This week in esports: Drake, Michael Jordan, Nike, Forsaken, Overwatch League

This week in esports has been one of the biggest for a while – with non-endemic figures from traditional sports and entertainment entering the industry in some way. From Drake investing in 100 Thieves to Michael Jordan getting involved with Team Liquid’s parent company, here’s what happened over the past week.

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100 Thieves completes Series A funding round, welcomes Drake and Scooter Braun as co-owners

Grammy-winning recording artist Drake and entertainment industry heavyweight Scooter Braun have both become co-owners of 100 Thieves after leading the organisation’s Series A funding round.

Both figures will act as strategic advisors for Nadeshot’s brand, with Braun also joining its board of directors.

Read the full article here.

Michael Jordan invests in aXiomatic, Team Liquid’s parent company


Michael Jordan, NBA Hall of Famer, is one of a handful of new investors that are now involved with aXiomatic, the parent company of Team Liquid.

$26 million (£20,293,390) was raised through a Series C funding round, with Curtis Polk, Managing Partner of Charlotte Hornets and Davud Rubenstein, Co-founder of Carlyle Group also investing.

Read the full article here.

Uzi signs endorsement deal with Nike

Uzi Nike

Jian “Uzi” Zihao, a League of Legends player for Chinese organisation Royal Never Give Up, has signed an endorsement deal with American sportswear and apparel giant Nike.

Uzi appears alongside Chinese actor Bai Jingting and LeBron James in the “Dribble &” campaign, which advertises James’ “Shut Up and Dribble” docuseries.

Read the full article here.

ESIC concludes investigation on Forsaken, issues five-year ban

Forsaken ESIC

Esports Intregrity Coalition (ESIC) has concluded its investigation on former OpTic India player, Nikhil “Forsaken” Kumawat.

Forsaken was proven to be cheating at both eXTREMESLAND 2018 Asia Finals and ESL India Premiership 2018 Fall, and has received a five-year ban at tournaments ran by members of ESIC – including ESL, DreamHack, and NODWIN Gaming.

Read the full article here.

Atlanta’s Overwatch League franchise unveiled as Atlanta Reign

Atlanta Reign

Atlanta Reign was the first brand of the eight new franchises in the Overwatch League to be announced.

Owned by Atlanta Esports Ventures – a company founded by Cox Enterprises and Province, Inc, Atlanta Reign’s colours are light grey, charcoal grey, and red with the logo featuring a phoenix & royal crest.

Read the full article here.

Toronto’s Overwatch League franchise revealed as Toronto Defiant

Toronto Defiant

Funded by the OverActive Media Group – with Splyce as its operational partner – the Toronto Overwatch League franchise will be named the Toronto Defiant.

The brand’s main colours are black, red, white, and grey; its entire ethos is to “represent the strength, character, and resiliency of Toronto”. Six of the eight expansion slots still haven’t announced their branding for the Overwatch competition.

Read the full article here.

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