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PvPRO: online eSports tournaments

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Organized competitions have always been a part of video game culture, but over the last decade eSports have evolved significantly in both the number of professional players participating and the prizes involved. With a growing audience that represented 6bn total viewing hours in 2016 and championships that gather tens of thousands in physical attendance, eSports are reshaping the entertainment industry itself.

Based in Athens, PvPRO is an innovative company aiming to provide a secure platform where gamers can gather online and participate in tournaments. “We wanted to create something new for the gaming community, to be part of this revolution”, explains Stamos Venios, the company’s CEO.

PvPRO began in 2015 when Stamos, then working in San Francisco, realized the potential of this new market. He decided to return to Athens to set up his company: “It might have been easier to set up shop in the USA, but we wanted to bring our accumulated knowledge back home and show that it’s not just Silicon Valley that can do this. I love my country and working with people here. Sure, it was difficult at first, with capital controls and the relative instability, but if we all leave, then what’s left?”

To support his business, Stamos secured an equity investment from PJ Tech Catalyst Fund, a venture capital fund backed by EIF. Combining financing with hands-on support is a key feature of equity investments: “Even though this field is not something most funds understand, PJ saw the potential immediately. They brought in a lot of expertise and connections, and have been instrumental in getting us where we are today. You really need someone like that, that pushes you to the next level” Stamos explains. “The funding for the start-up scene in Greece is a great opportunity for my generation. It gives hope to people and creates jobs. It’s our chance to achieve something.”

Developing the complex algorithms required to support the platform meant expanding the team, and the financing was used to hire 12 additional full-time employees. “As cliché as it may sound, we had to find the right people, passionate about the job, combining industry expertise with business acumen.” Stamos says. “That is indispensable when you are competing at a global level.” Currently number two in the world, PvPRO are convinced that they can still do much more for the gaming community.

Company: PvPro (Greece)

Type of business: eSport

EIF financing: JEREMIE

Financial intermediary: PJ Tech Catalyst

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Greece, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/el

 

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