentary, and on-screen graphics.

Richard Ames, Chief Executive, SIS, and President, SIS Content Services, said: “We are rapidly expanding the presence of our H2H Global Gaming League™ across the US, which is significantly boosting engagement and margin for our partners. With content live in five states, our relationship with long-term partner bet365 has been further strengthened as we continue to assist them with growth in the region.”

Michele Fischer, Vice President, SIS Content Services, said: “We are thrilled that our esports products are now live in Ohio and Arizona. Both states have significant fan engagement in professional and college sports, and the H2H Global Gaming League™ has already shown to have positive appeal to the bet365 customer base.”

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Hawks Talon GC, the official NBA 2K League affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks, were eliminated from the TICKET on Tuesday night after falling to the No. 5 Nets GC 88-79, ending their 2024 season.

Talon entered the last chance tournament as the No. 4 seed, amassing 60 points over the TIPOFF and TURN 5v5 tournaments.

“Ending the season in the TICKET is always a tough way to go out, but there are a ton of things we can take away,” said Hawks Talon Head Coach Ismael ‘MAELO’ Diaz Tolentino. “The way Bait, Duck, Low, and E all meshed with MDS in their first year with us is something to be proud of. Our guys fought throughout both threes and fives all season, and all of them should keep their heads up going into next year.”

Talon finished 3v3 gameplay with a 7-9 record over group and bracket play, including a 4-4 record in bracket play, and finished the 5v5 season with a 6-6 record over the TIPOFF and TURN.

During the 3v3 SLAM tournament, Talon finished as one of the top six teams, starting out 3-0 in bracket play and earning $8,000 from the prize pool.


Mark David “MDS” Smith led the Talon in scoring throughout the 5v5 season, averaging 28.0 points and 7.1 assists in 12 games. During the week of May 27-June 2, MDS earned Player of the Week honors behind a 60-point performance against Celtics Crossover Gaming, breaking the franchise record for most points in a game and the fifth most in NBA 2K League history. He also became only the second player in franchise history to win Player of the Week.

Ludlow “LOW” Samuels averaged a double-double, collecting a team-high 10.4 rebounds to go along with 13.5 points throughout the 5v5 season while Christopher “Duck” Charles dished out a team-high 9.5 assists.

Talon newcomer Elijah “Underratedgoat” Spears netted 12.3 points, while rookie Tyler “Baitpickk” Montague collected 6.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

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