Rico Nasty will headline SoundCloud’s first-ever gaming tournament

The Player One festival will be hosted by Esports streamer MonsterDface and promises to include plenty of 'Fortnite.'

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SoundCloud has built itself up as an ideal community for music-sharing in its 13 years of existence — and now it’s expanding into the world of gaming. The company today announced SoundCloud Player One, an online tournament promising to marry live music and game-streaming in one hot festival.

The Player One festival, which is set to take place on Thursday, February 18, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST, will be hosted by MonsterDface, an Esports commentator, and Rico Nasty will perform as the evening’s headliner. They’ll preside over a full-scale Fortnite tournament as well. All of the evening’s activities will be streamed live on SoundCloud’s Twitch channel and Facebook page.

“We’re always looking for ways to help our community discover, share, and grow relationships in real time, and it’s become more important now than ever before with the pandemic limiting in-person connection through channels like concerts and events,” Erika Leone, SoundCloud’s VP of Brand Marketing, said in a statement. “With so many of our creators and listeners sharing a real passion for gaming culture, we’re stepping into the gaming space for the first time to bring them together to engage in innovative ways and connect rising creators with new fans.”

Rico Nasty and MonsterDface are big enough names to bring a large viewership to SoundCloud’s first-ever gaming festival. And the company says there are more surprises in store, too.

There’s some fanbase overlap — An Esports tournament — and a Fortnite one, at that — comes as something of a surprise from SoundCloud. The platform has only ever really focused its efforts on being a place where artists can share their music without going through the traditional record-label processes.

But SoundCloud has also always been about building community and that’s the backbone of the Esports industry, too. SoundCloud also says it’s found that more than 49 percent of SoundCloud users identify as gamers.

There’s enough of an overlap between fans of SoundCloud and gamers that the strange link-up could just work in the company’s favor. Late last year SoundCloud achieved its dream of getting into fashion, and that unlikely pairing has proven fruitful thus far.

Streaming is the moment — Even if there wasn’t this fanbase overlap, though, the Player One tournament would be a savvy business move for SoundCloud for one simple reason: Esports are incredibly popular right now. Millions of people flock to Twitch every day to watch gamers do their thing. And Fortnite is one of the most popular games to stream, too.

With more surprises about Player One still yet to be revealed, the tournament is shaping up to be a big win for SoundCloud’s first entry into the gaming world.