PlayVS, the esports company bringing organized leagues to high schools and colleges, is today announcing its first acquisition. The startup, which has raised more than $100 million, has acquired GameSeta, a Vancouver-based startup that is also looking to provide infrastructure for high school esports teams. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The deal will accelerate PlayVS during its growth phase and help it expand into the Canadian market. GameSeta has a partnership with BC School Sports, the governing body for organized school sports in British Columbia, which will transfer to PlayVS.
PlayVS has a similar (and exclusive) partnership with NFHS, the high school equivalent of the NCAA, here in the States. The company has also sprinted into the college market, launching a college product as part of a partnership between PlayVS and Epic Games. Since launching a college offering, total player growth is up 460 percent. The company has also launched a new $900,000 scholarship pool for high schools and colleges.
Founded by Delane Parnell in the beginning of 2018, PlayVS has grown rapidly, brokering partnerships with school sports organizations and publishers alike. In fact, PlayVS title offerings include League of Legends, Rocket League, SMITE, Overwatch, Fortnite, FIFA 21 and Madden NFL 21. PlayVS has served more than 19,000 high schools across all 50 states. It boasts more than 230,000 registered users.
PlayVS acts as a portal for schools to create esports teams and compete against other schools. Traditional sports like basketball and baseball have established systems (and governing organizations) to organize league schedules, playoffs, referees and more. PlayVS has positioned itself as that governing body and organizational system for esports.
Not only does PlayVS facilitate these leagues, but it also offers colleges and esports organizations a much-needed recruitment tool, letting them view games and track metrics of individual players.
As part of the acquisition, GameSeta’s Tawanda Masawi and Rana Taj will join the PlayVS team and lead Canadian operations.
Alongside geographic expansion, PlayVS is also looking to expand beyond high schools and colleges with plans to launch a direct to consumer product.
“We’re going to launch some direct consumer products directly in partnership with publishers to open up the PlayVS ecosystem so people can organize and join competitions, whether they are associated with high schools or otherwise,” said Parnell. “We’re really excited about that. The markets in general have just shown great appetite for gaming as a form of entertainment and content. Obviously, players are really excited about eSports as a form of content and a way to engage in competition and so we want to make sure that PlayVS is a place where people compete more broadly.”