DRIVE, a venture capital firm with support from sports betting operator DraftKings as a minority investor, has announced its investment in Boston-based esports organisation Warriors International.
The investment in Warriors International was one of four portfolio additions announced on November 10th. Alongside the hiring of CEO and managing partner Meredith McPherron, DRIVE is said to have identified four categories it will continue to invest in, including gaming platforms, human performance, fan engagement, and data.
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DRIVE by DraftKings CEO & managing partner Meredith McPherron commented in a release: “The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has expedited technological advancements out of sheer necessity, especially in sports, gaming and media sectors where fan engagement and interaction are the lifeblood.
“Each of these investments fits into the areas we’ve identified as major drivers across those sectors not only today, but tomorrow as well.”
In addition to DRIVE, Warriors International is backed by Massachusetts-based VC firm Stage 1 Ventures. The organisation currently fields teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Rocket League.
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins added: “As DRIVE embarks on a new chapter and direction, the company could not be in better hands than with Meredith McPherron taking the reins. The sports tech and entertainment communities have a true strategic resource in DRIVE, which will empower portfolio companies to accelerate growth and realize their full potential.”
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DraftKings supports esports wagering in operational U.S. sports betting markets where it is permitted, including Colorado, New Jersey, and West Virginia. On the company’s most recent earnings call, CEO Jason Robins predicted that esports betting “will be, if not the biggest, certainly one of the biggest categories of sports betting over the long term.”
Esports Insider says: DraftKings has been flirting with esports for a while now, offering fantasy esports options and silently expanding its offerings throughout the U.S. as they become regulated. This isn’t the first time DraftKings CEO Jason Robins has publicly mentioned esports and its potential, either, and we sense there may be more esports-related movement to come from them soon.