Esports Players League (ESPL) –– the new global esports tournament network and platform –– announced today that, as part of its seed round, it has secured a significant investment from the highly-regarded early-stage venture capital firm, 500 Startups, intended to support ESPL in executing its initial business objective of rolling out ESPL-branded tournaments and platforms to ten countries in its first year of operation.
500 Startups has been named as the most active venture capital firm in the world for the year 2019 by PitchBook’s annual ranking, having made the highest number of investment deals recorded globally. It’s also the world’s most active venture capital firm in exits.
ESPL is a global esports tournament platform provider focused on creating mobile ecosystems for amateur esports leagues globally. Through ESPL’s national franchise model, up-and-coming esports talents can easily participate in global competitions. By facilitating grassroots participation in what is a rapidly expanding market, ESPL has direct access and exposure to a large, valuable and often overlooked segment of the esports industry.
ESPL CEO Michael Broda expressed his excitement saying
“We are delighted to have secured this support from the highly-regarded team at 500 Startups, and it serves as a very encouraging endorsement of ESPL’s vision for the future of esports and our achievements to date, […] Our team is committed to delivering esports as mainstream entertainment to the global online gamer community and, in order to achieve this, we require the support of a number of robust global partners. As such, we are very excited to work with 500 Startups and future investees of 500 Startups that are aligned with our esports mission as our relationship continues to evolve.”
Khailee Ng, Managing Partner of 500 Startups commented saying
“Esports is poised to surpass traditional sports. Research suggests that the global esports audience is expected to reach 645 million in 2020, surpassing baseball, rugby, and American football. ESPL’s founding team has seen and been part of esports’ growth. As with sports, it is inevitable that players in all countries and levels demand avenues to compete, participate and watch. We’ve reviewed many esports business models and found this team and their vision most compelling. We look forward to supporting them in their global journey,”
Phase one of ESPL’s global roll-out has yielded franchise partnership agreements in Southeast Asia and Latin America. ESPL also entered its first media partnership with eGG Network, the largest esports TV network in Southeast Asia and Australia that reaches approximately 100 million TV viewers. ESPL will announce additional key international partnerships soon.
The first ESPL season is planned to run from April to November 2020, with official details about the tournaments and locations to be announced soon.
ESPL is co-founded by former eSports.com CEO Michael Broda, Kin Wai Lau, founder of iCandy Interactive Limited (ASX: ICI), and Datuk Azrin Bin Mohd Noor of behavioral data and technology firm Sedania Innovator Berhad. eSports.com is a leading global esports media company, and iCandy Interactive is a mobile games developer that serves a community of 350 million gamers.