Will Smith invests in the future of Gen.G esports
The hip hop artist and movie star Will Smith is set to help esports become a world beater. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air actor has been part of a $46 million funding round that saw him join the likes of football players, baseball team owners and entrepreneurs who see Gen.G as being a potentially lucrative investment.
The funding round was arranged to help expand the roster of the already formidable Gen.G esports organisation. Plus it will contribute to projects such as a new team headquarters in Los Angeles, a new youth esports academy, and it will help Gen.G boost their presence in the Chinese gaming market.
Will Smith’s investment came as part of his Dreamers Fund that he set up with the Japanese football star, Keisuke Honda. Joining the pair in the funding round are the likes of the Los Angeles Clippers minority owner, Dennis Wong, as well as one of the key players in the rise of the Alibaba Group, Michael Zeisser. In addition to this, there were significant investments from Stanford University, Battery Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, and Silicon Valley Bank, who have been named as Gen.G’s banking partner.
By bringing together the worlds of celebrity, sport, technology and finance, it is hoped that Gen.G will now have all of the financial clout necessary to consolidate their reputation as one of the world’s most formidable esports organisations.
Gen.G were initially a South Korean esports team who were known as KSV eSports. Since their rebranding, they have expanded beyond their already-excellent League of Legends origins, to become key players in titles like Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and Clash Royale. In addition to this, their Seoul Dynasty side was one of the founding teams of the Overwatch League, and Gen.G have also made big plans to become a dominant force in the increasingly popular Call of Duty: Black Ops competitive gaming tournaments.
As part of the new investments in Gen.G, there will be a big shake up of the brand’s operations. As a result, Seoul Dynasty will move from the US to South Korea, there will be a new headquarters opening in Los Angeles in July, and Gen.G will step up its plans to enter the hugely lucrative Chinese gaming market. This will see the esports organisation investing money in player development whilst seeking to gain revenue from areas such as the streaming of the team’s matches and the sale of in-game items.
In the past few months we have seen esports organisations like Team Liquid, G2 Esports and Team SoloMid benefiting from lucrative funding rounds such as this. Will Smith’s decision to invest in esports is the latest venture from a significant celebrity figure, as stars ranging from Drake and Ashton Kutcher to even Jennifer Lopez have ploughed their own money into esports projects. All of which shows that esports is set to grow even more dramatically over the coming years.