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eSports teams attract more outside investment

Steve Aoki buys a stake in upstart Rogue as Memphis Grizzlies owner ups his share of League of Legends Championship Series squad Immortals

Outside investment into eSports has ramped up in a big way lately. Following on the heels of acquisitions of Team Dignitas and Team Liquid by the Philidelphia 76ers and a consortium of executives tied to numerous pro sports teams, respectively, two more eSports squads have scored investment from outside the gaming world.

As reported by ESPN, electronic dance music giant Steve Aoki announced at TwitchCon this weekend that he has invested in Rogue, which competes in Overwatch and Counter-Strike. In addition, Memphis Grizzlies co-owner Stephen Kaplan last week upped his own stake in the League of Legends Championship Series team Immortals, according to VentureBeat. Kaplan is now a "major shareholder" and new board member for Immortals, which also competes in Overwatch, Counter-Strike, and Super Smash Bros.

"As many of my fans know, I've been a gamer all my life and have been getting more and more involved in eSports," Aoki said of his investment. "I can finally take my love for gaming to the next level as an owner of Rogue, the professional esports team. As an avid player of Overwatch, their dominance caught my eye and after getting to know them, I realized that we shared the same goals and interests in team building and competition."

Rogue only formed in May of this year, and Aoki will be hands-on with managerial and brand development as the team grows.

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Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry International in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at CBS-owned GameSpot in the US.

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