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Monumental Sports & Entertainment invests in Team Liquid, leading eSports team

Monumental Sports & Entertainment invests in Team Liquid, leading eSports team

Monumental Sports & Entertainment has made a major investment in the eSports space. 

According to a Business Wire press release Tuesday morning, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, led by Ted Leonsis, has partnered with Peter Gruber (co-owner of the Golden State Warriors, L.A. Dodgers and future MLS club Los Angeles F.C.) to purchase a group called aXiomatic, which obtained a controlling interest in Team Liquid. 

Here's the complete list of parties involved in the investing group. 

  • 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

A close look at the list reveals a who's who of investors associated with Washington, Bay Area and Los Angeles sports in addition to tech and e-commerce companies. 

Some prominent names include NBA legend Magic Johnson, who also purchased a minority stake in Gruber's Dodgers, and Steve Case, who co-founded AOL. Also note Lerner Enterprises, the ownership group of the Nationals.

Team Liquid has been a leader in the eSports world for 15 years. It currently fields 10 teams and a roster of 50 professional players competing in StarCraft 2, League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, CS:GO, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, Halo, Street Fighter, and SSBM.

According to reference website eSportsEarnings.com, Team Liquid has competed in 202 tournaments so far in 2016. It raked in $2,513,540.96 in prize money, good for No. 5 in the world in winnings. 

Team Liquid announced the move on their official website under the banner "Wizards, Warriors and Magic: A Strategic Partnership." 

Original founders Steve Arhancet and Victor Goossens will continue as co-owners and continue to lead Team Liquid as CEOs of the company.

"I will always be a fan at heart - a gamer who fell in love with League of Legends. I followed that heart and built a team that is now shaping the future of esports, but there are still so many opportunities that we want to explore," Arhancet said in the Business Wire release. "With our new ownership group leading the charge, I am certain that we can grow from a premier esports team to a powerhouse sports entertainment franchise."

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U.S. men's hockey pulls out win after entering 3rd period tied

U.S. men's hockey pulls out win after entering 3rd period tied

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- Ryan Donato scored two power-play goals and Troy Terry dominated with his speed as college players led the United States to an important 2-1 victory over Slovakia on Friday at the Olympics.

Donato, who plays for his father Ted at Harvard, delivered the kind of offense USA Hockey wanted when it picked four NCAA players for its no-NHL Olympic roster. Donato, Terry and American Hockey League scoring star Chris Bourque were all additions to the U.S. after the pre-Olympic Deutschland Cup in November, during which the U.S. struggled to score, particularly against Slovakia goaltender Jan Laco.

Laco was on top of his game, stopping 29 of the 31 shots he faced. Only this time, the Americans' young skill that coach Tony Granato hoped would bring energy and spark the team came through.

Goalie Ryan Zapolski made 21 saves for his first Olympic victory, which is crucial considering only the top four of 12 teams avoid the qualification round Monday. With the regulation win, the U.S. vaults to the top of Group B with four points. Slovakia was second with three, followed by Slovenia and Russia.

The U.S. faces Russia in each team's final preliminary-round game Saturday night.

The Americans didn't have a shot on net until six-plus minutes into the game when defenseman Noah Welch finally got the puck to Laco.

All it took to get the U.S. offense going was a Slovakia penalty that gave Terry and Donato some room to operate. Terry sped through the offensive zone and took two Slovakia defenders with him, dropping the puck to a wide-open Donato for his first power-play goal of the game to put the U.S. up 1-0 at 7:10.

Just 25 seconds later, Andrej Kudrna scored on a tip of a Tomas Surovy shot that slipped under Zapolski's right arm for a tying goal the 31-year-old goalie probably wants back.

Bobby Butler had a semi-breakaway late in the first and Laco got his blocker on it. A couple of second-period power plays yielded offensive-zone time but not a goal, and a borderline goalie interference penalty on Boston University's Jordan Greenway made penalty killers work hard to keep it tied.

After a too many men on the ice call on Slovakia, Bourque, another son of a former NHL player, fed Donato, who spun around in front and went five-hole on Laco to score the game-winning goal with 17:09 left.

Team USA Women outshoot but can't outscore Team Canada in first meeting at 2018 Olympics

USA Today

Team USA Women outshoot but can't outscore Team Canada in first meeting at 2018 Olympics

GANGNEUNG, South Korea  -- Meghan Agosta and Sara Nurse each scored in the second period and defending Olympic champion Canada clinched the top spot in pool play by edging the United States 2-1 on Thursday in an early showdown between the dominant powers in women's hockey.

Genevieve Lacasse made 44 saves, including stopping Hilary Knight at the post inside the final 90 seconds. Brianne Decker hit two posts, the second time coming in the final seconds, before the two rivals ended up in a scrum. Officials reviewed the final play and ruled no goal. The Canadians also had two goals disallowed.

Kendall Coyne scored the lone goal for the Americans.

Canada and the United States are the only countries to ever win gold at the Olympics. The Americans won gold in 1998 when women's hockey joined the Olympics, while Canada is here looking for a fifth straight gold medal for the country that created the sport.

They played eight times last fall through a pre-Olympic exhibition tour and the Four Nations Cup. The United States won two of the first three, but Canada now has won five straight against their biggest -- and only -- rival in the sport.

The United States certainly had plenty of chances, including Knight being stopped on a breakaway.

After missing on a penalty shot and hitting a post late in the second, the Americans got on the board when Coyne raced through four Canadians and scored 23 seconds into the third period.

Canada thought briefly it had the first goal of the game with 3:15 left in the first period, but Melodie Daoust and captain Marie-Philip Poulin were in the crease with the play blown dead. The official immediately signaled no goal.

Agosta put Canada up 1-0 at 7:18 of the second on the power play. With Megan Keller in the box for interfering with Poulin, Natalie Spooner in her 100th international game spun and hit Agosta in the slot with a backhanded pass. Agosta's shot went off Rooney's glove and in for the goal.

Nurse scored at 14:56 with a shot from the left circle that went off Rooney's elbow. Laura Stacey appeared to be offside as Canada brought the puck into the zone, but the United States did not challenge.

Officials awarded Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson a penalty shot at 16:08 of the second after Canadian forward Haley Irwin placed a glove on top of the puck in the crease amid a pile of bodies in the crease. Lamoureux-Davidson, who scored the fastest back-to-back goals in Olympic history in the U.S. win over Russia, went too slow and got the puck caught near her right foot before a backhand Lacasse easily deflected.

U.S. coach Robb Stauber started Maddie Rooney, his youngest goalie with all three of the U.S. wins against Canada.