×

Super League Gaming Raises $15 Million From Nickelodeon, DMG, Others for Amateur eSports

Super League Gaming, which hosts eSports competitions in movie theaters and online for amateur video-game players, has banked $15 million in Series C funding from investors including Viacom’s Nickelodeon, DMG Entertainment, and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeffrey Vinik.

DMG’s backing of Super League was previously reported by Variety. Others participating in the round include SoftBank’s ISAT fund, Toba Capital, eSports ownership group aXiomatic, and other pro sports team owners. To date, Super League has raised more than $28 million, with earlier participation from investors including Cinemark USA, ET Capital and Quadrant Management.

Nickelodeon is interested in eSports because gaming is an important passion point for kids today, and forging this partnership with Super League puts us at the forefront of where kids will be playing next,” said Matthew Evans, Nickelodeon’s EVP of digital and new business.

Santa Monica-based Super League was founded in 2014, initially launching with “Minecraft” multiplayer events in movie theaters for kids. In November 2016, it expanded its offering by introducing “League of Legends” to its competitive events series in partnership with Riot Games. The company has held one season of “League of Legends” intercity tournament play, with the second season launching online in July in 12 markets across the U.S.

Popular on Variety

Super League operates 12 city-focused teams in markets including New York, L.A., Chicago, Miami and San Francisco — mimicking the setup of traditional sports leagues. The Chicago Force will be defending the title for the second season of “League of Legends City Champs,” while the reigning “Minecraft City Champs” are the L.A. Shockwaves. “Our city-based clubs add a sense of belonging and fandom currently missing from eSports,” commented Super League Gaming CEO Ann Hand.

Added Vinik, owner of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, “In my career in professional sports, the most exciting thing is the energy and enthusiasm that fans show for their city ’s teams. Go to any Super League event, and you will see the same energy of players and fans cheering for their city ’s team that we see in the NHL.”

More Digital

  • Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons

    Spotify in Talks to Acquire Bill Simmons' The Ringer: Report

    Spotify is in early talks to acquire The Ringer, the digital content and podcast network launched by ESPN alum Bill Simmons in 2016, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. A representative for Spotify declined to comment on the report. Reps for Ringer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Spotify’s [...]

  • Ted Sarandos Milestone Award PGA

    Netflix Leader Ted Sarandos Plans Broader Creative Push for the Future

    Ted Sarandos, who has helped to upend the way audiences receive and consume entertainment as Netflix’s chief content officer, will be honored with the Milestone Award at the 31st annual Producers Guild Awards on Jan. 18. Game-changers including Steven Spielberg, Sherry Lansing, Robert Iger, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Ron Meyer have previously received the recognition, and [...]

  • peacock-ads-NBCU

    NBCU's Peacock Marks Media's Latest Try to Connect Consumers, Commercials

    In an era when consumers feel more empowered to avoid TV commercials, NBCUniversal is the latest media company to try to get them to bring ads back into their TV lives. One of the key selling points of big streaming-video services like Netflix and Disney Plus is that subscribers don’t have to endure the commercial [...]

  • OTT.X - Mark Fisher

    Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) Gets Renamed OTT.X With Expanded Scope

    The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) home-video retailing trade group has changed its name to OTT.X, The Over The Top Exchange. The new name reflects the org’s broader scope and community to adapt to the evolution of the home-entertainment ecosystem, according to Mark Fisher, president and CEO of OTT.X. The group’s new website is at ottx.org. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content