NFL star Russell Okung believes that watching video games could one day be as popular as watching NFL, as he contributes towards the $1.25m in seed funding raised by eSports start-up Matcherino.
Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Russell Okung believes one-day people will pay to watch video games, in the same way, they pay to watch NFL matches.
I’m not too sure.
Rewind 14-years ago and I was working in Bristol as a Traincrew Supervisor. The office had to be manned 24/7, 365 days per year, but on the weekends, the workload was minimal.
To pass the time of day, I would take my PlayStation into work. I started running FIFA tournaments between the supervisors and the shed drivers. Then one day there was only two of us in work. I was far better than him so he wouldn’t play me for money. We decided to select teams and let the computer operate both sides. We had bets on every game. The fact that we weren’t controlling the teams was irrelevant. We loved it every bit as much as watching a normal game.
This is why Okung is investing in a Seattle-based eSports start-up called Matcherino. Okung joined the Seahawks straight out of Oklahoma State University, five years ago, and he is the highest-profile investor to emerge from the first round of seed funding that has raised $1.25m.
Matcherino is a crowd-based funding platform that allows fans to request matches between popular streamers, and then raise money so participants can get paid. There is also the opportunity for players to collect funds so they can play against their favourite players. The start-up currently has a working relationship with Twitch but is hoping to form relationships with other streaming sites shortly.
The amount that Okung has personally invested remains undisclosed. The NFL giant is hoping to use the platform to host charity games sometime shortly.