This week in esports: J Lo, Cloud9, T-Mobile and Coco Fuzion


There’s certainly been no shortage of big money flying around esports this week with several teams closing funding rounds for multi-million dollars and two further non-endemic deals which are also substantial in size. 

The two organisations that have closed funding this week are NRG and Cloud9, two teams that both have an Overwatch League spot secured. It’s likely that a significant portion of the funding will be orientated around the OWL considering the rumoured hefty investment necessary to be involved.

Away from teams raising funding, T-Mobile has partnered with Riot Games for Worlds and Astralis now has an “official hydration partner” in Coco Fuzion 100. 

Jennifer Lopez amongst NRG investors

NRG is in the process of finalising a $15m (£11.2m) venture capital funding round.

New Yorker Jennifer Lopez is amongst those to have participated in the Series B financing round which also included personalities such as Michael Strahan, Marshawn Lynch and ex-New York Yankees man Alex Rodriguez. 

NRG is a team that already has considerable celebrity presence with Shaquille O’Neal amongst its owners. The San Francisco based organisation revealed its Overwatch line-up on the same day that news of this investment came to light. 

The team will relocate to Los Angeles for the Overwatch League which kicks off on January 10th. 

NRG is a team that’s been growing considerably over the past year; it acquired Northern Gaming in August and partnered with Asus Republic of Gamers back in April. It now counts them, in addition to Hyper X, Logitech and more. It currently operates rosters in CS:GO, Hearthstone, Rocket League, For Honor, Super Smash Bros, SMITE, Vainglory and World of Warcraft. 

Read the full article here.

Cloud9 raise $19.7 of $25 million funding in latest financing round

Esports juggernaut Cloud9 has raised $19.7 million (£14.68m) of a potential $25 million (£18.6m) in equity financing in its latest financing round.

The figures are revealed in an SEC filing from earlier this week. The filing states that the “Total Offering Amount” was $25,000,019, with $19,702,231 sold and thus $5,297,788 “Remaining to be Sold”. 

Due to the nature of the SEC filing, no further information on who the investors are have been revealed. The only tell-tale signs are the replacement of Dan Fiden, the CSO of FunPlus on the filing with Andy Zhong, the CEO of FunPlus and Brian Singerman, a partner at Founders Fund who was also involved in an initial round of investment for Cloud9. 

The latest round of funding comes after Cloud9 has secured a spot in the Overwatch League, nabbing the London franchise spot and is arguably well positioned to snag a spot in the newly franchised North American LCS following Riot’s plans revealed earlier this year. 

Read the full article here.

Coco Fuzion 100 become Astralis Hydration Partner

Leading Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team Astralis has entered in another big non-endemic partnership, this time with Coco Fuzion 100. The partnership sees the beverage brand named the team’s Hydration Partner.

The partnership comes with a rhetoric of gaining the edge with small percentage improvements, including that of hydration and healthy diet. Whereas traditionally we’ve seen beverage giants such as Monster and Red Bull dominate the sponsorship space, we have seen more activity from other drink brands. We saw Unicorns of Love partner with a water brand, Gerolsteiner a few months back so the deals are becoming more and more common. Mail Online sources suggest the deal is worth seven figures in dollars, although this has not been confirmed.

Read the full article here.

T-Mobile and Riot partner up for Worlds 2017

Mobile operator giants T-Mobile have taken their recent esports infatuation to another level by sponsoring Riot Games‘ League of Legends 2017 World Championship.

The deal follows on from news of T-Mobile partnering with North American esports giants TSM and Cloud9 as recently as last month.

statement on the League of Legends esports site said Riot were “proud” to be announcing the deal. The communications company will act as presenting sponsor of a new segment for the Worlds 2017 broadcast entitled ‘The Best of the Rift’, which celebrates the tournament’s outstanding players each week. The feature will spotlight the stars and celebrate the best performances across the competition.

Read the full article here.