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The Future of HHE ;)
Brasky's the one with the beard.

I am completely thrilled to announce some spicy news today, my friendos: HeroesHearth has now officially been acquired by ESquared Media and is joining the IFA Gaming family. This is beyond cool and -- honestly -- a freaking big deal. Below is the breakdown of what it all means and why you should be high-fiving everyone you see today.

In short, IFA (The Institute for Athletes) is a traditional sports talent agency that has been expanding into a handful of different categories over the last few years, and most recently into our wonderful world of esports with its subsidiaries ESquared Media and ESquared Productions. Now, HeroesHearth joins the ranks as a member of their media efforts and we couldn’t be more excited.

Here’s the TL;DR for those of you on-the-go: In short, ESquared’s plan is to enable HHE to do what we do already, but do it better and do more of it with the staff and streamers we all love. With ESquared’s help, we have the tools to create more content, support more creators, and build more of what we love to do. We, at HHE, have always dreamed big, but honestly have never really had the resources needed to swing for the fences like we’ve always envisioned -- now, it feels like the sky’s the limit.

Here’s the story of how this all began in full dear-diary mode, no TL;DR here, so be prepared.

A year ago, I was brought in as an expert to advise a local marketing firm on how to activate in esports and encourage their clients to invest in the future of gaming. While there, I met Tom Ferrara (aka ThunderousT), who is one of the most genuine, kind, and forward-thinking duders I have met -- especially in esports. He later moved on and joined IFA to head up their esports marketing endeavors and quickly identified -- along with the leadership at IFA -- that content was something they wanted to get into and invest in: cue Tom bringing me in to meet his incredibly impressive boss, Mike Zweigbaum, and their growing staff.

At first, I honestly had no idea that Mike and his staff had bigger plans for me and HHE. Per usual, I assumed I was going to have to tell another new-business esports group that they were doing it wrong in exchange for a free cheeseburger. However, once I walked into the room and sat down with Mike, it was clear to me that these people had it figured out in a way that I had not yet seen in the esports space at any level -- and it was happening right here in my hometown of Minneapolis.

The IFA/ESquared crew not only struck me with their dream team of gaming and esports talent on staff, but also with their vision for the Twin Cities. They’ve set out to create a magnet for talent, a home for gaming events, and to foster a meaningful community that will move Minnesota out of the fly-over-state realm. This checked all of the boxes for me.

After that first meeting, I knew I needed to get involved in some way -- so when they identified HHE as an acquisition target, the wheels were quickly set in motion to build something much bigger (and much cooler) than what HHE could do on our own. The subsequent months have led to a caliber of high-energy ideation and innovation that I’ve been looking for my entire professional career and it has been an incredibly rewarding experience. To that end, I have been appointed the Director of Media at ESquared (that’s what I’ve been doing behind the scenes the last three-ish months) and my job is literally to build new shows, create more content, support more creators, and just generally make whatever fun stuff we can think of.

From Brasky (Ryan Lougheed), Co-Founder of HeroesHearth: “This journey has been incredible. From the origin story to being a part of amazing communities to watching and cheering on the meteoric rise and hard work from the players of the Heroes of the Storm team to crossing off bucket list items. Workhorse and I have always dreamed big and when we were approached by ESquared, it was a feeling of excitement for the next chapter of HHE. I am incredibly excited for what Mike and his team will bring to HHE and of course the amazing ideas and plans that Workhorse has.”

From Mike Zweigbaum, Founder and Owner of ESquared: “Bringing the HeroesHearth network and employees aboard is a huge step forward for ESquared and our very ambitious growth curve.  Ian and his team are as good as it gets in the industry and their exciting, original programming gives us immediate credibility in the streaming space.”

I said it earlier in this blog post, but I figured it is worth reiterating here with a bit more clarity: HHE isn’t closing and it hasn’t sold out to the man, we will continue to create and build new content with our current and future partners, streamers, and staff -- but with the resources required to do those things at the highest level. We have been welcomed into a family that will help us do what we do best: build communities, produce shows we love, and have a great time with the wonderful people in this community. Honestly, that’s it. 

Expect new shows. Expect more games. I’m not going anywhere, HHE isn’t going anywhere and I can’t wait to show you what we’ve been up to -- today is the first step.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or ping me on Twitter -- I'll be hanging out!

Tagged in: HHE
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I'd love to see some WoW Classic content when it launches!!
This. Is. Amaging.
Glad to hear! Exciting times!