[toc]On May 16, the Pro Gaming League (PGL) announced that it had signed a deal to merge with Stratton Capital Corporation on May 16. The deal gives PGL the corporate platform it needs to move to the next stage in its development.
The deal is technically a reverse takeover, and all Stratton’s existing directors will resign, to be replaced by PGL’s directors.
PGL founder Chad Larsson will be president, with Alex Igelman taking the CEO role. Other directors will be David Fawcett, Seth Schorr and Ronald Spoehel.
Seth Schorr is the CEO of Fifth Street Gaming, which has done so much to make the Downtown Grand in Las Vegas a center for eSports.
“It’s our desire at the Downtown Grand to become the premier video game and eSports destination, which is really something that doesn’t exist today—a 365-days-a-year destination for video-game enthusiasts,” Schorr told the Las Vegas Weekly in November 2015.
LvL Up Expo was an opportunity to celebrate the deal
The Lvl Up Expo which took place on May 14 and 15 ended with a party at the Downtown Grand. YouTube star Angry Joe, Super Smash Bros pro players D1, TKbreezy and cosplay personality Mimi Legend were in attendance.
The party was a great opportunity for PGL to celebrate the closing of its deal with Stratton, which was announced the very next day.
PGL’s versatile platform facilitated esports events at the Expo
PGL played a major role in the expo and provided its platform for several tournaments that were played during the event. Over 8,100 people attended the Expo, and approximately 250 esports teams participated in the competitions.
The largest prize pool tournaments were a $5,000 Super Smash Bros event and a $2,500 Hearthstone event.
The flexibility of the PGL platform was evidenced by the range of games available for the rest of the tournament schedule.
Other tournaments included Call of Duty Black Ops 3, League of Legends 5v5, Halo 5 Team Slayer 2v2, Mario Cart 8 1v1, Rock Band 4 Battle of the Bands, CrossFire, Street Fighter 5 and GUILTY GEAR XRD Revelator.
PGL broadcasting offers access to a valuable demographic
PGL set up in business in 2013. Its long term aim was to “unite the most popular eSports communities on a single entertainment platform.”
PGL also hosts and broadcasts live tournaments and eSports events from North American venues. It used this experience to live stream the LvL Up events on Twitch.
“PGL provides turnkey solutions in an effort to give game publishers, consumer brands and other partners exposure and influence on a targeted audience, thereby enabling them to generate new revenue streams by leveraging this unique and highly sought after global demographic.
The B2C platform is the basis for the B2B offer
On its progamingleague.com website, it offers esports tournaments and heads up matches where players can challenge each other for cash (except in the U.S. and Canada). However, the company’s primary focus is B2B rather than B2C.
CEO Alex Igelman told eSBR:
“PGL is focusing on building out its esports arena and online platform improvements to deliver more flexibility to partners and publishers as PGL shifts its focus in order to become a leader in content and broadcasting. We will therefore use the platform as a tool to deliver turnkey tournament solutions to our partners when catering to their esport needs.”
The Stratton deal is all about raising the resources to help PGL “shift its focus.”
Igelman explained that the company already has $3 million in commitments for equity investment, but may accept up to $4 million. Although important, the money is not the only issue.
“We are only looking for smart money at this point as all our new investors bring added value aside from their monetary contribution,” Igelman told eSBR.
Nevada loves PGL and PGL loves Nevada
Las Vegas and Nevada will soon benefit from PGL’s investment in an esports arena in the city. For PGL, the regulatory environment and forward thinking of the Nevada regulators is an important factor in their commitment to Vegas.
“The State of Nevada is lucky to have progressive people like Gov. Sandoval, Commissioner Alamo and Chairman Burnett leading the State in key areas of regulation and policy. The State also has great proponents like Seth Schorr of Fifth Street Gaming, who saw early on the potential positive impact esports could have on the state.”
Commenting on the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee meeting last week, Igelman was enthusiastic:
“Overall, the committee’s cautious but optimistic position regarding esports was extremely encouraging to companies like PGL and others that wish to move forward with esports in Nevada.”