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E-SPORTS HAVE ATTRACTED MUSICIANS LIKE JACKSON WANG AND DRAKE

Some artists have upped the ante by including their money in the bet. The motivation for these musicians to enter the gaming industry is evident: the financial opportunity as well as the enormous impact of e-sports.

Music has always been a strong entertainment pillar. Streaming, concerts, souvenirs, and music licensing for various media are all part of a billion-dollar enterprise. In 2019, the recorded music industry made $21.5 billion, with $11.9 billion coming from streaming.

It’s a lot of money, but music isn’t the most successful entertainment industry. This business’s revenue isn’t even close to that of the film industry, which has consistently released blockbusters year after year.

The video game industry is anticipated to surpass $300 billion by 2025.

If you take a look at how well-developed they are, you will see that they are not playing. Its entertainment powerhouse also includes music and films that add to the game’s storyline. A quality music video for a new champion or skin is a must in League of Legends, as is the annual Worlds event. In reality, it has only recently been confirmed that this year’s edition will be made possible through a collaboration with Universal Music Group.

Others, though, grabbed the stage to announce their partnerships. Metallica has performed at gaming events, and Travis Scott and Marshmello have performed in-game in Fortnite. Even soundtracks are part of a mutually beneficial alliance – while games require good music to set the mood, gamers spend a lot of time engaged in their virtual worlds, listening to the same tunes. Both have a big impact.

Besides these options, some artists have decided to boost the ante by throwing in their coins. Seeing the huge potential (and profit) of gaming, these musicians own stakes in some of the most well-known esports organizations and teams.

JAY CHOU

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The Taipei Assassins, also known as TPA, are one of the world’s best esports teams. In 2015, the team was renamed the ‘J Team’ by owner and Taiwan celebrity Jay Chou.

Chou has taken some heat for it, but most agree it is the appropriate financial move to expand his Mr J empire of fashion, food, and talent management. The King of Mandopop already has an estimated net worth of $75 million, and maintains that gaming is a habit that came in useful when his young daughter needed night feeding.

STEVE AOKI

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Steve Aoki, an American DJ and producer, has long personified a forward-looking attitude towards video games and music. His entrance into competitive gaming deepened when he co-founded the US-based professional esports group Rogue. ReKTGlobal has since acquired it to “take Rogue to the next level”, but Aoki will remain a co-owner

A team in each of these games is currently active. It also liquidated its Overwatch branch, to Aoki’s dismay.

SEHUN

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AP eSports (the parent business of South Korean enterprise SeolHaeOne Prince) and Edward Gaming (a Chinese esports organization) named Sehun of EXO as the newest shareholder. According to AP eSports’ Chief of Games Kim Ok Jin, this is an endeavor to bring SeolHaeOne Prince into the worldwide spotlight as a competitive squad, which he feels would be successful with the help of Sehun, “who has dominated the global market in entertainment as an EXO member.”

In the meantime, we can expect SeolHaeOne Prince to keep working on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Valorant, and League of Legends, for which they hope to seek for a franchise in 2021. Heechul joined BRION E-Sports in June, another South Korean esport team poised to play in the League of Legends Champion Korea next year.

JACKSON WANG

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A Got7 member who is also a solo artist and entrepreneur, has teamed with Chinese esports organization Victory Five with Team Holding.

Jackson Wang and Victory Five founder Mario Ho have been planning to collaborate for over a year, according to the announcement made during the opening of Victory Five’s new home stadium. Jackson Wang says that despite his lack of gaming talents, he has always enjoyed gaming and wants to contribute in various ways to the business.

The two have been buddies since they met on King of Glory in 2017. Victory Five is a professional League of Legends squad in China, alongside JD Gaming, Invictus Gaming, and Edward Gaming.

POST MALONE

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On August 28, it was stated that the famed rapper had acquired ‘an unknown equity share’ in Envy Gaming, making him a co-owner of the company and its teams. Currently, Team Envy, Dallas Empire of the Call of Duty League, and Dallas Fuel of the Overwatch League.

