Another big deal in the burgeoning eSports business ecosystem, as an AEG Immortals investment will up the sports giant’s presence in competitive eSports while also bringing more events to the firm’s Los Angeles facilities.
AEG is a giant when it comes to facilities management, controlling 120 clubs, theaters, arenas and stadiums. In Los Angeles, AEG controls the Staples Center and the Microsoft Theater as part of the L.A. Live sports and entertainment complex. With the Immortals investment, the eSports firm has access to AEG facilities for qualifying events, tournaments and world championships.
Since it was founded in 2015, Immortals has built an organization that competes worldwide for more than 200 million fans in global tournaments including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Overwatch and Super Smash Brothers.
This is the second eSports investment for AEG in recent months. Last September, the company entered a long-term global partnership with ESL, the world’s largest eSports company, as a driver of events to AEG facilities.
“AEG prides itself on being a forward-thinking, innovative company and is committed to leading the way as the industry evolves,” said Dan Beckerman, President and CEO of AEG in a press release. “Expanding our interests in esports is a natural progression as we continue to invest in growth initiatives that further our leadership in sports and live entertainment. L.A. Live offers state-of-the-art venues, production facilities and an unparalleled fan experience, and we have ambitious plans for the campus to become the epicenter of esports in Los Angeles. Through our partnership with Immortals, we are looking forward to exploring a variety of collaborative opportunities to further broaden the global appeal of esports.”
“AEG’s unrivaled experience in the cross-section of sports and entertainment makes them an ideal partner for any organization. Combined with Immortals’ competitive success and passionate fan base, this partnership provides unique and appealing paths forward to achieve our goal of creating the most exciting and fulfilling esports fan experience in the world,” said Immortals CEO Noah Whinston. “Whether it’s through hosting events at AEG’s world-class venues, such as L.A. Live, allowing fans unprecedented access to our team and players, or the seemingly endless well of talent and business experience AEG brings to the table; this partnership marks an exhilarating milestone for Immortals and its fans.”
AEG joins an ownership group that includes Managing Director of Crosscut Ventures and Chairman of Immortals Clinton Foy; CEO Noah Whinston; Lionsgate and Lionsgate President of Interactive Ventures & Games Peter Levin; former financier and philanthropist Michael Milken; co-founder of Oaktree Capital and co-owner of the Memphis Grizzlies Steve Kaplan; Managing Director of March Capital Partners Gregory Milken; Third Wave entrepreneur Allen DeBevoise; Redpoint Ventures partner Brad Jones; former SVP and General Counsel at Activision Greg Deutsch; Machine Shop, the venture capital arm of the band Linkin Park; Upfront Ventures partner Greg Bettenelli; and former Honest Company CEO Brian Lee.