Drake

Drake invests in esports betting startup Players’ Lounge

Posted by | Drake, esports, Gaming, online gambling, players lounge, Recent Funding, Sports, Startups, TC | No Comments

Drake’s latest collaboration isn’t with Kanye or Kendrick, it’s with Marissa Mayer.

The rap superstar has joined a bevy of Silicon Valley investors, including Strauss Zelnick, Comcast, Macro Ventures, Canaan, RRE, Courtside and Marissa Mayer, to fund Players’ Lounge, an esports startup looking to pit gamers against each other in their favorite titles with some friendly wagers on the line.

The startup has just announced that it closed $3 million in funding.

The company, which has been around for five years, got its start as an esports startup looking to organize real-life matches at bars in New York City to play FIFA. That’s obviously not the most scalable business of all time, but last year after joining Y Combinator, the company really dove into a new model that looked to create an online hub for gamers to battle each other in titles of their choosing, with money on the line.

The company has a heavy emphasis on sports titles, like FIFA 19, NBA 2K19 and Madden 19, but there are also some heavy hitters like Fortnite, Apex Legends and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Gamers can set a match or join one in head-to-head challenges or in massive 500-person tournaments. The wagers are often a buck or two but can swell much higher. Players’ Lounge takes 10 percent of the bets as a fee. Because it’s a game of skill, not chance, there aren’t many issues with gambling regulations, though a few states still don’t allow the service, the company says.

The startup plans to use their new cash to beef up their library of playable games and add to their development team.

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Drake and Ninja are playing Fortnite live on Twitch

Posted by | Drake, epic games, esports, Gaming, Livestreaming, Ninja, TC, Twitch | No Comments

What do Drake, Ninja the professional esports player, Kim Dotcom, Travis Scott and NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster have in common?

They’re all playing Fortnite together right now and live-streaming it on Twitch . Yes, seriously.

You can tune in to Ninja’s channel here to check out the action.

playing fort nite with @ninja https://t.co/OSFbgcfzaZ

— Drizzy (@Drake) March 15, 2018

Right now the amount of live viewers is hovering around 600,000 which smashes Twitch’s previous record of 388,000 live concurrent viewers.

Drake and Ninja started playing together a few hours ago on Ninja’s channel, and were soon joined by the other members as word spread of the livestream. Ninja is playing on a PC while Drake is on a PS4, but the two can play together thanks to Fortnite’s cross-platform support for those two systems.

The group had their fair share of technical difficulties – especially when it came to adding new players to their party, mainly because everyone’s friend requests were maxed out. That’s definitely something Epic will to work on if Fortnite continues to be the preferred game of celebrities and athletes.

In all seriousness, it’s a big moment for esports and livestreaming in general. The fact that mainstream celebrities are not only spending their time playing (and talking about) massively popular video games, but doing it live so hundreds of thousands of others can watch is a huge validator for the future of the two industries and companies like Twitch and Epic Games .

As you can imagine, Twitter is going insane and we’re already getting some amazing memes.

Drake’s next album cover… pic.twitter.com/gKOvRxwkFD

— Miguel Lozada (@Miguel_Gator) March 15, 2018

Drizzy super generous with his items to @Ninja tonight pic.twitter.com/NoeoCVJhlN

— Barstool Gametime (@StoolGametime) March 15, 2018

Oh, and one more thing. Epic Games (the company that created Fortnite) is supposed to take down the game’s servers at 2am PT / 5am ET. Anyone want to bet that they’re going to reschedule?

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