SBD/August 1, 2017/Finance

MSG Co. Makes First Esports Investment, Buys Controlling Stake In Counter Logic Gaming

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MSG Co. yesterday confirmed its "acquisition of a controlling stake" in esports team Counter Logic Gaming, marking the company's first competitive gaming investment and "signalling a diversification in their portfolio of partnerships," according to Ellis Hyman of ESPORTS OBSERVER. CLG is currently the "oldest active 'League Of Legends' team," having been founded in '10. CLG also "runs squads in five other games" (ESPORTSOBSERVER.com, 7/31). ESPN.com's Jacob Wolf noted the deal will be the "first time" CLG has "taken on formal investment." Sources said that the deal was "brokered" by Catalyst Sports & Media Exec VPs Avi Bhuiyan and Bryce Blum. Over the past two years, MSG has "hosted esports events in four of its venues" (ESPN.com, 7/28). L.A.-based law firm Latham & Watkins represented CLG in the transaction (Latham & Watkins). ESPORTS PRO's Jake Tucker wrote the breadth of CLG is "probably the reason for the acquisition," which gives MSG "huge reach in the esports world." As competitive gaming has grown, MSG has "clearly seen the worth in having a home team advantage." CLG will "continue to run the day-to-day business of esports" and Owner George Georgallidis will be "staying on to manage the teams" (ESPORTS-PRO.com, 7/31).
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