Post’s decision was clearly not just based on financial considerations. He has previously livestreamed games like PlayerUnknown Battleground on Twitch. “I’ve always been a gamer and grew up in Texas,” he remarked. “Being a part of what Envy is doing in my hometown seems like a wonderful fit.”

Envy’s founder and CEO, Mike Rufail, agrees. “We talked about his enthusiasm for video games. He’s a genuine gamer who puts in a lot of effort and personality. I’m thrilled he’s investing and building with us.”

DRAKE

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Drake has a long history in esports. For one, he was a generous (financial) contributor to Players’ Lounge, a site where gamers can play in a friendly match with money on the line. A “lifestyle brand and gaming organization” known in the arenas of League of Legends, Valorant, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Drake has acquired 100 Thieves.

100 Thieves’ owners include musicians (Drake), talent managers (Scooter Braun), businessmen (Dan Gilbert), and the indispensable ex-pro, Mattew “Nadeshot” Haag (Matthew Haag). Drake is one of two strategic consultants, the other being Scooter Braun.

JENNIFER LOPEZ

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Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez have both achieved success in their respective careers, but they are not content with their achievements. The couple then invested in NRG, an American esports team that has participated in Apex Legends, Call of Duty, Rocket League, and more. The couple is reportedly eyeing the New York Mets, which isn’t too far from esports.

JJ LIN

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The pride and joy of Singapore’s Mandopop culture, has previously stated that he is an enthusiastic gamer, but in 2017 he launched an esports organization, Still Moving Under Gunfire (SMG). SMG has competed in various games with success, even winning the Arena of Valor World Championship in its inaugural year with its Taiwan-based team.

SMG has recently built an all-Singapore team for Valorant, a newly released hit multiplayer first-person shooter. JJ Lin describes his first local esports squad as “a milestone in [his] esports journey” and “extremely near to [his] heart”.

Lin is a Singapore Esports Association member.

THE WEEKND

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In April 2019, ‘The Weeknd’ (Abel Tesfaye) joined OverActive Media as a co-owner and worldwide ambassador. Founded in 2018, it is the parent business of Splyce and the Toronto Defiant of the Overwatch League.

This new squad might involve “unique combined efforts” throughout the year, Esports Insider reported. “Abel’s standing in the music industry will allow our Toronto Defiant and Splyce brands the potential to reach more fans and engage new audiences,” said OverActive Media CEO and President Chris Overholt.

As an esports lover, The Weeknd was thrilled to be a part of the initiative. I am excited to work with OverActive Media in new and creative ways.”

JAM HSIAO

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Other than Jam Hsiao, no one else in the Mandopop scene named their squad The Jams. The Jams announced their debut into the scene by contributing NTD 2 million to the victims of the earthquake in Hualien, where Jam’s mother is from. During their press conference, they offered competitors a minimum yearly income of NTD 1 million and the finest care for their team members.

Jam Hsiao’s last esports outing was in May, when he promoted Slam Dunk in Taipei as a basketball player.

IMAGINE DRAGONS

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Rogue’s growing global footprint isn’t just attracting Aoki. After ReKTGlobal became the organization’s parent business, Imagine Dragons joined the roster of co-owners and stakeholders, followed by DJ Nicky Romero.

In a statement, Imagine Dragons manager Mac Reynolds stated, “We’ve been exploring for new ways to give to this community for a long time, but we’ve never found the ideal fit until now.” And a short search will reveal that they are not only writers for League of Legends, but also gamers of it and many other games.

SEAN COMBS

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We all know Sean Combs as Diddy and Puff Daddy, but he is also a record executive, actor, and now an entrepreneur. In 2018, the multihyphenate stepped up his business career by investing $30 million in PlayVS alongside Adidas, Samsung, and other titans.

PlayVS is an esports start-up that provides “leagues, scheduling, and infrastructure” for high school and college players. In 2019, the organization obtained another round of funding, with Combs contributing significantly.

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