Delane Parnell’s plan to conquer amateur esports
Most of the buzz about esports focuses on high-profile professional teams and audiences watching live streams of those professionals.
What gets ignored is the entire base of amateurs wanting to compete in esports below the professional tier. This is like talking about the NBA and the value of its sponsorships and broadcast rights as if that is the entirety of the basketball market in the US.
Los Angeles-based PlayVS (pronounced “play versus”) wants to become the dominant platform for amateur esports, starting at the high school level. The company raised $46 million last year—its first year operating—with the vision that owning the infrastructure for competitions and expanding it to encompass other social elements of gaming can make it the largest gaming company in the world.
I recently sat down with Founder & CEO Delane Parnell to talk about his company’s formation and growth strategy. Below is the transcript of our conversation (edited for length and clarity):
Eric P: You have a fascinating background as a serial entrepreneur while you were a teenager.
Delane P.: I grew up on the west side of Detroit and started working at the cell phone store of a family friend