Overwatch League, Rainbow 6, Call of Duty World League, Rift Rivals Cut
Updated: Apr 16, 2019
As Esports grows to become a big hit throughout the world, it's no surprise that it has caught the eyes of big investors. Traditional sports teams have already begun to planted their flags into a burgeoning esports scene.
Teams from the NBA were some of the first investors to have permanent esports teams. Rick fox, former L.A Laker and NBA champion invested into a League of Legends LCS team, the appropriately named team echo fox. Since echo fox’s start in league, they have branched out into the fighting game community with dragon ball fighterz, street fighter v, and super smash bros. Their aspirations aren’t stopping there, as Echo Fox has even started to make preparation to enter fortnite and apex legends. Even the New York Yankees have made major investments in the echo fox organization.
100 thieves of Call of Duty fame were similarly invested in by an NBA team. Cod pro turned celebrity Matthew “nadeshot” haag formed a partnership with the NBA's Cleveland cavaliers who have been supporting growth in the team. With the Cavalier’s assistance, 100 thieves has become permanent teams in both Call of Duty and League of Legends, and are making forays into Fortnite.
Whereas 100t received an investment, clutch gaming is owned by the Houston rockets. Clutch is looking at establishing themselves in fighting game community and with battle royales, such as fortnite and apex.
Another 2 other teams in similar positions to clutch are the product of their nba benefactors. Flyquest joined the league of legends scene in 2017 and they’re owned by co-owner Wes Edens of NBA team, the Milwaukee bucks. Unlike clutch gaming though, flyquest has another team in the lcs academy, and are also expected branch out into the fighting game and battle royale community.
Yet a second NBA esports team with an LEC and LCS academy team is golden guardians. There has been any news on them branching out but there has been talks on new partnerships happening soon.
The Miami Heat also hit an investment with misfits gaming, there have been talks about them starting their own esports team but no news has gotten out.
It’s clear that classical sport organizations are seeing huge potential in esports franchises. Moving on from team investments, what about celebrity investments?
Leading Esports brand NRG is known to have a star-studded line up of celebrity backers including NFL players Marshawn Lynch, and the retired Michael Strahan, pop artist Jennifer Lopez, and more.
Esports team Rogue is co-owned by well-known DJ Steve Aoki who takes an active role in promoting both the team and the brand itself.
While traditional sports always bring something different to the table when backing up their teams, having large and established organizations put their time and resources behind these new esports teams, only indicates the growth of the burgeoning esports industry. Current projections claim that, in the united states, esports will have more viewers than any traditional sport except for NFL by 2021.
And so, we have to leave ask the question - is it only a matter of time before esports becomes mainstream? Or has that time already arrived?
Make sure to come back tomorrow to see what else is new in esports news.
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