When is a market about to hit a tipping point and blow up?
One heuristic: when rappers get involved.
Chamillionaire and Nas have been investing in tech startups for almost a decade. 50 Cent accepted bitcoin as payment for his 2014 album, long before the crypto boom. And now, Drake is playing esports.
Esports — competitive multi-player video games like Counterstrike and Starcraft — have been around for years. Live streaming platforms like Twitch (acquired by Amazon in 2016 for $970M) and continuously upgraded games like Dota 2, League of Legends, and Overwatch have turned these video games into worldwide spectator sports.
Last month, Drake, Travis Scott, and professional video gamer Ninja streamed themselves playing a game called Fortnite. Nearly one million people tuned in to watch. Streamers like Ninja make over $500k a month from their videos.
Esports’ relationship with the entertainment industry is obvious: the official League of Legends tournament is based in Los Angeles, recently won by a professional team called 100 Thieves.
More than 60,000,000 fans tuned into last year’s World Championship match, twice the viewership of the NBA finals.
Drake used to play with basketball stars. Now he games with the professionals.
Esports are hitting an inflection point, and the startup ecosystem is helping enable that change. Check out these esport-focused startups, all hiring:
👥 Discord, an all-in-one voice, video and text chat app designed specifically for gamers.