New Wave Holdings Corp is an investment company focusing on the competitive gaming and esports space. CMO Dan Mitre explains the growing gaming phenomenon and how esports is rapidly taking root in the North American market. New Wave recently entered into a binding letter of intent with Trueclaim Exploration Inc (CVE:TRM). Trueclaim will acquire a 100 percent interest in New Wave as part of a reverse takeover and Mitre anticipates the company going public within a few months. Mitre explains the value proposition offered by gaming teams, such as Team Tiidal and Team Lazarus, and monetization in the gaming industry more broadly. Mitre emphasizes that esports is a skill-based experience that removes buy-in variables, which impact results. Mitre suggests that New Wave is an attractive proposition for individuals looking to get into the gaming landscape as investors for the first time because the company’s experienced team actively vets industry opportunities.
Narrator: New Wave Holdings Corp is a privately held gaming and esports founded in 2018, with offices in Toronto and Los Angeles. The company provides capital funds and support services to esports companies, organizations, teams, leagues, and esports technology.
The company is currently in the process of completing an RTO and plans to list on the Canadian Stock Exchange.
Ed Milewski: Joining me now, Dan Mitre, CMO New Wave Holdings. CMO stands for Chief Marketing Officer. You’re a 16-year veteran of the space, correct?
Dan Mitre: Correct.
Ed Milewski: And you’re based in southern Cal, southern California, and that’s sort of the epicentre of esports. Fair statement?
Dan Mitre: Yeah, I mean, I’d say esports is a global affair.
Ed Milewski: You said earlier, you thought it’s bigger in Europe and in Asia, than it is in North America.
Dan Mitre: Absolutely, hands down. I mean, you have Asia that’s a good 20 years ahead of us, plus they’ve adopted esports back with the Star Craft scene, and they have massive teams and massive organizations, and a great economy over there.
Europe is just behind them. Europe has very much adopted that; there’s an audience that loves to watch esports and playing esports, and now we’re seeing it hit the North American front. We’re still relatively in the incubative state, but you have massive companies that see the potential in North America and jumping on that. Same with New Wave Holdings.
Ed Milewski: So it’s an industry I know, I know it’s growing rapidly. I keep getting newspaper clippings about, you know, women are now big into esports as a sort of a potential new market. But it’s big, it’s all over, and New Wave is a company that, it’s still private, but we’re going to go public here shortly. We’ve identified a company that’s now halted on the Venture, and I guess all the regulatory work is being done, and eventually Trueclaim, which is TRM, is going to become New Wave Holdings.
Dan Mitre: Correct, yeah. So we have a definitive agreement that we’re locking down, and we plan to go public here within the next several months.
Ed Milewski: So money’s been raised for New Wave, and you – so, like, what are you doing? Are you looking for investments, is that the idea?
Dan Mitre: Yeah. So New Wave Holdings, the tagline would be, we’re an esports and gaming investment company. And so what we’re doing is, we’re taking great shell money and putting capital into companies that we believe is going to innovate the space. They’re ethical, they’re professional, but they also have something unique to them.
So we placed three investment and we have one acquisition underneath the belt; one is with Team Tiidal – they own Team Lazarus. So this is an actual team, very diverse, and like you said, they have one of the first women’s esports teams that are competing on a global level in games.
Ed Milewski: When these teams compete, are they competing in one area, or are they competing in different areas?
Dan Mitre: Multiple areas, yeah. So it’s good for a company to be durably kind of diverse in the different games they play, because games come and go, and games have updates to them, and proficiencies in those games change. So they play a wide swath of different games, and that’s good for them.
Ed Milewski: Yeah. What was the famous game where, I can’t remember, but it had to do with cars being stolen and –
Dan Mitre: Grand Theft Auto.
Ed Milewski: Grand – was that a very big thing?
Dan Mitre: Huge, and it still is. So the team at Rockstar has done an incredible job at turning this game into an amazing live service in which they still turn monetization, MTX in game that makes a load of money to this day, and it creates awesome experiences for people to come back and keep playing and engaging in that.
Now, Grand Theft Auto is not an esport game; it’s not played competitively. But that’s the kind of hook that you want in esports.
Ed Milewski: Right, right, right, right. And you know, and maybe this is a bit off topic, but, like, lots of times I see, you know, they advertise these games, and they say download for free. But is that just to get you in, and then if you want to get into different levels, you’ve got to then pay?
Dan Mitre: Okay, so from a consumer standpoint, you know, many years ago you had games that say Download for free, and then they had very aggressive paywalls, and in order to be better at the game, you had to buy a certain item. That didn’t go well, especially with the American populace. So now you have games like Apex, which was developed out of California by a team called Respawn, and they released the game completely download for free. But where they make money is all in cosmetics and microtransactions that only affect the way your player and your gun looks; you cannot pay to win. And that’s important for esports; you can never pay to win, because then you’re just – it doesn’t come down to skill.
Ed Milewski: Right, right, right. You can’t buy yourself a victory.
