Esports Players League and 500 Startups make history – 1$ million seed round

While it’s no secret that the esports industry is a big deal, financially speaking, it’s not often that a single deal manages to cross that magical million-dollar barrier. Yet, that’s exactly what’s happened – The ESPL just confirmed that their seed round managed to accrue a million dollars.

One of the biggest contributors here was Venture capital firm 500 Startups. ESPL has not made public just what amount the company contributed exactly, but they did acknowledge that it was a ‘significant portion’ of the total.

The funding

The money will go towards the first ESPL tournament season – running from April until November this year, the Singapore-based company is going to host its own set of competitions. They are a new company, with plans to make their mark in 16 different countries – to begin with, at least.

Esports Players League

© Dota 2 | The International

The difference between them and existing leagues is that they won’t devote themselves to PC or even console gaming, but rather to the mobile world. Though often disregarded, mobile gaming is by far the most popular type out there, and the profits alone are significant.

ESPL wants to further boost the esports side of mobile gaming by drawing more attention to it with brand new competitions.

“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.” Says EPL in a press release.

The investments

This million was raised during the company’s first seed round – while 500 Startups made up the aforementioned ‘significant portion’ of the overall investment, they aren’t the only ones who pledged. ESPL hasn’t released additional information on who else may have done so.

This isn’t unusual – funding rounds for esports platforms or tournament series often involve several investors, with one partner making up the lion’s share of the amount. In fact, a funding round run by ProGuides earlier this year managed to raise $5 million for a competitive coaching platform in much the same way as this deal has done for ESPL’s tournament series.

The future

With the start of the season just around the corner in April, it’s only a matter of weeks before the first set of competitions launches globally. One of ESPL’s goals is tor provide readily available ecosystems for amateur esports leagues around the world – their franchise model attempts to provide access for players globally.

So far, their global roll-out has covered regions in South America and Southeast Asia, whether they have even partnered with eGG Network, a Southeast Asian esports TV network that reaches as far as Australia. The company has also said that they would announce new international partnerships soon – along with details about their tournaments and the locations they’ll be taking place in.

If you are interested in participating, keep your eyes peeled – new announcements will be out in the next few days or weeks!