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AEG joins Immortals' ownership group as part of the "latest step" in its growing involvement in the $500m esports market
By Jon Chapple on 21 Jun 2017
AEG has upped its involvement in the burgeoning esports market with a strategic investment in one of the world’s leading teams.
As part of the investment, Immortals – which fields professional teams in North American League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Super Smash Bros, Overwatch and Vainglory leagues – will play their Los Angeles tournaments and matches at AEG’s LA Live entertainment district.
The deal marks “the latest step in AEG’s esports initiative”, says the global entertainment giant, after its partnering with the world’s largest esports promoter, ESL, last September, which will see ESL games played at several AEG venues.
AEG joins existing investors including Lionsgate, financier Michael Milken, Steve Kaplan, the co-owner of the Memphis Grizzlies basketball team, and Machine Shop, Linkin Park’s investment vehicle, as part of the team’s ownership group.
“Expanding our interests in esports is a natural progression”
“AEG prides itself on being a forward-thinking, innovative company and is committed to leading the way as the industry evolves,” comments Dan Beckerman, president and CEO of AEG. “Expanding our interests in esports is a natural progression as we continue to invest in growth initiatives that further our leadership in sports and live entertainment.
“LA Live offers state-of-the-art venues, production facilities and an unparallelled fan experience, and we have ambitious plans for the campus to become the epicentre of esports in Los Angeles. Through our partnership with Immortals, we are looking forward to exploring a variety of collaborative opportunities to further broaden the global appeal of esports.”
Immortals CEO Noah Whinston adds: “AEG’s unrivalled experience in the cross-section of sports and entertainment makes them an ideal partner for any organisation. Combined with Immortals’ competitive success and passionate fan base, this partnership provides unique and appealing paths forward to achieve our goal of creating the most exciting and fulfilling esports fan experience in the world.”
TEG in Australia and France’s Vivendi also have partnerships with ESL, as a growing number of promoters and other music businesses seek to claim a slice of the lucrative esports pie. The esports (competitive videogaming) market is predicted to be worth US$1.1bn by 2019.
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