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Sports Former CFL commissioner Jeffrey Orridge named chairman of Canadian esports company

Former CFL commissioner Jeffrey Orridge has been named chairman of Tiidal Gaming, a Canadian e-sports outfit.

Tiidal is the parent company of Lazarus Esports, which was founded as SetToDestroyX — Canada’s first e-sports group dating back to 2010.

Orridge follows in the footsteps of Chris Overholt, who stepped down as CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee last September to become president and CEO of OverActive Media, which counts the Overwatch League’s Toronto Defiant among its e-sports assets.

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Tiidal Gaming says Orridge will play a “pivotal role in stewarding Tiidal Gaming by bringing the best practices of traditional sports and entertainment into the gaming and e-sports space while providing strategic and analytical guidance to the company.”

“I look forward to bringing my playbook to help Tiidal Gaming become a global leader in this burgeoning industry,” Orridge said in a statement.

Orridge’s resume also includes stints with the CBC, Canadian Tire, Mattel, Right to Play, Reebok, USA Basketball and Warner Brothers.

Charlie Watson, CEO of Tiidal Gaming, says Orridge bring a lot more than his connections to the e-sports table.

“It’s just really the way that he thinks and how he handle himself, how professional he is,” Watson said in an interview. “It’s just the way that he can help us apply best practices in traditional sports and entertainment and bridge that into gaming and e-sports into our space — really aligned with his strategic and analytical guidance.

“Jeff is a tremendous asset to our company moving forward. I’m really excited about working with him.”

Watson’s company was rebranded after joining forces with Liberty Venture Partners last September. SetToDestroyX became Lazarus Esports with Tiidal Gaming as the parent company.

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“Our mission from Tiidal Gaming is to be the most culturally impactful global gaming organization,” said Watson. “And we’re reimagining the future of gaming, competitive play and entertainment. So we’re literally bridging the gap between traditional sports and e-sports.”

Lazarus has some 50 gamers under contract from 11 countries, with its teams ranking in the top five worldwide in such titles as Fortnite, Pubg, Guns of Boom, Brawlhalla, Madden and Forza.

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