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."