Following the acquisition of Team Dignitas and Apex Gaming yesterday by NBA franchise Philadelphia 76ers, other big names announced their entry into Esports this morning: Team Liquid has sold a controlling interest to a group of investors under the group aXiomatic. Among the major names in the investment group are formed NA star and co-owner of the LA Dodgers in the MLB Magic Johnson, the co-owner of the Washington Wizards and Capitals Ted Leonsis, Golden State Warriors executive Peter Guber and technology entrepreneur Bruce Stein, who will serve as aXiomatic’s CEO.
According to the release, Team Liquid co-CEO’s Steve Arhancet and Victor Goossens will continue to serve their respective roles within the organization, and will also serve as directors.
“The recognition that Esports has received over the past few years has been awe-inspiring, and the hobby that our fans and I share can now be counted among the biggest competitions in the world. This partnership will give our current and future players opportunities that I could only dream of when we started. Peter, Ted, and Bruce share the same ambitions that Victor and I have been working toward, and I am excited to learn as much as I can from them,” said Arhancet in a note published on Liquid’s official website.
“Watching Team Liquid grow from a community site into one of the biggest esports teams in the world has been nothing but a joy for me, and this is just the next step in our growth,” said Goossens. “I am proud we share the same vision as this ownership group for the team and for Wsports as a whole, and I know that we will work well together.”
“Steve and Victor impressed me with all that they have done with Team Liquid and I am truly excited to work with the best people across a broad spectrum of businesses to create a unique Esports enterprise,” said Leonsis. “This company has the potential to create all new experiences for Esports audiences worldwide.”
“The key to our future success will be to bring the resources and resourcefulness of our ownership group to Victor, Steve and the team they built,” Guber said. “Ted, myself and the individuals that comprise our ownership group have an enormous wealth of experience and talents across virtually every major media and sports business category.”
The investing co-ownership group includes, according to the release:
- Monumental Sports & Entertainment – One of the largest sports and entertainment companies in the country, Monumental owns and operates professional sports teams such as the NHL’s Washington Capitals, NBA’s Washington Wizards, WNBA’s Washington Mystics and the AFL’s Washington Valor
- Magic Johnson – Hall of Fame basketball player and serial entrepreneur
- Steve Case – Chairman & CEO Revolution, Co-Founder of AOL
- Donn Davis – Co-Founder of Revolution and Managing Partner of Revolution Growth
- Dick Glover – Representing Mandalay Sports Media and their current President and CEO, former EVP of ESPN, former CEO Funny or Die.
- Tony Robbins – Entrepreneur, philanthropist, and life & business strategist
- NextVR – Industry leading VR company specializing in live VR sporting events for FOX Sports, NBC Sports, HBO/Golden Boy, etc.
- Alan Shapiro – CEO of Dick Clark productions
- Mike Mahan – President of Dick Clark Productions
- Lon Rosen – EVP, Chief Marketing Officer of the Los Angeles Dodgers
- Tucker Kain – CFO, Los Angeles Dodgers and Managing Director, Guggenheim Baseball
- Rick Welts – President, COO of the Golden State Warriors
- Brandon Schneider – SVP Business Development of the Golden State Warriors
- Kirk Lacob – Assistant General Manager at Golden State Warriors, Co-founder of imoji
- Harry Tsao – General Partner of Juvo Capital, Co-founder of Juvo+
- Paul Schaeffer – Vice Chairman, COO of the Mandalay Entertainment Group
- Jason Sugarman – Founder, Chairman, CEO of Valor Group Holdings
- Blake Byers – General Partner of Google Ventures (GV)
- Chad Byers – Co-founder and General Partner of Susa Ventures
- Mark Scher – Founder, Principal of Scher Investment Group
- Jordan Rambis – VP Development IDW, tech/esports consultant
- Fred Schaufeld – Managing Director SWaN & Legend Venture Partners
- Zachary Leonsis – VP and General Manager of Monumental Sports Network
- Eric Lefkofsky – Co-founder of Groupon, Innerworkings, Echo, Uptake Technologies and Lightbank
- Brad Keywell – Co-founder of Groupon, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Lightbank, CEO of Uptake Technologies.
- Lerner Enterprises – Managing principal owners of the Washington Nationals MLB team, Owners of Lerner Enterprises
- Tom Kartsotis – Founder, CEO of Bedrock Manufacturing (owner of Shinola and Filson), founder of FOSSIL
- Russ Ramsey – Chairman, CEO of Ramsey Asset Management, co-founder of investment firm Friedman, Billings, Ramsey
- Jeong Kim – Chairman of Kiswe Mobile; Former President of Bell Labs
- Mark Ein – Chairman of Kastle System, CEO Capitol Acquisition Corp, Founder and Owner of World TeamTennis franchise the Washington Kastles
- Crane Kenney – President Baseball Operations, Chicago Cubs
- Larry Barden – Chair, Management Committee at Sidley Austin LLP
- Dhani Jones – Entrepreneur; Investor; TV Host; Former NFL Linebacker
- Tony Nader – Managing Director SWaN & Legend Venture Partners
- Paul Strauss – EVP Mandalay Pictures
More coming soon