Earlier this week, the Philadelphia 76ers became the first NBA team to buy an eSports team. Just a couple days later, two other teams followed suit and buy their own eSports franchise.
Early Tuesday, Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber and Washington Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis joined together to purchase the eSports franchise known as “Team Liquid.” This comes days after the 76ers bought two eSports teams.
What’s most impressive by the purchase is the other investors Guber and Leonsis got to buy in to the eSports purchase. Others included in the purchase are AOL co-founder Steve Case, Hall of Famer and co-owner of the Dodgers Magic Johnson, Dodgers CFO Tucker Cain, and former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones, among others.
“The key to our future success will be to bring the resources and resourcefulness of our ownership group to Victor [Goossens], Steve [Arhancet] and the team they built,” Guber told reporters.. “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.”
Goosens and Arhancet, who Guber mentioned previously owned Team Liquid, will remain co-CEOs of the team after the sale.
Going forward, Forbes is reporting that Guber and Leonsis are working together under a group known as “aXiomatic,” which hopes to build an eSports enterprise that goes beyond simply Team Liquid. Starting with Team Liquid was smart, as the eSports franchise is one of the more popular and successful ones.
This sale began approximately 10 months ago, meaning it’s been a long time coming for NBA owners to start purchasing eSports franchises. It also makes sense the process took a while as Guber and Leonsis had to bring in the other investors.
It will be interesting to see if and how Guber and Leonsis use their new eSports franchise to help their NBA teams. While it’s unlikely they will at all, it is still a possibility. Regardless, can you imagine stadiums eventually being built for fans to watch eSports? That would be nuts.