Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs helps high school Esports-startup secure over $30M in funding

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Esports-startup PlayVS announced its successful Series B funding round of $30.5 million from investors including Adidas, Samsung, and Hip-Hop mogul Sean  ‘Diddy’ Combs.

This milestone comes less than six months after the company’s’ historic $15M Series A funding, which prompted founder and chief executive Delane Parnell’s inclusion in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list.

PlayVS works “with game publishers and high school governing bodies to build and operate sanctioned leagues across the country,” the website states, while enticing students to “Take your gameplay to the next level by competing against other schools for the state title in your official high school esports league.”

High schoolers are given access to multiplayer competitions, regardless of experience, gender, or age, and each school can have an unlimited amount of teams. As reported by Variety, there are two seasons each school year and matches are played online via the PlayVS platform, while some playoff and championship games will be held in front of a live audience.

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Colleges and universities are even getting in on the esports action by offering scholarships and “actively recruiting players for their team” the site says.

This latest round of funding was led by the private investment firm of the Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group, Elysian Park Ventures.

“We strive to be at the forefront of innovation in sports, and have been carefully searching for the right investment in esports,” said Tucker Kain, CFO of the LA Dodgers and Managing Partner of Elysian Park Ventures. “With PlayVS, we have found a model that works, built on a powerful platform that delivers an unparalleled player experience and will have a profound impact on the future of youth sports across the country.”

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In addition to the $30 million, PlayVS will launch new game partnerships with Psyonix, the publisher of “Rocket League” and Hi-Rez Studio, publisher of “SMITE,” the world’s No. 1 Action MOBA.

“One of the reasons we’re most excited about esports is accessibility,” Parnell said. “With this new round of funding and the addition of ‘Rocket League’ and ‘SMITE,’ we’re able to take another huge step forward as we open the pathway for more students to compete and be recognized in the burgeoning esports industry.”

The inaugural season for PlayVS kicks off Feb. 25, and students and schools can register on the official website until Feb. 8, reports.