Gen.G, primarily based out of Seoul and Los Angeles, ranks No. 7 on the listing, value $110 million, an enterprise worth of ten occasions its 2018 estimated gross sales.
After promoting cellular gaming firm Kabam to South Korean gaming writer Netmarble for $700 million, CEO Kevin Chou began Gen.G in 2017. He negotiated to purchase the Seoul Dynasty in Blizzard Entertainment’s newly shaped Overwatch league, which started competitors in January. He paid $20 million for the franchise, estimated by bankers to be value three to 4 occasions that right now. It’s now the corporate’s most respected asset and one in every of seven recreation titles, together with globally common League of Legends, Fortnite and cellular’s Clash Royale, by which the corporate fields an expert workforce. Unlike different corporations in our rating, Gen.G has operated with out outdoors funding. Instead it belongs solely to Chou, his former Kabam homeowners, and Arthur Hur, the corporate’s chief development officer and supervisor of South Korea operations.
The Seoul Dynasty completed the inaugural season eighth in league standings, failing to make the playoffs. It nonetheless scored massive with followers although. Its 190 million social media followers, greater than 3 times the inhabitants of South Korea, and 96 million subscribers to its YouTube and Twitch accounts, make it the second-most-popular workforce within the league, behind the Dallas Fuel. Its continental neighbors, the Shanghai Dragons, have 99 million social followers and 5 million streaming subscribers (and a last-place end within the Overwatch season).
Unique to the Dynasty is its feminine fanbase. “Around 38% of our fans are women, primarily 18-24 years old,” says Chou, himself 38. Last yr, Gen.G’s send-off occasion because the Dynasty left for competitors within the U.S. bought out 1,500 tickets in 90 seconds–nearly all to girls. Chou ascribes this to not teen heartthrob fascination however to ardour for victory … and correct look: “The top request from the female fans: The players should show up to the event in suits.”
Gen. G is advertising these gamers as the following era of influencers. “We’ve done collaborations with pop stars including the Korean-American rapper pH-1, Amber Liu of the K-Pop group FX, and even made a track produced by Davidior, producer for DJ Khaled and Justin Bieber,” says Hur, 33. “We’ve done activations with Nike and Hypebeast, which helps our fans see a different side than the one just wearing the jersey and playing their favorite game.” –C.S.