The biggest obstacle facing esports startups in 2017 was not lack of money or technology, it was lack of a leader.
It’s a problem that will only get worse, according to venture capitalists who’ve made a name for themselves in the space.
That is, if they don’t take on the challenge of building a leadership team that can handle the pressure of the rapidly growing market.
The challenge of leadership in esports was highlighted during the second half of 2017 by a handful of investors in the gaming space who spoke to POLITICO.
These VCs — many of whom were previously skeptical about esports and had previously been working to build a business around it — have found new momentum after watching the industry grow in 2017.
In a series of posts over the past year, they’ve outlined the steps they took to get to this point, the key lessons they learned, and what the future holds for esports.
“The key thing that was important to us was that our leadership team was really well-prepared for the business we were building,” said Kevin O’Leary, one of the founders of a team known as the O’Leaves Group.
“We did our homework, we understood the business and it’s going to be really interesting to see how this plays out.”
O’Leary has invested in esports since the beginning, having previously led investments in the scene and working on a series called The Big League of Legends.
In that venture, he led a team of investors who raised money for a company called Esports Ventures, which invested in three esports startups: League of Geeks, DreamHack Summer, and Esports Games.
“When I got there I was kind of surprised that there were so many investors in esports, and that was really cool,” O’Brien said.
“There was just a huge amount of investment, but I was really surprised at how well the team was prepared.”
O’leaves Group, the venture capital arm of O’Learys, is one of three VC firms in the Esports Gaming Group that O’Elvira invested in.
The group has invested at least $150 million in esports startups.
O’LEYS group also invested in Team SoloMid and League of Explorers.
“It’s not an easy business to be in,” OBrien said of esports.
“It’s a tough business to run, but the more you know how to run it, the easier it gets.
I think our experience in the business was really beneficial.
We have been very successful and we’ve built a strong brand in the industry.”
The O’Leanys team was able to quickly develop a business model for the companies they invested in, said O’Leeson, who added that they were able to take a risk by investing in companies like League of Legend and DreamHack Winter, which didn’t have the infrastructure or financial resources to compete with the larger esports companies.
“They were able quickly build an infrastructure and infrastructure was able quickly grow to the point where it was a very viable business,” he said.
O’Learies investment has led to the formation of several other VCs in the sector.
The first was New York-based Capital Ventures, led by Adam Lerner, who founded a team that has invested $250 million in companies in esports including Riot Games and Twitch.
Last year, the team invested $150,000 in a company that sells a platform called Riot GameVips, which allows gamers to watch esports videos without paying for them.
Last month, Capital Ventures also invested $80 million in the game company Supercell, which it acquired in 2015.
Oleksas team also invested a combined $10 million in a startup called The League of Heroes, which was founded in 2017 and has raised $5.3 million.
Oleksa said his team also spent time developing a business plan for Supercell and Supercell has since made its way to the company’s developers.
“There’s a ton of money, a ton and a ton in the world of video game companies,” Olesa said.
The League will have a very strong team, a strong business, and it has a strong financial model.
We’re seeing this incredible rise in interest and interest in these games, and this incredible opportunity to do this in a very competitive way,” Olaesas said. “
I think we’re seeing the emergence of this new market as an industry,” Olekas said.
“We’re seeing this incredible rise in interest and interest in these games, and this incredible opportunity to do this in a very competitive way,” Olaesas said.
He said he believes the League of Wisdom will have the potential to do a lot more than just stream a stream of games.
“This is a very lucrative business, but we want to do things that will be unique,” OLekas said, explaining that the League will likely be more interested in helping to grow the game’s community.
“In this game, we can actually help people.”
Olekas says the League has already developed a product that allows players to easily watch their own gameplay and see