More Big Investment Flows to eSports

Another eSports team has secured notable outside investment. This time it involves the team formerly known as Team 8 — now, Immortals.

VentureBeat reports that “A bunch of gaming, tech, media, and sports executives have banded together to acquire a respected esports team and rebrand it as the Immortals.”

That “bunch” is an A-list of names: “The investors include venture capitalists and executives including Peter Levin (investing on his own), president of Lionsgate Interactive Ventures and Games; Steve Kaplan, Oaktree Capital principal and chairman and co-owner of the Memphis Grizzlies; Allen Debevoise, chairman of Machinima; Gregory Milken, March Capital Partners managing director; Paul Rappoport, chief operating officer of the Xprize; Brian Lee, cofounder of Legalzoom; Akinobu Yorihiro, U.S. CEO of Japanese media company Yoshimoto Kogyo; and Machine Shop Ventures, the venture arm of rock band, Linkin Park.”

The plan appears to be growth. Said Immortals CEO Noah Winston: “Immortals is starting with a League of Legends team, but expect to see us expanding rapidly into other top eSports like Counter Strike and DOTA 2. We recognize that the best way to grow the Immortals franchise is to work in conjunction with other team owners across every title to help the entire eSports ecosystem expand in a healthy way. We look forward to industry-wide conversations about sustainable business practices, competitive regulation, and player treatment and representation.”

According to the Los Angeles Times: “Clinton Foy, who cobbled together Immortals and is its chairman, wants to create the ‘next-generation franchise.’ The Los Angeles venture capitalist said the goal is to create teams in several different competitions. Through media rights deals, sponsorships, ticket sales and more, Immortals should become profitable.”

“’We’ve all been following the rise of eSports, and at its core we all love it and we saw its potential,’ Foy said.”


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