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Volume 26 No. 232
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Joe Tsai Buys Minority Stake In Berlin-Based G2 Esports

Nets Owner Joe Tsai is "buying a minority stake" in G2 Esports for $10M, which values the Berlin-based franchise around $100M, according to sources cited by Eben Novy-Williams of BLOOMBERG NEWS. G2 is "hoping to use the investment from J Tsai Sports -- and Tsai's expertise -- to expand in Asia, more specifically China." Esports are "incredibly popular" in that country, but Western teams "have yet to fully penetrate." The hope is that Tsai's experience building e-commerce giant Alibaba in China "will help give G2 an edge." The organization is not "looking to build gaming teams in China, but it is working to attract followers through video and social media." Mandarin speakers, writers and videographers have been hired to help G2 "cross the cultural divide." G2 counts 10 teams over a variety of games, including a "franchised slot in Europe's main League of Legends circuit." The organization plans to open an office in N.Y. next year, which will allow for the "possibility for increased collaboration" with the Nets and Barclays Center (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 12/10).

SECOND ROUND OF FUNDING: ESPORTS OBSERVER's Tobias Seck notes this is the "second investment raised by G2 Esports this year and brings the company's total amount raised" in '19 to $27.3M. The organization in February raised a $17.3M growth funding round "led by several New York City-based investment groups" including Seal Rock Partners, Parkwood Corporation, and Everblue Management, as well as several tech and sports entrepreneurs (ESPORTS OBSERVER, 12/10).