Earlier this week, the Philadelphia 76ers became the first North American professional sports franchise to own an eSports team. Now, the trend continues with the news that renowned eSports outfit Team Liquid has sold controlling interest to aXiomatic, an ownership group that includes figures such as basketball legend Magic Johnson and entrepreneur Tony Robbins.
aXiomatic is spearheaded by Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber and Washington Wizards co-owner Ted Leonsis. Guber and Leonsis are co-executive chairmen of aXiomatic and will “be joined by a group of leading strategic partners in building their broad based esports enterprise,” according to an official statement on Team Liquid’s website.
Team Liquid is an all-encompassing banner for a roster of eSports competitors who play a large swath of different video games on the professional circuit, from “League of Legends” to “Super Smash Bros.” Team Liquid was also the subject of Business Insider’s three-part documentary about the world of eSports, “League of Millions.”
As to what this means for Team Liquid’s day-to-day operations, it’s difficult to say. Victor Goossens and Steve Arhancet will continue their roles as co-CEOs of Team Liquid, with Goossens promising a blog post detailing the partnership “in the coming weeks.”
Beyond that, no specific details were given as to how this will affect Team Liquid going forward. But you can bet the team will now have more financial backing than before, at the very least.
This isn’t quite as big an event as the Phildelphia 76ers organisation taking an eSports team under its wing, but it bodes well for the future of eSports as a legitimate moneymaker in North America. It seems particularly appealing to NBA players, as Magic Johnson now joins Rick Fox and Shaquille O’Neal as former hoops stars with some investment in eSports teams.