Dan Mitre: No, no, yeah. We don’t want that in North America. We don’t want that in Europe, and in some areas in Asia, that’s fine, but I think what we’re seeing from a global level, esports is all about skill. It will always be about skill, and you have to remove those buy-in variable factors.
Ed Milewski: So you’ve been, you know, you told me you’re a young man, you’re mid-30s, you’ve been involved in this space for a decade and a half? Like?
Dan Mitre: Yeah.
Ed Milewski: Really?
Dan Mitre: Yeah, 16 years. So –
Ed Milewski: So you must have seen a lot of transition in those years.
Dan Mitre: I have, I have, yeah. I saw the transition from boxed product to digital – so we went from, you know, the traditional retail box to more the digital downloads, and that’s really helped a lot of publishers and develops get their game out there much easier, faster, and distribute globally.
Then I saw the big transition from the influencer space. So it was all one-way marketing; you know, you’re marketing with onsite ads or physically based stuff, to influencers. You’ve got gamers who make a living on Twitch and YouTube, and those are now your new messaging vehicles because they have quality audiences.
And so where you have all these big transitions, and now esports is that next big one. You’ve seen it get big in Asia, you see it get big in Europe, now we’re seeing it big in North America. It’s a very complex ecosystem, too. So you have all those influencers that have those awesome audiences, and now esports teams are saying Hey, we want you part of our team because you have a built-in audience. You’re also damn good at the game, you know, come over here and play Pub G for us. And so you do have all those trends that are evolving, still.
Ed Milewski: So different players on a team might be specialized in different sports?
Dan Mitre: Correct, yeah.
Ed Milewski: So they’re not all playing the same sport on the same team.
Dan Mitre: No. In fact, some athletes play multiple games, so they diversify even their skill set. So, some play Pub G, some play Call of Duty, some play Fortnite. And as an athlete, you want to make yourself as attractive as possible, you know, because what you’re going to see is kind of the mentality of traditional sports: teams are going to be trading players, and you’re going to have different draft and rosters every single year, and that’s going to affect valuation of teams.
Ed Milewski: So you, as a new company in this space, there aren’t many companies that are public in this space, I understand; this is early, early. So if you want to participate in the growing phenomenon of esports, New Wave Holdings could be a possible venue.
Dan Mitre: I think it’s a very attractive venue, the reason being, look: whether you’re an accredited investor, you’re angel, or, you know, you’re institution or some sort of hedge fund, you know, there’s nothing stopping you from just going out and investing in that single team. But if you don’t know anything about esports, or, say, you’re a little hesitant to place an investment because you want to place the right investment, that’s why you turn to a company like New Wave Holdings. You know, I have 16 years of gaming experience; I know the trends. My teammates, Trumbull Fisher, our President, he’s 14 years in the investment capital markets world. Our CEO, Tolga Onuk, he’s from the development app world. So we vet all of these investment opportunities and give you the best opportunity to see a return on that investment.
So why not go to the guys who know the industry the best, instead of just kind of, well, maybe this is a risk.
Ed Milewski: Sure, sure, sure, sure. Yeah, yeah, it looks like the time is right, you know. A lot of people are fascinated. I mean, the parties, the online experience, et cetera, et cetera. So we’re lagging Asia, we’re lagging Europe, but it’s now coming onto its own here.
Dan Mitre: Yeah, and with the proliferation of, obviously, the internet audiences, you know, the walls of region-based lock and messaging that just stays within that region has been broken down. This is a global affair, so we need to get North America up on that. And you have companies like Comcast who are investing in arenas, like in Philadelphia. It’s coming to North America. So you’re going to see audiences go out, put their pants on to go to these events, partake – you know, they’re buying tickets, they’re buying merchandise. They’re latching on to personalities that they believe in, so like we saw in a lot of sports, you know, oh, I love Michael Jordan because of his personality and his skill at the game; there are new Michael Jordans coming up in the esports world.
Ed Milewski: Isn’t there something big happening in May in Toronto, too? Like, some kind of – and maybe I’m getting something mixed up, but I thought there was something big coming in.
Dan Mitre: There is, there is. So one of our portfolio companies, EMG, Even Matchup Gaming, run by a dear colleague Joe and one of our advisors, Neil Duffy, they’re running Toronto’s biggest Super Smash Brothers Ultimate Tournament. It’s going to be here in downtown Toronto at the Exhibition Place. We have about 1,000 to 1,500 people coming out, competing, playing a Nintendo-branded game, and potentially walking away as the crown victor of Get On My Level.
Ed Milewski: Wow.
Dan Mitre: Yeah, it’s really cool.
Ed Milewski: So, okay, so we’re early days. We can look to see New Wave maybe trading in three weeks –
Dan Mitre: Trading in several months.
Ed Milewski: Yeah, yeah, so I meant three months. Okay. We’re going to leave it there. Thanks for the update, thanks for telling us about esports. I’m paying a lot more attention.
Dan Mitre: Ed, thank you very much.
Ed Milewski: Okay, thanks.
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