CMU Startup Togael has officially launched with their debut eSports tournament. The first blood, as the gamers would say, started with a Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament that drew competitors from West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania for a sweet victory and prize pool.
Throughout the school year Will Flanagan IV (the latest in a multigenerational media dynasty) and Harish Karumuri worked on Togael. Their original business plan of a eSports Concierge Service won third place at CMU’s Hack-a-Startup competition. The Togael event entitled Tilted focused on creating a grassroots contest.
The Simmons Auditorium was filled with players including some world ranking Smash Bros players who were camera shy. Players unloaded cars filled with LCDs and CRTs paired to their appropriate consoles. The main tournament played on the large screens, and commentators rotated giving everyone a chance to talk trash.
In the state of Pennsylvania, the state eSports is a fragmented at best. There are at least three companies trying to crown themselves the king of event hosting. The most well known eSports entity in the race, the Pittsburgh Knights, are locally known as Team Let Down. This event was no exception, as the Knights were a no-show.
Where Togael hopes to differentiate itself is by playing the connector between sponsors and players. On full display was the underpinnings of the next generation of Togael. Flanagan is a showman organizing brands like a ringmaster directs a circus. He’s not only building hype as he commands the room, but hopefully multi-million dollar startup. All of this, is just his first act.
In the rapidly growing market of stadium eSports, Togael is a company to watch.