Stadiums packed to capacity filled with screaming fans. Global audiences in the hundreds of millions. A multibillion-dollar economy. College scholarships for the top players. Talent agents. Professional teams with dedicated scouts. Beloved celebrities. Doping scandals. Are we talking about professional sports? Well, of a sort. We’re talking esports.
Esports are a global phenomenon with audiences comparable to or larger than those for traditional sports franchises. For example, more people watched last year’s League of Legends finals than watched MLB’s World Series, the NBA Finals or the NHL Finals.
After a16z Deal Analyst Bennett Carroccio walks you through the “up to the right” charts, Frank Chen talks with a16z General Partner Andrew Chen and Deal Partner D’Arcy Coolican about what’s going on: why it’s happening now, how dramatically it’s shaped our culture, how the money flows, what the investing opportunities are, and what they are looking for in startups.
Watch time: 36:20
Andrew Chen is a General Partner and founding investor at A16Z GAMES, focused on metaverse, VR/AR, and gaming investments.
D'Arcy Coolican Prior to joining a16z, he co-founded Frank, a social lending platform that used behavioral economics to make it easy to lend and borrow money with friends and family. He began his career at McKinsey & Co, where he was an engagement manager in the TMT practice.
Frank Chen currently leads the a16z Seed Program, which helps early stage (typically pre-seed, seed, and Series A) founders build great companies on their way to their next fundraise.
Bennett Carroccio Bennett Carroccio is a partner on the venture investing team, specializing in early stage and venture consumer-facing technology investments. His focus areas include vertical marketplaces, real estate (proptech), logistics, and social networks.