Vie.gg appoints new head of marketing and esports

2 June 2020

Esports Entertainment Group has appointed Magnus Leppaniemi as vice president of marketing and head of esports at its flagship esports betting brand Vie.gg.

Leppaniemi most recently worked as global sales director for esports-focused influencer marketing agency WeHype. He has also served as North America sales director for esports tournament organiser DreamHack and publisher relations manager for game distributor Ztorm.

He has worked with brands such as Intel, BenQ Zowie, Electronic Arts, Activision, ESL and the National Basketball Association in his career to date.

"I'm very excited to join the Esports Entertainment team," Leppaniemi said. "As the first online betting company to list on Nasdaq, the company has a great pedigree that we can continue to build on.

“We want to build trust with the players, fans, teams, publishers, and the community and give them a unique esports experience. Esports betting is here to stay, and we want to build the premier platform in the industry that benefits the gaming and esports communities.

“I look forward to accelerating our marketing efforts, refining our go-to-market models, and building out our esports initiatives."

Grant Johnson, chief executive of Esports Entertainment Group, said Leppaniemi brought "invaluable" knowledge of the gaming and esports industries to the business.

"Over more than two decades in gaming, Magnus has built an extensive network of relationships that could provide tremendous value as we execute on our global growth strategy," Johnson said.

Esports Entertainment Group has taken a number of measures to expand in the past month, starting with a deal to acquire LHE Enterprises, parent company of betting and gaming operator Argyll Entertainment.

In May, the operator signed a binding letter of intent to acquire LHE Enterprises. While terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, Johnson noted that with Argyll generating annual revenue of around $12.0m (£9.7m/€11.1m), the acquisition would have “a major positive impact” on the business.

Later that month the operator then secured a gaming service licence from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). The licence will run for 10 years and allow Esports Entertainment to offer online pool betting to players.

On 27 May, the group also formed a new US-facing subsidiary, GMBL New Jersey. Esports Entertainment said the new subsidiary will make its first application for a betting license in the state in the “near future” and will provide updates for each of its license applications as they are submitted.

Alongside the announcement of the American subsidiary, the group said it received an additional $1.9m in funding from a public offering of securities. This followed the raising of $885,762 earlier in the month for total fundraising of $2.8m.