Sep 27 2016 - 3:30 pm

Team Liquid sells controlling interest to group including Wizards and Warriors owners, Magic Johnson

Team Liquid has sold its controlling interest to an ownership group that includes influential names from tech company founders to professional sports legends
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports

Team Liquid has sold its controlling interest to an ownership group that includes influential names from tech company founders to professional sports legends.

The new ownership group, AXiomatic, is led by Mandalay Entertainment Group CEO Peter Guber and Monumental Sports & Entertainment CEO Ted Leonsis, which combined own a total of seven national sports teams including the Golden State Warriors, Washington Capitals, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. NBA legend Magic Johnson is also a member a of the investment group.

Despite selling its controlling interest, Team Liquid’s management team, Steve Arhancet and founder Victor Goosens, are still active owners and co-CEOs and will eventually serve as directors of the project.

The interest shown from traditional sports in esports has exploded in the past year. Former and current NBA players including hall of famer Shaquille O’Neal, Rick Fox, and Boston Celtics power forward Jonas Jerebko have invested into esports teams and organizations over the past several months. Just yesterday, the Philadelphia 76ers acquired a majority stake in Team Dignitas and Team Apex. “There's no denying the fact that esports presents corporate America with a way to reach millennials in a way stick and ball sports just isn't,” 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil told ESPN yesterday.

In a press release on the deal, aXiomatic’s newly appointed CEO Bruce Stein said that the group had been looking to get into esports for nearly a year. “Ten months ago when we began this process, our goal was to find the perfect blend of team and strategic ownership group to build a totally unique esports enterprise. With Victor, Steve and the intellectual, experiential and reputational capital of our ownership group we expect to win big in this dynamic space.”

Jan 17 2017 - 10:33 pm

These are the first four teams confirmed for the IEM World Championship

Eight teams will be competing at one of the largest international League of Legends events.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Riot Games

Half of the teams slated to compete at one of League of Legend's largest international events in 2017 have been announced.

The IEM World Championship will once conclude at IEM Katowice in Poland in March after roughly four months worth of competiton across three international events. Eight teams in total will be attending the event. Earlier today ESL revealed the first half that are slated to compete at the event.

The first four teams that will attend are Europe's H2K and Unicorns of Love, North Americans Cloud9 and lastly the Eastern European M19 squad, which was formerly known as Albus NoX Luna.

A majority of teams attending the event have been invited based off of their performance in the 2016 League World Championship. Additionally the victors at IEM's events in Oakland and Gyeonggi, which were won by Unicorns of Love and Samsung Galaxy respectively.

Reigning world champions SKT T1 and Chinese supersquad EDward Gaming have also secured invites to the event after reaching the quarterfinals of the 2016 World Championship, but have not confirmed their participation yet.

Eight teams will be competing at the event in total, though the final contestants are yet to be decided. None of the competitors representing the East Asian League Master Series were able to advance from the group stage. They also failed to qualify through IEM Oakland or Gyeonggi.

The IEM World Championship will take place from Feb. 22 to 26.

Jan 17 2017 - 8:11 pm

The spring NA LCS finals are coming to Vancouver

NA’s biggest League of Legends event is returning to Canada.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Riot Games

For the second season in a row, the North American League Championship Series will reach its conclusion in Canada.

Following the explosive confrontation between TSM and Cloud9 in the 2016 Summer Split finals in Toronto, the 2017 Spring Split finals will take place in the 20,000 seat Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver from April 22-23.

Riot has not announced when tickets for the event will go on sale, so Canadian fans and those looking to attend should keep their eyes peeled. 15,000 fans attended the 2016 NA LCS Summer Split finals last year, completely filling the Air Canada Centre, which should indicate just how high demand for tickets is.

This marks the NA LCS' second-ever final abroad, as seven of the league's eight finals haven taken place in locations around the U.S. Compare that to the EU LCS, which has been spoiled in terms of its show being taken on the road, as the tournament has visited a multitude of countries since its inception—including Poland, the Netherlands, England, and France.

The NA LCS 2017 Spring Split is set to start on Jan. 20.