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Online gamer makes sporting debut

AAP logoAAP 24/11/2016 Trevor Chappell

A company angling for a share of the 1.6 billion strong global video gamers market - and maybe doing it with government backing - has leapt on debut on the Australian Stock Exchange.

eSports Mogul is focused snaring the Asia-Pacific market in the booming field of online video games and tournaments, or eSports as the genre is known to devotees.

eSports Mogul is developing an online platform that will link video game players wanting to take part in eSports, either one-on-one, in teams or tournaments.

eSports competitors now participate in large online tournaments and live events that attract huge numbers of fans and spectators.

The explosion of competitive gaming has created professional players, lured big-name sponsors, and events are broadcast on major television networks.

"It's touted as one of the fastest growing sports in the world," eSports Mogul managing director Gernot Abl said.

"But I think there's still a lack of belief or understanding among the general populace and investors that playing video games professionally is actually classified as a sport.

"The competitors train 12 hours a day, they get flown in from all around the world to become part of a team that is sponsored."

eSports Mogul debuted on the share market on Friday at three cents a share, up on the two cents issue price in the prospectus which raised $7 million from investors.

Proceeds will be used to complete development of its online platform and promote its services, initially in Australia and Singapore.

eSport Mogul's subscription-based platform, the ESM Media Hub, will provide access to tournaments, include an eSports learning academy, an online shop offering various video game titles, and eSports-related content.

Tournament access will be provided by US firm eSports Hero, with which eSports Mogul has signed a 10-year licence deal to market its tournament platform in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr Abl said around half of the global gaming population - up to a billion players - are in the Asia-Pacific region, dominated by China, India, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. Australia is a comparatively small market.

""We've had some early discussions with governments overseas," he said.

"They're looking at eSports as a proper sport and looking at eSports as a means to manoeuvre youth off the street and off gambling and off alcoholism.

"So governments are looking at sponsoring a lot of what we are doing or becoming involved at least as supporters, which is ridiculously massive if all that comes together in the next six months."

The company has undertaken a reverse takeover of junior iron ore explorer Volta Mining.

eSports Mogul said in its prospectus that its business is yet to be fully commercialised, and the company has only made losses to date.

Because the company intends to continue investing in sales and marketing to draw customers to the ESM Media Hub, the directors anticipate making further losses in the foreseeable future.

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