Diddy helps high school sports league secure $30.5M in funding

High school esports league and platform PlayVS closed out its Series B funding round with $30.5 million from key investors including Adidas, Samsung, and even Sean “Diddy” Combs, according to a press release.

PlayVS brings esports to high school students, giving them access to competitions and even scholarships for university. As esports grows, so does the pool of interested investors. In its Series A funding round, PlayVS secured $15 million— an impressive figure which might have contributed to founder and CEO Delane Parnell’s inclusion in the Forbes’ 30 under 30. The young entrepreneur said he is “honored” by the contribution of the LA Dodgers for Series B funding.

The Series B funding was led by Elysian Park Ventures, which is the private investment firm of the Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group.

Tucker Kain, CFO of the LA Dodgers and managing partner of Elysian Park Ventures, commented on the major investment.

“We strive to be at the forefront of innovation in sports, and have been carefully searching for the right investment in esports,” said Kain. “With PlayVS, we have found a model that works, built on a powerful platform that delivers an unparalleled player experience and will have a profound impact on the future of youth sports across the country.”

In addition to funding, the esports league also secured major deals with Psyonix, the publisher of “Rocket League,” and Hi-Rez Studio, publisher of “SMITE,” a free-to-play MOBA.

These partnerships mean new competitions and opportunities for high school students, as explained by Parnell.

“One of the reasons we’re most excited about esports is accessibility,” Parnell said. “With this new round of funding and the addition of ‘Rocket League’ and ‘SMITE,’ we’re able to take another huge step forward as we open the pathway for more students to compete and be recognized in the burgeoning esports industry.”

The inaugural season for PlayVS will start Feb. 25, and students and schools can register on the PlayVS website until Feb. 8.

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Sean 'Diddy' Combs and Cassie together
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Sean 'Diddy' Combs and Cassie together
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Cassie Ventura and Sean Combs attend the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images)
Sean Combs (L) and singer Cassie Ventura arrives for the 2018 Met Gala on May 7, 2018, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. - The Gala raises money for the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Costume Institute. The Gala's 2018 theme is Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27: Sean Combs, Diddy, Cassie Ventura arrives at the Clive Davis and Recording Academy Pre-GRAMMY Gala on January 27, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Granitz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27: Sean Combs, Diddy, Cassie Ventura arrives at the Clive Davis and Recording Academy Pre-GRAMMY Gala on January 27, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Granitz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27: Cassie and Sean 'Diddy' Combs attend Roc Nation THE BRUNCH at One World Observatory on January 27, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 14: 2017 Cassie Ventura and Sean 'Diddy' Combs attend REVOLT Music Conference - Gala Dinner & Award Presentation at Eden Roc Hotel on October 14, 2017 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Revolt Music Conference)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 16: Sean 'Diddy' Combs (L) and Cassie attend the 'Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story' dinner hosted by Sean 'Diddy' Combs & Naomi Campbell presented by Apple Music at Loulou's on May 16, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Apple/Sean 'Diddy' Combs)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 15: P Diddy and Cassie Ventura arriving at Umu restaurant in Mayfair on May 15, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by GORC/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: P. Diddy and Cassie at 'Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons:Art of the In-Between' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jackson Lee/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Sean 'Diddy' Combs and Cassie attend the 'Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by J. Kempin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 27: Dancer Cassie and rapper/actor Sean Combs attend the world premiere of 'Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story' co-supported by Deleon Tequila during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festiva at Beacon Theatre on April 27, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images for Deleon Tequila )
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: Sean 'Diddy' Combs (R) and Cassie Ventura attend the Boys & Girls Harbor Salute To Achievement at David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center on September 26, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Sean Diddy Combs and dancer Cassie attend the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 21: Cassie (L) and Sean 'Diddy' Combs aka Puff Daddy pose backstage during the Puff Daddy and The Family Bad Boy Reunion Tour presented by Ciroc Vodka and Live Nation at Barclays Center on May 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation )
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 01: Cassie Ventura and Sean 'Diddy' Combs attend XS Lounge on May 1, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 07: Sean Combs and Cassie Ventura attend the premiere of 'The Perfect Match' at ArcLight Hollywood on March 7, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
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