The latest esports startup tapping celebrities for investment is Gen.G, a company best known (to outsiders anyway) for its ownership of the Seoul Dynasty franchise – a team that plays in the official esports league for the game Overwatch.
The company has raised a $46m funding round, with actor/musician Will Smith among the investors chipping in. “There were so many opportunities for the company to grow, particularly in continuing to build what we think is a top-of-the-industry portfolio of franchises and teams in the top and emerging leagues and competitive circuits,” CEO Chris Park told ESPN. “As well as now, as we scale into the second phase of our company, really developing our community of fans all around the world, including with the development of content around our players and our content creators.”
This is the model for esports team owners: steady expansion into different games and leagues: in this case, Gen.G already has teams playing League of Legends, Call of Duty, Fortnite, Apex Legends and Clash Royale in tournaments and leagues across the world.