Tech entrepreneur Tej Kohli has injected €50 million into a fund to support European esports.
As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, Kohli is supporting the venture by expanding his AI and robotics firm, Rewired, and establishing Rewired GG, a new arm developed to support "a world-class esports team, as well as develop individual players, games and commercial opportunities".
Esports Insider co-founder and managing director, Sam Cooke, will be working to Rewired GG as an adviser.
"Esports has huge potential and could rival traditional sports like football, tennis and basketball in terms of cultural impact and viewing figures," said Kohli. "I have seen first-hand through my son the passion many young people have for the sport and the growing professionalism of the teams, players and commercial partnerships. I believe that with the right mentoring and investment, Europe will soon play host to the best players, teams and commercial opportunities in global esports.
"Esports is the most disruptive innovation in world sport and I am excited to be able to help it thrive this side of the Atlantic."
Earlier this year, a new report projected that global esports revenue was expected to hit $905.6m (£653.2m) in 2018, and a hefty $1.65b (£1.19b) by 2021. The report, which pulls in data from multiple sources, found that revenues will increase by more than $250m compared to figures from 2017. North America was still expected to generate the highest international share, with 38 per cent of the global total. Sponsorship is the big revenue stream in esports, thought to contribute $359.4m in 2018, a significant increase on the $234.6m in 2017.
The audience is growing, too. The global esports audience is expected to reach 380.2m in 2018, while enthusiasts — defined by the report as people who watch esports more than once a month — will reach 165m of the total audience.