Tournament organiser Smash.gg has raised $11m in funding, led by Nabeel Hyatt, a partner at Spark Capital.
Smash.gg was founded in 2015 and it is designed to allow organised esports events at a grassroots level, so spectators and players can create their own smaller events from the ground up instead of the current model which often sees big events organising.
In an interview with Gamesbeat, Smash.gg’s CEO Shantanu Talapatra said that it was organised due to their own frustrations with esports, and that the aim of the product was to “create a ramp for people to get into esports” in the same way that “Youtube provided a ramp for people who want to create video.”
Originally the team started creating events just around Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo Gamecube, and in 2016 they raised $3m in a seed round. The company currently employs 30 people.
How Does It Work?
Smash.GG’s platform is designed to let people host their own, community-driven, esports tournaments and leagues. This could be an event at a local bar or an online event, and the platform is already home to tournaments based on Marvel vs Capcom, Rocket League, and several other events that perhaps are more suited to this grassroots approach than a multi-million dollar tournament in an arena.
There are around 2,000 events a month running on the platform, and Smash.gg handles fundraising, payment and all the busywork, meaning organisers can get on with the multitude of other difficulties with hosting an event.