ESPORTS AND MUSIC: THE NEXT OPPORTUNITY
TNL Take: The pace of evolution in eSports has been astonishing even to me.
For perspective, I've delayed releasing the TNL 2017 Collegiate eSports Report, 2016 China eSports VC Investment Analysis, 5 Major Brand Deals and a slew of other news simply to focus on these recent big deals.
On Saturday night, at a perfectly timed announcement before he went to perform in front of a massive TwitchCon 2016 audience; Superstar, Multi-Millionaire DJ Steve Aoki announced he was investing in Vegas based eSports organization ROGUE.
Aoki has said many times he's a lifelong gamer and was even at PAX East this year, so the investment is not out of the ordinary.
This is what is interesting.
ROGUE, unlike recent purchases of Dignitas and Team Liquid which were both established many years ago; were only formed 5 months ago. Further, ROGUE only has 2 teams, of which both of them are primarily European.
My guess is the Vegas connection and the opportunity to get in early is what triggered this deal. Oh, and I don't think he needed to take out a loan.
Aoki made $23M in 2015 alone.
Why would Aoki make this investment?
Because the music "industry" as per the days of Fleetwood Mac, Michael Jackson and Britney Spears - is dead.
The smart people in the music industry - and Aoki is one the smartest combined with the most hard working - knows he can leverage his music, clothing line and slew of other business's with eSports. Aoki even released a Mobile game a while back.
Aoki wasn't the only person in the music industry making noise this weekend.
Tracy Lauren Marrow - who I would know as making the amazing 1991 album OG. Original Gangster as Ice-T - or you may know as the undercover narcotics officer Fin on Law and Order: SVU, turned into Counter-Strike commentator at ESL One in New York by providing analysis on why Team Liquid beat Fnatic.
BTW, if this is some crazy GEICO promotion, as they coincidentally sponsor Team Liquid and had Ice-T in a recent commercial- Seriously, you guys rule.
And there was actually a third.
As I was naturally raiding the Red Bull in the VIP area at ESL One New York, I look to my left and there was a personal Hip Hop Hero of mine, Pusha-T. I won't share any of our conversation but it was a dream come true for me. Check out his Instagram Stories for his thoughts on eSports or my Tweet featuring the World's Worst Selfie Ever Taken.
So to this end - I absolutely know there's an opportunity between Music and eSports.
On the mountain that is currently the "I Need To Dig Into This Deeper" pile, Ill add this.
But know of any US city that hosts plenty of World Class DJ's, looking for the young demographic and more importantly, would kill for idle time at their many, real estate locations in between eSports Events?
I can name one.