The Silicon Review
People might be wondering, “Why are so many people talking about esports?” or “How can gaming be considered a sport?” the answer to these questions is simple – esports is competitive gaming with tremendous audience engagement and massive reach. Globally there are more than 200 million competitive gamers, and this number is expected to grow exponentially. The growth of modern technologies, broadcast services, and continuous advancements has been astronomical, giving rise to popular esports players and teams. In the last few years, esports has witnessed tremendous growth, both in terms of revenue and viewership. Investments in the esports segment have also grown significantly and are poised to quadruple in the coming years, partly because gamers are spending 39% more on esports during COVID-19 than before. The increased eyeballs and engagement have resulted in greater spend by top-tier brands trying to capture this large and growing audience.
The gaming industry revenue is expected to hit $218 billion by 2023. Esports and gaming is the fastest-growing entertainment industry globally by a wide margin with revenue far exceeding those of the music and movie industries combined. In 2020, over 100 billion hours of gaming content was watched on YouTube, a 100% increase since 2018, and more than $8 billion was invested in the esports space in 2020 alone; these numbers are staggering and continue to grow. Toronto-based GameSquare Esports Inc is perfectly placed to leverage this surge in the esports industry to achieve success as it sits firmly between global brands and this ever-growing end audience. “We are focused on growing our digital media and talent agency businesses by bridging the gap between global brands and the large esports and gaming communities,” said Justin Kenna, CEO of GameSquare Esports Inc. “We are focused on North America and Europe and we have a large presence in Asia and Latin America through investments in esports organizations in China and Mexico City.”
GameSquare is an international esports company that is investing in organic growth complemented by strategic M&A to acquire assets and entities that serve the large esports market and more broadly, the sports and entertainment markets. The company’s focus is working with global brands through its digital media group, the Gaming Community Network (GCN) and its esports agency, Code Red, the Authentic Esports Agency, an Esports Awards 2019 nominee for the Esports Supporting Agency of the Year. While organic growth is the focus, M&A is being used to accelerate growth making expertise and risk management crucial. “We are mitigating risk by being extremely thorough and selective throughout our M&A diligence process. We are thoughtful about the companies that we are looking to bring into our organization; we look for great people, leading high growth companies that are profitable.” said Justin.
The esports space has undergone incredible growth and remains a tasty proposition for entrepreneurs and those interested in investing in the industry but it is not without risk. “We are prudent about how we deploy capital. We won’t be considering high cash burning assets, which has been an issue with several esports organizations. We are building the first publicly listed, large-scale media business, focused on esports that is profitable,” added Justin. “We feel that we are extremely well placed to do so.” Justin Kenna joined the company as CEO earlier this year, bringing his vast experience to GameSquare Esports, having worked as the CFO for FaZe Clan, the world’s leading gaming lifestyle brand and one of the most valuable esports organizations on the planet.
While the esports segment’s growth has been hitting the headlines more than ever before, GameSquare’s team has been working in the industry since 2002. The company has an exciting client roster and pipeline that includes top-tier global brands such as Bud Light, Fox Sports, Cox Communications, GEICO, Chipotle, and more. GameSquare is truly a special esports company, given its publicly traded status. Why? Because there are only a few publicly listed esports companies globally. With a focus on organic growth, a strong presence in North America and Europe, access to the large and growing Asian and Latin American markets, an excellent eye for acquisitions and an experienced management team…the company is expected to grow quickly!
Gaming Community Network
GCN, Inc. (Gaming Community Network), perhaps the crown jewel among GameSquare’s assets, is dedicated to gaming and esports across communities, platforms, content creators, influencers and tournament & event operators. In 2020, GCN produced 200+ hours of livestreaming tournaments attracting 80M+ viewers, while managing its proprietary media network that reaches 115M+ MAUs globally and creating premium content designed to provoke and engage consumers. They build bespoke strategy solutions for any endpoint be it social, digital, linear or live stream to deliver on its “Gamer First” promise.
The Leader Upfront
Justin Kenna, CEO
Announced as GameSquare Esports Inc’s CEO earlier this year, Justin has extensive experience in the esports industry, having been the CFO of the world’s biggest gaming brand – FaZe Clan. He was instrumental in FaZe Clan’s growth over the past three years and has taken them from 8 employees to over 100, revenue growth by a multiple of 12-15 over that time, and raised $60m in debt and equity. Under his leadership, the company was placed within the top 5 valued companies in the space (Forbes) at over $300m and growing. Prior to FaZe Clan, he worked in various roles at Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Australia-based RAMS, Optimist Inc., and Madison over the last 17 years.