PlayVS, the company working to bring esports to the high school level, today announced it raised just over $30 million in a series B funding round. This comes after it amassed $15 million during a series A just six months ago.
PlayVS took a different lane into the esports arena. Instead of focusing on the larger communities across the country already participating in competitive gaming, it focused on high school students–a group somewhat underserved.
This investment round was led by groups like Elysian Park Ventures and Science Inc. Adidas also came on as a new investor, making it the first esports investment for the company. Samsung and Sean Combs are two other notable new investors who joined during this round.
The growing esports company is also adding two new games, Rocket League and SMITE, which should make it more popular for gamers who want to be a part of the platform. The company also announced several months ago that it was teaming up with League of Legends — an immensely popular game — for its test season.
Right now, the company is in what it calls “Season Zero,” which is a chance for it to test the platform in a number of different states. The first true season for the company won’t happen until 2019.
PlayVS CEO Delane Parnell has a wider vision of high school students who participate in esports having access to college scholarships for competitive gaming. Earlier this year, he partnered with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) to bring competitive esports to high schools across the country.
AfroTech talked to Parnell at this year’s AfroTech conference in San Francisco. During that discussion, he was adamant about high schoolers who didn’t want to — or couldn’t — play sports like basketball or football having an opportunity to participate and take advantage of all the benefits high school athletics bring.