Lawrenceburg, IN —Indiana sportsbooks hit a typical early-summer lull, and the continued hiatus of major American sports doesn’t help, according to PlayIndiana. June’s $29.8 million handle was shy by $145 million of what would have been expected with a full menu of summer sports, according to PlayIndiana estimates. But with an uptick in futures betting, major sports on the near horizon, and the reopening of retail casinos and sportsbooks, the industry still inched closer to normalWith casinos reopening, June marked the return of retail sports betting. But that produced a relatively tiny $558,970 handle from in-person wagers, the first since March. A tepid reopening of in-person betting was expected with the sports world still trying to restart, but it is still an important milestone.Hollywood Lawrenceburg led the market with $323,968 in handle.
OpTic Gaming‘s holding company, Infinite Esports and Entertainment, has created GG Esports Academy (otherwise known as GGEA) in an attempt to reinvent how amateur players are developed in the Call of Duty esports scene. Bryan Yale, GGEABryan Yale, a former cybersecurity consultant who is heading up the project, spoke to Dexerto about the newly-formed venture and what his goals are in the long-term. Explaining exactly why GGEA has been built, he said it “is about matching unique talents in the world of esports with pro organizations. We want to utilize the minor league systems to develop amateur talent that will eventually feed into the major tournaments. In essence, we are esports talent development.”GGEA entered the Call of Duty scene ahead of this weekend’s CWL New Orleans Open with two teams, entitled GGEA.Blue and GGEA.Orange – but the organisation won’t stop there. “The goal is to have six salaried Call of Duty teams at any one time, all from outside of the ‘pro level’ – the CWL Pro League,” he said.“We’re not interested in having a spot at the top level, and instead want to focus on our teams’ progression at open events.” So while having six teams suggests GGEA wants the best chance of landing in money-making placements, Yale insists that they’re actually interested in developing the skills of emerging Call of Duty players. He went on to reveal that “if either of Orange or Blue end up qualifying for the Pro League in New Orleans then we’d sell them on” because they’re in the scene to “develop talent and make the level of the scene better.”So, what type of player qualifies to represent GGEA? The team behind the scenes is “looking for players and teams that are on the cusp of breaking into the top-flight. More specifically, ones that have shown they have something but that there is just something missing that we’ll identify and work on.” Yale also revealed that GGEA is looking for talent from around the world – not just locally in North America.Working closely with its sister company OpTic Gaming, GGEA was also created to provide an academy solution for the organisation’s newest ventures into esports: Overwatch and League of Legends. There is no word on when it will actually venture into those games just yet, though. The organisation’s Twitter description reads “Coming soon” and it has no website at this moment in time.GGEA’s first outing at CWL New Orleans Open ended with a Top 20 finish with Orange and a Top 24 finish for Blue, which is a promising start for the organisation.Esports Insider says: This is a refreshing take on the development of Call of Duty talent, and we’re excited to see how this goes and moreover which other esports GGEA moves on to in the near future.