In a massive change for Australian esports organization Tainted Minds, today it has announced that it’s been acquired by a group of private investors and will rebrand to ICON Esports.
Founded in 2012, Tainted Minds has seen teams compete nationally and globally in Rocket League, CS:GO, and Call of Duty, amongst other titles.
“I am extremely excited that we can take our fans, players and partners on a journey to the next chapter of our story and also be involved in the evolution of our business,” Nick Bobir, CEO and Founder of Tainted Minds, said in a press release. “Having watched the landscape go through some big changes over the past five years, we understand the importance of adapting and scaling with that market growth.”
ICON’s investors have a wide variety of experience across traditional sports, logistics, technology, sports marketing, media, and finance. The investors include:
Raymond Burke – Chairman of Highlanders Super Rugby
Edward Abbot – CEO of QMS Sport
Mathew Davey – Founder & CEO of Ticketdirect
Nathan Taylor – Managing Director for Capital Markets at Commonwealth Bank
Adrian Whittingham – Executive Director, Pinnacle Investment Management
As part of the acquisition, the organization headquarters will relocate from Brisbane to Sydney. A high-performance training center is also apparently in the works, although no additional information about the center was given. ICON management will continue to be based in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Adelaide, allowing ICON a truly national presence.
“ICON embodies and represents our strive to deliver great things to not only our fans and communities but also our players and staff,” Bobir said. “Stay tuned for a few exciting announcements coming out over the next month.”
The deal has been in the works for a while, already having public activations under its belt. Hundreds of fans descended upon the trampoline park Sky Zone Miranda in Sydney in December, where Tainted Minds held the first ICONCreative program event to educate young kids and their parents on the benefits and possible career opportunities within esports. Off the back of the success of this event, ICON plans to roll out more educational events nationally.
Adrian Whittingham, one of the new investors behind ICON Esports, shared Bobir’s excitement, “The new ownership group has a strong track record in building businesses and is committed to the strategy and vision of ICON. We have seen outstanding brands such as Cloud9 and Liquid be high performers with their teams as well as establishing other business initiatives to build their brand and community. Whilst we recognize Asia-Pacific is a smaller market, ICON has a clear strategy to become a leading esports firm in the region.”