Today Skillz, the worldwide leader in mobile eSports, announced the addition of Kent Wakeford to its board of directors. Mr. Wakeford was Chief Operating Officer at Kabam, one of the fastest growing mobile game developers in the world, where he scaled the company from 30 employees to over 1000. Kabam and its spinoff studio Aftershock were acquired earlier this year in a series of transactions by Netmarble Games Corp. and 20th Century Fox for a total price of nearly $1 billion.
“Skillz solves two of the most challenging problems facing the $46 billion mobile gaming industry, monetization and discovery, by enabling competitive play,” said Wakeford. “eSports are one of the fastest growing segments in the video game industry, and Skillz is leading the way on mobile by powering competitions for thousands of indie developers as well as iconic franchises like Street Fighter.”
Among his achievements, Mr. Wakeford oversaw the publishing and distribution of six games that grossed more than $100 million each, including “Marvel: Contest of Champions” and “The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-Earth.” In addition, his team launched five games that each earned Apple Editors’ Choice awards and fostered a portfolio of titles that were installed by over 300 million people around the world.
Since selling Kabam, Wakeford has turned his attention to eSports. In addition to joining the Skillz board of directors, Mr. Wakeford recently became co-owner of an Overwatch eSports team franchise with Kabam co-founder Kevin Chou. In an announcement last week, Activision Blizzard indicated that along with Wakeford and Chou, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, Immortals CEO Noah Whinston, Misfits CEO Ben Spoont, NRG CEO Andy Miller, and Chinese media company NetEase all became franchise owners for the inaugural Overwatch League.
“As a seasoned technology executive and a successful founder, Kent’s strategic leadership will be a key asset on our board,” said Andrew Paradise, CEO and founder of Skillz. “Kent’s business acumen and gaming expertise will be invaluable as we continue to help developers make games better by delivering eSports to the world’s 2.6 billion mobile gamers.”
An industry veteran, Mr. Wakeford brings over 18 years of digital entertainment, eSports and video gaming experience to Skillz, which recently became the first eSports company named to the CNBC Disruptor 50 list. Wakeford helped grow Kabam from a venture-backed startup to a billion dollar powerhouse, and will help Skillz scale as it continues to define the future of eSports.
Skillz, the leading mobile eSports platform, connects the world’s 2.6 billion mobile gamers through competition. Over 12 million gamers use Skillz to compete in mobile games across 3,000+ game studios. Skillz awarded more than 46 percent of all eSports prizes and broadcast over 40 million minutes of footage to spectators worldwide in 2016. Founded in 2012, Skillz is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by leading venture capitalists as well as the owners of the New England Patriots, Milwaukee Bucks and New York Mets. To learn more, visit www.skillz.com.
Skillz, the leading mobile eSports platform, connects the world’s 2.6 billion mobile gamers through competition. In 2017, Skillz was named the #1 fastest-growing private company in America by Inc. Magazine, the first eSports company on CNBC’s Disruptor 50, and the only eSports company on the San Francisco Business Times Fast 100. Over 12 million gamers use Skillz to compete in mobile games across 3,000+ game studios. Founded in 2012, Skillz is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by leading venture capitalists as well as the owners of the New England Patriots, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Mets and Sacramento Kings. To learn more, visit www.skillz.com.