Madison Square Garden Company Invests in eSports Team
The Madison Square Garden Company has invested in the well-known eSports organization Counter Logic Gaming.
While terms of the deal were not released, MSG has reportedly acquired a controlling stake in the team.
Counter Logic Gaming competes in a number of eSports games including League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The team competed in the League of Legends World Championships in 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016.
The team was founded in 2010 by George Georgallidis, who will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations, MSG said in a press statement. The team will also be able to benefit from the company’s ‘unmatched expertise in sports business, including marketing partnerships, media rights, event operations, ticketing, merchandise and fan engagement,’ the statement said.
Though MSG has hosted eSports events at Madison Square Garden—MSG hosted the 2015 North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Finals—the acquisition is its most significant investment in eSports by the company.
“Since then, as we have been actively exploring opportunities to enhance MSG’s portfolio of live experiences, we have been keenly interested in eSports as a natural extension of our core business,” said David O’Connor, MSG’s president and chief executive in a press statement. “The sport now stands on the verge of enormous change, which we believe has the potential to generate significant growth.”
In another eSports story, Geico announced it will sponsor amateur eSports tournaments through ELeague, the eSports league launched last year by Turner Broadcasting.
The Geico ELeague Amateur Series will begin with a Street Fighter tournament at the PAX West gaming festival in Seattle in September. Specifics have yet to be announced.
“We’ve had this goal to launch an amateur series, and cultivate an amateur audience, for a while now, and Geico shared our vision,” said Seth Ladetsky, senior vice president of sales at Turner Sports told Bloomberg News.