Long before being announced as an investor in and member of the ownership group of the Minnesota franchise of Activision Blizzard’s upcoming geolocated Call of Duty League, Gary Vaynerchuk had his eye on the esports industry.
“I’ve been really paying attention in the back row for four to five years,” he told The Esports Observer. “I literally remember when Justin.tv became Twitch, and so it’s been on my mental radar for a little while.”
As the chairman of media holding company VaynerX and CEO of digital agency VaynerMedia, Vaynerchuk is one of the most visible investors to enter esports to date. The 43-year-old transformed his family’s wine shop into an online success story beginning in the late ’90s, and has gradually parlayed that momentum into a large social media presence (with several million followers across platforms), five New York Times bestselling books, angel investments in tech giants such as Twitter, Facebook, and Uber, and many other opportunities.