Discover Lasell

A Digital Slam Dunk

March 26, 2019

Tim Kelleher '18 pitched his startup venture, Dreadnought eSports, at an event last month with local business leaders in the "N-Squared Innovation District" in Newton and Needham, Massachusetts.

Dreadnought eSportsThe event - a student startup pitch competition and networking session called "Innovate 128" - brought students and recent alumni from institutions including Babson College, Bentley University, Olin College of Engineering, and Brandeis University together to explore opportunities in the local innovation ecosystem. Kelleher represented Lasell College and met with individuals he continues to converse with about his company.

Dreadnought eSports has experienced steady growth in its first year, and Kelleher has ambitious goals for its future in the growing eSports industry. The relatively new sector - which is similar to but not the same as fantasy sports - involves teams of players that are managed by a company, such as Dreadnought. The players train daily, much like an athlete would, though their platform of choice is digital arena such as Fortnite or CS:GO.

Kelleher founded Dreadnought after his time with another eSports organization, Cynetic. The Belgium-based company hired Kelleher to lead its North American division in early 2018. The opportunity was short-lived due to a merger, but Kelleher's desire to keep his teams' momentum going led to the start of his own company.

Kelleher and his team - which includes Lasell student interns - promote players on social media (an active ground for eSports), recruit sponsors, and support teams at global competitions. And while it is an enjoyable experience, Kelleher is careful to note that at the end of the day, this is a business - it goes beyond fun and games.

"Dreadnought provides a professional experience for these players," he says, noting that not all eSports organizations provide that level of support. He compares the personal touch and player investment to that which you would expect from a professional baseball organization - something he is very familiar with, having interned for the Boston Red Sox and the Cape Cod Baseball League.

In the next year, Kelleher hopes that his team will grow its social media following by 300 percent, recruit more teams, double the number of streamer-only players on his site, and increase sponsorships. On top of that, he recently pitched a tournament opportunity to MGM Springfield, where top CS:GO teams in North America would compete in person in early October.