On Wednesday, it was announced that Memphis Grizzlies co-owner and co-executive chairman Steve Kaplan had increased his stake in esports team Immortals.
Image: Immortals team logo (Credit: Immortals)
The investment from Kaplan is the third big move from NBA team owners this week with regards to esports. As previously documented, Team Dignitas was purchased by the 76ers whilst Team Liquid was bought out by an array of investors including Magic Johnson and the co-owners of both the Wizards and the Warriors.
Immortals was created following an acquisition of Team 8 in September 2015 and Kaplan was amongst the initial investors. Peter Levin, the President of Interactive Ventures and Games at Lionsgate, told GamesBeat that Levin is now a “major shareholder” at Immortals and will also join the company’s board.
Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals took to Twitter to say:
“Working with guys like Steve Kaplan gives me confidence in the future of our industry. Big things are coming.”
Esports Insider says: It’s been a remarkable week for investment in esports with this the third big investment from NBA into esports in just a matter of days. It’s clear that NBA have noticed the potential for esports as a huge spectator sport and it may only be a matter of time before we see investors from other disciplines enter the market.