Riot Games acquired interactive media technology start-up Kanga with the intention to include the company in its League of Legends, VALORANT, Teamfight Tactics and Wild Rift broadcasts. According to Riot’s announcement on Twitter, “the Kanga team will join Riot’s Global Digital Esports group, where it will focus on developing digital fandom features and experiences for fans of Riot’s esports.”
We’re excited to welcome the team from @KangaGG to Riot!
— Riot Games (@riotgames) October 14, 2021
Kanga is a company out of New York, focusing on the technological interactivity between fans and events. Jake Perlman-Garr, the founder and CEO of Kanga, started the company back in 2018 with a focus on esports and gaming. The company’s first focus was creating “fan-hubs” that offer exclusive content, merchandise and include overlays for esports streamers or event streams. They gained popularity through those useful programs, including positive feedback from Marc Merrill, the co-founder and co-chairman of League of Legends. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic moving esports events offline, that role became more relevant. Now, Riot aims to improve its digital content with the Kanga team.
Digital interactive content for fans
For example, another esports event that will include more digital content is DOTA 2’s The International 10, where Valve introduced ways of cheering for teams to replicate live fans in the arena. Similarly, Kanga aims to take on more digitally interactive endeavors with Riot Games’ events — from big tournaments like VALORANT Champions in Dec. to their League of Legends events.
Perlman-Garr commented on the recent move to Riot. “Riot’s bold vision for esports is unparalleled across gaming,” he said. “We just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to contribute our expertise in audience engagement and gaming fandom to the mission.”
Luke Cudney, the director of esports product management at Riot Games, also commented on the acquisition. “We are thrilled to have Jake and his team join us in our quest to make the world better for esports fans,” Cudney said. “Kanga represented the very rare and perfect mix of talent, shared vision, passion and value alignment. I am so excited by what we are building together to foster deep, meaningful fan participation with esports.”