PlayVS appoints Jon Chapman as new CEO

PlayVS' office - new CEO
Image credit: AAmp Studio

High school esports platform PlayVS has appointed Jon Chapman as its new CEO, following the departure of former CEO Delane Parnell last month.

Chapman has experience in the education technology (EdTech) sector, having co-founded EverFi, which was acquired by Blackbaud for $750m (~£596.29m) in late 2021.

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Chapman helped drive a business model at EverFi where private sector companies supported education and diversity initiatives as part of their social impact commitments, according to a release.

The company’s previous CEO, Delane Parnell, stepped down in May, having led the company since he founded it in 2018. Parnell stated he was leaving to pursue other projects.

PlayVS has raised more than $106m (~£84.28m) since it was founded, according to Crunchbase. Investors include the likes of Adidas, Softbank Innovation Fund, Samsung NEXT and Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs, among others.

But PlayVS has been forced to navigate much criticism and a series of scandals since last year. Multiple reports, including one from Esports Insider, paint an unsavoury picture of a company which may have misled publishers and misrepresented its standing with educational institutions for the purpose of commercial gain.

According to the reports, the company has shut out existing high school esports providers, including non-profit bodies, by signing deals with publishers to exclusively host high school-level competition.

But even those agreements have been called into question, with at least two game publishers — Nintendo and Activision Blizzard — distancing themselves from or denying PlayVS’ claims to have exclusive partnerships with them.

“Throughout my career, I’ve been passionate about creating opportunities for students through education, sports and emerging technology,” PlayVS’ new CEO Chapman commented.

“I am confident that my experience working with schools, families, publishers and professional sports leagues during my tenure at EverFi will further drive PlayVS’ mission of providing inclusive esports opportunities for an even greater number of students.”

Billy Studholme
Billy is Esports Insider's freelance Assistant Editor. He mostly reports on the business and economic landscape of esports. He has written for the Washington Post, Digiday, Dexerto, and other outlets both endemic and non-endemic to the esports industry.