Q4 2023 Gaming Industry Report Released,
View Here

Konvoy Ventures is a thesis driven venture capital firm focused on the video gaming industry. We invest in infrastructure technology, tools, and platforms.

Fan Supported Prize Pools ($30M)

Esports prize pools, points of interest

Esports Prize Pools

As we’ve written about before (Esports Prize Pools: $155.9M (2018), esports prize pools are getting larger every year. This week, Fortnite is hosting the Fornite World Cup, which has a $30M prize pool (watch live) that is 100% contributed by Epic Games. However, Dota 2 just surpassed this record at $30.6M for their upcoming world championship, “The International”.

Every year, The International beats their previous prize pool record. What is most fascinating is that well over 90% of the prize pool is crowdfunded. As of today, The International prize pool is set at $30.6M of which only $1.6M (5.2%) is committed by Valve (Dota 2 developer). It is expected to surpass $40M over the next 34 days ahead of the tournament.

This is indicative of the growth of the esports market. Gamers are increasingly directing their disposable income into not only gaming, but the competitive landscape of esports. This market is still in its infancy yet its growth is not merely continuing but accelerating.

3 Things of Interest:

1) Puma / C9: Puma is launching an esports fashion line with pro-esports team, Cloud9. This clothing line will make its way to retail locations. Matt Shaw, team head of digital marketing at PUMA, said, “This is the first time we’re designing apparel for someone whose job is to appear on stream.” Fashion brands will continue to capitalize on the fans of esports brands like Cloud9. (Esports Observer)

2) Blizzard / Talent Flight: one of the three co-founders of Blizzard, Frank Pearce, has left the company after 28 years, marking the latest high-profile departure from the game studio. Pearce is the latest member of management to leave the studio (who own Overwatch League). Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer left in May to join Epic Games (Fortnite) and global esports director Kim Phan left in June. On the eave of the Call of Duty (CoD) franchise league, this looks like a continuation of talent flight, which is cause for concern. I’m surprised this isn’t being discussed more publicly, especially as Blizzard is asking for $25M+ per franchise for CoD. (Esports Observer)

3) Kroenke / $30M bid for LCS: Riot Games is reviewing a bid by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment to buy one of the franchise spots for League of Legends (100M+ players), which is currently owned by a group in LA called Echo Fox (led by former NBA player, Rick Fox). The purchase price is rumored to be $30.25M (up from the initial $10M buy-in in 2017), and Kroenke already owns the LA Gladiators (Overwatch League, $20M buy-in). Of the 10 franchise spots for the LCS, this would be the third to change hands as we head into the 2020 season next year (Immortals bought Optic, Dignitas bought Clutch Gaming). Esports teams are still developing, and with that maturation there is plenty of opportunity for healthy M&A. (ESPN)

Fan Supported Prize Pools ($30M)

Esports prize pools, points of interest

Welcome to Game Changers, the podcast that takes you beyond the games and into the heart of the gaming industry's future. Brought to you by Konvoy, a Denver-based venture capital firm investing in the platforms and technologies at the frontier of gaming. This podcast is your backstage pass to the pioneers, innovators, and visionaries who are redefining how we play and experience these virtual worlds.

In each episode, your hosts—Josh Chapman, Jason Chapman, and Jackson Vaughan, the founders of Konvoy — invite you to join them for candid and open conversations with the industry's most influential leaders. These guests are the “Game Changers”, the masterminds behind the scenes who've built remarkable enterprises and continue to push the boundaries of what's possible for our industry.

Whether you're a gamer, a tech enthusiast, or a startup aficionado, the Game Changers podcast offers valuable insights, inspiring stories, and exclusive access to the minds shaping the future of the gaming industry. Join us as we explore who these Game Changers are, what they've built, and what they're doing now.

Are you ready to level up your understanding of the gaming industry? Subscribe now to "Game Changers" and embark on a journey that goes beyond the screen to uncover the stories behind the gaming world.