Esports tournament platform Smash.gg raises $11 million

Smash.gg, the site that facilitates esports tournament creation, has raised $11 million (£8.31m) in Series A capital, it was announced yesterday.

Smash.gg provides a platform which enables organised esports tournaments to be created by fans and players. The founders started in February 2015 after they grew frustrated with waiting for game publishers or tournament organisers to host events. They forged that frustration into an opportunity, and in making Smash.gg they enabled local organizers to create events.

https://venturebeat.com/2017/08/02/smash-gg-raises-11-million-for-esports-tournament-platform/

Shantanu Talapatra, CEO of Smash.gg, said in an interview with GamesBeat that they were keen to “create a ramp” for people who wanted to get involved with esports. “It is like YouTube providing a ramp for people who want to create video.”

It all started with the creation of events for the Nintendo Game Cube’s Super Smash Bros. Melee, a game which is infamous in the fighting game community for a perceived lack of esports support from manufacturers Nintendo – despite the longevity of the scene.

They have since gone on to have the platform utilised for competitions from a plethora of game titles, both on console and PC, and held both online and at live events. They now see over 2,000 tournaments a month hosted through the site. They previously raised $3 million (£2.27m) investment in a seed round in April 2016.

Among the tasks the platform can handle are payment processing and fundraising, and promotion for the most important events can be aided by the community and company itself.

“We are trying to facilitate transactions and communications in the industry,” Shantanu said.

The latest run of funding was led by Nabeel Hyatt, partner at Spark CapitalAccel Partners and Horizon Ventures also invested, and were joined by a number of seed investors including Caffeinated Capital and Lowercase Capital.

Amit Kumar, an esports-focused investor at Accel, described the attraction of Smash.gg’s “unique ability” to reach and empower gaming communities. “The platform that Shan and his team have created is poised to become critical infrastructure for an industry that’s fast reaching an inflection point, and we’re very excited to partner with them on the opportunities ahead.”

Esports Insider says: Having used the site myself, I can attest to the brilliant way Smash.gg facilitates grassroots esports and provides a platform for those considering finding a career in the industry. Having now received considerable funding, where will the focus lie for development?