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Esports platform Smash.gg raises $11m

Spark Capital, Accel and Horizon Ventures backs pro gaming venture

Smash.gg has raised $11m in Series A capital from Spark Capital, Accel and Horizon Ventures.

It follows an initial $3m investment from Spark, Caffeinated Capital and Lowercase Capital.

Smash.gg is an eSports platform initially designed specifically for Super Smash Bros Melee. The company's founders, including Shantanu Talapatra, were frustrated by the poor technology being utilised, and so began developing their own platform. It is designed to simplify organising eSports matches and lower the barrier to entry for those looking to compete.

Smash.gg now supports more than 2,000 events a month, and also works with games such as Street Fighter V and Rocket League. Its platform handles financial and other event management tasks.

"Sports like the NFL and NBA are products of the TV age, where there were a limited number of channels, and tight controls that created the top-down hierarchy we have today," said Spark Capital's Nabeel Hyatt in a blog post.

"But eSports is distributed, bottoms-up, and a constantly fluid arrangement of different teams, players, and even sports. eSports, in short, is what you would expect to be born out of the Internet age.

"Take for example the EVO Championship Series. There were over 7,000 people competing in the same weekend last month in Las Vegas, in nine different games. Everyone from the reigning World Champions to beginning players all in the same room, with many people participating in multiple games. It's the kind of thing you'd never see in traditional sports. And it was largely powered by Smash.gg.

"Shantanu and his team were players in the Super Smash Bros community, and were frustrated with how technologically backward everything was being run. So, as engineers, they started solving their own problem.

"It turned out that these problems were not just annoying, but were actually holding back the growth of the sport.

"Today, no major Super Smash Bros series is run without using Smash.gg, and over the last year the team has been finding these problems are endemic across eSports."

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