Mainline, a Houston-based esports tournament software and management company, announced today it has raised a $6.8 million Series A funding round led by Work America Capital.
Mainline has developed a white-label tournament platform that specializes in hosting and helping brands “manage, monetize and market their esports programs.”
For example, Mainline says it was a key contributor and managed all tournament operations for ESPN’s inaugural Collegiate Esports Championship in May of this year.
Mainline CEO Chris Buckner believes esports and gaming in general are “exploding” sectors but that “continuity in tournament organization is lacking, keeping the sport from really taking off in other viable and exciting markets.”
Mark Toon, co-founder and managing partner of Work America Capital, a Houston-based early-stage venture firm, said that part of the issue with monetizing esports is that the industry took off “like a rocket,” while the technology infrastructure wasn’t there at the beginning to support it.
Mainline, he said, is able to help better standardize and organize the industry so that more players can participate and more teams can be created -– leading to “more money and bigger, better tournaments.”
The company says it will use its new capital to “enhance” its esports tournament software technology platform, on marketing and to hire more folks.
Tespa, a collegiate esports tournament organizer, counts 850 schools among its members in programs with nearly 20,000 players.