esports organisation Cloud9 has received a massive round of funding from – among others – the WWE. With $25 Million US in funding in its new round, the venerated esports team and player management company is set to enhance its team development, and also branch out into more leagues.
Investors for this round of funding include the Beverly Hills Sports Council; Raul Fernandez, co-owner of the Washington Capitals and Wizards; San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence; CAA co-founder Michael Ovitz; Founders Fund; and tech investors David Sacks and Bill Lee. And also, as mentioned, the WWE.
“At WWE, we are constantly looking to innovate through our venture portfolio, and eSports is particularly exciting to us,” says George Barrios, WWE’s CFO and chief strategy officer. “We believe Jack and the team at Cloud9, with their vision, enthusiasm and ability to execute, are the right partners.”
That marks what must now be the millionth non-endemic sports organisation to throw its hat in with esports. This new round of funding will help offset the franchise fees that the company has forked out, including its London spot in the Overwatch League.
“We didn’t really bring too much money into the company in [the seed] because we didn’t know what the franchise and entry fees were going to be,” Cloud9 CEO Jack Etienne told ESPN. “We didn’t know for sure which games we’d be a part of. It was a bit premature to have the sizable round that we ended up doing this time. It was always in the plan, even when we did our seed, we knew this was coming and the timing was going to be around when we knew what the franchising costs would be depending on what we were looking at. That’s what brought this on.”
Originally rooted in League of Legends, Cloud9 has since branched out into Counter-Strike, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros., Rocket League, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Vainglory. With this new funding, they hope to be able to build a dedicated facility for its players in Los Angeles.
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Last Updated: October 25, 2017