Vietnamese esports organisation Saigon Buffalo, known for its League of Legends team, has been acquired by South Korean company JUEGO.
The new owners have acquired 100% of the organisation and will retire Saigon Buffalo’s branding. The team will continue existing as CNJ Esports going forward, to align with JUEGO’s existing esports brand. Financial details were not disclosed.
JUEGO, the new owners of Saigon Buffalo, are an esports-focused ‘think tank’ based in South Korea. The company specialised in football-related projects prior to creating its own esports brand, CNJ Esports, in 2021. CNJ is also behind DH.CNJ (Daejeon Hana CNJ), an esports team jointly created with Daejeon Hana Citizen, a club from the K League, Korea’s top-flight football division.
Saigon Buffalo is one of the most successful League of Legends teams in Vietnam, competing in the country’s top division, called the VCS. The team was founded in 2016 as Young Generation and underwent several name changes prior to settling on the Buffalo branding. Buffalo’s biggest success is winning two splits of the VCS in 2018 and 2019, and qualifying for the LoL Worlds in 2017, 2018, and 2022. The team most recently finished 19th at the 2022 League of Legends World Championships.
In an interesting move, Saigon Buffalo shared that it was looking for investors on Twitter earlier this year, sparking interest from different brands and investors such as NRG Asia CEO TK Nguyen, and Axie Infinity Co-Founder Jeff Zirlin. Ultimately, it was JUEGO who ended up acquiring the company.
In an exclusive interview for Esports Insider, Su Yong Park, the Executive Director of JUEGO, noted that the company wants to be another link between Vietnam and South Korea: “In industry, there’s Samsung. As for sports, there are Korean coaching staff for the Vietnam national teams, and in entertainment, there is a Vietnamese member of K pop music group NewJeans. We want to be the esports link between the countries.”
Park added that the original roster of Saigon Buffalo has big potential, but the first moves will be focused on creating a stable and high-quality esports department. Afterwards, the new owners will dive deeper into performance.
Su Yong Park added via a release: “Our goal is to create a global business by utilising elements of Korean esports armed with mythical history. Vietnam, which already has many connections with Korean society and has enormous potential, was seen as a key market. CNJ Esports will take over the legacy of Saigon Buffalo, and we ask for your attention as we are reborn as a new esport company representing Asia and focusing on Vietnam and Korea.”