Online tournament platform @smashgg raises $11 million dollars!
Last week, we got quite a shock from the team responsible for creating and operating Smash.GG, the online tournament platform that quickly became the most relied upon for esports events. After over two years of service, they have raised over $11 million dollars.
The company was founded back in February 2015 as an answer to the challenge of bracket management, for both local and major events alike. Initially it was created to assist with events that included Super Smash Bros. Melee in their lineup, but it quickly expanded to cover a growing lineup of esports titles including Street Fighter V, Rocket League and so on. SmashGG’s goal is to enable esports organizations to contribute to competitive activity through the creation of their own brackets, rather than waiting for majors to kick off.
“We are trying to create a ramp for people to get into esports,” said Shantanu Talapatra, CEO of SmashGG, as quoted from an interview with Gamesbeat. “It is like YouTube providing a ramp for people who want to create videos.”
Talapatra goes on to express that the existence of SmashGG will ease difficulties for those trying to forge a career in esports.
A year was committed towards the construction of SmashGG, culminating in a raise of $3 million dollars in a seed round back in April 2016. Investors include Nabeel Hyatt from Spark Capital, Accel Partners and Horizon Ventures. Additionally, seed investors such as Caffeinated Capital and Lowercase Capital contributed in funding for the tournament platform.
Whether you’re organizing events at your local venue or you’re playing online, SmashGG tends to be the way to go. The platform currently supports over two-thousand events per month and that number is only climbing. In addition to video games, TCGs such as Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic the Gathering have brackets hosted on SmashGG.
With this surge in their funding, SmashGG plans to expand their options. According to Mr. Talapatra, they will be opening an office in Denver that will serve as the primary home of their Partner Success team. The entirety of the team currently resides in San Francisco, but a portion will relocate to Denver once the office has opened.
While SmashGG was originally founded for the purpose of nurturing esports, the company is expanding beyond it, a trend that Mr. Talapatra hopes will continue. It currently amasses its funds by working with events to open up stores where players can purchase merchandise based on their gaming fanaticism. However, monetizing is not the company’s focus this year – instead, they plan to expand on the resources they provide for competitors and organizers in the future.
Hyatt from Spark Capital has committed a portion of the funding towards a messenger program called Discord, which is popular among gamers. In addition to enabling communication, Discord allows conversations to be integrated directly into gamers’ broadcasts. Other companies on their list will receive similar benefits.
Currently, StreamMe works with SmashGG and GauntletGG to host brackets for its ongoing online leagues such as War of the Gods and Rage Within. We salute them for this milestone in their work and wish them more success!