It’s time to start taking Esports seriously. That’s the takeaway message today from Mark Cuban, the Dallas Marvericks owner and Shark Tank star known for his savvy eye in investments. Cuban has been focusing his energy on the tech and media sectors lately, so the news that he’s sinking an undisclosed fraction of his $3 billion net worth into Esports startup Unikrn is turning heads. The company, whose primary ballywick is facilitating gambling on competitive gaming matches has reportedly raised a total of $7 million from investors, including Cuban, to expand its services.
The popularity of competitive gaming is rapidly on the rise thanks, in large part, to the popularity of streaming platforms like Twitch. Fans around the world have greater access to players, teams, and match ups than ever before. Several universities have begun offering athletic scholarships for competitive gamers as the world of Esports slowly saturates the mainstream consciousness making it a potential money maker for colleges. Prize values are climbing ever higher and a growing number of gamers are making competition Esports their primary occupation.
The business of Esports betting is comparatively new, but if the hype surrounding Unikrn is to be believed it also has the potential to be hugely lucrative. Unikrn founder Rahul Sood believes that betting is a crucial part of any sporting experience telling Mic news. “”Our mission is heightening the experience of watching esports, and the tip of that is betting. There’s no better way to heighten the experience then letting people wager money.” It looks like people who have money agree with that sentiment. Aside from Cuban, Unikrn’s other backers include media executive Liz Murdoch, daughter of billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Would you be willing to lay down a couple bucks on a League of Legends bout instead of the big game? Let us know in the comments below.