DMG Entertainment is launching a new eSports division and has invested in Super League Gaming, Variety has learned.
The move comes as DMG has been diversifying in recent months, moving beyond backing movies and shows to invest in emerging media platforms such as virtual reality. DMG is best known for backing the likes of “Looper” and “Iron Man 3.” The new division is staffing up and sees the Super League Gaming equity stake as part of a larger strategic partnership.
eSports is one of the fastest growing sections of the gaming space. It involves organized multi-player competitions centered around popular video games such as “Hearthstone” and “Call of Duty.” The eSports market is projected to have grossed $463 million in 2016 and is expected to generate $1.1 billion in revenues by 2019, according to market researcher Newzoo.
Super League Gaming is trying to tap into that burgeoning audience by hosting competitions in movie theaters. Last year, it announced that it raised more than $20 million in funding with the most recent round netting $5 million from the likes of Toba Capital and aXiomatic.
DMG is taking part in a new funding round. Its investment is for more than seven figures. The company hopes to use its connections in China to help Super League Gaming expand into the Middle Kingdom, as well as bolster its footprint in the U.S.
“Our inspiration for DMG eSports comes from the extraordinarily committed eSports fans and community,” said DMG founder Dan Mintz. “Their stories drive our unique point-of-view on the industry allowing our strengths in entertainment and technology to deliver fresh and compelling experiences.”
Super League Gaming is organized around a series of teams from various cities. Currently, the company hosts 12 teams of gamers, all from U.S. metropolises. The hope is to expand this year into such key cities as Beijing and Shanghai, eventually hosting global championship matches.
DMG will be involved in promoting the expansion by creating behind-the-scenes and interstitial content to be used at various events and in marketing pushes.