Rapper The Weeknd Invests in Toronto Defiant Parent Company OAM

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Rapper The Weeknd Invests in Toronto Defiant Parent Company OAM

Abel Tesfaye, otherwise known as the rapper “The Weeknd,” has reportedly invested in OverActive Media, parent company of the Toronto Defiant and Team Splyce.

The Weeknd has entered the esports realm with an investment in OverActive Media, the ownership team behind the Toronto Defiant and Team Splyce. The partnership will see Tesfaye operate as a “global ambassador” for OAM, and will work with the teams in “unique joint efforts.” There is no mention of what those joint efforts might be.

Tesfaye joins another rapper, Drake, who has also entered the esports scene recently. Drake is an investor in 100 Thieves, and recently invested in an esports start-up company called Players Lounge.

Chris Overholt, the CEO and President of OverActive Media, was excited about the Tesfaye partnership.

“We are thrilled to [to welcome] a global superstar like Abel to our investor family. Abel’s standing in the music industry will provide our Toronto Defiant and Splyce brands the opportunity to reach more fans and engage new audiences.”

That said, Tesfaye is an avid video game player, and judging by his “False Alarm” music video is really into first-person shooters. When he first met fellow rapper Bryson Tiller, his first words were about Call of Duty. For his part, Tesfaye marked himself an esports fan. He then expressed excitement about the partnership: “As a big esports fan, I am really excited to be involved in this project. I am looking forward to collaborating with OverActive Media in unique and innovative ways.”

Next in a long and growing line

Tesfaye joins a long line of celebrities and sports starts making entrances into the esports ecosystem. Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson have invested in esports teams, and the sport is continually breaking records in terms of both viewers exposure. Musicians, celebrities, and corporations are starting to view esports a marketing avenue.

Several teams are currently vying for Series A funding, while others are farther along in the process. Team Liquid, for example, recently raised $26 million in Series C funding last fall.

Nick Johnson
Nick "Lesona" Johnson is an esports journalist with a focus on CS:GO and the OWL. His interest for esports started with CS:S and grew into a career as both an esports writer and an avid fan, giving him a unique perspective on both the casual and professional scenes. Twitter: @Lesona_