The Madison Square Garden Company has announced that it has purchased a ‘controlling stake’ in esports organisation CLG. CLG are one of the oldest endemic League of Legends organisations still operating. The Madison Square Garden company holds ownership of multiple well known traditional sports teams, including Basketball franchise the New York Nicks.
The Madison Square Garden isn’t a stranger to esports, as it hosted the North American League Championship Series finals at the venue in 2015. Coincidentally, CLG lifted the trophy on that occasion. CLG currently have teams in multiple esports titles, including League of Legends, CS:GO, Overwatch and Super Smash Bros. The purchase by MSG will most likely be used to buy into the upcoming franchised League of Legends LCS system in North America, to keep the organisation in the esport.
George “HotshotGG” Georgallidis, owner and founder of CLG, said: “When CLG won at Madison Square Garden it was a defining moment not only for our team, but also our sport. It’s still only just the beginning for esports. We can’t wait to bring our teams and players to more fans on the world’s greatest stage. We believe MSG, with its exceptional infrastructure, world-class resources and loyal fan bases, will bring us to the next level of growth and exposure, and ensure we continue to compete at the highest levels.”
Jordan Solomon, Executive Vice President of MSG Sports added: “As esports moves toward franchise league models similar to the NBA and NHL, we intend to leverage our knowledge and insight into the business of professional sports to play an active role in the development of this exciting industry. We have incredible respect for George and the championship culture he has built, and look forward to utilizing our expertise in marketing partnerships, live events, and media rights to make CLG the pre-eminent New York esports franchise poised to thrive not only on the business side, but also in competitive play.”
The full announcement can be found here on CLG’s website.
Esports Insider says: This is a big move for CLG, as a company with the weighting of Madison Square Gardens and the New York Nicks brings mass exposure to a wide international market. With the organisation now set to be based out of New York, big moves will be on the horizon for the team. Surely the LCS will be first but could we see an OWL franchise in the making?