PlayBrain has raised $1.9 million in seed funding to stage League of legends esports events in Japan.
The company has obtained the funding through several investors, including the Berlin-based Bitkraft Esports Ventures, one of the most prolific esports investment firms. PlayBrain will use the funds to scale the team, accelerate growth, and support costs to lead the creative direction, operation, and commercialisation of League of Legends Japan League (LJL). Market researcher Newzoo reported that 67.6 million players in Japan will spend $19.2 billion in 2018, making it the third-largest games market in the world.
This deal marks the first Western investment in esports in the Japanese market. PlayBrain is a full-service esports tournament and media company in Tokyo. Its mission to help brands reach gamers and fans through large-scale esports event production.
“As a company that is multicultural and multilingual, we see ourselves as a bridge connecting the Japanese competitive gaming community to the rest of the world,” said PlayBrain founder Mike Sheetal in a statement. “The investment from Bitkraft Esports Ventures will enable us, and the Japanese esports market as a whole, to gain more ground in the global esports industry by developing the next generation esports cultural products born out of Tokyo’s distinct youth culture and helping foreign brands effectively enter, and engage, with Japan’s gaming community.”