AEG Makes Second eSports Investment With Immortals


AEG Invests In eSports Team Immortals (Graphic: The Next Level)

AEG Invests In eSports Team Immortals (Graphic: The Next Level)

TNL Take: For eSports owners with decent teams, popular fan following but more importantly - being business savvy - it's like mid-1800's California gold rush or mid-1980's Los Angeles crack era: the money is pouring in.

eSports team Immortals raised another round, this time from massive sports and entertainment conglomerate AEG. Immortals were also one of the first teams to receive investment related to the NBA with Memphis Grizzlies co-owner Stephen Kaplan back in November 2015:

TNL Infographic 027: NBA Investment In eSports (Graphic: Jordan Fragen)

TNL Infographic 027: NBA Investment In eSports (Graphic: Jordan Fragen)

This investment makes sense for a number of reasons:

  • AEG is based in Los Angeles just like Immortals
  • Immortals already has an impressive investor list including Lionsgate, Crosscut Ventures, Michael Milken, Machine Shop Ventures, March Capital Partners, Kaplan and others
  • Immortals will play their events at LA Live, an AEG venue
  • The music, entertainment, and content production opportunity


This is also the second investment within eSports, having first signed a long-term partnership with ESL to host their events at AEG's locations including Barclay's Center, Oracle Arena and London's O2 Arena; which all have held eSports events previously.


While the round was undisclosed, you know I'm going to take a stab anyway: I'd venture that it was at least $10M+ - more on why that amount when we get to the recent Overwatch League "news" Soon™

Cloud 9 Raises Funding From Athletes and Pro Sports Owners


Cloud9 Owner Jack Etienne On The Right (Photo: Activision)

TNL Take: eSports team Cloud9 funding round from a slew of investors across the Sports and Tech world finally is public.

As I mentioned in December, Cloud9 raised $2.8M based on an SEC filing but the investors weren't disclosed.

I predicted for a while now the San Francisco 49'ers would invest in a team/athlete - but they haven't, instead investing in - Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Elon Musk could be potential investors.

I was pretty damn close.

Here are the Sports and Tech community that invested in Cloud9:

  • San Francisco Giants Athlete Hunter Pence
  • Tesla Board Members
  • LA Dodgers Co-Owner Todd Boehly
  • Former San Francisco 49ers Joe Montana
  • NBA Athlete Andrew Bogut
  • Golden State Warriors Co-Owner Chamath Palihapitiya

A few things.

First, congrats to Jack and the entire Cloud9 team for this funding. I only wish the best for eSports team owners and the hard work they've put in over years.

Here's what has and what has not been reported.

The LA Times wrote the story with the following headline with my Tweet addressing it:

My Tweet About Cloud9 (Photo: Twitter)

Probably a coincidence but the new headline is:

LA Times Changed Headline For Cloud9's Funding (Photo: LA Times)

Based on the vast number of investors and the amount raised - these are more likely small investments across the board.

Why do I say this? Because I have Cloud9's term sheet. I won't reveal the pre-money valuation as it's confidential.

While a consortium of Pro Sports owners and athletes (axiomatic) bought Team Liquid, the Dodgers invested again with their Co-Owner Todd Boehly.

If you still don't believe that traditional sports and eSports will eventually merge, there are way too many investments to not believe at this point.

I still raise the question about why an NFL team hasn't invested directly but I think I know why.

Yesterday, I spoke with NFL athlete Ricky Lumpkin for The Next Level eSports Guest Podcast and he offered his thoughts. Currently being mastered by Metro Boomin and will be out next week.

TNL eSports Guest Podcast 004 With Ricky Lumpkin (Photo: The Next Level)

There are only a few teams left in the US that have strong teams across a slew of games, experience and owners that know how to manage.


Investors, time to get that checkbook out.

Cloud 9 Raises $2.8M


eSports Team Cloud 9 (Photo: Cloud 9)

TNL Take: If you still don't believe that Pro Sports and eSports will provide a symbiotic relationship, here are 20 examples.

Now we can add some more big names to the list.

According to an SEC Filing found via TheScore eSports, Cloud 9 has raised $2.8M and looking for $3M total.

Now the investors weren't disclosed but I'm going to make a guess.

Blizzcon 2016 (Photo: John Stephens)

Who's in that picture above at Blizzcon 2016?

  • Patriots Owner Robert Kraft
  • Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick
  • Rams Owner Stan Kroenke
  • Cloud 9 Owner Jack Etienne


I'm guessing not.

Back in July in The Next Level 032, I predicted these NFL teams would be the next to invest in eSports:

Excerpt from The Next Level 032 (Photo: The Next Level)

My guess on a few that invested in Cloud9 - The Kraft's and Elon Musk

Every other large North American eSports team owner is very happy right now.