Esports start-up Players’ Lounge – which hosts both online and offline tournaments – has received $3 million (£2.3 million) in investment following a seed funding round.
Among the investors is Drake, the world-famous recording artist who became a co-owner of North American esports organisation 100 Thieves in October last year.
Other investors who took part in the funding round include Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, Marissa Mayer, former President and CEO of Yahoo, Comcast, Macro Ventures, Canaan, RRE, and Courtside.
Austin Woolridge, Co-founder and CEO of Players’ Lounge discussed the inception of the platform: “The idea came because Zach (my co-founder and college teammate on the Wesleyan University Soccer team) and I enjoyed [local area network] LAN parties, an old-school term for a bunch of people hooking up consoles to TVs and gaming competitively together in the same room. We played a lot of FIFA, and we missed doing this post college.
“We decided to start hosting gaming nights at bars, where we people from across the tri-state area would come to play in a FIFA tournament. It was an easy sell to the bars – they had bingo and trivia to bring in patrons on a weeknight. Why not add gaming?”
Players’ Lounge is geared more towards casual, amateur players instead of acting as another tournament platform for professional and semi-professional players. PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC are all accepted mediums of competition.
Esports Insider says: This is the second time Drake has invested a significant sum into a project within the esports industry now, but is very different from the first instance. Other prominent figures from different industries have also gotten involved, we’re intrigued to see what the team behind Players’ Lounge does with this new-found capital.