Scott Bednarksi is no stranger to the Australasian esports space, formerly managing and founding the legendary Australian esports organisation; Vox Eminor. It was announced last night that Scott has played a pivotal role in raising $2,500,000 USD for a global esports tournament platform, XY Gaming.
XY Gaming has access to over 100,000 registered users, whilst also having hosted over 16,000 tournaments to this current date. It’s been said that XY Gaming plan on using this investment to enhance their advertising and better the direction of their brand engagement.
Highlighted direct competitors for XY Gaming are well known platforms such as FaceIt, ESL and Battlefy. Although it’s clear that the amount raised wouldn’t be enough to compete on the scale of ESL; with their intentions of enhancing their marketing and advertising, we could see XY Gaming compete in a strong capacity online.
Who is Scott Bednarski?
Most notably to those around the Australian esports industry, Scott was the Founder and General Manager for Vox Eminor. His day to day tasks at Vox Eminor included meeting sponsorship deadlines, maintaining partnerships, managing professional teams and maintaining the upkeep of their online platforms.
Following the fall of Vox Eminor, with the Counter-Strike team being shipped off to the Renegades, Scott began work with XY Gaming; who he has now helped raise $2,500,000 USD. He has been a part of this brand for six years now, taking on roles in marketing and community management. Outside of his marketing responsibilities, Scott has gone on to manage talent. Most notably, Azad “Topgun” Orami.
Prior to his success with Vox Eminor and beyond, Scott began his esports career the way that most veterans of the industry did, via grass-roots. Scott’s competitive career started back in 2000, competing in national championships and attending his first overseas event in 2006 with the likes of Apoc, who still to this day competes; under Avant Gaming. One of Scott’s competitive career highlights was being a Counter-Strike: Source player back in 2007, representing Australia as a “franchise player” on America’s “DirectTV 101” for the “Championship Gaming Series”. Scott went on to showcase in all media and interview responsibilities for the Australian franchise at the event.
Upon the inception of Vox Eminor, which was born at the start of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Scott went on to acquire players such as Azr, Topgun, Snyper, Havoc and Spunj. Vox Eminor went on to be a household name for Australian Counter-Strike players. Four of those players went on to join the Renegades a few years later. Following the departure of his Counter-Strike team to Renegades, it seems the rest was history; as he then went on to secure his roles in the corporate world of esports.
XY Gaming Raise
Scott mentioned in a statement to us that this raise had been a culmination of over a years work. Although most of the finalising work came from XY Gaming’s CEO, Aaron Fletcher, Scott went on to say “prior to us finalizing investment, I had to first have soft commits and interest with major global brands that were actually interested in our product and services.” He then went on to mention that discussions were had with companies such as Nike, Gillette, DollarShaveClub and more.
When questioned on how XY Gaming came to securing this amount of money, Scott highlighted three points to us. “Proof of concept and market fit is a big part of it. We had to hit a certain amount of users and show that we had major brands wanting to work with us prior to being able to have due diligence done on the company,” said Scott.
“A great team was needed to have been put together to secure this investment. Our biggest achievement so far is the team we have had since the beginning of XY Gaming,” Scott continued.
Concluding with his final point, “A lot of time and money needed to be used while looking to hit the targets of raised money. As the saying goes, you need to spend money to make money.”
View on Australian Industry
Whilst in contact with Scott, we were curious as to what his opinions were on the Australasian esports industry and what he thinks needs to be done to raise similar amounts of money. “Most investment firms here in Australia are more focused on mineral rights, mining, fin-tech, medicine and because of this, there is extreme competition for technology and gaming.” Scott said.
“With that being said, because it’s so competitive, they tend to want to take a huge chunk of company share. To put it bluntly, move overseas or seek overseas investment if you want to raise money fast.” concluded Scott.
When asked if he believes a raise like this is achievable in the Australasian region, Scott went on to say “It’s a tough question to answer really. For an Australasian company looking to raise capital, it is obviously possible. But for an esports based company it is extremely difficult, due to having a much smaller population and industry compared to other global scenes.”
Despite the challenges mentioned by Scott, two notable companies that have raised capital in the Australasian market for esports are ICON Esports and LetsPlay.Live. Who have both used their piggy banks to make aggressive acquisitions to further their businesses; The Chiefs Esports Club and Cyber Gamer.
Congratulations to Scott and the team at XY Gaming for their success in North America. It’s inspiring to see people from this region looking to find their feet overseas and succeeding in doing so. We are sure that this won't be the last we hear of Scott, as he has a massive road ahead of him, along with XY Gaming. Good luck to everyone involved!
Written by Ben Scott
Edited by Adam Taylor