Danish esports organizer BLAST recently announced they had raised 12.5M Euro – which is roughly $13.6M USD – in a financing bid to support and grow their newly created online esports tournaments. Funding was chiefly led by Rocket Software co-founder Johan Gedda, and financing and investment entity Vækstfonden which operates with funds from the Danish State and the European Investment Bank. Other contributors include European venture capital funds Creandum, Heartcore and Maki, which had previously invested in BLAST.
The goal behind this round of financing is for BLAST to boost their esports operations, which they have been working to grow in new directions since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis negatively affected many esports tournaments worldwide. Gedda states that he relishes “the opportunity to combine and create a deeper technology stack that will evolve the future of esports”. Indeed, BLAST have expanded their portfolio of events during the pandemic, introducing “multiple new lines of tournaments, content series and commercial partnerships.”
Opportunities amid disaster
BLAST are not the only company to see potential for growth during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As esports events worldwide have struggled with cancellations and the additional strain of trying to maintain competitive integrity online, event organizers like Northern Arena are looking for alternatives and solutions.
Efforts like Northern Arena’s NHL 20 Cup series and BLAST’s new line of tournaments show that esports stands to evolve during the crisis, and perhaps emerge in a new, stronger form on the other side. The willingness of financiers shows a belief in the resilience of esports, as all forms of entertainment media go through their respective struggles.
What does all this mean for players and fans? A series of brand new tournament is great news for competitive gamers, whether spectators or competitors themselves. These are exciting fans for esports enthusiasts, with new competitive events emerging and old ones finding ways to carry on.