Esports Coaching Academy (ECA), an Iceland-based esports education company, has announced a $750,000 (~£630,000) pre-seed round led by Behold Ventures.
The round was also supported by MGMT Ventures and Sisu Game Ventures, and will serve to help the company improve its esports coaching platform focused on youth players and spread to more markets.
Esports Coaching Academy offers courses in popular esports games such as VALORANT and Fortnite. The company aims to educate potential esports coaches on how to work more efficiently with children and help them develop esports skills.
During the course of their training, coaches learn the ins and outs of working with children from different age groups and also learn how to tackle challenges that are specific to the industry, ECA said.
Once their education is complete, coaches can receive a qualification to become ECA Certified Coaches, as well as further improve their coaching knowledge.
The software offered to coaches consists of a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution and an educational hub with courses and lessons on a variety of topics, such as in-game warmups, crosshair placements in FPS games, physical exercises for gamers, and more.
The Esports Coaching Academy was founded in 2021 in Iceland. It builds upon Iceland’s proven success in grassroots esports that sees around 3% of children in the country participate in an esports program that helps them train in person with a real life coach and fellow students from their age group.
Iceland is known for having a a highly developed coaching and grassroots esports structure, mirroring a similar world-renowned structure in traditional sports.
The Icelandic Esports Association said in August 2021 that there were over a thousand children actively paying to get coached in esports — despite the country’s population of just 350,000.
Ólafur Steinarsson, Co-founder of the ECA, commented: “With the Esports Coaching Academy, we’re bringing [Iceland’s] same methodology and programming to the rest of the world. We allow anyone to easily and quickly start running professional youth esports programs that are profitable and sustainable.”