North American esports powerhouse Cloud9 is suddenly sitting on a multi-million dollar war chest.
After securing a close to $3 million equity funding in November last year, the organization announced a Series A funding by a group of prominent sports investors yesterday. Cloud9 didn’t specify the amount of the investment but LA Times reports it’s “at least several million dollars.”
The investment group is led by Daniel Fiden of FunPlus Ventures, the $50 million investment fund of Chinese video game company FunPlus, and also includes prominent current and former athletes, traditional sports team owners, and popular tech and internet entrepreneurs.
Among the investors are San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, Tesla board members Antonio Gracias and Kimbal Musk, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly, San Francisco 49ers Hall of Famer Joe Montana, NBA center Andrew Bogut, and Golden State Warriors co-owner Chamath Palihapitiya, to name just a few.
“We’ve formed a fantastic group of investors to help push Cloud9 to the next level,” said Jack Etienne, co-founder and CEO of Cloud9. “With this investment you can expect Cloud9 to continue our expansion into the esports market while maintaining an exceptional experience for our players.”
The investors were confident about their choice in Cloud9.
“Jack Etienne has done an impressive job building a world class organization,” Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian said. “He’s thinking long-term, regularly engaging with his fanbase, and continuing to lead Cloud9 toward a bright future.”
Joe Montana, Liquid 2 Ventures co-founder and NFL Hall of Fame quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, added:
“Cloud9 is a fantastic organization that has shown throughout the years that it has what it takes to continuously contend for championships in multiple esports titles.”
Cloud9 is among North America’s most popular esports brands and was crowned Best Esports Team in the 2016 Game Awards.
While the organization wasn’t specific about how it’s going to use the money, it’s likely preparing to bid for a team spot in the highly-anticipated Overwatch League that’s set to start in the third quarter of 2017. It’s been rumored that Blizzard is seeking millions for these spots.
Other than that, a multi-million dollar war chest should put Cloud9 in a position to deal with just about whatever comes its way.