Cloud9 today announced that it is partnering with investment firm Guinevere Capital in a strategic deal that will give the firm logistical control of the team’s Overwatch esports interests, the London Spitfire and Team British Hurricane.
The LA-based esports team organization purchased the only European franchise slot in the Overwatch League prior to its inaugural season in 2018 and won the league’s first championship that year.
In a press release, however, Cloud9 president Dan Fiden said that building a fan base in the team’s geolocated market would be challenging because of the organization’s U.S. roots.
“When we connected with the team at Guinevere, their backgrounds in traditional sports, media, and esports in Europe, this convinced us that they’d be the right partner to build the business with,” Fiden said. “The city-team process has been very successful in generating local fan bases that go beyond esports. It’s important for us to work with a partner that understands the city-based structure and how to maximize the potential this can offer. For London Spitfire to develop strong connections to fans and partners having local support is vital.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. But Guinevere, which has a minority stake in UK-based esports organization Excel Esports, will be responsible for helping secure marketing partnerships for the Spitfire and Hurricane as well as build the teams’ local fan base.
Guinevere has enlisted former Minute Media senior VP and GM of esports Duncan McMonagle to lead partnership efforts for the brands. Additionally, former HP marketing manager Jason Spiller will be brought in to build “connections with local fans” and create “weekly content for fans across the UK.”
Despite being branded as a London team, the Spitfire will continue to hold its team operations in Korea, where all of the team’s players hail from.