As esports continues to mature and gain financial traction, investors are starting to take the business seriously. According to VentureBeat, the film studio giant Lionsgate and financier Michael Milken have invested an undisclosed amount in Brazilian esports team Immortals.
Additional investors in the professional team include Steve Kaplan, co-founder of Oaktree Capital and co-owner of The Memphis Grizzlies basketball team; investor Gregory Milken; Third Wave entrepreneur Allen DeBevoise; and CrossCut Ventures.
"Our involvement in esports creates tremendous opportunities to develop new content and utilise our suite of distribution platforms for a coveted consumer demographic with compelling engagement metrics. Collaborating with an elite group of partners, the combination of the Lionsgate and Immortals brands will be formidable," said Peter Levin, Lionsgate's president of Interactive Ventures & Games, in a statement.
This isn't the first time Lionsgate has made an investment into the esports business. Pilgrim Media Group, which Lionsgate holds huge stakes in, just last year announced a partnership with ESL to create esports content for broadcast media and other digital platforms.
Immortals were formed in September 2015 and has since acquired multiple pro teams to further strengthen the brand. With a fanbase now exceeding 200 million, the team has a vested interest in games such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, and Super Smash Bros.
Following the news, Immortals CEO Noah Whinston said in a statement "Lionsgate is the perfect entrepreneurial partner for our Immortals family. Immortals and Lionsgate are both focused on developing new entertainment formats, and we're thrilled to collaborate with them at the cutting edge of esports media."
Do you see more businesses investing in esports?